Category Archives: Updates Publisher

OMS and System Center: What's New in March 2018

In March there have been several news announced by Microsoft on Operations Management Suite (OMS) and System Center. In this series of articles, which we make with monthly basis, are listed all the main innovations of the current month, accompanied by the necessary references to be able to conduct further studies.

Operations Management Suite (OMS)

Azure Automation

In Azure Automation new features have been officially released that allow you to:

  • Manage the distribution of updates (Update management).
  • Collect inventory information about the applications installed on systems (Inventory).
  • Track changes made on the machines (Change tracking).

The our article, posted in recent months, shows how to configure the Azure Automation Account to take advantage of these new features and reports the key features.

Figure 1 – Related solutions in Log Analytics


Azure Backup

Azure Backup introduces several new features that address the following aspects:

  • Large disk support: ability to protect disks of size up to 4 TB, both typologies: managed and unmanaged. The limit was previously of 1 TB.
  • Backup and Restore performance improvements: to reduce the execution time of the backup and restore will be retained snapshots, performed during the backup process, for 7 days.
  • Instant recovery point: the recovery point is made available instantly at the moment of creation of the snapshot made by the backup job, in a similar way to the checkpoint created by Hyper-V or VMware.
  • Distribute the disks of restored VM: during the restore process you are given the opportunity to choose where to place the disks unmanaged of virtual machines. This reduces the configurations, post restore activities, that would be required putting all disks within the same storage account .

To take advantage of these improvements you need to upgrade your subscription which owns the Recovery Service Vaults. The upgrade can be performed directly from the Azure Portal (there will be an appropriate notification in the dashboard of the Recovery Service vault ) or via PowerShell commands. For further information you can consult theMicrosoft's official announcement.

Figure 2 – Subscription upgrade process at the new stack

Microsoft has also announced that the Azure Backup service is now also available in the regions of Azure France (France Central and France South).

 

System Center

Microsoft has officialized the release of Windows Server 2019 which will be available to the public in the second half of 2018. In the same time will be made available System Center 2019 and it will have full support for Windows Server 2019 from the very first day of release.

System Center Configuration Manager

During the month has been released the version 1802 for the Current Branch (CB) of System Center Configuration Manager that introduces new features and major improvements in the product.

This summarizes the areas impacted by this update:

Modern Management

  • Endpoint Protection workload transition in co-management
  • Management insights
  • Co-management reporting

Figure 3 – Co-management reporting

Microsoft 365 Adoption

  • Phased deployments
  • Windows AutoPilot Device Information report
  • Support for Windows 10 ARM64 devices
  • Surface Device Dashboard
  • Microsoft Edge browser policies
  • Report to show default browser for client machines
  • Windows 10 Servicing for a specific collection report
  • Improvements to Office 365 client management dashboard
  • Improvements for Windows Defender Exploit Guard
  • New settings for Windows Defender Application Guard

Streamlined Infrastructure

  • Configure Windows 10 Delivery Optimization to use Configuration Manager boundary groups
  • Add management points to your boundary group fallback relationships
  • Moving Distribution Points between sites

Improvements in Cloud Management Gateway

  • Cloud management gateway support for Azure Resource Manager
  • Install user-available applications on Azure AD-joined devices
  • Windows 10 in-place upgrade task sequence over the Internet

Improvements in Software Center

  • Approve application requests for users per device
  • Improvements to client settings for Software Center

Improvements in OSD

  • Improvements to Windows 10 in-place upgrade task sequence
  • Deployment Template for Task Sequences

Miscellaneous Improvements

  • Support for hardware inventory strings greater than 255 characters in length
  • Run scripts

Figure 4 – Run Script status

To see the complete list of new features and to get more details about it you can access the Microsoft's official documentation.

The update will be made available globally in recent weeks and will be displayed in the node "Updates and Servicing" in the SCCM console. To force the availability of this update you can use this PowerShell script.

For System Center Configuration Manager has been released the version 1803 for the Technical Preview branch. In addition to general improvements in the solution are introduced useful changes that can improve the Configuration Manager infrastructure. In addition, interesting improvements have been made to the Software Center. All the new features included in this update can be found in the article Update 1803 for Configuration Manager Technical Preview Branch.

Please note that the releases in the Technical Preview Branch help you evaluate the new features of SCCM and it is recommended to apply these updates only in test environments.

System Center Updates Publisher

System Center Updates Publisher (SCUP) is the Microsoft solution that allows you to manage custom third-party update. This month a new version of SCUP has been officially released and can be downloaded at this address. The new release introduces support for Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. All details about this release can be found in the’official announcement.

