A few weeks ago I have blogged about the DP Job Queue Manager. Today we will have a further look into another great utility in the Configuration Manager 2012 R2 toolkit: the Collection Evaluation Viewer (CEViewer.exe).
The main purpose of the Collection Evaluation viewer is to assist in troubleshooting issues related to collection evaluation. We will now test drive the tool in a lab to further explore the possibilities.
In case you did not download the toolkit yet, it is available here. The installation is really straightforward and we will not outline those details during this post. Instead we will fire up the utility straight away.
Before doing anything else I would recommend to first have a look at the last tab entitled about Collection Evaluation. This tab contains details on how to collection evaluation process runs and will help you to better understand the other queue tabs.
Now that we have some insights on how the queuing works, lets go to the first tab and provide the connection details to connect to the primary site. Connection details are shown at the bottom of the window.
Moving on to the Full Evaluation tab – this is where things become interesting. When looking specifically into performance issues the columns Run Time (Seconds) and Percent will be the most interesting ones: the first one logs how long the last evaluation took and the Percent column shows the percentage of evaluation time for this collection over the total (all collections) evaluation time. This should help you spot problematic collections straight away.
Additionally we can also find more details about the last time the collection was evaluated, when the next evaluation time will be, and what the result of the last evaluation was in regards to membership and when that change took place.
The Incremental Evaluation tab show information similar to the Full Evaluation tab, but this time for collections that have the incremental evaluation setting enabled. Also here we can easily spot problematic collections based on the Run Time and Percent columns.
The All Queues tab gives a complete overview of the different queues. Before taking the screenshot above I triggered a membership update on a few demo collections. As this is a manual action the collections are listed in the manual update queue. Notice that an estimated completion time is listed for both collections of which the membership is currently being evaluated.
The remaining (color-coded) tabs each represent a different queue. The screenshot above for to the manual update queue and lists a set of collections for which I had triggered a membership update. Here we can see the estimated run time and estimated completion time for each of the collections.
The remaining tabs are for the queues for new collections, collections with full updates or collections with incremental updates and work in the exact same way.
To finish up this post I would like to add that this tool can only be used with Configuration Manager 2012 R2. It will not work with previous versions. On an SP1 site we were able to connect to the site but when browsing to any of the other tabs in the tool it errors out as shown in the screenshot below.
That concludes our overview and test drive of this very interesting tool in the Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Toolkit. I hope this information was useful and will encourage you to download the toolkit and start using these tools.
Until next time!
One of the new server tools in the Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Toolkit is the Distribution Point Job Queue Manager (DpJobMgr.exe). This tool helps the Configuration Manager administrator in managing, monitoring and troubleshooting content distribution throughout his environment.
Lets have a closer look at the tool and how it can be used.
On the connect tab the Primary Site Server name needs to be specified before clicking on Connect. Connection status and results are shown in the bottom left corner. Make sure the connection is successful before moving on.
The overview tab shows a list of all Distribution Points within our lab environment. Note that the locally installed Distribution Point on the site server is not displayed and also not taken into account in the Total Distribution Points count.
You can opt to manually refresh the list if you are in the process of doing content deployments. Alternatively the tool can auto-refresh the list based on a set interval. Note that the default interval is 2 minutes. You cannot set a value lower than those 2 minutes.
The Distribution Point info tab displays details about the ongoing content transfers. Once the transfer is completed, the entry for that content is removed from the list. The progress column seems to be updated at a slow pace and as a result I found that smaller content was distributed even before any percentage was ever displayed.
Managing jobs is done from the next tab. Here you can change priorities in the queue and also cancel any distribution jobs that are ongoing.
The last tab is the help tab. This tab is purely informational and displays some general help information.
Now in a lab off course the amount of content to be distributed and DP’s to be targeted is very low. In large enterprise environments where there is much content and many Distribution Points to be targeted I believe this will be a very helpful utility.
Important: this tool only works with Configuration Manager 2012 R2 and is not compatible with previous versions. On an SP1 site for example we were able to connect to the site but while retrieving data the tools throws multiple errors like the one displayed below:
Until next time!
The System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager toolkit contains various tools to help you manage and troubleshoot Configuration Manager.
An overview of these tools is shown below, note that the ones marked in red require R2 to fully function:
Server Based Tools
- DP Job Manager – A tool that helps troubleshoot and manage ongoing content distribution jobs to Configuration Manager distribution points.
- Collection Evaluation Viewer – A tool that assists in troubleshooting collection evaluation related issues by viewing collection evaluation details.
- Content Library Explorer – A tool that assists in troubleshooting issues with and viewing the contents of the content library.
- Security Configuration Wizard Template for Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager – The Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) is an attack-surface reduction tool for the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. Security Configuration Wizard determines the minimum functionality required for a server’s role or roles, and disables functionality that is not required.
- Content Library Transfer – A tool that transfers content from one disk drive to another.
- Content Ownership Tool – A tool that changes ownership of orphaned packages (packages without an owner site server).
- Role-based Administration Modeling and Auditing Tool – This tool helps administrators to model and audit RBA configurations.
- Run Metering Summarization Tool – The purpose of this tool is to run the metering summarization task to analyze raw metering data
Client Based Tools
- Client Spy – A tool that helps you troubleshoot issues related to software distribution, inventory, and software metering on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Configuration Manager Trace Log Viewer – A tool used to view log files created by Configuration Manager components and agents.
- Deployment Monitoring Tool – The Deployment Monitoring Tool is a graphical user interface designed help troubleshoot Applications, Updates, and Baseline deployments on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Policy Spy – A policy viewer that helps you review and troubleshoot the policy system on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Power Viewer Tool – A tool to view the status of power management feature on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Send Schedule Tool – A tool used to trigger a schedule on a client or trigger the evaluation of a specified DCM Baseline. You can trigger a schedule either locally or remotely.
- Wakeup Spy – A tool that provides a view of the power state of Configuration Manager client computers and which operate as managers or manages.
Download the toolkit here.