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Community Round-Up: January 2021

The New Year is certainly off to a flying start with lots of community activity! SCOMathon’s Workshop Week – 5 days of community-led SCOM workshops – was a huge success! If you missed the live action, all of the session recordings are now available for you to watch on demand.

In SquaredUp news, we have launched our biggest product update SquaredUp 5.0 with significant upgrades to Open AccessDashboard Designer, and Web API Integrations, CEO & Founder Richard Benwell looks at what’s in store for SquaredUp and the monitoring landscape in 2021, and our much-loved Community Answers platform migrates to Discourse.

Also, Cookdown announces the launch of their Alert Sync 2.0 Billy York shows us how to use icons, thresholds and heatmaps in Azure Monitor, Thomas Maurer teaches us how to use the Start-Sleep cmdlet in a PowerShell script and Shawn Williams shares his tips on building powerful tailored SCOM dashboards in SquaredUp. We have also launched our new Azure Management Talk series!

Azure Monitor

SquaredUp introduces Azure Management Talks
Join SquaredUp for this new 5-part webinar series with a focus on all things Azure Management: monitoring, cost, Lighthouse, Resource Graph and more. It’ll be one episode a week from February to March – don’t miss out!

How to add Sleep/Wait/Pause in a PowerShell Script
Thomas Maurer, Senior Cloud Advocate at Microsoft, shows us how use the Start-Sleep cmdlet to suspend, pause, wait, sleep the activity in a PowerShell script.

Using Icons, Thresholds and Heatmaps in Azure Workbooks
Microsoft MVP and Azure expert, Billy York, shares how to use icons, thresholds and heatmaps in Azure Monitor and Azure Sentinel Workbooks.

Azure Disk Backup
In this article by Microsoft MVP Charbel Nemnom, learn how to use the Azure Backup Service to back up and restore Azure managed disks.

Use Resource Health and Log Analytics to track issues
Stanislav Zhelyazkov sheds light on one of the lesser known Azure Monitor features – Resource Health – and shares best practices for using it alongside Log Analytics to track the health of your resources.

Cloud world updates with Chris Reddington
In this video, Microsoft FastTrack for Azure Engineer, Chris Reddington shares the latest Cloud news: from his upcoming sessions with Azureish Live! and SquaredUp’s Azure Management Talk series to the re-launch of the Azure Thames Valley user group.

Introducing the new Availability Troubleshooting Report!
This Troubleshooting Report will help you understand why your customers may have problems accessing your application or alert you to potential issues while all metrics indicate it is healthy.

Public IP SKU upgrade generally available
Azure public IP addresses now support the ability to be upgraded from Basic to Standard SKU.

New Health Explorer for Azure VMs
Finally, a proper health model and health explorer for Azure virtual machines!

Advanced Kusto: Table Joins and the Let Statement
SquaredUp Senior Test Engineer, Kevin Hood, shares his knowledge on Table Joins and the Let Statement in Log Analytics.

Advanced Kusto: Custom Logs in Log Analytics
Scratching your head trying to figure out Custom Logs? SquaredUp Senior Test Engineer, Kevin Hood, walks us through all there is to know, from the initial setup to creating custom fields and visualizing custom log data.


SCOMathon launches The Big SCOM Survey!
SCOMathon have launched this survey to find out how fellow SCOM fans are using SCOM, what tools and techniques they’re applying, and their future SCOM plans. Have your say, share your thoughts, and stay tuned for the results in an upcoming webinar!

Coffee Break: Everything you need to know about authoring SCOM Management Packs
Join Cookdown's Director of Products, Bruce Cullen, and Silect's Development Lead, Mike Sargent, to discuss Mike's illuminating session at Silect's MP University, ‘Everything you need to know about authoring SCOM Management Packs’.

Add performance monitoring to the existing Hyper-V Management Pack with these extensions
Merijn Overgaauw shares these Management Pack extensions which add performance monitoring to the existing Hyper-V MP.

Alert Sync 2.0 is here!
Alert Sync version 2.0 promises less scripting and more functionality with a host of features that make it easier for you to turn SCOM alerts into actionable ServiceNow incidents.

M365 Supplemental Management Pack v1 release
The M365 Supplemental MP includes synthetic transactions that provide an increased level of visibility into the health of the Microsoft 365 environment, making it the perfect companion to the M365 Admin Portal.

