Monday, 18 August 2014

DevOps, System Center Orchestrator R2 Integration Packs and more..

It's been a while since I have posted any updates here, mainly because I haven't done anything remotely challenging recently ;)

 At work we are currently trying to follow the latest 'craze' - DevOps, what annoys me personally about this 'craze'- It's a lot of talk about using a lot of opensource tools such as Puppet, Ansible, Chef, BoxStarter, Vagrant etc etc, rather than looking at what you need to achieve and looking to see if the Ops guys already have a tool that they aren't using properly.

In fact at a recent DevOps event in Leeds - UK, I asked how many of these users were windows users, The room responded by laughing, now I know there are plenty of people using these tools on Windows, but we have already invested in Microsoft System Center and we have a reasonably large estate 600+ Servers.

So utilising our existing investment we have created some scripts which allow us to now rapdily build HyperV Guests, VMware Guests and HP Servers using 1 single SCCM task sequence and thus essentially 1 build for 2003, 2008 (2012 to follow) and also any edition (Std / Ent etc) The scripts basically add the computer into SCCM via its MAC address then populate a load of TS Variables which can be used during the build stage.

We have kind of got to the limit of where we can go with this without a lot more scripting, so the next stage of this was to look at Orchestrator. To try and get to grips with the tool I started off trying to automate patching of some critical systems, I then realised it couldn't do everything I needed out of the box and got carried away, or hooked - one or the other!

Armed with the SDK much like I did with SCOM I got started and started writing an Integration pack, I've been threatening myself that I need to move from to C# and this seemed like the ideal opportunity, I must say I am quite impressed with how simple in relative terms it has been to create the Integration packs, and as for C# it seems it little stricter than on careless coding errors!

So I have now made a start on the following Integration Packs and they work to my needs so far, and I do plan on uploading them soon..

VMware Service Manager (Create, Close, Update Call)
Globalscape EFT (Get Server Statistics)
Nessus (Create Nessus Scan)

Next on the List is:
ManageEngine Password ManagerPro
VisionApp Remote Desktop

Again once I have sorted out the configuration options properly I will upload them, however if you desperate for copies of them in the meantime I suggest you drop me a mail at