Thursday, 23 July 2015

Getting all automation connections from within SMA of a given type

I'm currently looking at how I can migrate some runbooks from System Center Orchestrator 2008 R2 to Service Management Automation (SMA). One issue I have in Orchestrator is that it isn't possible to subscribe to a configuration activity if you package it up into an Orchestrator Integration pack (OIP). To get around this, you can use the activity and call the Class directly from the DLL.

Why does it matter your thinking?  One scenario we have is that we want to be able to have a common runbook, and execute it against multiple load balancers. Each of these connections is then stored in Orchestrator.. and the caller passes the configuration name in (which is actually the lb hostname) and then it connects with the correct credentials.

Anyway I was thinking about how I could do the same or achieve the same in SMA, and realised that it was a non issue, I then started migrating some other runbooks, and one task requires running against all instances of an env.. for example VMWare - Go get all VM's across all vcenters..

I thought I'll just get all the connections of a given type and easy done, however Get-AutomationConnection has a mandatory parameter of the name.. and wildcards don't work.

I had a quick nosy in the database and realised it should be easy to do what I needed, so what I have done is create a workflow that queries the relevant table in the DB for the connections and then returns the name so you can use that to return the credential / connection pair required. This maybe achievable in other ways but I am new to SMA :)

The scripts are available here: Get-AutomationConnections.ps1 and an example of calling it here: UseMultipleConnections.ps1

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Executing SMA runbooks from linux

I've been trying to work out a way of executing SMA runbooks from some of our linux systems.

so I have knocked together a crude python script that can be further extended for doing such a task..

python isn't my language of choice - this is probably quite apparent in the lack of classes etc.

typically SMA uses ODATA for the interface via REST - this was proving too much of an issue, so I resorted to regex and extracting the data from the XML that I needed.. Initially I was going to use XPATH to do it, but things like elementtree didn't seem to like the 'XML'.

Below is a pic of the output:

Anyway I have uploaded the script to my codeplex site located here:

Also a thanks should be mentioned to Laurie Rhodes for the information provided here:

Saturday, 4 July 2015

SMA Workflows

I'm trying to get to grips with SMA and what it will take for us to migrate existing integration packs and runbooks that we have authored in C#

I'm going to try and keep everything we have done open, So I am uploading all the scripts to a new codeplex site I created located here:

I've just created one for sending text messages via a provider called AQL for more details see here:

The above script is located here: if anyone is interested.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Creating DHCP option 121 or 249 string via powershell

We have a number of networks that addresses were statically assigned.. we are now moving these to DHCP to aid with the DevOps principles and destroying machines and rebuilding from code. In order to facilitate this I needed to deliver the static routes via DHCP.. It turns out its a bit of a pain in the arse to do this.. From a stack overflow post:
You're seeing these because option 249 must be specified as as BINARY value, not as an IPADDRESS value. If you can't set this with the GUI then you'll have to convert your desired route into a hexadecimal string yourself. An example would be as follows: accessible via converts into "180a01010a010101". The first octet, "18", is the number of bits of subnet mask (0x18 = 24 decimal). The next octets are the network ID (0a = 10, 01 = 1, 01 = 1, for "10.1.1"), padded by zeros on the right if the subnet mask doesn't end on an even octet boundary. The last four octets are the IP address of the gateway. Set the value in the GUI and you'll be happier.
Well I had too many to do, so I couldn't do it with the GUI really and it was too prone to error with fat fingers.. so I knocked up a quick script to accomplish this.. a word of warning is that I have only done /20 /23 and /24 networks with this.. so test it and verify in the GUI!!

