System Center 2012 SP1 Update Series – Part 3

Operations Manager is one of the most important but quite often overlooked elements of System Center. We will go through the latest enhancements that come with Service Pack 1 and information regarding the upgrade process can be found over on Kevin Greene’s blog in his two part series, Part 1 and Part 2, which details the process substantially. Once again it’s a must read before any upgrade takes place. There are new features within Operations Manager that are only available if the underlying operating system is Windows Server 2012. Microsoft recommend on their Technet site to install the upgrades for System Center SP1 first and then implement the upgrades for the operating system to Server 2012.

Some of the new enhancements for Operations Manager are:

  • Support for IIS 8 & Server 2012 Management Packs
  • Improved support for heartbeat monitoring of Linux and Unix agents
  • CentOS, Debian, Oracle and Ubuntu Linux are now supported
  • Monitoring of ASP .Net web service, WCF service, MVC and .Net NT Service
  • Integration with development tools such as Team Foundation Server (TFS) and Visual Studio
  • Windows Azure SDK support
  • Monitoring of Sharepoint 2010 with APM
  • ACS support for Dynamic Access Control in Server 2012
  • Global Service Monitoring support – monitoring of websites from outside locations, includes 360 .Net Application Monitoring Dashboards
  • Support of more network device models

Many of the new enhancements are geared towards developers and monitoring of applications. The inclusion of support for Windows 8 and Server 2012 should now make the decision to upgrade to those platforms easier for administrators as they now have the comfort of knowing that the can monitor them successfully. In the next part of the series we’ll look at the new enhancements to Configuration Manager 2012.

System Center 2012 SP1 Update Series – Part 1

Microsoft have just released SP1 for System Center 2012. Unlike previous version of System Center, 2012 is a cumulative update for all products under the System Center umbrella. The upside to this is that all products are kept on the same version which makes the updates easier to rollout and keep track of. The downside is that products need to be updated in a specific order.

In the next part of the series we will cover the enhanced features that have been upgraded as part of the new service pack, and also take a more in-depth look at the upgrade process. To begin with we will look at the order for upgrading the products within System Center. If you are using two or more of the System Center products you will need to follow up upgrade sequence otherwise you may experience issues with integration and communication between the various components in System Center. If there is only one product installed then you can proceed to upgrade that product without following the upgrade sequence.

  1. Orchestrator
  2. Service Manager (SCSM)
  3. Data Protection Manager (DPM)
  4. Operations Manager (SCOM)
  5. Configuration Manager (SCCM)
  6. Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)
  7. App Controller

Technet Excerpt: Except for VMM, which requires Windows Server 2012, it is assumed that no other operating system upgrades have taken place before or during this upgrade. Upgrade the various System Center components before you upgrade the operating system. In addition, we assume that no upgrades to SQL Server have taken place. You can upgrade to SQL Server 2012 after you have upgraded your System Center components.

There are two possible issues to be aware of with the upgrade path. These relate to Orchestrator and Operations Manager. Integration Packs installed in Orchestrator 2012 will no longer function with SP1 components. It is recommended to leave the current Integration Packs installed so that current functionality continues. After you upgrade the subsequent System Center components the Integration Packs will be un-installed and you will need to return to the Orchestrator server and import the upgraded Integration Packs for SP1. Some new features for Operations Manager are only available in Windows Server 2012 so if you need to upgrade to 2012 wait until the SP1 upgrade has been put in place and then upgrade to Server 2012.

In the next part in the series we will look at the new enhanced feature for Service Pack 1