SCOM | BlueStripe | Live Maps Integration

Last year I helped a customer integrate System Center Operations Manager 2012, BlueStripe (FactFinder), and Savision Live Maps. Contact me if your company is planning to integrate these products – there are several things to consider to get the most out of this integration and make it a huge success.

I developed an enhanced integration pack that was integral in the success of this project. Read more in this case study written by BlueStripe:

(I am not affiliated with BlueStripe or Savision. I consulted on this project through SCOMskills.)



Operations Shell–Using different credentials

Some companies setup their user accounts and then provide an administrator account, and maybe only the administrator account is a member of the Operations Manager Administrator user role. The Operations Console provides a login screen, so it’s not a problem authenticating to the management group. But the Operations Shell does not provide a login option – it will automatically attempt to login using the context of the current user.

This results in an access denied message:

New-SCOMManagementGroupConnection : The user does not have sufficient permission to perform the operation.


One way to get around this is to use the Powershell Get-Credential cmdlet. Add this to the beginning of administrative scripts or start your console sessions with:


$Credentials = Get-Credential –UserName [domain\username] -Message "Enter password"

$MS = [your management server name]

New-SCOMManagementGroupConnection -ComputerName $MS -Credential $Credentials



Report Server – The underlying connection was closed

I ran into an issue while helping a customer install reporting services. I haven’t seen this problem before, so thought it might be helpful to share with the community.

After installing SQL Reporting Services 2012, and choosing to automatically configure the default instance during the setup process, the main SRS page displayed an error:

“The underlying connection was closed. Could not establish trust relationship for the ssl/tls secure channel.”


Choosing to have the SQL installation wizard to configure SRS automatically has always resulted in success for me until now, so this was a bit disconcerting. Long story short, the issue was fixed by updating the rsreportserver.xml config file SecureConnectionLevel value from 2 to 0. I don’t know why the wizard set this value to 2, assuming SSL would be used, but explicitly disabling this solved the problem in this case.

Additionally, when installing the SCOM Report Server role, the wizard failed after selecting the SRS instance. Removing the SSL bindings completely in the Reporting Services Configuration Management tool solved that problem as well.



7 years of blogging about Operations Manager – wow!

I was looking at referrer statistics for this blog, and noticed that many people still arrive here by clicking on a link in the very last blog post from my previous Microsoft Technet blog. It’s been a while since I’ve visited the old blog, but I do actually still refer to it from time to time – and looking at the archive list I noticed that I am coming up on a 7 year anniversary.

That’s right – I cannot believe I’ve been blogging about Operations Manager since December, 2007!

My very first blog post was about a bug in the UI that didn’t add a reference to the management pack. LOL – it can be fun looking back on history sometimes! I get a sense of satisfaction that I have contributed so much to the Operations Manager community – through my blogs, the Technet forums, the Unleashed book, my projects site, etc…

I encourage you all to share your knowledge in your own way, because this body of work is quite literally the first knowledge base anyone will check before pioneering there own solution.



Create a class – visual studio authoring extensions (vsae)

In this post, I want to demonstrate how easy it is to create a class using Visual Studio Authoring Extensions. This is in response to some blog posts out there (like this one and this one) that describe this task as “difficult” outside of a 3rd party tool. It’s actually extremely easy!

Let’s take a look at how easy it is to create a class using VSAE.

<ClassType ID="ToolAndDie.Class.Computer" Abstract="false" Accessibility="Public" Base="Windows!Microsoft.Windows.ComputerRole" Hosted="true" Singleton="false" />

Yep – it’s really that easy to create a class. Now all you need to do is discover it, and it’s actually just as easy to do that, especially if you’re using the registry.

My suggestion is, if you are new to authoring management packs, just take the leap into VSAE. There is no benefit in using 3rd party tools, like MP Author by Silect. I say that because, you’re not really picking up a new skillset by using these types of UI tools – however, you do pickup a new skillset that can be useful in other areas of your job by learning the language (XML).

There is a learning curve to everything – make the wise choice for your career.