 Here's the powershell script with an example at the end of how its run for multiple routes...
function ConvertTo-MaskLength {
      Returns the length of a subnet mask.
      ConvertTo-MaskLength accepts any IPv4 address as input, however the output value 
      only makes sense when using a subnet mask.
    .Parameter SubnetMask
      A subnet mask to convert into length
 Function pinched from

    [Parameter(Mandatory = $True, Position = 0, ValueFromPipeline = $True)]

  process {
    $Bits = "$( $SubnetMask.GetAddressBytes() | ForEach-Object { [Convert]::ToString($_, 2) } )" -replace '[\s0]'
    return $Bits.Length

function GenerateHex {
      Returns the hex value for creating a static route (DHCP option 121 / 249) - RFC3442
      GenerateHex creates the hex value for creating a static route.. untested with anything other than /23 /24
    .Parameter SubnetMask
     EG or /24
    .Parameter NetworkAddress
      The Network address IE
    .Parameter Gateway Address
      The IP Address of the gateway to send the traffic to IE    

     [Parameter(Mandatory = $True, Position = 0, ValueFromPipeline = $True)]
  [Parameter(Mandatory = $True, Position = 1, ValueFromPipeline = $True)]
  [Parameter(Mandatory = $True, Position = 2, ValueFromPipeline = $True)]

 # Convert subnet mask to correct format
 if ($SubnetMask -like "/*") {
  $SubnetMask = $SubnetMask.Replace("/","")
 }elseif ($SubnetMask -like "*.*") {
  $SubnetMask = ConvertTo-MaskLength -SubnetMask $SubnetMask

 # Split network into an object by octet
 $NetAddress = $NetworkAddress.split('.')

 # Step through the correct number of significant octets (mask / 8 then rounded up) and convert to hex
 foreach($i in 1..([math]::Ceiling($SubnetMask / 8))){
  $Network += "{0:X2}" -f [convert]::ToInt32($NetAddress[$i-1])

 # Convert Gateway Address to Hex
 Foreach ($octet in $GatewayAddress.split('.')) {
  $Gateway += "{0:X2}" -f [convert]::ToInt32($octet)

 # Convert Mask to Hex
 $maskHex = "{0:X2}" -f [convert]::ToInt32($SubnetMask)

 # return calculated output
 $value =  $maskHex + $Network + $Gateway
 return $value

$String = ""
$String += GenerateHex -NetworkAddress -SubnetMask -GatewayAddress
$String += GenerateHex -NetworkAddress -SubnetMask -GatewayAddress

# Display command rather than execute it
Write-Output "netsh dhcp server scope set optionvalue 121 binary $($string)"
I then needed to convert some existing boxes from having lots of local persistent routes and was planning on using something like this as the basis of starting a script..
Get-WmiObject Win32_IP4PersistedRouteTable | Select-Object Destination, Mask, Nexthop
however I quickly discovered the machine I was looking at doesn't have powershell installed.. Given I'm in a rush I resorted to VBS as it was my scripting language of choice prior to powershell.. so the following script was used to export the routes and generate the netsh command.. Crude I know, but not as crude as multiple static routes on a server, rather than using a Router!
' Export Routes.vbs
On Error Resume Next
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\.\root\cimv2")
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from Win32_IP4PersistedRouteTable",,48)

For Each objItem in colItems   
    wscript.echo "$String += GenerateHex -NetworkAddress " & objItem.Destination & " -SubnetMask " & objItem.Mask & " -GatewayAddress " & objItem.NextHop

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Naming VMWare Guest (Windows) NIC's

One of the things that annoy's me a little bit (A lot!) is when the adapters on a server have no meaningful name and you are only left with the network address to try and work out what the hell the network is, on some systems where you may have multiple adapters then this is only harder.

We talked over at work how best to identify what network the machine was on and work from there, we use Cisco Nexus 1000v switches on some of our vmware estate, so I initially thought of using CDP to determine the VLAN ID or name.. however I dismissed it as soon as I thought of it. The key was in the word 'some', so this potentially means this process wouldn't work for test and dev environments where an enterprise plus licence wasn't / isn't currently present.

So the option we came up with is using the MAC address to identify the correct adapter and then set the name based on the vmware port group.

To achieve the rename in the guest I am using the
command, which allows you to execute a command in the guest providing you have the correct credentials, vmware tools running and tcp port 902 open in the correct places (or is it 901? - 902 I think, but I've had a beer now!)

