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This chapter is from the book

New in Service Pack 1

Service Pack 1 is available from Microsoft both as a standalone executable file for upgrading an existing OpsMgr 2007 installation, and a slipstreamed installation enabling you to install both OpsMgr 2007 and the service pack at the same time. Both versions are available for x86 and x64 (32- and 64-bit) computer systems. The link at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/opsmgr/cc280350.aspx lets you download the slipstreamed evaluation copy of SP 1 and the SP 1 upgrade bits for existing installations.

Those bugs fixed with the SP 1 release are listed in Knowledge Base (KB) article 944443, at http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/944443. In addition, Microsoft now has an update rollup for SP 1, available at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=05d7785d-fe69-48bc-8dfa-72a77c8936bf&displaylang=en. This combines previous hotfix releases for SP 1 with additional fixes and support of SP 1 roles on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. The update also provides database role and SQL Server Reporting Services upgrade support from SQL Server 2005 to SQL Server 2008.

SP 1 Highlights

OpsMgr 2007 SP 1 updates and enhancements include the following:

  • Improved performance and stability for alerts, overrides, and searches:
    • Improved fetching capabilities have increased the performance of alert views.
    • Alert row selection is up to three times faster than in the base release.
    • Search improvements enable the ability to perform advanced searches across monitors and rules by their overrides.
  • Support for Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) v1 network devices. The base release supported SNMP v2 only. The discovery wizard allows you to select which SNMP version to use.
  • Capability to export Operations Manager 2007 diagrams to Microsoft Visio XML Diagram (VDX) file format.
  • A Visio button is located on the toolbar in the diagram view. Diagram layouts can be saved and are remembered when that view is selected again.
  • Support for copy and paste (CTRL C and CTRL V functions) from the Alert details pane.
  • Support for earlier versions of email servers, correcting an issue that could result in malformed data in the subject line of email notifications.
  • Ability to copy views from an existing management pack to an unsealed management pack.
  • Overrides Summary Box enables you to view overrides for an object.
  • Ability to use scripts with diagnostic tasks.
  • Incorporates the OpsMgr VSS Writer Service, enabling you to create shadow copies.
  • Ability to publish reports to multiple locations—for example, Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services websites.
  • Ability to view performance data through the Operations Manager Web console, with filters for desired performance counters to ease searching and navigation.
  • Increase in the number of command notifications that can be handled simultaneously from 5 in OpsMgr 2007 SP 1 to 200 in the R2 release. This is configurable in the Registry by creating a key at HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\ Software\Microsoft\Microsoft OperationsManager\3.0\Modules\Global\ Command Executer\AsyncProcessLimit REG_DWORD:0x0000000a. Note that every command notification triggered will start a monitoringhost.exe process on the root management server (RMS); this can lead to memory and processor issues if you do not have enough memory and processor power to support it.
  • New discoveries and views added to the Audit Collection Services (ACS), along with new monitors and alerts to track the health of ACS collectors.
  • Support for clustering the ACS database.

Gateway Enhancements

With the base release of OpsMgr 2007, gateway servers only supported a maximum of 200 agents, making them unsuitable for any purpose other than monitoring DMZs and small untrusted networks. Beginning with SP 1, gateways have been tested to 800 agents and, depending on the hardware configuration and WAN link specifics, could theoretically support many more. Although management servers are able to support up to 2,000 servers since SP 1, gateways are a welcome alternative in complex, distributed environments, as they forward compressed data from multiple agents to a management server using a sustained connection; the management server then manages the connection to the database. More information on how gateway servers can help in a distributed environment is available in Chapter 9, "Unleashing Operations Manager 2007."

Clustered RMS Enhancements

With SP 1, Microsoft tried to make the RMS recovery story a bit better. New with the OpsMgr 2007 architecture, the RMS is a single point of failure; one approach to alleviate that is to cluster the RMS. However, if your clustered RMS failed in the RTM release and you then promoted a management server to become the RMS, you were unable to later repromote the failed cluster to the RMS role. This was remedied in SP 1. See Chapter 9 for a discussion on RMS high availability.

RMS Encryption Key Backup

One of the more vocal criticisms of the OpsMgr 2007 RTM was its single point of failure with the RMS. If the RMS fails and there is no backup of the encryption key, you must reinstall the entire management group! SP 1 adds the Secure Storage Backup Wizard at the end of the OpsMgr setup process, displayed in Figure 1.2, providing a backup the RMS encryption key.

Figure 1.2

Figure 1.2 Option to back up RMS key after OpsMgr installation

You will use this key if you need to recover an Operations Manager management group; without a copy of the key, you cannot recover your Operations Manager environment. Prior to SP 1, there was no automated process to back up the encryption key.

OpsMgr 2007 SP 1 also introduces a CREATE_NEWKEY command switch to make recovery easier. Details on this application are available on the Manageability Team Blog at http://blogs.technet.com/smsandmom/archive/2007/12/05/opsmgr-2007-what-if-i-lose-my-rms-encryption-key.aspx.

The best practice is to back up your RMS key, so accept the default configuration at the completion screen to start the Encryption Key Backup or Restore Wizard. The wizard first displays an introduction screen, and then asks if you want to back up or restore the key, as shown in Figure 1.3.

Figure 1.3

Figure 1.3 Encryption Key Backup or Restore Wizard

The wizard continues by asking where to back up the RMS key, asks for a password, and then completes the process. It is highly recommended to store a copy of the backup key on your other management servers so it is local in the event of an emergency. Also, ensure that the password for the key is stored with the key; otherwise, you will not be able to restore the key.

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