Promoting a System Center Service Manager Management Server

Recently, my primary management server for my Service Manager installation has begun to partially fail. All of my services are running and functioning as expected, however I am constantly being faced with the Desktop Window Manager crashing for no apparent reason.

I've spent multiple hours over the last few weeks working with Microsoft Support for this issue, but we've been so far unable to remedy the situation. As this issue is holding up a few projects on the back end, I finally decided that it was time to take matters into our own hands!

My decision was to simply create a secondary management server, use that as my new primary, and then remove the busted primary management server from my environment. (My team isn't anywhere near large enough to warrant having a second full time management server.)

First, I created a new VM on my ESXi cluster and did the usual server build and installed Service Manager 2012 Management Server. Simply going through the installation wizard and adding this new server to a previously existing SQL installation on my Operational System Center SQL Server, adds this second server into my environment and into the previously existing Service Group.

All of this prep work went perfectly well. Everything installed as expected, there were no errors during the installation and association to the SQL instance.


Now that I had my new Management Server installed and in place, I needed to migrate the System Center Service Manager Exchange Connector to my new server. As I will be shutting down the old management server, I still need to provide my users with the ability to send our Helpdesk emails to generate new tickets.

Simple enough, right? Time to download the System Center Service Manager Exchange Connector v3.1 and install it as instructed in the documents provided.

Essentially, for those that are in a rush, you need to:

  1. Download & Install the Exchange Connector v3.1 Installer
  2. Download & Install the Servers Exchange Web Services Managed API 1.2.1
  3. Remove all Exchange Connectors inside of you System Center Service Manager instance.
  4. Copy the following files (From the Exchange Connector Installation) to your Service Manager Installation folder (ie C:\Program Files\Microsoft System Center\Service Manager\)
    1. Microsoft.SystemCenter.ExchangeConnector.dll
    2. Microsoft.SystemCenter.ExchangeConnector.resources.dll
  5. Copy the following file from the Exchange Web Services Managed API Installation folder to your Service Manager directory
    1. Microsoft.Exchange.WebServices.dll
  6. Insert the following registry items into the new management server
    1. HKLM\Software\Microsoft\System Center Service Manager Exchange Connector\
      1. REG_SZ - EnableEWSTracing - 1
      2. REG_SZ - LoggingLevel - [1-7] (7 is very verbose, 1 is errors)
  7. Open up Service Manager, go into the Administrator Wunderbar, into the Connectors window.
  8. Add & Configure a new Exchange Connector

Alright, done, done and done! Time to send a test email to my Helpdesk email address and watch the Operations Manager Event Log for my Exchange Connector logs!

*Five Minutes Later*

Nothing. Silence except for a few new connection alerts from me opening and closing my connection to the new Management Server.

What went wrong? What had I forgotten? We have uninstalled the old Exchange Connector, reinstalled it on the new server, and configured it precisely the same way it was before.


As it turns out, in a multiple server configuration of Service Manager, there is a "Primary Workflow Server" designation given to a specific server. This server, you guessed it, is responsible for processing all of your workflows you have configured for notifications/etc. This happens to also include the processing of the Exchange Connector!

Thanks to TechNet, we are provided with a handy reference to the stored SQL procedure that you need to now run against your Operational Database. Remember to back up your databases just in case before making any changes!



EXEC p_PromoteActiveWorkflowServer 'SM12MGT02.riston.me'

After that has been run, you are now all set up and ready to go. Restart your Data Access Service, Management Service, and Management Configuration Service, allow Service Manager to start up completely, and watch the Exchange Connector fly by!

Now I'm ready to continue the process of decommisioning my broken Management Server!

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