.\Matthew Long

{An unsorted collection of thoughts}

Posts Tagged ‘Opalis’

Integrating Operations Manager 2012 beta with Opalis / Orchestrator

Posted by Matthew on October 10, 2011

I’m lucky enough in my lab environment to have access to both the Orchestrator beta and both SCOM 2007 and SCOM 2012 beta.  I was recently tasked with creating a demo for a customer focused around SCOM 2012 and Orchestrator.  Whilst an updated integration pack for SCOM 2012 has yet to be released for Orchestrator (or indeed, Opalis 6.3) you can use the existing IP just fine, providing you complete a few work arounds.

Requirements

First thing – you’re going to need access to the SCOM 2007 R2 media to be able to complete this.  As directed by the SCOM Integration pack, install the SCOM 2007 R2 console on your action/runbook servers and your Client/Designer machines.  If you attempt to use the SCOM 2012 console in it’s place you will (in my experience) receive connection errors when attempting to use the IP.

Create Alert object workaround

Secondly – In order to use the Create Alert object the Integration pack will normally deploy a management pack into SCOM automatically the first time it is used.  Unfortunately the SDK for SCOM has changed and the method previously employed no longer works (you will receive an error stating as such when the object attempts to run).  In order to resolve this, you will need to :

  1. Have Opalis/Orchestrator raise an alert in a SCOM 2007 environment
  2. Export the management pack from the SCOM 2007 environment that has been automatically imported.  Note that as the MP is sealed, you will need to use the Export-ManagementPack powershell command as the GUI will have the export option grayed out.  The management pack is called Opalis Integration Library.Get-ManagementPack | ? {$_.name -match ‘Opalis’} | Export-ManagementPack -path c:\Folder\
  3. Import the management pack into your SCOM 2012 environment

Following this, you will now be able to use all of the IP objects in both SCOM 2007 and SCOM 2012.

For those without access to SCOM 2007, i’ve attached a copy of the management pack that you can import into your environment.  Note : The management pack is unsealed as it’s been exported from within a SCOM environment.  If you are uncomfortable importing an unsealed MP into your environment, do not do so, and instead utilize the method above to obtain your own (still unsealed) version of the MP.

Link to Opalis.Integration.Library.zip

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Book Review : System Center Opalis Integration Server 6.3

Posted by Matthew on October 10, 2011

Introduction

Penned by an all-star cast of Microsoft Evangelists and community MVPs, System Center Opalis Integration Server 6.3 Unleashed is a dedicated resource for all things Opalis.  The book is published by Sams, and is available in physical (paperback) and Kindle editions.

Review

For those looking for a thorough and in-depth resource on Opalis Integration Server, this is definitely it.  The book starts out discussing the history and concepts of Opalis integration server, introducing the product to new users and relating users of previous versions to the current product with ease.

The book then goes on to discuss the Architectural design, installation, implementation and best practises when setting up Opalis in your environment, complete with design discussions and important questions that you should consider before touching the installer binaries.

Key foundation objects and common/advanced tasks are covered, always with examples, including Data Manipulation, Data Persistence, Scheduling, calling external systems error control and more.  The book is not afraid to point to community Integration packs to ensure that you can get the most out of your environment, and I’d be surprised if you’ve heard of them all.

The 3rd party integration packs included with the product are then discussed, with object listings and installation requirements.  This is followed by dedicated chapters for integrating Opalis with each System Center product, covering the installation of the IP and then their object uses.  Sample workflows are included with step-by-step construction examples.  It would have been nice if a bit more time had been spent with the 3rd party IPs, but the breadth of products available in this category would have easily turned this 500 page book into a huge hulking tome).

An entire chapter is then dedicated to Data Center scenarios and workflows, with many challenges to/for private cloud tackled and demonstrated.  While the challenges in this chapter are solved primarily to System Center products, you can easily see how they could be resolved with comparable technologies (Swap out System Center Service Manager for your own CMDB and Service desk product, for example).

Finally, the book discusses the Quick Integration Kit, and unlike many other resources I’ve seen out there actually covers the QIK/Opalis SDK.  This chapter is a good compliment to the QIK SDK documentation and if you are interested in IP development is definitely a must read.

The appendices are full of useful links to various online resources, many of which readers will already (or should) be familiar with.

Looking ahead – System Center Orchestrator 2012

The book is very careful with the topic of Orchestrator and does not attempt to muddy the waters – it is firmly an Opalis 6.3 book.  However nearly all the topics discussed and skills learned are directly applicable to Orchestrator and i’d still recommend the book to anyone using scorch as aside from the system requirements and Operators console, everything else is directly transferable (albiet with a slightly different dictionary – Policies are now Runbooks, Objects are now activities, etc).

Summary

In closing, I felt this was a good resource with lots of practical, helpful example workflows.  The subject matter is discussed in-depth and limitations with the product are addressed, with best practise being discussed throughout.  There are unfortunately some editorial errors in the book (in one case a displaced paragraph!) but the technical content remains error free.  This is a book I am glad to own and one I’d recommend to anyone interested in or working with Opalis 6.3 or the upcoming Orchestrator 2012.

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Courseware : 50507A Designing IT Process Automation with Opalis Integration Server

Posted by Matthew on October 10, 2011

I recently had the fortune to take part in the Microsoft official course 50507A – Designing IT Process Automation with Opalis Integration Server, and thought I would briefly share my views on the courseware.

For those of you looking for a solid introduction or rounding out of your Opalis knowledge/skills, this is a very good, hands on course.  The ratio of time spent in hands on labs to lecture/discussion is almost 2:1, so for those of you who like getting your hands on the product and learning for yourself, this is a great course.

Many of the powerful foundation objects are covered, with practical examples of the application of each.  The courseware also covers integrating with the entire system center suite, though labs neglect SCCM and SCDPM unless you/the instructor choose to set a challenge lab.  Also discussed (though not to a huge depth, given the courseware requirements and general accessibility) is the production of one’s own Integration Packs using the Quick Integration Kit, including a lab on the QIK CLI.

Finally, for those of you considering Orchestrator this course is completely applicable – all of the knowledge transfers directly across with only a few modifications (namely terminology, system requirements, and the Operations Console, the latter of which is only discussed but not featured in the courseware/labs).  A good instructor will point out these where appropriate so that you are ready to go when Orchestrator goes RTM (currently Orchestrator 2012 is in public beta).

In closing, this is one of the higher rated MOC in recent times, and it’s clear to see why.  I wouldn’t recommend taking every MOC, but I’d definitely recommend this one.

Course 50507A: Designing IT Process Automation with Opalis Integration Server

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