Category Archives: Uncategorized

Azure OMS Operations Management Suite Uncategorized

Exporting Saved Searches from your OMS workspaces

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I have been studying OMS for a while now and although there is gradually more and more content about it, here’s another piece of code that can help you with your daily OMS management.

If you don’t know what OMS is, go here.

If you do, you may know that you can save searches that you find interesting and even add them to your workspace for future or daily use.

image or image, for example.

The problem comes when you need to move your searches to another environment. You don’t want to create hundreds of queries manually in the portal.

Enters PowerShell. You can find the documentation on the initial setup here.  With a great start from Richard Rundle from Microsoft, I have completed the script to export the Saved searches.

Once you have Chocolatey and armclient configured, you can go ahead and use the script below.

Here’s a little walkthrough.

1. As soon as you run it,

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you will be prompted by the login screen:

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If you are like myself, using a user that has access to multiple tenants, you’ll be prompted for the tenant:

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You will be then prompted for the subscription:

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The script will show you a list of queries you may want to extract and then extract the ones that match a certain criteria specified in the script:

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The criteria is the name of the Category:

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And as you can see, the queries following the lists match that category only:

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The script will also create a file named after the search category

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Keep that file handy, since we are going to use it in the next article, to import the searches into another environment.

You can find the script here.

 

Keep on rocking in the cloud world!

Uncategorized

Overcast.info

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Recently I have decided to show my blog a little more as a brand than my actual name. I have then created a new domain and a new twitter account. If you like the work I have been doing in the last few years, please update your links to http://overcast.info and follow me @overcastinfo. All the technical stuff will be there.

If you don’t like it, let me know why and I will try to make it better!

 

Thank you,

Uncategorized

Operations Manager 2016 TP 3–What is new

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Recently Microsoft made System Center 2016 TP3 available along with Windows Server 2016 preview as well. This post will evaluate the experience and what changed in TP3.

Let’s start by installing it. In order to do that I have conveniently deployed a VM with SQL in Azure (Windows Server 2012 R2 in this case, just so SQL pre-deployed). Ideally, Windows Server 2016 should be the OS, but then I would need to install SQL server to,so, decided to focus my demo.

After downloading, you get the usual:

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After extracting the files, setup looks like this:

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I think I’ve seen this before…but the splash has something new:

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Let’s install all the roles:

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I have purposely not installed any pre-reqs, so, it complains about hat seem to be the same things as before:

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SQL 2012 components still seem to be required:

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Let’s add the required web roles:

Web-Server,Web-WebServer,Web-Common-Http,Web-Default-Doc,Web-Dir-Browsing,Web-Http-Errors,Web-Static-Content,Web-Health,Web-Http-Logging,Web-Custom-Logging,Web-Request-Monitor,Web-Performance,Web-Stat-Compression,Web-Security,Web-Filtering,Web-Basic-Auth,Web-Windows-Auth,Web-App-Dev,Web-Net-Ext,Web-Net-Ext45,Web-Asp-Net,Web-Asp-Net45,Web-ISAPI-Ext,Web-ISAPI-Filter,Web-Mgmt-Tools,Web-Mgmt-Console,Web-Mgmt-Compat,Web-Metabase,Web-Scripting-Tools,Web-Mgmt-Service,NET-Framework-Features,NET-Framework-Core,NET-HTTP-Activation,NET-Framework-45-Features,NET-Framework-45-Core,NET-Framework-45-ASPNET,NET-WCF-Services45,NET-WCF-HTTP-Activation45,NET-WCF-TCP-PortSharing45

You can use this list with get-windowsfeature and pipe it into install-windowsfeature

After installing the pre-requisites:

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Let’s create a new MG:

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Standard SQL:

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A note on Azure pre-deployed SQL imagines: SSRS is not configured by default, so you will need to go over that. Use standard configuration. Also, SQL Server agent is Manual and stopped, so, make sure you start it and set it to automatic.

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Accounts screen is the same. Some disclaimer:

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And there we go!

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Well, I have to say it is more or less the same. Even compared to TP2, nothing really new there. The list is short in fact: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn997273.aspx

But here is my due diligence.

Hope this helps!

Uncategorized

Azure Site Recover–Part I : Planning

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Azure Site Recovery is the Microsoft Cloud Solution for disaster recovery. It can have multiple flavors, like On-Prem to On-Prem, On-Prem to Azure or VMWare/Physical to Azure. Each one will have specific dependencies and features.

