How to add a product key when you are installing System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager.

September 3, 2014

Once your installation is complete it’s time to make sure you apply your license key. As you know there isn’t any prompt for adding the license key during the installs.

Instead it’s a Post-installation task you must perform.

The process I really simple. We use the PowerShell Set-SCOMLicence cmdlet.

1. Open an elevated PowerShell prompt. (Run as Administrator).

2. Type import-module operationsmanager.

3. Type New-SCOMManagementGroupConnection to connect your management group

4. Run the command Set-SCOMLicense -ProductId “<yourlicensekey>“

5. Check the settings by running the command:

Get-SCOMManagementGroup | ft skuforlicense, version, timeofexpiration –a

You may have to restart the Management server/-s to make sure that these changes are registered correctly.


On demand training, Windows Azure Pack

August 14, 2014

July 16–17, 2014 Microsoft had a Live training event called Windows Azure Pack: Infrastructure as a Service Jump Start ft a instructor team of Microsoft employees.

During two days you could learn how to use Windows Azure Pack to deliver Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in your datacenter. The content is now available on Microsoft Cannel 9

Have you checked out the Ch9 App for Xbox 360? Pretty nice to be able to watch the content on your home entertainment system 🙂

Full course outline for the two days:

Day One

Day Two

So join the Instructor Team for an exploration of Windows Azure Pack’s (WAP’s) infrastructure services (IaaS)

Windows Azure Pack builds on the power of Microsoft CloudOS brought to your local data center that enables you to deliver an enterprise-class, cost-effective solution for self-service, multitenant cloud infrastructure and application services based on Microsoft Azure, Windows Server and System Center technologies.

· Andrew Zeller | Microsoft Senior Technical Program Manager

· ​Symon Perriman | Microsoft Senior Technical Evangelist
Twitter: @SymonPerriman

· Joe Levy | Microsoft Program Manager
Twitter: @Jodoglevy

· Shriram Natarajan | Microsoft Program Manager
Twitter: @shriramnat

· John Ballard | Microsoft Principal Program Manager

​· ​Vybava Ramadoss | Microsoft ​Program Manager
Twitter: @vybava

· Anshuman Nangia | Microsoft Program Manager

My blog 2.0

May 29, 2014

HomeLab I powerful lab doesn’t have to be expensive.

The reason I started blogging was that I wanted to help a friend of mine getting started with a lab setup and it turns out that that post has been one of the more popular ones. I have decided to be more active on my blog and share the things I find.

What would be better then start off the 2.0 version of the blog where I once started.

Building your own Azure in the living room

In a series of articles I will build a home lab complete with operations system, management software and virtual machines. I will use Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2. I will use evaluation software downloaded from TechNet Evaluation Center More on that in the next part of the series

Part 1: The hardware

I wanted two machines so that I could build a cluster. I got the hardware for the lab little over a year ago and have complemented the purchases since then. Each of the machines are equipped with a Intel i5 processor, 32 GB RAM and three hard drives, one mechanic large drive for more static content, ISO, templates and such and two blistering fast SSDs.

Some of the hardware is a little bit old at the moment so you might need to get some newer parts if you want to build the machines. On the other hand used parts are now a bit cheaper and the speed of this rig is pretty awesome so that might be a cheaper way to go.

I wanted to get some relative small form factor and decided to go with the Shuttle XPC Barebone PC.
The integrated motherboard and the ability toadd up to 32 GB RAM and the necessary expansion slots/functions needed for the lab. Based on my experience you can never get enough RAM so to lower the cost of the rig I decided to go for the i5 processor and get all the RAM at once.

The components I complemented the PCs with are listed below.

Intel Core i5-2320 Quad-Core Processor 3.0 GHz 6 MB Cache LGA 1155 – BX80623I52320 (EOL)

Corsair XMS3 — 32GB DDR3 Dual/Quad Channel Memory Kit

OCZ Agility 3 – SATA III 2.5″120 GB (EOL)
WD Green WD20EARX 64MB 2TB

I use the smaller SSD drive for the OS and the Intel SSD for the VM:s as mentioned before the 2 TB spinning disk are used to store images and tools and less intensive VMs

Stay tuned for the next part in the Building your own Azure in the living room series.

Part 2: The Windows 2012 R2 installation

By the way my wife approves of keeping the machines in the living room.

Study guide for Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409

May 20, 2014

Veeam are providing a “Free Study Guide for Microsoft Certification Exam 74-409: Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center

The guide is a 150 page pdf document that covers the exam objectives in 8 chapters.

You will learn about:

  • Virtual Machine Settings
  • Virtual machine storage
  • Hyper-V Virtual Networks and virtualization networking
  • Implementing virtual machines
  • Managing Virtualization Hosts and Infrastructure
  • Hyper-V Failover Clustering and Failover Clustering Roles
  • Virtual Machine Movement
  • Monitoring and disaster recovery

74-409, 70-246 and 70-247 and how they work together

January 4, 2014

I got a question on twitter regarding the new Microsoft exam 74-409 and the Microsoft Private Cloud exams 70-246 and 70-247.

The new 74-409 Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center exam is as I see it a replacement for the old MCTS/MCITP Exam 70-659 Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization.

