Operations Manager 2007 R2

I recently reviewed Cameron Fuller’s Top 5 Extensions for OpsMgr and Ops Mgr Extensions: Honorable Mentions.

Some of the extensions Cameron covers are now ‘baked into’ Ops Mgr 2007 R2 – but that doesn’t mean that they are still not worthy of being used…

If you are using some of these currently and planning to upgrade to Ops Mgr R2 in the near future, please note there is no modifications needed after the upgrade…

Let’s cover some of my favorite extensions…

These are in no certain order:

Testing Notification Settings:
While this may not be used all the time, the walk through Microsoft provides is a nice way of testing any one of the Channel Types in Ops Mgr R2:

Pete Zerger has a Notification Test MP as well with a nice little install package to boot…

Alert Forward MP:
Created by Ron Williams, this MP “allows you to select any alert in an alert view in the console, and forward that alert to an email recipient.  It checks to see if Outlook is installed, and if so, allows you to send the email using Outlook (through CDO).  Otherwise, it uses an SMTP server to relay the email.” He also has a nice installer app built from the OpsMgr SDK. Nice work Ron!

Scheduled Maintenance MPs:
There are numerous Scheduled Maintenance MPs out there – which one is best or rises above the others? I don’t want to start a huge debate, but I’ll share that we use multiple ones… From running a PowerShell script from the Agent to creating a Schedule Task for MM to the Scheduled Maintenance MP.

The Ops Mgr community is vast and growing and if someone wants to share how they are utilizing Scheduled Maintenance please do!

ReSearch This!
This is an updated version provided by by Cameron Fuller to perform searches against the System Center Central website.

Enables and disables the act-as-a-proxy configuration for agents. Ops Mgr 2007 R2 eliminates the need to run one-offs for rogue objects that need proxy enabled.

Override Explorer – most folks know that this MP allows you to view what overrides exist in a management group. And yes, while it is now ‘baked into Ops Mgr 2007 R2’, you cannot easily move overrides from one MP to another as you can with Override Explorer… Kudos to Microsoft for adding the ability to view overrides and allowing you to change to scope to a preferred MP, but not for making the ability to move overrides from one MP (i.e. – Default MP) to another.

Service Level Dashboard
Per TechNet: The Service Level Dashboard “addresses the need for organizations to ensure that their business-critical IT resources (applications and systems) are available and performing at acceptable levels. The dashboard evaluates an application or group over a selected time period, determines whether it met the defined service level commitment, and displays summarized data.”
Download v2.0 of the Service Level Dashboard
Video – video on MSN about Service Level Dashboard

Now let’s cover some of the cool or ‘baked in’ extensions within Ops Mgr 2007 R2:

Visio Add-in for Ops Mgr 2007 R2
If you wanted a Visio layout showing health state, Distributed Apps, Active Directory or Exchange views prior to Ops Mgr 2007 R2, you would have most likely used Savision – Live Maps. Now, that is no longer the case…

Per TechNet the Visio Add-in “combines the strengths of two applications widely used in enterprise IT to simplify the creation of customized dashboards that show the health of an environment. This allows you create diagrams that show objects by geography on a map, by location in a data center or building, by role in a logical view of an application, or by topology for complex distributed applications such as Microsoft Exchange Server or technologies such as Active Directory Domain Services.

Some other functions of the Visio Add-in include:

  1. If you have created Distributed Applications in Ops Mgr 2007 R2, you can export them and they will automatically show live health state information for the exported objects within the Visio diagram.
  2. Wanna create a new Visio diagram to show current health state of your AD or Exchange environment? Achieving this is relatively easy – you can link shapes to any managed object (such as a computer, database, Web site, or perspective) to show the current health state.
  3. Want to link an existing Visio diagram automatically to the objects (computer, network devices) managed by Ops Mgr 2007 R2? Done. Just keep in mind that the more computer and network devices embedded in the Visio document, the longer it will take to ‘auto-magically’ populate…
  4. Have a need for dashboard views for a NOC or help desk monitoring websites? By configuring the ‘Refresh Rate’ on the Visio diagram, you can set the correct time frame and then use Visio’s full-screen view (F5) to publish it to a SharePoint or other website.
  5. “Predefined data graphics enable you to switch from Operations Manager health icons to the shape color for health state.”

***Savision does offer a free version of their Live Maps, but you can only create three maps, if you need more you will need to purchase their product.

System Center Central: Community MPs
You’ll need to register with the System Center Central site (free) in order to download any MPs:

Register to download