System Center Operations Manager

Following, are reported the news about Management Packs of SCOM:

Evaluation of OMS and System Center

Please remember that in order to test and evaluate for free Operations Management Suite (OMS) you can access this page and select the mode that is most appropriate for your needs.

To try System Center products you can access to the’Evaluation Center and after the registration you can start the trial period.

OMS and System Center: What's New in September 2017

Even the month of September is full of news and different updates have affected Operations Management Suite (OMS) and System Center, also thanks to Ignite 2017, the annual Microsoft conference of this week in Orlando. This article contains a summary accompanied by useful references for further study.

Operations Management Suite (OMS)

  • OMS Customers are using the solution Security & Compliance are given the option to use the features found in ’Azure Security Center in order to have a unified management of security and protection of their systems, all without additional cost. This is particularly useful to be able to manage workloads across hybrid environments, regardless of where they reside, on Azure, on-premises, or on other public clouds. Within the Azure Security Center will be automatically handle the security of the systems that are already connected to the solution OMS Security & Compliance and you can add additional machines simply by installing the Microsoft Monitoring Agent. To see details of the features offered I invite you to consult the publication OMS customers can now use Azure Security Center to protect their hybrid cloud workloads. In this regard it is worth noting that to enable the features just in time VM access, dynamic application controls and network threat detection of Azure resources you must select pricing tier Security Center Standard for the Subscription or the Resource Group.

Figure 1 – List of features for the protection of hybrid environments

  • The Azure portal now includes two features related to Operations Management Suite (OMS): Workspace Settings and View Designer. From the Azure portal you can access the settings of the workspace OMS as shown in the following figure:

    Figure 2 – Settings of the Workspace who are accessible from the Azure Portal

Also, the View Designer, that allows you to create custom views, is now accessible directly from the Log Analytics section of Azure portal:

Figure 3 – View Designer available directly from the portal Azure

  • As already announced in a dedicated article the update of Log Analytics has introduced a new powerful query language. In this useful article highlighted the main changes introduced by the new language.
  • Another interesting new feature is the ability to run query not only on single workspace OMS, but in a transversal way across multiple workspace. To learn more about you can see Query across resources.
  • Article Monitoring SQL Azure Data Sync using OMS Log Analytics returns the configuration to be carried out in order to monitor the solution SQL Azure Data Sync using a custom solution OMS. Azure SQL Data Sync allows you to synchronize data in both directions or unidirectional between different Azure SQL database andor to SQL database on-premises. With this procedure you can detect error conditions or warning in the synchronization process so simple, thanks to OMS.
  • To help you to track the Big Data application involving different technologies was announced in preview the ability to monitor cluster HDInsight with Azure Log Analytics . In this video there are the details of how HDInsight customers can monitor and debug Hadoop, Spark, HBase, Kafka, Interactive Query and cluster Storm.

Solutions

  • In OMS there is a new solution Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) Analytics for centralizing in Log Analytics the jobs of one or more Virtual Machine Manager to have an overall view of the health and performance of the virtualization infrastructure managed by System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

Figure 4 – Overview of VMM Analytics solution

Agent

  • Released a new version of the OMS agent for Linux systems that mainly has solved some bugs and introduced an updated version of some of the main components. For more details and to get the updated version please refer to the official GitHub page OMS Agent for Linux GA v 1.4.1-45

Figure 5 – Bug fixes and what's new for the OMS agent for Linux

 

System Center

System Center Configuration Manager

  • Released the Cumulative Update 6 for UNIX and Linux clients of Configuration Manager. It is a new version of the client that fixes several bugs and adds support for new Linux distributions. This release also removed support for Unix and Linux distributions even obsolete discontinued by vendor. Customers using the SCCM clients with these versions may continue to use the client updated to Cumulative Update 5. The release announcement and further details can be found in this article.
  • During Ignite 2017 was announced an interesting feature called co-management that interest the management of the device using either System Center Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune. With Windows 10 Fall Creators Update there is the possibility to make the join of the device both to the Active Directory domain (AD) on-premises and to Azure AD in the cloud. This expands the possibilities for management of devices using the Configuration Manager client and the MDM agent of Intune. To deepen this topic, you can look in the video section of the Ignite site the sessions with the following reference codes: BRK3057, BRK3075, BRK3076 and BRK2079.

Figure 7 – Co-management devices with SCCM and Intune

 

System Center Updates Publisher

By accessing this page you can select the way you find most suitable to test and evaluate free Operations Management Suite (OMS).