First Look at System Center Operations Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2

Microsoft recently released the Technical Preview 2 of System Center Operatoins Manager 2016: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/library/dn997273.aspx

Installation

Going through the installation, everything that I could see looked the same as the SCOM 2012 R2 installation.

I did notice that, although I was installing on SQL Server 2014 SP1, there was still a dependency on some SQL Server 2012 components, namely:

  • Microsoft Report View 2012 Runtime
  • Microsoft System CLR Types for SQL Server 2012 (x64)
SCOM2016TP2 - SQL2012PreReqs

SCOM 2016 TP2 – SQL Server 2012 PreReqs

But other than that, the installation was identical to the Operations Manager 2012 R2 installation, complete with the Warning on the Management Server indicating that it was in an evaluation mode.

SCOM2016TP2 - Instal Complete

SCOM 2016 TP2 – Instal Complete

 

New/Additional Features

Let’s  take a look at a few new features thus far.

Per the TechNet article referenced, there are really only 2 “new” features that we can look at, but they are both significant.

 

Administration Workspace

Maintenance Schedules

This is a very welcomed feature! Thanks Microsoft.

From the TechNet article, here is what this new “Maintenance Schedule” allows: “Entities can be put to Maintenance in older versions of Operations manager but they cannot be put into maintenance mode at a future time. The newly created Maintenance Mode scheduling wizard gives the ability to choose different types of entities to put to maintenance mode and to schedule Maintenance at a future time through many different scheduling frequencies such as one-off/daily/weekly/monthly. It also gives the ability to view all the maintenance mode schedules that have been created in a single screen and also gives the ability to schedule multiple jobs for the same monitored entity.

So let’s check it out! You can find this feature in the Administration workspace.

SCOM2016TP2 - Maintenace Schedules

SCOM 2016 TP2 – Maintenace Schedules

When we start by Creating a New Maintenance Schedule,we first need to select the object(s) this rule will apply to.

SCOM2016TP2 - New Maintenace Schedule - Object Selection

SCOM 2016 TP2 – New Maintenace Schedule – Object Selection

After we’ve selected an object,we get to provide a schedule for it to execute; and we have a lot of granular settings we can use!

SCOM2016TP2 - New Maintenace Schedule - Schedule

SCOM2016TP2 – New Maintenace Schedule – Scheduling

Finally, we can also include details including what Category we want to label it as, and whether it is Planned or Unplanned! Though it’s kind of funny to think that you can schedule in advance, an “unplanned” outage; kind of like you know exactly when that network outage is going to occur!

SCOM2016TP2 - New Maintenace Schedule - Details

SCOM 2016 TP2 – New Maintenace Schedule – Details

Operational Insights (aka Operations Management Suite [OMS/MOMS])

The next “new” feature is Operations Manager’s integration with the new/re-branded Microsoft Operations Management Suite (MOMS, or OMS).

You’ll note that in the console, it is still labelled as “Operational Insights”, but obviously that will change to reflect OMS in the future.

Per the Operational Insights documentation: “We are working to integrate Operational Insights into our new Microsoft Operations Management Suite.

SCOM2016TP2 - Operational Insights

SCOM 2016 TP2 – Operational Insights

In order to use this feature, your Operations Manager needs to have access to the Internet.

When you click on the Register to Operational Insights Service link, this will initiate the Operational Insights Service wizard.

SCOM2016TP2 - OMS - Register Link

SCOM 2016 TP2 – OMS – Register Link

On the Authentication screen in the Operational Insights Onboarding wizard, it tries to load the Microsoft account sign-in page.

In my experience, it didn’t work. As you can see from the screenshot below, it says that my browser is currently set to block cookies.

SCOM2016TP2 - OMS - Authentication

SCOM 2016 TP2 – Operational Insights Onboarding Wizard – Authentication

But remember, I’m running this on the Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview OS, which is using the new Spartan/Edge browser.

If I go and take a look at my browser’s settings, I clearly see that Cookies is not blocked. I also have the IE Enhanced Security Configuration switched off as well.

Edge Browser Cookie Settings

Edge Browser Cookie Settings

Even checking the setting in Internet Explorer itself, shows that Cookies are accepted.

SCOM2016TP2 - Internet Explorer Cookie Settings

Internet Explorer – Advanced Privacy Settings

So at this point, that’s as far as I could get! Or is it?

Well, after checking and modifying Internet Explorer’s (not Spartan/Edge) Security settings; of which I changed from “Medium-High” to “Medium” and unchecked the “Enable Protection Mode” setting, it started to work properly.

However, I reset Internet Explorer back to its defaults (to test/determine the exact setting requiring modification), and the Operational Insights Onboarding wizard still continued to work properly. So, I do not know exactly what change is required. But, moving on.

SCOM2016TP2 - IE Security Settings

Internet Explorer Security Settings

Now that the Operational Insights Onboarding wizard is working properly, we are presented with the dialog to login.

SCOM 2016 TP2 - OMS - Authentication (Working)

SCOM 2016 TP2 – OMS – Authentication (Working)

In my case, I’ve logged in with my Microsoft Account.

Now we are presented to choose the Operational Insights Workspace. Honestly, I do not know if this is picking up the SCOM Management Group name, or a previous workspace I had created in the past (back when Ops Insight was new).

So I logged into the Microsoft Operations Management Suite (OMS) as that is the “new” Ops Insight. And I changed the name of my workspace to “SC LAB OpsInsight Workspace” to test.

I then closed/re-launched the SCOM 2016 TP2 console, and re-launched the Operational Insights Onboarding wizard. This time after logging in, it reflected the new workspace name, so that answers that question.

SCOM2016TP2 - OMS - Workspace

SCOM 2016 TP2 – OMS – Workspace

SCOM2016TP2 - OMS - Workspace (Changed)

Finally we are presented with a Summary screen, which only shows your login name and OMS workspace name.

SCOM2016TP2 - OMS - Summary

SCOM 2016 TP2 – OMS – Summary

NOTE: When I logged into OMS, I had to choose the Azure subscription I wanted to link the OMS workspace with. Now when I log into Azure, I see it listed.

Azure - Operational Insights

Azure – Operational Insights

And now that the connection was created, we can see our SCOM Management Group appear under Dashboard in Azure Operational Insights.

Azure - Operational Insights - Dashboard

Azure – Operational Insights – Dashboard

With the connection established, we can not click on the “Add a Computer/Group” link to specify which systems we want OMS to monitor.

SCOM2016TP2 - OMS - Add Computer

SCOM 2016 TP2 – OMS – Add Computer

I could go on about OMS, but I’ll save that for its own full article.

 

Well, that’s it for this first quick look at System Center Operations Manager 2016 Technical Preview 2. I’m sure there are a bunch of “under the hood” stuff that I haven’t explored yet. But at least this gets your started.

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