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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What I'm Monitoring and Automating

Now that I'm pretty settled in my new job, I thought it might be helpful to step back and take a look at what I've automated and what I'm monitoring, and why. This will also serve as a roadmap for future content, because you all know how I love to post scripts.

  1. GatherLogs: Every server I have runs a task in the morning that sends me any warning or error entries in the system or application logs. Of course, Windows error logs have a lot of errors that just occur and really don't mean anything. Therefore, my script weeds these entries out. Previous Article.
  2. SQLExpBkup: Servers running SQL Express run a job to back up their databases locally prior to the network backup jobs. Previous Article.
  3. Off-site backups: I mirror quite a bit (using robocopy, mainly) to offsite repositories:
    • Some SMB shares
    • Backup Exec B2D files
    • Veeam Backup Files
    • The content of our IT Fileshare (ISOs, installation files, etc)
    • The contents of our departmental Sharepoint Knowledge Base (a Document Library). We don't want to be without our documentation. Previous Article
  4. SureBackup Open Lab Check: This script checks to see if I have any open Veeam SureBackup virtual labs running before I leave for the day. Previous Article
  5. VMware snapshot check: runs first thing in the morning to notify me of any snapshots that exist in my VMware environment. Article Here
  6. Automatic reporting on my Dell Equallogic SAN replication jobs. EDIT: I'm not repicating with Dell's stuff now. For our needs, doing Veeam BackupCopy was good enough.
  7. Weekend Veeam SureBackup job chain. Previous Article.
  8. Bad Logins on my domain controllers. Previous articles: Part one and part two.
  9. Logon Counts on my domain controllers. EDIT: Not doing this anymore. I had nothing actionable from the data and it takes a lot of CPU to comb through the event logs.
  10. Daily comprehensive DCDIAG on my main domain controller. Previous Article.
  11. Script that checks for file names that excees the NTFS limits on my file servers. Previous Article.
  12. An emailed list of any PST files on my file server that houses my users' home directories. We're still trying to get rid of these things....
  13. SQL Database mid-day backup, copy to our testing SQL server, mount and DBCC check. Previous Article.
  14. A script that sets up Spiceworks tickets for recurring daily, weekly, and monthly tasks. Article Here
  15. Automatically emailed Spiceworks reports. Previous Article.
  16. List of computers in AD that have not logged in for over 90 days. Previous Article.
  17. List of users in AD that are disabled. Article Here
  18. List of users' last login dates and times. Sorted by date and ascending, it shows me accounts that aren't being used. Previous Article.
  19. Scheduled Task Issues - stuck or failed tasks on any server. Article Here
  20. Sensitive Group Audit - who is a member of the Domain Admins group or other powerful groups  in your org? Article Here
  21. Website Monitoring - there are probably better ways to do this, but I have a powershell script that checks our websites that runs every 5 minutes or so. EDIT: I have PRTG do this now, but I modified my old Powershell script to ensure that PRTG is running. Monitoring the monitor!
  22. Documentation script that combs through my servers and makes a master list of all of these scheduled tasks - I'm going through it to make this list, as a matter of fact! Article Here
  23. Documentation script that gets drive space from all of my servers used/free, and dumps it into an Excel doc. I have PRTG, which tracks this over time on a per drive basis, but getting all of the data together so I can see per month/per year data growth was easier this way.
  24. Documentation script that goes through all of my SQL servers and creates the docs for them (Databases, recovery models, space usage, versions, etc) Article Here
  25. Script that looks for services that are using things like "Administrator". Still fixing those..... Article Here
  26. Mailbox size reports - who's hogging all of the space on our mail server!? Article Here
  27. I have a batch file that reboots this one server once a week. Our app person insists. In this day and age? The server runs 2008R2, so I don't see why, but whatever. Article Here
  28. WSUS: Auto-declining Itanium patches, Windows Embedded patches, and superceded Windows Defender updates.
  29. Notification of computers in the "Unassigned Computers" WSUS group. Previous Article.
  30. List of computers that are pending reboot or have updates pending. If the number is over ten I start cracking skulls (yeah right).
There. Not only is that a pretty good list of existing content, but a pretty good roadmap for me to follow to start posting some of the scripts I've created.


  1. Great work on the blog and scripts. Used a few of them already! Looking forward to 1 and 10 in particular!

  2. Thanks - I'll make them my next posts, then!

  3. Got the first one up this morning.....

  4. Great work, i'm interested to 24 in particular!

  5. Have you checked out Pingdom for website monitoring (21)? We've been using it to monitor HTTP / SMTP and it's worked quite well so far. It uses different nodes around the world to check the status.