In order to do the rename, I currently use
commands which are only available in 2012 onwards, I will over time amend this to work with 2008 (prob using wmi and netsh), but this is only an initial draft, so the usual caveat's apply!

The script builds a scriptblock object to pass through to command, which took a little bit of fiddling to ensure that some variables weren't expanded such as $_.MacAddress in the where clause, but then the other variables were expanded, I'm sure when I revisit this I will change my mind of how to do it, but for now it works, so function over form.

FWIW, I have made it fail back to the administrator username if the supplied username fails auth.. but modify this to suit your own environment.


# Name VM Guest Adapters
# David Wallis 12/05/2015

# Variables
$viServer = "vmware.blah.local"
$ServerName = "Server001"
$Username = "Admin123"
$Password = "Password"

# Add Snapin if needed
If (-not (Get-PSSnapin VMware.VimAutomation.Core -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue)) {
    Add-PSSnapin VMware.VimAutomation.Core | Out-Null 

# Connect to Vsphere
$null = Connect-VIServer $viServer 

# Hide Progress Bars as System Center Orchestrator might not like these 

# get VM Object
$vm = Get-VM -Name $ServerName -ErrorAction stop
function RenameNic
    param (
     [String] $User,
     [String] $GuestPw,
     [String] $MacAddress,
     [String] $NewInterfaceName

  # Replace colons with dashes in the MAC address so that we can use it to match with the get-NetAdapter cmdlet.
  $macAddress = $macAddress.Replace(":","-")

  # Construct Scriptblock to execute the command
  $command = 'Get-Netadapter | where {$_.MacAddress -eq ' +  [char]34 + $macAddress + [char]34 + "} | Rename-NetAdapter -NewName " + [char]34 + $NewInterfaceName + [char]34
  Write-Verbose "Attempting to execute command within the VM ($($VM)): $($command)"
  $ScriptBlock = [scriptblock]::Create($command)
  # Try and invoke the command within VM
  $output = Invoke-VMScript -vm $vm -guestuser $Username -guestpassword $Password -scripttype powershell -scripttext $ScriptBlock -ErrorAction stop
  # Nothing should be returned.. but the output would be in the below
  # $output.ScriptOutput
 catch [VMware.VimAutomation.ViCore.Types.V1.ErrorHandling.InvalidGuestLogin]
  # Invalid Guest Login
  Write-Verbose 'Invalid credentials trying the username "Administrator"'
  $output = Invoke-VMScript -vm $vm -guestuser "Administrator" -guestpassword $Password -scripttype powershell -scripttext $ScriptBlock -ErrorAction stop
  write-output $output.ScriptOutput

# Get all the Adapters assigned to the VM and rename the nic to the vm portgroup name using the MAC
# to identify the correct adapters - this will only work on 2012 onwards currently
$Adapters = $vm | Get-NetworkAdapter | Select NetworkName, MacAddress
foreach ($adapter in $Adapters){
 write-verbose "Renaming Adapter with MAC Address ($($adapter.MacAddress))"
 RenameNic -User $Username -GuestPw $Password -MacAddress $($adapter.MacAddress) -NewInterfaceName $($adapter.NetworkName) -verbose

Monday, 13 April 2015

Auto generating server names

So we spent a fair old time working out a naming convention at our place. I wont go into the details of that here, but suffice to say when picking a naming convention, make sure you write some regex so that you can parse it, and then make use of capturing groups to determine OS, location, role, environment etc.

I can thoroughly recommend Debuggex for visualizing and testing regular expressions if you aren't fluent in them! There are also cheat sheets available and don't worry that there isn't a drop down for powershell the default is good enough to get you where you need to be.

So now we are automating the build it made sense to automate the naming of servers, and given the vast size of our estate and the number of non joined up systems, then checking of names is a bit error prone and time consuming. Given we can do it manually, how hard could it be to automate it?

