Monthly Archives: March 2013

SCOM 2012: Specified cast is not valid error

I got an error message in SCOM 2012 (RTM) today when I tried to open up an existing Run As Account to distribute it to a new server. The error message was this: “System.InvalidCastException: Specified cast is not valid.” The error only appeared on one account. The distribution tab of the Run As Account was empty. It looks like the account is corrupted.

So what to do? I found this forum entry http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/operationsmanagergeneral/thread/952fc370-c438-4d43-ba78-a89dac697fa4/ and followed the steps.
And it solved it! Great! Thanks for the solution!

So here are the steps:

  1. Get the servernames which use this Run As Account – best would be if you have a group or view for it. I was lucky that I had a view, where I could get all server names through copy and past into Excel.
  2. Create a new Run As Account with the same account and password as the one which is corrupted. You can name it as you like, because you can later rename it.
  3. Distribute the account to all servers you have listed.
  4. Assign the new Run As Account to all profiles where the old account is in. I simply edited the old entry and selected the new Run As Account. Therefore you do not need to select the class again, etc.
  5. Now you can delete the old Run As Account. And if you do not want to change your documentation, then you also can rename the new Run As Account to the old name.

Orchestrator 2012: Check SCCM maintenance window and set SCOM maintenance mode

Everyone who uses System Center Configuration Manager 2012 and System Center Operations Manager 2012 knows the problem of setting the server into maintenance mode when patching or software deployment needs to take place.

With System Center Orchestrator 2012 you get the integration packs for both systems and the option to create a workflow for this task. My intetion for this was to use the maintenance windows which are defined on the collections. During this timeframe software updates and deployments can be performed on the servers incl. reboots. So it would be good to set the servers into maintenance mode in SCOM. I only focussed on general maintenance mode windows not OSD ones and non recurring windows.

Here is the summary of the workflow I have created:
The workflow runs every 2 minutes. It reads a text file on the runbook server with all collection ids it should check, then checks if the collection has a maintenance window defined, that will start within the next 10-15 minutes. If yes, then it gets the collection members in SCCM, gets the FQDN for the server and starts the maintenance mode in SCOM. If successful it writes a log file otherwise it tries again to set the maintenance mode with the Netbios name.

Diagram:

set sccm maintenance window

Most of the parts are standard activities, so I only describe the “Get Maintenance Window” activity, which runs a PowerShell script on the Runbook server. This activity needs to run with a user that has SCCM permissions, otherwise it will provide no result. It only will have output data, if the maintenance window will occur within the next 10-15 minutes. So the link to the Get Collection Members activity should have the following include entry: Pure Output from Get Maintenance Window matches pattern .+

Here is the command line for the Get Maintenance Window activity:

cmd.exe /c | c:\Windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe –c “function WMI-DateStringToDate($time) {  [System.Management.ManagementDateTimeconverter]::ToDateTime($time);};$collsettings = ([WMIClass] ‘\\SCCM Server FQDN\root\SMS\site_SCCMSiteCode:SMS_CollectionSettings’).CreateInstance();if($collsettings -is [Object]){$collsettings.CollectionID = ‘Link to Line Text of previous activity’;$collsettings.get();$windows=$collsettings.ServiceWindows;if ($windows -is [Object]){$now=Get-Date;Foreach ($window in $windows){$Time=WMI-DateStringToDate($window.StartTime);if (($window.IsEnabled -eq $True) -and ($window.ServiceWindowType -eq ‘1’) -and ($window.RecurrenceType -eq ‘1’)){if (($now.AddMinutes(15).compareto($Time) -eq ‘1’) -and ($now.AddMinutes(10).compareto($Time) -eq ‘-1’)){$Duration=$window.Duration+15;write-host ($Time.ToString(),$Duration) -separator ‘;’}}}}};”

Attention! The command line should not have line breaks! Otherwise it will not work within this activity.
For better readability I post the script here also with line breaks and comments:

param($SMSSiteCode, $SMSManagementServer, $COLLECTION_ID)
# convert WMI date to DateTime format
function WMI-DateStringToDate($time)
{ [System.Management.ManagementDateTimeconverter]::ToDateTime($time)}
# get collection settings (incl. Maintenance Windows)
$collsettings= ([WMIClass] \\$SMSManagementServer\root\SMS\site_$($SmsSiteCode):SMS_CollectionSettings).CreateInstance()
if($collsettings -is [Object])
{
$collsettings.CollectionID =$COLLECTION_ID
$collsettings.get()
$windows=$collsettings.ServiceWindows
if ($windows -is [Object])
{
$now=Get-Date
Foreach ($window in $windows)
{
$Time=WMI-DateStringToDate($window.StartTime)
# only check general maintenance and non recurring windows
if (($window.IsEnabled -eq$True) -and ($window.ServiceWindowType -eq‘1’) -and ($window.RecurrenceType -eq‘1’))
{
# check if starttime is within the next 10-15 min.
if (($now.AddMinutes(15).compareto($Time) -eq‘1’) -and ($now.AddMinutes(10).compareto($Time) -eq‘-1’))
{
# add 15 min to duration as buffer
$duration=$window.Duration+15;
write-host ($Time.ToString(),$Duration) -Separator ‘;’
}
}
}
}
}