Server virtualization is a foundation for a cloud implementation. If you stay on premise in a private cloud, reach out to add online resources in a hybrid cloud or simply move your workload online into a public cloud.

Microsoft Private cloud exam 70-247 Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 teaches you how to use System Center to build your private cloud.

70-246 Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012 teaches you how to integrate and maintain your workload in that cloud.

If you haven’t started studying for the Microsoft exams I would suggest that you start with 74-409 followed by 70-247 and 70-246, top that off with a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows Server 2012 and you are Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE): Private Cloud + Microsoft Certified Specialist: Server Virtualization with Hyper-V and System Center.

By the way you know that you can get the 74-409 for FREE 🙂 Check out this article to get started.

Earn Your Microsoft Certified Specialist: Server Virtualization Title with a Free Exam

System Center App Controller – Free eBook

November 27, 2013

Microsoft Press has released a new ebook:

Cloud Management with App Controller


The book is a great introduction to Microsoft Hybrid Cloud Solutions and how to use and implement System Center App Controller.


PDF here Mobi file  here ePub here

Upgrade Sequencing for System Center 2012 R2

October 21, 2013

Upgrade Sequencing for System Center 2012 R2

There is an updated article regarding the Upgrade Sequencing for System Center 2012 R2

The article has been updated to reflect these changes. When reading blog posts like this. Always look at TechNet for the most up to date information.

First of all if you plan on upgrading more than one System Center component it is important to read the upgrade guidelines in the product documentation. It will save you a lot of time.

It is important that you understand the order to upgrade System Center if you do not follow the sequencing guidelines you might end up in a non-recovery situation

The upgrade order for System Center components are as follows:

  1. Service Management Automation
  2. Orchestrator
  3. Service Manager
  4. Data Protection Manager (DPM)
  5. Operations Manager
  6. Configuration Manager
  7. Virtual Machine Manager
  8. Service Provider Foundation
  9. Windows Azure Pack for Windows Server
  10. Service Bus Clouds
  11. Windows Azure Pack
  12. Service Reporting
  13. App Controller

Since Orchestrator is the first System Center component to be upgrades we better start upgrading it first.
I will perform this upgrade in my Lab environment and I currently use a single server installation with a separate database. I will point out the differences along the way if you have another setup in your environment.

There are some things that we need to do prior to installing the new version

1. Let your runbooks finish and make sure no runbooks are running.

2. Verify that you don’t have any pending restarts.

3. Backup your Orchestrator database (Full backup)

4. Verify that your hardware, software and OS version specs meet the requirement of System Center 2012 R2

5. Put all orchestrator servers in maintenance mode. (SCOM or your other monitoring software)

6. Uninstall all Orchestrator components management server, Runbook Designer, runbook servers and Web Service.

Do not uninstall any integration Pack (IP) at this stage. Leaving the System Center 2012 IPs in place makes sure that current functionality continues to work until the other components are upgraded. The old integration packs will continue to work until you upgrade the subsequent components, for example after the System Center 2012 – Service Manager upgrade (which is next in line) you will also deploy a new Integration Pack.
After the upgrade you will be able to run integration packs for a:
System Center 2012 component
System Center 2012 SP1 component
System Center 2012 R2 component
You can’t perform an in place upgrade, following message is displayed if the software isn’t uninstalled.


7. Install the Orchestrator management server
Click Install

8. Enter your registration information. Note that if you don’t provide a product key Orchestrator will be installed as an evaluation edition.


9. Select the features to install. If you want to separate your features you just select the Management Server. To install Orchestrator across multiple servers is a wise thing to do. I will post a separate post explaining why in the next day or so.
Management Server
The management server deploys runbooks and Integration Packs to the runbooks server and the runbook designer
Runbook Server
Runbook Servers handle running instances of active runbooks. Runbook servers require active communication to the Datastore (part of the Management server installation) Atleast one runbookserver is required per installation.
Orchestration Console and Web Service
The Web Components consist of the Orchestration console and the Orchestrator Web Services. The Orchestration Console enables real time monitoring and control of runbook operation and status from a brower based interface. The Web Service allows developers to build automation that interacts with Orchestrator runbook operations.
Runbook Designer
The Runbook Designer provides for creation, modification, testing and activation of runbooks and includes the Runbook testing Console.

10. Read thru the license terms and accept to continue.

11. Checking for required hardware and software

12. Configure the service account

13. Configure the database server

14. Configure the database and select existing database

15. Configure Orchestrator user group. This can be a local group or an Active Directory

16. Configure the ports for the web service. (port 81 and 82 are the default ports)

17. Select where to install.

18. Microsoft Update
I select Off (I update my environment with a local WSUS installation.)

19. Chose if you are willing to participate in the Customer Improvement program and how you will participate in Error Reporting.

20. Installation summary, review the selections for the components you are installing.
Click install to continue.
To change something click the appropriate Change link or click previous

21. Installing features

22. Finsished
Note the checkboxes that will launch Windows Update, visit System Center Orchestrator Online or wheter to launch the Orchestrator Runbook Designer.

23.Start your runbooks.

27. Take the Orchestrator servers out of maintenance mode.

28. Return to the Upgrade Sequencing Guide, next up is System Center Service Manager 2012 R2 Ler

C you in the next post, upgrading System center Service Manager 2012 R2

Start upgrading, you know I do