Using Azure Automation with Azure Recovery Services (or intelligent failover using PowerShell)

Azure Recovery Services (or “MARS”) went GA a few days back, and it’s a very interesting offering. The ability to fail over to a DR site is a wet dream for many it folks, and this service brings that within reach for the masses. The idea of failing over to Azure is simple enough on paper. … Read more

A finished example of “smart” SMA runbook publishing

UPDATE 24.09.2014: I got some feedback on these posts regarding SMA and publishing using PowerShell, which pointed me to SMART, which is a collection of scripts for doing various SMA-related things. SMART has it’s own publish-to-SMA script, which you of course can use instead of mine. There’s a couple of things I don’t like so … Read more

A more refined way of getting your runbooks published into SMA using code

Update: If you read this, be sure to read this (finished code for smart publishing) If you have worked with SMA for more than just preparing for giving a demo (pun very much intended), you have no doubt come to the conclusion that the “copy+paste” way of getting code into SMA is suboptimal. Actually, I’d … Read more

SMA-CI: Continous Integration adventures with System Center Service Management Automation -part 2

This is part 2. Part 1 is here: So, to pick up where I left off: I wanted to see if it’s possible to add a bit of continous integration to the process of managing SMA runbooks. SMA ships with PowerShell cmdlets for importing, exporting and other activities, so it shouldn’t be hard. As far as … Read more

SMA-CI: Continous Integration adventures with System Center Service Management Automation -part 1

This is part 1. Part 2 is here: If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know that I’m not a huge fan of the “original” System Center Orchestrator (Opalis) product. Its promise is sound, but the execution leaves a bit to be desired. Actually, a colleague asked me the other day during … Read more

Measuring Exchange mailflow performance using PowerShell, SCOM, Azure VMs and MVC

Ouch, another way-too-long blog title. Anyways. I’m doing sort of a summer job for my previous employer while waiting for my next project to start. Being a hosted service provider, they’re looking for ways to expose key performance metrics to their customers. For the hosted Exchange service, we looked at using the built-in reports for … Read more

Notes on System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012R2 Preview

I’ve upgraded my lab to the preview versions of Windows Server 2012R2 and VMM 2012R2. Here are a couple of notes on VMM 2012R2 Preview so far: All in all, it’s very similar to VMM 2012 SP1, as expected. One menu item that stands out is the addition of the “Network Service” node in Fabric–>Networking. This … Read more

Simplifying the “Create new VM” PowerShell scripts

If you’re at all interested in automating the tasks you perform in the VMM 2012 SP1 GUI, you probably appreciate the “View Script” button as much as I do. However, even if you have your VM Templates all setup and ready to go, and basically just “Next” through the “New VM” wizard, the generated script … Read more

Getting SCOM ready for the big screen

When I worked as a consultant, the number one request from customers running System Center Operations Manager was “We need to get SCOM alerts on our wall screens”. It is easier said than done. I used to reply this to my customers: “SCOM isn’t a wall-type product. SCOM is a system that looks for every mistake … Read more