Microsoft recently released the Technical Preview 4 of System Center Operations Manager 2016: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn997273.aspx.
Going through the installation, everything that I could see looked the same as the other Technical Previews.
Identical to the other SCOM Technical Preview installation, 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)
Similar to the other Technical Preview installations, there is a new screen about Diagnostic and Usage Data, which is enabled by default. This is basically the new CEIP screen. Notice again that it is enabled by default, and if you want to turn off this setting, you’ll have to do so after the product is installed.
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.
Let’s take a look at a few new features thus far.
Per the TechNet article referenced, it lists 4 new features, but really only 2 are new to TP4. The 2 new features that are not carry-over from TP3, are:
- Updates and Recommendations
- Monitoring Nano Server
Updates and Recommendations
This is a very nice feature to have. Per the TechNet article: “The new Updates and Recommendations screen in the Operations Manager console lists Management Packs for downloading based on a scan of objects in your environment. The screen will also recommend updates to Management Packs that are already running in your environment.”
So that means, gone are the days that you’d have to manually check for new updates to the MPs in your environment. So, let’s test it out.
Navigate to Administration > Management Packs > Updates and Recommendations. This action will initiate a connection to the MP Catalog Web Service.
In my brand new (unmodified) installation of SCOM 2016 TP4, which is also running on Windows Server 2016 TP4, the Updates and Recommendations came back with the following list:
- Core OS
- Core OS Technical Preview
- IIS Technical Preview
- Windows 8
SCOM 2016 TP4 – MP Updates List
What is interesting is when you select an MP that has an “Update available” status, the Actions list includes an option to View Guide. Clicking on that Action will go out to the Internet and directly download the MP Guide document. Not bad.
You will also notice the Action “View Machines Detail”. This option is only applicable to any MPs that have a “Not installed” status (like the IIS Technical Preview one in the screenshot).
When you click this Action, it will show a dialog with a list of Machine Names where that MP is applicable. Very nice.
I verified this functionality by installing the SCOM Agent on a Domain Controller and re-running the Update and Recommendation; which then included the Active Directory Domain Services MP in the list.
Monitoring Nano Server
To test this feature, obviously we need a Nano server. I followed the steps listed in the following TechNet article: Getting Started with Nano Server.
While attempting to deploy a Nano Server in my environment, I encountered several issues (due to my inexperience). Therefore, rather than delaying the publishing of this post any further, I will cycle back to update this article (or post a new one) about monitoring Nano Server.