Wednesday, July 24, 2013

System Center 2012 SP1 Update Rollup 3 is Now Available for Download!

Microsoft have just announced that Update Rollup 3 (UR3) for System Center 2012 SP1 has dropped and is available for download. There's a number of fixes for AppController, DPM and SCOM.

Here's an overview of what's fixed in this update for each product:

App Controller (2012 SP1) Update (KB2853227)

Issue 1
  • When you try to add a Microsoft System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) connection by using either the UI or a Windows PowerShell command, the connection is unsuccessful. Additionally, you receive the following error message:

Connection address must be a fully qualified domain name.

This problem may occur when the fully qualified domain name (FQDN) contains a hyphen (-) in the last part of the name.

Issue 2
  • When a Windows Azure subscription contains a high-memory (A6 or A7) Windows Azure virtual machine, Azure functionality is not available in Microsoft System Center 2012 App Controller.

Additionally, you receive the following error message:

Retrieved data is incomplete.

When you click More details, you receive a "Service Unavailable" message. You may also receive a "Requested value 'A6' was not found" message.

Issue 3
  • When you try to use App Controller together with a proxy server, you receive the following error message:

(407) authentication required.

Note App Controller does not use configured proxy settings.

Issue 4
  • When you view the network properties of a deployed virtual machine and then click OK, the network connection is set to None. For example, the network connection field is empty and does not show the current network adapter.
Issue 5
  • When you move quickly between virtual machines in a list and then click the Properties task, the properties page for the previously selected virtual machine is displayed.
Issue 6
  • When you deploy an Azure virtual machine when the User must change password at next logon option is selected, you receive the following error message:
Bad Request
App Controller (2012 SP1) Setup Update (KB2823452)
Issue 1
  • App Controller cannot be installed if the Microsoft SQL Server database server name starts with a number.
( ) for more information.
Issue 2
  • Setup incorrectly reports that the SQL Server database has insufficient disk space.
Issue 3
  • Setup on a non-English operating system is unsuccessful when it tries to enable Internet Information Services (IIS)
Data Protection Manager (DPM 2012 SP1) Update (KB2853210)
Issue 1
  • When you use a tape library that has many slots, the Microsoft System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager database becomes bloated over time.
Issue 2
  • When you try to set up library sharing when you use Data Protection Manager SP1 Update Rollup 2 (UR2), you receive the following error message:
Failed to execute RBACRolePermissionOnStoredProcScript.sql on DPMServer\Database
Issue 3
  • When you run a Windows PowerShell script that retrieves the protection groups, the console crashes.
Issue 4
  • The VMM Helper Service stops responding, and no virtual machines are backed up. A restart enables the backups to continue.
Operations Manager (SCOM 2012 SP1) Update (KB2852565)

Issue 1
  • The Audit Collection Services (ACS) dtPrincipal tables sometimes are missing a user's domain name.
Issue 2
  • If you decide to see more than two days' worth of data in a Service Level Dashboard view, the data is displayed from the Daily Aggregated data and does not contain the last two days' worth of data.
Issue 3
  • The Health Service stops collecting performance data on Windows Server 2008 R2.
Issue 4
  • The web console crashes when the Active Alerts view and the Windows Computer State view are accessed at the same time when Internet Explorer 9 is used.
Issue 5
  • A memory leak may occur in the console when the performance widgets dashboard is left open.
Issue 6
  • When the Operator role is used, many 26319 events are generated. This causes performance problems.
Issue 7
  • Health Service availability reports are incorrect because of duplicate entries in the HealthServiceOutage table.
Issue 8
  • When the Orchestrator Integration pack is under a high-load scenario, a software development kit (SDK) process deadlock may occur.
Issue 9
This update includes fixes to the following Advisor Connector issues:
  • Group opt-in
  • Microsoft System Center 2012 Operations Manager gateway and Microsoft monitoring
  • Windows PowerShell cmdlets
  • Health state
  • Microsoft Knowledge Base article links in Operations Manager console alerts

Operations Manager (SCOM 2012 SP1) - UNIX and Linux Monitoring (Management Pack Update)

Issue 1

  • The Solaris agent cannot be installed on Solaris 11.1 because it does not find the prerequisite OpenSSL package.

Issue 2

  • Knowledge editing pages are not displayed when monitors that were created by the Shell Command templates are edited.

Issue 3

  • Log files that are encoded in schemes other than ASCII cannot be monitored.

You can choose to install these updates either automatically through Windows Update (recommended) or manually by clicking on the relevant download links from the official KB article on UR3 here:

As always though, make sure to read through the installation instructions for each product and understand what's involved.

Monday, July 22, 2013

SCOM - KB2775511 Causes Unwanted (and nasty) Event ID 2115, Heartbeat Failures and Grey States

I've just seen this one landing by RSS into my inbox from the official System Center Operations Manager Engineering Blog posted by Microsoft's J.C. Hornbeck about a hotfix that you may (or may not) have deployed to your SCOM/OpsMgr management servers that essentially brings them to deadlock resulting in heartbeat failures, grey states and heaps of Event ID 2115 entries in your Windows Event logs.