In a recent project, I was assigned with the heroic task of onboarding as many machines in to ASR as possible. A few challenges arose from that, among them. Besides reading the whole guide here, I recommend you to pay special attention to some aspects that follow below.

– Not all Hyper-V hosts are running 2012 R2

In companies that are Hyper-V users for a log time, it will be likely to find older versions of hosts, including some lost Virtual Server 2005 hosts, as it was the case in my project. So, in this case, a planning for migrating the hosts to Windows Server 2012 R2 must be put in place. However, it may not be that straight forward. One of the reasons to have older hosts is that you may have older operating systems in the VMs themselves that are not supported by the hosts. For example, Hyper-V 2012 R2 will only support the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2
    Windows Server 2012
    Windows Server 2008 R2 with Service Pack 1 (SP 1)
    Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 (SP 2)
    Windows Home Server 2011
    Windows Small Business Server 2011
    Windows Server 2003 R2 with Service Pack 2 (SP2)
    Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2

If you have older operating systems, you may need to maintain these hosts for a while.

– Not all VMs are running Azure supported OSs

As you may have noticed, OS compatibility is a major concern, for the OS, VMs and for Azure as well. Not all VM Operating Systems can be protected in Azure. Currently, Windows Server 2008 R2 and on are supported only, as well various Linux distros.

– Current VMM Infrastructure may not be up to date

Customer may not have a current VMM installed. You will need to either upgrade it or install a fresh one. Customer may not even have VMM, so, it is a good opportunity to design the network properly.

– The networking configuration of the hosts won’t likely be compatible with Azure

If you haven’t ever configured the networking or if you have only imported automatically from VMM, there is a lot of work to do. I suggest you read some articles about it: here and here. But in a nutshell, you’ll need to have a cloud setup with available networks to be mapped when the failover plans kick in on Azure.

– The workload may be sensitive and not able to be immediately on-boarded.

Some workload may be dependent on local resources that can’t be failed-over to Azure, so, unlikely candidates. A plan to properly classify each workload and when and how it is going to be migrated needs to be created.

 

As I’ve mentioned, you still need to check the whole guide and make sure every aspect is covered, but he items above will likely be the bulk of the work, since the actual ASR configuration is relatively straightforward.

 

hope this helps

Uncategorized

Testing SCOM 2016 Technical Preview 2

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The Technical Preview 2 for System Center Operations Manager (2016) is out. Differently from TP1, which had absolutely nothing different from 2012 R2, this one is supposed to have a few surprises. Lets take a look.

In order to install TP, I’ve create a good VM in Azure, based on the SQL Template, with 14Gb of RAM. Yes, just because I can do that in Azure. Smile 

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Once the VM has been deployed, I have downloaded the preview from here.

After extracting the files, the initial setup is very familiar:

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Let’s select all features

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Same standard requirements:

IIS for Web Console

SQL CLR Types (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=239644&clcid=0x409)

Report Viewer (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35747)

New MG:

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Local Server (Standard Azure SQL Template):
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If you are using a standard Azure SQL 2014 VM, you will get this:

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This happens because SSRS is not configured out-of-the-box (or out-of-the-cloud). Run through the standard SSRS configuration to allow install to go on. Also, make sure you start the SQL Server Browser service.

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Using local user, since it is a local SQL:

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image Yes, let’s help the product group!

And here we go.

Once installed, let’s take a look at the basics.

Console looks pretty much the same, except for version: 7.2

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It seems that most of it is the same, but wait!

What is that?

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Looks like an old request has made the build. Maintenance Mode schedule!

If you create a new Maintenance Schedule:

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Add one object:

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Set a schedule:

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Configure details:

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Et Voi la!

Besides that, there are some new features on the Linux side, like Apache, MySQL and better Linux support (see here for full details).

Also check a lot more information here:

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2015/BRK2467

http://channel9.msdn.com/events/Ignite/2015/BRK3499

http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2015/BRK2459

 

Hope this helps!

