Monthly Archives: December 2016

cPowerShellPackageManagement DSC Resource Updated to Version 1.0.1.0

Written by Tao Yang

Few days ago I found a bug in the cPowerShellPackageManagement DSC resource module that was caused by the previous update v1.0.0.1.

in version 1.0.0.1, I’ve added –AllowClobber switch to the Install-Module cmdlet, which was explained in my previous post: http://blog.tyang.org/2016/12/16/dsc-resource-cpowershellpackagemanagement-module-updated-to-version-1-0-0-1/

However, I only just noticed that despite the fact that the pre-installed version of the PowerShellGet module on Windows Server 2016 and in WMF 5.0 for Windows Server 202 R2, the install-module cmdlet is sightly different. The pre-installed version of PowerShellGet module is 1.0.0.1, and in Windows 10 and Windows Server 2106, Install-Module cmdlet has the “AllowClobber” switch:

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In Windows Server 2012, the Install-module cmdlet does not have –AllowClobber switch:

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Therefore I had to update the DSC resource to detect the if AllowClobber switch exists.

Additionally, I have made few additional stability improvements, and added dependency to the PowerShellGet module in the module manifest file.

This updated version can be found on both GitHub and PowerShell Gallery:

Github: https://github.com/tyconsulting/PowerShellPackageManagementDSCResource/releases/tag/1.0.1.0

PowerShell Gallery: https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/cPowerShellPackageManagement/1.0.1.0

PowerShell Script to Create OMS Saved Searches that Maps OpsMgr ACS Reports

Written by Tao Yang

Microsoft’s PFE Wei Hao Lim has published an awesome blog post that maps OpsMgr ACS reports to OMS search queries (https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/wei_out_there_with_system_center/2016/07/25/mapping-acs-reports-to-oms-search-queries/)

There are 36 queries on Wei’s list, so it will take a while to manually create them all as saved searches via the OMS Portal. Since I can see that I will reuse these saved searches in many OMS engagements, I have created a script to automatically create them using the OMS PowerShell Module AzureRM.OperationalInsights.

So here’s the script:

You must run this script in PowerShell version 5 or later. Lastly, thanks Wei for sharing these valuable queries with the community!

OMSDataInjection Updated to Version 1.2.0

Written by Tao Yang

The OMSDataInjection module was only updated to v1.1.1  less than 2 weeks ago. I had to update it again to reflect the cater for the changes in the OMS HTTP Data Collector API.

I only found out last night after been made aware people started getting errors using this module that the HTTP response code for a successful injection has changed from 202 to 200. The documentation for the API was updated few days ago (as I can see from GitHub):

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This is what’s been updated in this release:

  • Updated injection result error handling to reflect the change of the OMS HTTP Data Collector API response code for successful injection.
  • Changed the UTCTimeGenerated input parameter from mandatory to optional. When it is not specified, the injection time will be used for the TimeGenerated field in OMS log entry.

If you are using the OMSDataInjection module, I strongly recommend you to update to this release.

PowerShell Gallery: https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/OMSDataInjection

GitHub: https://github.com/tyconsulting/OMSDataInjection-PSModule/releases/tag/v1.2.0

DSC Resource cPowerShellPackageManagement Module Updated to Version 1.0.0.1

Written by Tao Yang

Back in September this year, I published a PowerShell DSC resource called cPowerSHellPackageManagement. This DSC resource allows you to manage PowerShell repositories and modules on any Windows machines running PowerShell version 5 and later. you can read more about this module from my previous post here: http://blog.tyang.org/2016/09/15/powershell-dsc-resource-for-managing-repositories-and-modules/

Couple of weeks ago my MVP buddy Alex Verkinderen had some issue using this DSC resource in Azure Automation DSC. After some investigation, I found there was a minor bug in the DSC resource. When you use this DSC resource to install modules, sometimes you may get an error like this:

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Basically, it is complaining that a cmdlet from the module you are trying to install already exists. In order to fix it, I had to update the DSC resource and added –AllowClobber switch to the Install-Module cmdlet.

I have published the updated version to both PowerShell Gallery (https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/cPowerShellPackageManagement/1.0.0.1) and GitHub (https://github.com/tyconsulting/PowerShellPackageManagementDSCResource/releases/tag/1.0.0.1)

If you are using this DSC resource at the moment, make sure you check out the update.

OMS Search Queries to Extract Rules from Various Assessment Solutions

Written by Tao Yang

Currently in OMS, there are 3 assessment solutions for various Microsoft products. They are:

  • Active Directory Assessment Solution
  • SQL Server Assessment Solution
  • SCOM Assessment Solution

Few days ago, I needed to export the assessment rules from each solution and handover to a customer (so they know exactly what areas are being assessed). So I developed the following queries to extract the details of the assessment rules:

AD Assessment Solution query:

Type=ADAssessmentRecommendation | Dedup Recommendation | select FocusArea,AffectedObjectType,Recommendation,Description | Sort FocusArea

SQL Server Assessment Solution query:

Type=SQLAssessmentRecommendation | Dedup Recommendation | select FocusArea,AffectedObjectType,Recommendation,Description | Sort FocusArea

SCOM Assessment Solution query:

Type=SCOMAssessmentRecommendation | Dedup Recommendation | select FocusArea,AffectedObjectType,Recommendation,Description | Sort FocusArea

In order to use these queries, you need to make sure these solutions are enabled and already collecting data. You may also need to change the search time window to at least last 7 days because by default, assessment solutions only run once a week.

Once you get the result in the OMS portal, you can easily export it to CSV file by hitting the Export button.