Another thing to mention: Please add an exclude to the link between “Get Collection Member” and “Get FQDN” for your Management Servers: Member Name from Get Collection Member equals SCOMMGServerName.
Then they will not be set into maintenance mode if they are members of the checked collections.

Update

I found some problems with the daylight saving settings on the runbook server. We use UTC maintenance windows in SCCM. With daylight saving the local time of the runbook server gets adjusted but the maintenance window stays in standard UTC. The script compares the local time with the maintenance window. With the old version it sets the maintenance window at the wrong time when daylight saving is enabled.

Therefore I had to adjust the script. Here is the new version. The italic entries are new.

cmd.exe /c | c:\Windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe –c “function WMI-DateStringToDate($time) {  [System.Management.ManagementDateTimeconverter]::ToDateTime($time);};$collsettings = ([WMIClass] ‘\\SCCM Server FQDN\root\SMS\site_SCCMSiteCode:SMS_CollectionSettings’).CreateInstance();if($collsettings -is [Object]){$collsettings.CollectionID = ‘Link to Line Text of previous activity’;$collsettings.get();$windows=$collsettings.ServiceWindows;if ($windows -is [Object]){$now=Get-Date;$universal=$now.ToUniversalTime().AddHours(([System.TimeZoneInfo]::Local).baseutcoffset.hours);$diff=($now.subtract($universal)).Hours;Foreach ($window in $windows){$Time=WMI-DateStringToDate($window.StartTime);if (($window.IsEnabled -eq $True) -and ($window.ServiceWindowType -eq ‘1’) -and ($window.RecurrenceType -eq ‘1’)){if (($now.AddMinutes(15).compareto($Time.AddHours($diff)) -eq ‘1’) -and ($now.AddMinutes(10).compareto($Time.AddHours($diff)) -eq ‘-1’)){$Duration=$window.Duration+15;write-host ($Time.ToString(),$Duration) -separator ‘;’}}}}}”

Here is the link to the runbook.

Orchestrator 2012: Reset SCOM 2012 monitor for closed alert

Everyone who works with System Center Operations Manager 2012 knows the problem of closed alerts where the monitor has not been reset first. The monitor will stay in the unhealthy state and no new alerts will be created anymore until the monitor gets reset.

You can create a scheduled task with a script on a management server or use Orchestrator for it. I found this blog which describes how to use the “Monitor alert” activity and then run a script afterwards. http://blog.scomfaq.ch/2012/05/05/reset-monitor-using-scom-2012-and-orchestrator-a-must-have-runbook/
I like the “Monitor alert” activity but I would like to reduce the number of scripts which connect to the management group.

So I have created another runbook.

resetmonitor

The first activity “Check every 5 min” triggers the runbook every 5 min. I think that is a good timeframe to check for closed alerts.

The next activity “Reset Monitor” runs on the Runbook server. It uses PowerShell and imports the SCOM 2012 module, so this must be installed on the Runbook Servers and the execution policy should be set to remotesigned.

Here are the details of the activity:

dotnet

$Alertname=@();
$State=@();
$Displayname=@();
# Import Operations Manager Module and create Connection
Import-Module OperationsManager;
New-SCOMManagementGroupConnection %ManagementServerName%;
$alerts=get-scomalert -Criteria “Severity!=0 AND IsMonitorAlert=1 AND ResolutionState=255″| where {$_.LastModified -ge ((get-date).AddMinutes(-5)).ToUniversalTime()}
if ($alerts -is [object])
{
foreach ($alert in $alerts)
{
$monitoringobject = Get-SCOMClassinstance -id $alert.MonitoringObjectId
# Reset Monitor
If (($monitoringobject.HealthState -eq ‘Error’) -or ($monitoringobject.HealthState -eq ‘Warning’))
{
$monitoringobject.ResetMonitoringState()
$State+=$monitoringobject.HealthState
$Displayname+=$monitoringobject.displayname
$Alertname+=$alert.Name
}
}
}

The script gets all closed alerts from monitors with severity ‘Warning’ or ‘Critical’ within the last 5 min and only resets the monitor if it is still in ‘Error’ or ‘Warning’ HealthState. You could use this script also for a scheduled task on a management server.

The published data is Alertname, State, Displayname, you could also publish other data, but that was what I needed for troubleshooting.