Uncategorized

SCOM 2012 R2 Update Rollup 6 and my experience installing it

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What is new:

  • The “Remove-DisabledClassInstance” Windows PowerShell command times out without completing
  • Duplicate closed alerts
  • Topology widget objects lose location when they are opened in a console that has a different locale and decimal format
  • WebConsole Details widget does not display anything
  • Top 10 Performance widgets (WebConsole) are sometimes empty
  • Problem with decoding SCOM trace log files

Some interesting stuff. There are some other Linux updates as well (see full documentation link below).

You can download it here.

Let’s try to install. Server goes first:

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Got a reboot request, so, let’s reboot it.

 

Apply SQL scripts

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Import MPs

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For some strange reason, the Visualization MP was not extract. I have then extracted the .cab file from the msp (using msix.exe) and extracted the virtualization MP from the .cab (image)

Renamed it then to Microsoft.SystemCenter.Visualization.Library.mpb and was able to import both the MPs below:

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Update your agents

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So, have 5 servers requiring updates.

And there you go!

 

Hope this helps!

Uncategorized

SCSM Dashboard

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Since Service Manager lacks a native capability to create dashboards, like OpsMgr does, one often uses the Data Warehouse capabilities to provide relatively recent information, mainly to manager and director levels. In order to do that, a few things need to be in place:

A SQL view, to generate information for the reports

Connect a SQL Management Studio to the server hosting the DW databases:

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Create a new View. You can close the Add Table window.

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In the SQL are, paste the Service Request query below:

SELECT        dbo.WorkItemDimvw.Id, dbo.ServiceRequestDimvw.Title, dbo.UserDimvw.DisplayName AS [Assigned To], UserDimvw_1.DisplayName AS [Affected User],
                         dbo.ServiceRequestSupportGroupvw.ServiceRequestSupportGroupValue AS Queue, dbo.ServiceRequestDimvw.CreatedDate, dbo.SLAInstanceStatusvw.SLAInstanceStatusValue AS SLAStatus
FROM            dbo.WorkItemDimvw LEFT OUTER JOIN
                         dbo.SLAInstanceInformationFactvw LEFT OUTER JOIN
                         dbo.SLAInstanceStatusvw ON dbo.SLAInstanceInformationFactvw.SLAInstanceStatusId = dbo.SLAInstanceStatusvw.SLAInstanceStatusId ON
                         dbo.WorkItemDimvw.WorkItemDimKey = dbo.SLAInstanceInformationFactvw.WorkItemDimKey LEFT OUTER JOIN
                         dbo.UserDimvw AS UserDimvw_1 RIGHT OUTER JOIN
                         dbo.WorkItemAffectedUserFactvw ON UserDimvw_1.UserDimKey = dbo.WorkItemAffectedUserFactvw.WorkItemAffectedUser_UserDimKey ON
                         dbo.WorkItemDimvw.WorkItemDimKey = dbo.WorkItemAffectedUserFactvw.WorkItemDimKey RIGHT OUTER JOIN
                         dbo.ServiceRequestSupportGroupvw INNER JOIN
                         dbo.ServiceRequestDimvw INNER JOIN
                         dbo.ServiceRequestStatusvw ON dbo.ServiceRequestDimvw.Status_ServiceRequestStatusId = dbo.ServiceRequestStatusvw.ServiceRequestStatusId ON
                         dbo.ServiceRequestSupportGroupvw.ServiceRequestSupportGroupId = dbo.ServiceRequestDimvw.SupportGroup_ServiceRequestSupportGroupId ON
                         dbo.WorkItemDimvw.EntityDimKey = dbo.ServiceRequestDimvw.EntityDimKey LEFT OUTER JOIN
                         dbo.UserDimvw RIGHT OUTER JOIN
                         dbo.WorkItemAssignedToUserFactvw ON dbo.UserDimvw.UserDimKey = dbo.WorkItemAssignedToUserFactvw.WorkItemAssignedToUser_UserDimKey ON
                         dbo.WorkItemDimvw.WorkItemDimKey = dbo.WorkItemAssignedToUserFactvw.WorkItemDimKey

Hit the image to execute. You should get something like:

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Now save the view:

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Refresh the Views and it should be there:

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2. Create a new Report in SSRS.

Navigate to your SSRS url:

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Navigate to the Service Manager folder and create a Dashboards folder:

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In the Dashboards folder, click on Report Builder (it will install if you don’t have it yet). Create on New Report as below:

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Some initial visual configuration:

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Create a Data Source:

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Notice you are now using your own credentials to connect. Eventually, you’ll need to store credentials just so all the users can connect (since most of them won’t be allowed to query the DW directly).

