HackaSCOM: Ready, Set, Code! 

Anders Öberg / / / / / / / /

And… the countdown has begun! This afternoon, we kicked off HackaSCOM with day one of the two-day hackathon, “Ready, Set, Code”. Over the next 24 hours, our 5 expert contestants will be putting together the SCOM solution that we as a community have chosen for them. Stay tuned for the results show tomorrow at 3pm! 

For those who missed it, below are the highlights from day 1. 

Meet the contestants 

On day 1 of HackaSCOM, we got introduced to the 5 awesome contestants who are each titans in their fields. Meet SCOM wizards: Nathan Foreman,  Dujon Walsham, Kevin Holman, Ronnie Johansson, and Anders Öberg! 

Each of the contestants was assigned one challenge, selected by the judges and the SCOM community. More details on the challenges below, but first, let’s meet the judges! 

Meet the judges 

On the judging panel we have two Microsoft MVPs, Bob Cornelissen and Stoyan Chalakov, and a member of the Microsoft SCOM Product Group itself, Shivam Kumar – each bringing a unique perspective on SCOM. 

The challenge

Leading up to the Hackathon, a call was put out for ideas that the community would like to see the experts build. The judges were to shortlist 9 challenges from the pool and put them to the vote to assign them to contenders on day 1.  The code from all the solutions will be made available open-source for the community.  

A whopping 78 ideas were submitted by the community! Here are the 9 that made the shortlist, and the challenge allocations:  

  1. Alert on unexpected shutdowns – DUJON 
  1. Open Windows firewall port on demand until traffic ceases – RONNIE 
  1. Monitor Volume Shadow Copies 
  1. Create registry keys containing data from centrally stored CSV on servers, also store this info in SCOMs object model – ANDERS  
  1. Outside in website monitoring for a site requiring two factor authentication 
  1. API query management pack – NATHAN  
  1. Put servers behind gateway into maintenance mode when the gateway goes down and take out of maintenance mode when the gateway becomes available – KEVIN  
  1. Monitoring specific numeric values from a SQL table 
  1. Monitor AD Group Members Password Expiration 

Challenges were allocated to contestants based on votes from the judges and the community. The Judges had one vote each, and the community had one collective vote via polls on the event.  

It’s cool to get the attendees to vote, as they’re voting not just for what would be cool to see the contestants build…but also for what they would like to use themselves

Bruce Cullen, Director of Products, at Cookdown 

Challenge Allocations 

Dujon Walsham: Alert on unexpected shutdowns. 

Description: An MP that alerts on unexpected shutdowns (BSODs, user initiated, unexpected, etc) and captures BSOD hex code, crash dump location, and timestamp for troubleshooting 

This will be an interesting one as when there is a blue screen, there is also no monitoring


It’ll be fun to see if this can be extended to a series of unexpected shutdowns. It will be impressive if a contestant can take it to that level in 24 hours.


It’s a fun one, but also a horrible one.


Ronnie Johansson: Open Windows firewall port on-demand until traffic ceases. 

Description: Open up the Windows firewall on a specific port when a connection matching a specific pattern from the firewall log is blocked until traffic has ceased. After 2 mins of inactivity the port should be closed again. 

This is not one we see often so I’m really interested to see what is made


Anders Öberg: Create registry keys  containing data from centrally stored CSV on servers.

Description: Create registry keys  containing data from centrally stored CSV on servers, also store the info from the CSV into SCOMs object model in an extended class. This can be used for Server ownership information. 

I can see wider usage of this, and I already have a pretty nice idea of what to make.


It will be most useful to the community if we give this to Anders.


Nathan Foreman: API query management pack. 

Description: Setup a generic class hierarchy against which the monitoring data can be stored, use an agent watcher to invoke the API web requests. 

This is usually looked at as simple, but the value to the business is very high. I’d like to bring it into the console authoring pane, where you can select ‘New API template’ and paste your query, set alert, and you’re done


Nice! Adding UI to the SCOM console.


Kevin Holman: Put servers behind gateway in and out of maintenance mode. 

Description: Put servers behind gateway into maintenance mode when the gateway goes down and take out of maintenance mode when the gateway becomes available again. 

I’ve seen some things surrounding this conceptually, but it has yet to be delivered over the years. I don’t think this can be perfected in 24h but I can take a strong stab at it. I see a widespread use of it on a generic level.


There is a need for this and it’s been highly requested. Kevin is perfect for this.


A Management Pack is too easy, so we’ll let Kevin do this ‘Maintenance Mode thingy


Day 2: What to expect 

Excited to see what the contestants come up with? Join us tomorrow at 3pm!  

Expect to see each contestant showcase what they’ve built, as well as watch some behind-the-scenes interview footage on the building process. The judges will assess each product, share their thoughts, and pick a winner. 

Charity donation 

The event’s sponsors SquaredUp, Cookdown, and Silect will be donating $2 per attendee/day to the winner’s chosen charity. The contestants’ charity shortlist is below. All the more reason to come tomorrow! 

And that’s all we had for Day 1. 

To all 5 contestants – break a leg! Although as Michael rightly pointed out at the event today: 

Catch you tomorrow SCOM community 😃