Microsoft TechEd Europe 2014 Day 2

This post is probably a bit more for my own records than anything as it’s a bit session specific but those sessions are obviously related to my interests and thus this blog so here we go anyway.

Next Version of Hyper-V:

Lots and lots of new features in here, pretty much all covered by the post on Technet however there was also some news about changes to the way VMs are backed up, specifically:

  • Backup is decoupled from the underlying infrastructure – not reliant on VSS
  • Not dependent on hardware snapshots on the SAN – good for large LUNs
  • Built-in change tracking rather than relying on third party backup agent

Couple of other bits as well:

  • Ability to name NICs in Hyper-V and have the name show up in the OS
  • Can modify static memory allocation for VMs running Technical Preview
  • Hot-add of VHDs doesn’t break replication

No one big feature across all the lists but plenty of polish which shows just how far Hyper-V has come.

System Center OM and Azure Operational Insights

Much was made of protecting the existing investment in Operations Manager, particularly MPs, as OM continues to be developed. Support for OSS platforms was also highlighted which is becoming more and more important. There’s also a few shiny things including new dashboards in 2012 R2 U2, monitoring O365, a new Exchange MP and so on.

The main focus though is definitely Azure Operational Insights (previously called System Center Advisor). It’s able to take data both directly from systems or from an existing OM deployment and do big-data analytics using the power of Azure.

This opens up a lot of new functionality including the ability to do amazing drill downs into data at great speed from a wide variety of devices. It’s natively multi-tenant and is designed to work Partners which is particularly useful. At the moment there are only a few integration packs available for it but MS are actively developing this (the system is still in preview) and it’ll be good to see the pace of release of these.

It obviously has a long way to go, particularly as one of the hugely valuable aspects of OM is the third party MP development and integration but MS are building a third party ecosystem into the platform. Definitely one to watch.

I’ve already been asked “Will this replace OM?” and I’m not sure. My feeling at the moment is that customers will be running OM for a long time to come and that new OM deployments are still sensible. There’s a clear commitment to OM and to get Operational Insights to leverage existing on-premises OM deployments so I can’t see any risk there.

Storage Replica:

The new functionality to replicate storage is quite exciting. There’s clearly a lot of work still to do to get the UI (and some of the Powershell) to where it needs to be and there are a few nasty bugs that people are likely to hit but it’s very promising. I’ll be getting it into a lab when I get back and covering it there so I won’t go into too much detail here.

One thing that did disappoint me though is that although it can do synchronous replication, it’s asymmetric, meaning that only one of the two sides can be active at a time – this is true of both cluster to cluster and server to server. I’m quite keen to find a replacement for the HP VSA-style network RAID to allow small, cost effective shared-nothing clusters to be built on branch offices and this doesn’t quite fit the bill as a result. Still much to like though!

General

So far, a really good event and been impressed by how well it’s organised and run. (Un)fortunately there’s an awful lot of content to see and I can see myself needing to spend another week just watching videos of all the sessions I’ve missed. Last night was also some great light relief at Carpe Diem on Barcelonetta beach which was a good opportunity to meet some people (including customers as it turned out) and relax.

SCOM Hyper-V 2008 2012 Event Log Issue

I’ve been doing some work with System Center Operations Manager (SCOM) 2012 SP1 for a customer lately and was hit by an issue that I couldn’t seem to find an answer on. The environment incorporates both Hyper-V 2008 R2 and Hyper-V 2012 servers and for the latter, the following alert was being fired:

The Windows Event Log Provider is still unable to open the Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-Image-Management-Service-Admin event log on computer ‘vs-01.contoso.com’.
The Provider has been unable to open the Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-Image-Management-Service-Admin event log for 720 seconds.

Most recent error details: The specified channel could not be found. Check channel configuration.

SCOM Hyper-V 2008 2012 Alerts

The same alert was also being generated for Microsoft-Windows-Hyper-V-Network-Admin.

Cause

It seems that the MPs for Hyper-V 2008 are incorrectly looking for event logs on 2012 servers which don’t exist in 2012.

Resolution

To solve this, stop the monitors from targetting the 2012 servers:

Head into the Authoring workspace and then under Management Pack Objects click Monitors. From there, click Scope on the toolbar. Select View all targets then click Clear All at the bottom. Enter “Hyper-V” into the box at the top and then click Select All then OK:

SCOM Hyper-V 2008 2012 Scope MPs

Expand Hyper-V Virtual Hard Disk and Hyper-V Virtual Network:

SCOM Hyper-V 2008 2012 Monitors

Click properties on Mounted Drive Read-only, Port Connectivity and Port Disconnectivity and heading to the Event Log tab will show you the Event Log targetted by the monitors which as you’ll see, are the ones we’re having a problem with:

SCOM Hyper-V 2008 2012 Mounted Drive Read-only Properties
SCOM Hyper-V 2008 2012 Port Connectivity Properties
SCOM Hyper-V 2008 2012 Port Disconnectivity Properties

For each of these three montiors, you need to disable them for the 2012 servers. For Mounted Drive Read-only, first right click on the monitor and choose:

SCOM Hyper-V 2008 2012 Override Menu

You can select the Windows Server 2012 Computer Group for this monitor:

SCOM Hyper-V 2008 2012 Group Selection

For the Port Connectivity and Port Disconnectivity monitors you’ll need to disable them “For a specific object of class: Hyper-V Virtual Network” and pick the objects that relate to each of your 2012 Hyper-V machines. For some reason, picking a group as above doesn’t work.

Reset the unhealthy monitors and clear the alerts and you should be good to go.

My thanks go to Kevin Greene for his post on half of the issue which led me down the right path to solving both alerts.