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Now, let’s create the dataset based on the View we created on step1:

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Click on Query Designer:

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Your dataset should look like this:

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Adding a table:

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Run it and it should look something like this:

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(I have a funny queue entry there, but yours should look good!)

 

I will come back with some other queries for Incidents and Activities, to compose a complete dashboard.

 

Hope this helps!

Uncategorized

A Simple File Share monitoring MP

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Recently had a request to implement a simple solution to monitor a path in the network. There are some MPs around, but we had issues with them, so, we needed something simple to accomplish a simple task.

First think the MP will do is discovering watcher nodes and paths to be monitored. The way it does it is by finding a file in a certain folder (C:\FileShareMP\fileshares.txt) and reading its contents. Each server found with that file will be a watcher node and all the paths listed in the file will become objects.

It will then fire up a monitor against these objects and will generate an alert in case the path is not accessible.

Simple.

The discovery is disabled by default. It could, theoretically be enabled  for all machines, but may not be necessary. Enabled it only for the machines the have the files.

More details:

The Discovery has parameters that can be overridden:

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So does the monitor:

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Your alerts should look like this:

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I have not created a view for the objects, but it can be easily added.

 

You can find the MP here.

 

Hope this helps!

Uncategorized

Setting up an Extended Description field with user input

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A while ago, I have blogged on how to leverage the userinput stored (tipycally) in a Service Request from Orchestrator, to avoid too many class customizations. Very often, customers want all the Userinput to be stored in the Description or Notes field of a Service Request. I used to do that in Orchestrator as well. For sake of learning and practical usage, I have decided to use basically the same script and create an SCSM workflow to allow for the Description (or another custom field) to be populated with the contents from the User input.

Let’s take a look at how things work.

First of all, the core of the solution. To implement it, you will need a few things:

– Create a new class extension of the Service Request class in the Authoring Tool;

– Create a workflow to be executed whenever the Service Request status changes to In Progress

Creating the class extension

In the Authoring Tool, extend the service request class and add these two properties:

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In this case, I have decided to add a second (extended) description field but the existing Description field can be used as well.

Update: I have added a second control field, in order to make sure that I would only notify when the description (or extended description) had been updated:

Now my extended class looks like this:

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The default value for UserInputProcessed is false:

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Create a workflow for the Service Request class:

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Drag a powershell activity:

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Into the new WF:

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In the script parameters, add ItemID:

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And link it:

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Now for the script you download it here. You will open the file and paste it here:

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Important Note: this scripts uses both the SCSM 2012 cmdlets and the famous SMLets.

The latter should be installed. You may want to reboot you server just so the powershell modules can recognize the new CMDlets.

Once you have it there, all you need to do is create a new template for the Service Request and set whether you want the workflow run the script or not:

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Apply this template to a new Request Offering, put in a request and once it has been processed, you should see the contents of the user input transported into the ExtendedDescription field.

For my testing, I have created a Request Offering with most of the possible field types:

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And here is the content:

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In order to properly notify, use a notification subscription as below:

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Hope this helps!

Uncategorized

Azure Operational Insights–Quick Starting guide

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Or…what happened when I’ve tried.

I had an on setup of SC Advisor, which I had attached to OpsInsight automatically. However, that revealed to a be a bit confusing and for the sake of the new users out there, I’ve decided to start over.

So, I have leveraged a new account I have in my Azure AD to create a new WorkSpace in AOI.

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Yey! Ok, so, where do we start… I know I have to add servers, but where…I also know I can leverage Operations Manager to do it, but I want to start simple.

Maybe it is here,since the word Servers is here…

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Ok, it seems to be the right way:

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Let’s try configuring:

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Hum, looks promising!

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So, I have downloaded the agent and will install it in my brand new SCSM portal server.

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Same issue you have if you try the SCOM agent:

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Let’s try another server for now:

That looks suspiciously familiar:

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That’s new!

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And finished:

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In Control Panel, very similar to Operations Manager:

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Now back to the portal:

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Nothing there yet!

In the meantime, let’s add some Intelligence Packs. Let’s try this one first:

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I will be back to evaluate the IPs when data has been populated and some more agents have been deployed!

Hope this helps!