Where on Earth did that group go? Why OpsMgr groups may go missing when added to a Distributed Application

~ Brian McDermott | Escalation Engineer

FIXIf you use groups in System Center Operations Manager (OpsMgr 2007, OpsMgr 2012 or OpsMgr 2012 R2) and add one to a Distributed Application, you might discover that you can no longer find that group in the Groups pane once that is done. For example, first we create a group as seen below. Now you see it…

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…you add it to a Distributed Application…

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…and now you don’t.

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If this happens to you, don’t be too concerned as the group hasn’t actually been deleted. It is still there, still doing what it was doing before it disappeared. In fact, it hasn’t completely disappeared, as you can still see it if you look for it in the Object Discoveries pane. So it’s just that it’s not visible in the Groups pane anymore.

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However I suppose you want it back, and that seems a reasonable request, so read on to find out how.

In order to ensure that you group comes back, and to ensure that groups no longer disappear when you add them to a Distributed Application, you can use the following trick.

Create a new group that has a dynamic group membership that contains all other groups, but excludes itself. It is very important that it excludes itself otherwise you have created an infinite containment loop and that would be bad. The reason this will work comes down to the reason the groups disappear in the first place. The way we list the groups is in a tree hierarchy. We query for the top level objects and then display the groups nested below them. The problem arises because when we add a group to a Distributed Application, the group is no longer a top level object and so it is no longer returned by the query.

Anyway, here are the steps to do this and thus avoid the problem.

1. Create a new group as shown below.

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That’s it.

You will now have a new top level group, which in my example is named Expand to see all groups…

As long as you never add this group to a Distributed Application your groups will never disappear again.

NOTE Be prepared to wait a while for the group calculations to run before the view changes and your groups are back.

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Brian McDermott | Escalation Engineer | Microsoft GBS Management and Security Division

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