The KB2775511 hotfix rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server is the culprit and if you've deployed it onto your SCOM management servers, you'll need to remove it ASAP.

Update 15th November 2013: I've just seen a comment on this post below informing me that Microsoft have released a hotfix for this exact problem.  Check it out here:

SCOM 2012 or SCOM 2007 R2 throws a "Heartbeat Failure" message and then goes into a greyed out state in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

Here's what the OpsMgr engineering team have to say:

"Removal of KB2775511 will correct the issues introduced. The OpsMgr team recommends that Operations Manager users refrain from installing KB2775511 until this deadlock issue is resolved. New information will be posted as it becomes available."

Better to be safe and sorry with this one and to check out your servers today to ensure this hotfix rollup hasn't been installed. It's also worthwhile to forward this information onto any customers or colleagues that have their own deployments of SCOM so they can check for themselves.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Important Cross-Post: Red Alert–Avoid KB2855336 Rollup with NIC Teaming and VLANs

This is a quick post to bring people's attention to an issue with the very recent KB2855336 July rollup update for Windows Server 2012.

Hans Vredevoort over at has just blogged about a possible blue screen issue you might encounter if you have the following in place:
  • Windows Server 2012 Failover Cluster
  • Windows Server 2012 NIC Teaming
  • VLAN's with your NIC Teams

His advice is to hold off on this particular update until an update is released to avoid this issue. Check out his full post here:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Learn What's New in System Center 2012 R2 in this Free 8 Hour Course!

On Monday July 15th, the Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) are hosting a free 8 hour online Jump Start course to bring you right up to date with everything that's new in the recently announced System Center 2012 R2.

The instructor team on the day will be lead by Microsoft's Symon Perriman (Senior Technical Evangelist) and the course outline looks like this:

01 | Introduction to the Cloud OS
02 | Infrastructure Provisioning
03 | Infrastructure Monitoring
04 | Application Management
05 | Automation
06 | IT Service Management

It kicks off at 9am PDT (that's 17:00 GMT for us folks over here in Europe) and it promises to be packed full of the type of information you need to help you hit the ground running when 2012 R2 RTM's later this year.

Check out and register for the event on the MVA site here:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Want to learn how to Manage Windows Server 2012 NVGRE with PowerShell?

If the answer is Yes to the title of this post, then make sure that you attend this afternoon's (Irish time) MVP Pro Speaker Series session on the topic by System Center MVP - Damian Flynn. Outside of Microsoft, Damian is one of a small number of people on the planet that actually understand this stuff and that can explain it in easy-to-learn steps.

I've just been speaking to Damian about this session and he's told me that it's going to be a Level 300 bordering on Level 400 type session so not for the faint hearted but definitely no marketing fluff will be presented here.

Here's an excerpt from Damian's own blog post on the session:

If you are still wrapping your head around the NVGRE technology which Microsoft has introduced in Windows 2012, and want to get down and dirty into how this stuff actually ticks, then I have some great news for you.

Following the recent presentation and whitepapers which were just published a few weeks ago, as we
“Unravelling the Network”, explaining at a higher level just how these technologies play together to create a seamless implementation for software defined networking, we are now going to deep dive.

In association with the Microsoft MVP Pro Speaker series, on Tuesday July 9th at 8am EST PST (4pm GMT) I will present a 1 hour session demonstrating what needs to happen on the Hosts and VMs to bring NVGRE to life, using nothing but PowerShell.

This presentation is targeted as the Level 300/400 so I am going to really recommend that you take an hour upfront and watch the presentation with
Savision if you have not yet had the opportunity.

You can join the live meeting here:

If you're reading this and think it's too late to join up or you're otherwise engaged, then keep an eye out for the recording and slides that will be put up on the Microsoft Partner and Customer Solutions blog here:


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Microsoft Are Now Gartner Magic Quadrant Leaders For x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure

Reading the Microsoft In The Cloud blog yesterday, I noticed that Microsoft have smashed into the leaders quadrant of the Gartner Magic Quadrant report on x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure.

The Gartner Magic Quadrant is an objective third party view on how the different technology players in each specific market are performing. As a Microsoft consultant pitching System Center and Hyper-V, I get asked on a regular basis by our customers - particularly at 'C Level' (i.e. CEO, CIO, CTO etc.) about where Microsoft are at in terms of Gartner. In the past I'd have to tell them that competitors such as VMware were positioned as 'Leaders' and Microsoft were trailing around in the 'Challengers' spot.

Not any more though...

As we can see from the graphic above, since June of this year (2013) Microsoft are now in the 'Leaders' quadrant along with VMware. From the graphic we can see that there's still a gap between the two players but with everything coming in the new Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 releases, plus the new Windows Azure Pack (formerly Project Katal), I'm pretty confident that that gap will be closed towards the end of the year.

If you're a consultant or engineer in the Microsoft space, then this should be music to your ears, if you're in the VMware space however, then fear not, you can become a superhero for your organization starting from today by clicking the link below ;)

Microsoft Virtualization: VMware Professionals

You can download and read the full report courtesy of Microsoft here.