Which management packs should I be using to monitor my computers and applications?

If you’ve used Essentials 2007, you noticed that it monitored Windows, Exchange, SQL and Active Directory ‘out of the box.’  Essentials is able to do this because it come pre-loaded with management packs that encapsulate knowledge for how to monitor these applications. If you wanted to monitor additional applications, you needed to import a new…


Troubleshooting agent deployment in System Center Essentials 2010

Essentials 2010 uses up to three agents to manage computers: Windows Update agent – built into the Windows operating system, configured via Group Policy – provides update distribution, software distribution and hardware & software inventory Operations Manager agent – deployed to managed computer using ‘Push Install’ capability from Essentials server – provides rich model-based monitoring and…


Management Packs for System Center Essentials

A management pack is a definition file (either with an .xml or .mp extension) that contains predefined monitoring settings that enable an agent to monitor a specific service or application in Operations Manager 2007 or Essentials 2007. These predefined settings include discovery information that allows Operations Manager and Essentials to automatically detect and begin monitoring services and applications,…


An Edge-ier Video on System Center Essentials 2010

David Mills and I hooked up with the TechNet Edge folks at TechEd 2009 and shot another video on System Center Essentials 2010. http://edge.technet.com/Media/System-Center-Essentials-with-David-Mills-and-Dustin-Jones/


Using the Remote Assistance task with Vista and Server 2008 computers

(thanks to Essentials team member Stephanie for this article!)  If you’ve tried to use the Remote Assistance task in the Essentials Computer space to connect to a Vista or Windows Server 2008 computer, you’ve found that the task to initiate a Remote Assistance session does not work.  The task does not work because of a change in how…


How to use the Fix Computer Group tool to rebuild computer groups deleted from Windows Server Update Services (WSUS)

When a computer group is created in Essentials 2010 using Create a Computer Group in the Computers space, a corresponding group is created in the WSUS database. This can be seen in the WSUS console. Figure 1. Computer groups in the WSUS console.   Deleting these computer groups from the WSUS console will result in the…


A quick note on SCE 2010 support for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1

System Center Essentials 2010 (SCE 2010) is certified to work with Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.  Important Note – SCE2010 will not be enhanced to support configuration of Dynamic Memory and Remote FX (new features that were added in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1) on virtual machines, although SCE itself can run fine in a VM configured…


NOW LIVE: The Microsoft TechNet Gallery

As many of you probably already know, for a long time the Script Repository (a special-purpose gallery) has been an engine of great content and community engagement on TechNet.  Well starting last week it was upgraded significantly and launched as the new TechNet Gallery, supporting not only just scripts but many other technical resources for…


Creating a Dynamic Group Based on Installed Software

At the Dynamics Convergence 2010 conference I mentioned to several people that it is possible to create a dynamic group based on whether a piece of software is installed or not but I never went into the details of how to do it. This posting describes how to create a group for a particular piece…