What’s the best way to create ServiceNow incidents from SCOM?
This blog by Cookdown highlights the four key benefits of creating ServiceNow incidents from SCOM – depending on your budget, business needs & individual programming skills – and explores the pros and cons of each.

Webinar: Use PowerBI to visualize and take control of SCOM Override Sprawl
Cookdown's Director of Products, Bruce Cullen, launches their free PowerBI-based tool and shows how it enables you to easily find the source and target of each SCOM override.

Tracing SCOM Workflow Agent Tasks
This article by Tyson Paul gets straight to the point with instructions on how to view agent trace data as quickly as possible.

Bringing override sprawl under control with PowerBI
How to use PowerBI alongside Cookdown’s free tool Easy Tune to quickly manage your unsorted overrides.

SCOM Management MP – Making the life of a SCOM Admin a little easier
Microsoft MVP, Kevin Holman, shares this handy Management Pack that eases the administrative burdens in SCOM by combining lots of useful administration in one place.

Overcome security challenges with ServiceNow CMDB population
Discover the best way to populate your ServiceNow CMDB with Cookdown’s guide to navigating your network’s security, from mid-server support to security settings, permissions & credentials.

How to easily change or replace all of your SCOM Accounts
Tyson Paul shares his step-by-step guide to changing or replacing all of the core SCOM accounts for SQL and SCOM.

Checklist for upgrading from SCOM 2016 to SCOM 2019
Like his previous post on upgrading SCOM 2012R2 to SCOM 2016, this handy checklist from Kevin Holman will help you determine if an in-place upgrade is possible and how to prepare the environment for it in advance.

Top integration tools to populate your CMDB
Cookdown reviews the top integration tools for populating your Configuration Management Database (CMDB), from ease of implementation to budget.

Update to the Kevin Holman Fragment Library!
Kevin Holman introduces an important addition to his Fragment Library for Authoring Management Packs using Visual Studio.

Configuring SQL Logins for SCOM Accounts Made Easy
Check out this post by Tyson Paul on cloning existing SQL logins and creating new logins with appropriate permissions.


Looking ahead: SquaredUp 5.0 and beyond
Are you planning your monitoring strategy for 2021 and beyond? Or thinking about what the future holds for SCOM? Read this blog by SquaredUp Founder and CEO, Richard Benwell, to get his insights.

SquaredUp 5.0 is here!
This new release brings a gorgeous new look and feel plus major improvements to our most popular features – Open Access, Dashboard Designer and Web API integrations!

Build beautiful dashboards with KQL (Part 6)
SquaredUp comes to the rescue with Part 6 in our Kusto blog series, which shows you how to meaningfully display all of your data using KQL using dashboards that are easy to create and accessible to everyone.

Take our Single Pane of Glass survey and you could win an awesome Star Wars LEGO X-Wing!
This 5-minute survey is designed to gather your ideas around developing a single pane of glass product. Complete the survey to be in the running to win a Star Wars LEGO X-Wing!

New Dashboard pack for version agnostic Active Directory MP
A new dashboard pack for the Management Pack for Windows Server Active Directory Domain Services, which monitors Windows Server 2012, 2012R2, 2016 and 2019 Domain Controllers and domain health.

Working with on-prem machines in SquaredUp for Azure
SquaredUp Technical Evangelist, Sameer Mhaisekar, walks us through how to use Logs and Azure Arc to manage on-prem machines in SquaredUp for Azure.

Better dashboarding – Grafana or SquaredUp?
See how SquaredUp compares to the free tool Grafana. Which one offers more value?

How to quickly set up crucial dashboards for three different audiences
SquaredUp’s Technical Evangelist, Shawn Williams, highlights the importance of building dashboards that aren’t tied to infrastructure monitoring and how these dashboards should communicate the current health of the application and provide some historical context.

Community Answers

Upgrading to SCOM 2019
Read this post to find out the easiest way to upgrade to SCOM 2019 without having to rebuild custom monitoring or dashboards.

On Demand Tile PowerShell Format-Table
Check out this post for some great advice for easily formatting the output of a PowerShell table.

Successful SQL backup reporting
Do you have any tips on reporting daily on the last successful SQL backup on all servers running SQL by using SQL query on the ops database? If you do, help out the community!

Windows Service monitoring best practices
If you are migrating to SCOM 2019 and reviewing your existing Windows services monitoring, check out this post for some handy tips.

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Rosie Hodgson
Community Lead