I did a bit of googling and found this post on stackoverflow which was a nice starting point. It didn't fully work and you had to read between the lines.

After a bit of tweaking I got it working so we could fill in the gaps in sequences, IE 1,2,3,5,6,7 would produce the next server as 4. However 3,4,5,6,7 would produce the next server number as 8. A quick fix to the code to make it think a server 0 already exists fixes that issue. (NB: our server numbers start at 001, not 000 - if your's don't then you may need to add -1 instead - Untested!)

The next issue is that, not every server is domain joined so you need to query more than just AD.. For us I wanted to query a couple of SCCM environments (2007 and 2012 r2) SCOM, Multiple VMware environments, and also DNS.

So the code I have produced (which can be re-factored and probably will be at some point) queries each environment getting just the digits of the server name and add's them to the array.

At the end of the script we combine all of the array's and add the 0 previously mentioned and then strip duplicates and sort into numerical order.. this gives us our definitive list of numbers in use. (we work on worse case, if we see it anywhere then assume its in use)

Once we find the name we create an entry in DNS so that subsequent script use wont issue the same name - we deal with concurrency issues by running this in System Center Orchestrator and setting job concurrency on the runbook to be 1.

Script below, change values to suit your environment.

# Add this script can support -verbose (Convert to function later)

# ********************************************************
$startOfName = "xxxYYYZZWEB"
# ********************************************************

# VMWare Details
$ADVIServers = @("vsphere1.blah.local","vsphere2.blah.local","vsphere3.blah.local","vsphere4.blah.local")
$StandAloneHosts = @()

# DNS Details
$DNSServer = "xxxxxx.blah.local"

# SCCM 2012 Details
$SCCM2012SiteServer = "sccm2012.blah.local"
$SCCM2012SiteCode = 'SiteCode' 

# SCCM 2007 Details
$SCCM2007SiteServer = "sccm2007.blah.local"
$SCCM2007SiteCode = 'SiteCode2' 

# SCOM 2007 Details
$SCOMServer = "scom.blah.local"

# Create Empty Arrays
$VMNumbers = @()
$ADnumbers = @()
$DNSNumbers = @()
$SCCM2012Numbers = @()
$SCCM2007Numbers = @()
$SCOM2007Numbers = @()

# VMWare

 Write-Verbose "Processing VMware"
 Add-PSSnapin vmware.vimautomation.core -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue

 # Set options for certificates and connecting to multiple enviroments
 $null = Set-PowerCLIConfiguration -InvalidCertificateAction Ignore -Confirm:$False
 $null = Set-PowerCLIConfiguration -DefaultVIServerMode Multiple -Scope User -Confirm:$False

 # Connect to each AD Authenticated viServer
 foreach ($VIServer in $ADVIServers){$null = Connect-VIServer $VIServer -verbose:$false} 
 # Connect to standalone host
 foreach ($Host in $StandAloneHosts){$null = Connect-VIServer $Host -User 'usernamehere' -Password 'passwordhere' -verbose:$false} 
 # get next available number in a range of numbers.
 $VMNames = Get-VM -Name "$($startOfName)*" -verbose:$false |select Name
 $VMNames |select Name | Foreach-Object {Write-Verbose $_.Name} | Sort-Object
 $VMNumbers = $VMNames |select Name | Foreach-Object {[int]($_.Name -replace '\D').Trim() } | Sort-Object
 Write-Verbose "$($VMNumbers.Count) Matching entries found"
# Active Directory

 Write-Verbose "Processing Active Directory"
 # Issue Query
 $searcher = [ADSISearcher]"(&(objectCategory=computer)(name=$($StartOfName)*))"
 $searcher.PageSize = 1000

 # get next available number in a range of numbers. returns 5 for 1,2,3,4,6,7,9 From AD
 $ADNames = $searcher.FindAll() | Foreach-Object {[string]$} | Sort-Object
 $ADNames | Foreach-Object {Write-Verbose $_} | Sort-Object  
 $ADnumbers = $ADNames | Foreach-Object {[int]($_ -replace '\D').Trim() } | Sort-Object  
 Write-Verbose "$($ADnumbers.Count) Matching entries found"
# Search DNS

