Microsoft Azure Operational Insights – basics and direct agent communications

OpInsights is a Microsoft cloud-based service that gives you the ability to collect, combine, correlate and visualize data from your infrastructure without having to build anything on your own. You just need to connect your servers to OpInsight – either directly or by using your on premise SCOM infrastructure. In this article I will walk you through the basic concepts and how to setup direct communication that allows you to start collecting and analyzing information within minutes! If you need more details what this is all about you can find details on the official web site (still in preview now).

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System Center Universe Europe – this was SCU 2014

The annual community conference “System Center Universe 2014 Europe” was executed September 17-19 2014 in Basel-Switzerland. 370 people from 20 different countries made it to the conference to learn, present, discuss, meet and have fun. From the feedback we received so far (and also from our personal view), the conference was a great success. This blog post is a recap of the organization team with the most important things that happened as well as a collection of blogs, videos and pictures that others created (and that will be updated continuously over time). Have fun reading! And make sure you are part of this amazing conference next year!

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Service Manager: Create a “Reviewers” object by using PowerShell #SCSM

You might be aware that Service Manager allows you to use Review Activities (RA) in a SR or CR to approve requests. RAs can be easily added to the process in the SCSM console. After adding the RA, you must add AD User CI that will be used to approve the request. If you take a look at the backend things are a little more complex, especially when you want to add approvers using a PowerShell script.
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System Center Universe is coming closer – some facts before we get started! #SCU_Europe

System Center Universe Europe is the European community event of the year if you are interested in Microsoft cloud, datacenter and workplace topics. Happening in Basel-Switzerland from September 17-19 2014, top speakers and community experts from around the world will present more than 60 breakout sessions during 3 conference days. Besides learning about the latest products and technologies, you have to option to become part of this unique community yourself!

We announced the event in January. To give you some insights into the planning phase here’s what happened so far.

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SCSM Customizations Presentation @SCUG_NL/@hypervnu Summer Night #SCSM

On June 26th 2014 I had the chance to present a SCSM session at the Dutch System Center user group during their annual Summer Night event. It was a great event with lots of content around System Center, Hyper-V and Azure Pack with a highly skilled audience and many well-known speakers. Thanks for letting me present!


My session was about some SCSM real-world customizations we have built for customers during the last years. I wanted to give the audience an overview of what’s possible with Service Manager customizations using the different available authoring tools.


The session was not recorded so I cannot give you any details about the demos I did, but at least you can download the slide deck here. Have fun!


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Create a report for “Support Group Changes”

A while ago I published an article that explained how you can create a custom workflow to count incident support group changes. This is an easy way to go for those incidents that were pushed back and forth between support groups. What’s still missing however is a report that allows you to easily display those incidents. In this post I will demonstrate how this works.

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Speaker@HASMUG #TE14D5 after TechEd 2014 US #SysCtr #SCSM

TechEd 2014 US will happen in a few days. From May 4-8 2014, tons of excellent sessions and content will be presented during the conference and I am really looking forward to learn new stuff, meet friends and of course enjoy some nice steaks Smiley

Because the city of Houston will be full of geeks this week, The Houston Area Systems Management User Group (HASMUG) uses that chance and planned an exciting additional learning day on Friday, May 16. They call it the TechEd 2014 Day 5. More information can be found here –> or on Twitter using the tag #TE14D5.

I am honored that I was invited to present at this event together with more than 10 of my System Center, Hyper-V and Azure MVP buddies. I will show different customer requirements we had during the last years by different Service Manager customers and how we solved those. Here we go with the session details:

Customer Requirements First – Service Manager Customizations Without Limits

One of the strengths of Service Manager is that it allows you to customize almost everything. In this session SCCDM MVP Marcel Zehner will present a collection of useful real-world customizations that he and his team built for customers during the last years.


Come join me and learn what customizations are possible with Service Manager and get some nice ideas for your or your customers Service Manager infrastructures. Looking forward to get in touch with you in Houston!


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