Injecting Event Log Export from .evtx Files to OMS Log Analytics

Written by Tao Yang

Over the last few days, I had an requirement injecting events from .evtx files into OMS Log Analytics. A typical .evtx file that I need to process contains over 140,000 events. Since the Azure Automation runbook have the maximum execution time of 3 hours, in order to make the runbook more efficient, I also had to update my OMSDataInjection PowerShell module to support bulk insert (http://blog.tyang.org/2016/12/05/omsdatainjection-powershell-module-updated/).

I have publish the runbook on GitHub Gist:

Note: In order to use this runbook, you MUST use the latest OMSDataInjection module (version 1.1.1) because of the bulk insert.

You will need to specify the following parameters:

  • EvtExportPath – the file path (i.e. a SMB share) to the evtx file.
  • OMSConnectionName – the name of the OMSWorkspace connection asset you have created previously. this connection is defined in the OMSDataInjection module
  • OMSLogTypeName – The OMS log type name that you wish to use for the injected events.
  • BatchLimit – the number of events been injected in a single bulk request. This is an optional parameter, the default value is 1000 if it is not specified.
  • OMSTimeStampFieldName – For the OMS HTTP Data Collector API, you will need to tell the API which field in your log represent the timestamp. since all events extracted from .evtx files all have a “TimeCreated” field, the default value for this parameter is ‘TimeCreated’.

You can further customise the runbook and choose which fields from the evtx events that you wish to exclude. For the fields that you wish to exclude, you need to add them to the $arrSkippedProperties array variable (line 25 – 31). I have already pre-populated it with few obvious ones, you can add and remove them to suit your requirements.

Lastly, sometimes you will get events that their formatted description cannot be displayed. i.e.

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When the runbook cannot get the formatted description of event, it will use the XML content as the event description instead.

Sample event injected by this runbook:

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OMSDataInjection PowerShell Module Updated

Written by Tao Yang

I’ve updated the OMSDataInjection PowerShell module to version 1.1.1. I have added support for bulk insert into OMS.

Now you can pass in an array of PSObject or plain JSON payload with multiple log entries. The module will check for the payload size and make sure it is below the supported limit of 30MB before inserting into OMS.

You can get the new version from both PowerShell Gallery and GitHub:

PowerShell Gallery: https://www.powershellgallery.com/packages/OMSDataInjection/1.1.1

GitHub: https://github.com/tyconsulting/OMSDataInjection-PSModule/releases/tag/1.1.1

An Alternative Solution for OMS Capacity Planning Using Power BI Forecasting Feature

Written by Tao Yang

Introduction

Back in September, the Power BI team introduced the Forecasting preview feature in Power BI Desktop. I was really excited to see this highly demanded feature finally been made available. However, it was only a preview feature in Power BI Desktop, it was not available in Power BI online. Few days ago, when the Power BI November update was introduced, this feature has come out of preview and became available also on Power BI Online.

In the cloud and data centre management context, forecasting plays a very important role in capacity planning. Earlier this year, before the OMS Capacity Planning solution V1 has been taken off the shelve, I have written couple of posts comparing OMS Capacity Planning solution and OpsLogix OpsMgr Capacity Report MP, and OpsLogix Capacity Report MP overview. But ever since the OMS Capacity Planning solution was removed, at the moment, we don’t have a capacity planning solution for OMS data sources – the OpsLogix Capacity Report MP is 100% based on OpsMgr.

Power BI Forecasting Feature

When I read the Power BI November update announcement few days ago, I was really excited because the Forecasting feature is finally available on Power BI Online, which means I can use this feature on OMS data sources (such as performance data).

Since I already have configured OMS to pump data to Power BI, it only took me around 15 minutes and I have created an OMS Performance Forecasting report in Power BI:

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I’m going to show you how to create this report in the remaining of this post.

Step-by-Step Guide

pre-requisites

01. Make sure you have already configured OMS to inject performance data (Type=Perf) to Power BI.

02. Download required Power BI custom visuals

In this report, I’m using two Power BI custom visuals that are not available out of the box, you will need to download the following from the Power BI Visuals Gallery:

Creating the report

01. Click on the data source for OMS perf data, you will see a blank canvas. firstly, import the above mentioned visuals to the report

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02. Add a text box on the top of the report page for the report title

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03. Add a Hierarchy Slicer

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Configure the slicer to filter on the following fields (in the specific order):

  • ObjectName
  • CounterName
  • Computer
  • InstanceName

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and make sure Single Select on (default value). Optionally, give the visual a title:

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04. Add a line chart to the centre of the report. Drag TimeGenerated field to Axis and CounterValue to Values. For CounterValues, choose the average value.

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Give the visual a title.

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Note: DO NOT configure the “Legend” field for the line chart visual, otherwise the forecasting feature will be disabled.

05. In the Analytics pane of the Line Chart visual, configure forecast based on your requirements

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06. Optionally, also add a Trend Line

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07. Add a Timeline visual to the bottom of the report page and drag the TimeGenerated field from the dataset to to the Time field of the visual.

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In order to save the screen space, turn of Labels, and give the Timeline visual a title

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08. Save the report. You can also ping this report page to a dashboard.

Using the Report

Now that the report is created, you can select a counter instance using from the Hierarchy Slicer, and chose a time window that you want the forecasting to be based on from the Timeline slicer. the data on the Line Chart visual will be automatically updated.

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Summary

Comparing to the old OMS Capacity Planning Solution, what I demonstrated here only provides forecasting for individual performance counters. It does not analyse performance data in order to provide a high level overview like what the Capacity Planning solution did. However, since there is no forecasting capabilities in OMS at the moment, this provides a quick and easy way to give you some basic forecasting capabilities.