 Write-Verbose "Processing DNS"
 # Import DNS module
 Import-Module dnsShell -Verbose:$false
 $DNSNames = get-dnsRecord -server $DNSServer -RecordType A -Zone blah.local | select Name |where {$_.Name -like "$($startOfName)*"} 
 $DNSNames | Foreach-Object {Write-Verbose $_.Name} | Sort-Object -Unique
 $DNSNumbers = $DNSNames | Foreach-Object {[int]($_.Name -replace '\D').Trim() } | Sort-Object -Unique
 Write-Verbose "$($DNSNumbers.Count) Matching entries found"
# Search SCCM

 Write-Verbose "Processing SCCM 2012"
 # Query SCCM2012 Env
 $SCCM2012Members = Get-WmiObject -ComputerName $SCCM2012SiteServer -Namespace  "ROOT\SMS\site_$SCCM2012SiteCode" -Query "SELECT * FROM SMS_FullCollectionMembership WHERE CollectionID='SMS00001' AND Name LIKE '$($startOfName)%' order by name" | select Name -Unique
 $SCCM2012Members |select Name | Foreach-Object {Write-Verbose $_.Name} | Sort-Object
 $SCCM2012Numbers = $SCCM2012Members |select Name | Foreach-Object {[int]($_.Name -replace '\D').Trim() } | Sort-Object
 Write-Verbose "$($SCCM2012Numbers.Count) Matching entries found"
 Write-Verbose "Processing SCCM 2007"
 # Query SCCM2007 Env
 $SCCM2007Names = Get-WMIObject -ComputerName $SCCM2007SiteServer -Namespace "root\sms\site_$SCCM2007SiteCode" -class "SMS_R_System" -filter "Name LIKE `"$startOfName%`"" |select Name | Sort-Object -Property Name -Unique
 $SCCM2007Names |select Name | Foreach-Object {Write-Verbose $_.Name} | Sort-Object
 $SCCM2007Numbers = $SCCM2007Names |select Name | Foreach-Object {[int]($_.Name -replace '\D').Trim() } | Sort-Object
 Write-Verbose "$($SCCM2007Numbers.Count) Matching entries found"
# Search Production SCOM 2007

 Write-Verbose "Processing SCOM 2007"
 #Initialize SCOM SnapIn
 Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.EnterpriseManagement.OperationsManager.Client -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue -verbose:$false

 #Connect to Production SCOM 2007 Env.
 $null = New-ManagementGroupConnection -ConnectionString $SCOMServer
 #Connect to SCOM Provider
 Push-Location 'OperationsManagerMonitoring::'

 # Get Agents Matching Name
 $SCOM2007Names = Get-ManagementServer |Get-Agent |Where {$_.Name -like "$($startOfName)*"}
 $SCOM2007Names | Foreach-Object {Write-Verbose $_.Name} | Sort-Object
 $SCOM2007Numbers = $SCOM2007Names | Foreach-Object {[int]($_.Name -replace '\D').Trim() } | Sort-Object
 Write-Verbose "$($SCOM2007Numbers.Count) Matching entries found"
 # Return to previous location
# Merge arrays adding a zero so we allways start issuing numbers from the beginning (ie 001)
$list = @(0) + $VMNumbers + $ADnumbers + $DNSNumbers + $SCCM2012Numbers + $SCCM2007Numbers + $SCOM2007Numbers

# Remove Duplicates numbers from the array and sort into numerical order
$list = $list | Sort-Object -Unique

Write-Verbose "Used numbers after sorting: $($list)"

# Determine if next server name is a gap in the sequence in the array
for($i=0; $i -lt $list.length; $i++) {
 if( $list[$i+1]-$list[$i] -gt 1) {
  # The gap between the current server number and the next element in the array is greater than 1
  # So we have an available number we can use.
  # TODO: - Add support for consecutive numbers IE build 6 servers with consecutive numbers.
  $num = "{0:000}" -f ($list[$i]+1)

