If you have worked on SCOM extensively, I am sure you would have already realized about one of the important features that SCOM administrators expect, that is “Scheduling maintenance mode”. That means, one should be able to define at what time a server should enter maintenance mode on daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, run-once basis. Unfortunately, there is no such option in UI.
Couple of days back I was hit with same requirement. A few services on a server are expected to go down for maintenance performed by the application installed on the server. It brings back the services once its activity is completed which never exceeds 30 minutes. These services are CRITICAL for reset of day and not during the time when application is performing the shutdown/startup activity. Initially, I thought I can create a schedule and keep the server in maintenance mode for that 30 minutes daily but I was disappointed after seeing no such option in maintenance mode wizard.
I felt this is a kind of basic requirement for a System administrator to schedule a servers maintenance mode. It helps during scheduled patch reboots and application maintenances.
So, I started looking for the options to fulfill this purpose. After some research ended up with only two options.
- #1: A third party powershell based tool that helps you schedule the maintenances:
The tool name is “SCOM Remote Maintenance Mode Scheduler“. It seems popular tool in internet for scheduling the maintenance mode since many people suggested this when I posted the requirement in technet forum. I read the documentation of it and per my understanding it has DotNet based GUI application which takes inputs from you and creates a scheduled task which inturn executes the powershell scripts that keeps the given computer(s) in maintenance at given schedule. I really like this idea and but felt something which is integrated with SCOM is more useful. The author of this tool has produced some more useful tools for SCOM world. Don’t miss to check them when you visit the site.
- #2: A MS given facility to schedule the maintenance:
After some more research, I came across “System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Admin ResKit “which has utility to schedule the maintenance mode. And the plus point with this is, it integrates with SCOM server. That means, you can see all the schedules by connecting to SCOM server and manage them. This is what exactly I needed. After exploring this further, I was bit disappointed because of it’s buggy behavior. It is giving too many dotnet errors and some of the menues in the application are some times not responding because of these errors. I couldn’t explore this tool completely due to these continuous dotnet errors which keeps popping up every time you click something on the utility.
I didn’t expect such buggy product from Microsoft for it’s own baby(SCOM). I wish they will hear this feedback and make it work lazy admins like me. I tried both x64 and x86 versions of the tool and their behavior is same.
So we don’t any other option than leaning towards the first utility if we really want to schedule some maintenance windows.
Hope this analysis helps.