# If no gap found in the sequence then use the next number from the sequence in the array
if ($num -eq $null) {
 $num = "{0:000}" -f (($list[-1]+1))

# Construct new name
$NewComputerName = "{0}{1}" -f $startOfName,$num

# Create DNS Record to 'reserve / mark the name as in use'
Write-Verbose "Creating DNS Reservation"
New-DnsRecord -Name $NewComputerName -IPAddress "" -Zone blah.local -Type A -Server $DNSServer

write-output $NewComputerName

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Status messages from SCCM task sequences via SQL.

I've got an automated server build process working well now using System Center Orchestrator and System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), currently we poll the status messages via custom c# code within an Integration pack to determine the task sequence status. What I wanted to do was replicate the status message viewer output within our email step.

I've knocked together a crude SQL query to get this using the provided view. Please bear in mind SQL isn't my strong point.. I can get by with the help of Google! So I just thought I would provide a copy of the query here in case it is of use to anyone else..

You just need to remove or edit the WHERE clauses for the date and the machinename values where appropriate.

 CASE [Severity] 
  WHEN '1073741824' THEN 'Informational' 
  WHEN '-1073741824' THEN 'Error' 
  WHEN '-2147483648' THEN 'Warning' 
 END AS Severity
 CASE [MessageID] 
  WHEN '11124' THEN ('The task sequence execution engine started the group (' + [InsStrValue3] + ').')
  WHEN '11127' THEN ('The task sequence execution engine successfully completed the group (' + [InsStrValue3] + ').') 
  WHEN '11128' THEN ('The task sequence execution engine skipped the disabled action (' + [InsStrValue2] + ') in the group (' + [InsStrValue3] + ').') 
  WHEN '11130' THEN ('The task sequence execution engine skipped the action (' + [InsStrValue2] + ') in the group (' + [InsStrValue3] + ').')
  WHEN '11134' THEN ('The task sequence execution engine successfully completed the action (' + [InsStrValue2] + ') in the group (' + [InsStrValue3] + ') with exit code ' + [InsStrValue4] + ' Action output: ' + (COALESCE([InsStrValue5], '') + '' + COALESCE([InsStrValue6], '') + '' + COALESCE([InsStrValue7],'')+ COALESCE([InsStrValue8],'')+ COALESCE([InsStrValue9],'')+ COALESCE([InsStrValue10],''))) 
  WHEN '11135' THEN ('The task sequence execution engine failed execuiting the action (' + [InsStrValue2] + ') in the group (' + [InsStrValue3] + ') with exit code ' + [InsStrValue4] + ' Action output: ' + (COALESCE([InsStrValue5], '') + '' + COALESCE([InsStrValue6], '') + '' + COALESCE([InsStrValue7],'')+ COALESCE([InsStrValue8],'')+ COALESCE([InsStrValue9],'')+ COALESCE([InsStrValue10],'')))  
  WHEN '11138' THEN ('The task sequence execution engine ignored execution failure of the action (' + [InsStrValue2] + ') in the group (' + [InsStrValue3] + ').')  
  WHEN '11140' THEN ('The task sequence execution engine started execution of a task sequence.')  
  WHEN '11142' THEN ('The task sequence execution engine performed a system reboot initiated by the action (' + [InsStrValue2] + ') in the group (' + [InsStrValue3] + ').')  
  WHEN '11144' THEN ('The task sequence execution engine from a non-client started execution of a task sequence.')
 END AS Description 
FROM [CM_SiteCodeHere].[dbo].[vStatusMessagesWithStrings] (NOLOCK) 
WHERE MachineName = 'MyServerNameHere'
 AND Component in ('Task Sequence Engine','Task Sequence Manager','Task Sequence Action')
 AND Time BETWEEN '2015-04-02 08:30' AND GETDATE() 
Change the site code in the query.. CM_SiteCodeHere and apollogies for the formatting here.