Recursively Listing Security Group Members with PowerShell

It seems like a favorite request of auditors is one for lists of all members of a set of local or domain groups that are associated with a resource that is being audited, and these requests typically stipulate that all members of nested groups must be listed as well (i.e. full recursion).  I used to use a VBS script to perform this functionality, but I’ve recently rewritten it in PowerShell.  The script accepts a group name (either local or domain) as well as a recursion depth as command line arguments and outputs a list of all group members to a text file.

The method used to retrieve the group members is:

 $Group= [ADSI]“WinNT://$GroupName,group”
 $Members = @($Group.psbase.Invoke(“Members”))

With that, it’s just a matter of configuring a function that accepts a group name as an input parameter, outputs the members, and loops through the member groups until the defined recursion depth is reached.

The script can be downloaded here.  And the output looks like:

The script could be easily modified to accept a text file with a list of group or server names as in input, or modified to output the results in HTML instead of plain text.

Monitoring HP Hardware Status on VMWare ESX Servers

HP provides great SCOM management packs for monitoring of Proliant servers, but only Windows agents are supported by these management packs.  If you’re running ESX on Proliant servers, it takes a little bit more effort to implement monitoring of hardware status.  Fortunately, HP also offers their Management Agents for ESX.   Thus, all that is needed to monitor HP ESX server hardware are some custom monitors to poll the snmp data exposed by the management agent.   An overview of the process for this is as follows:

Installing the HP Management Agent for ESX

  1. Configure SNMP on the ESX servers and set options:
  2. Download the HP ESX agent (make sure your server model is supported by the agent) and copy the .tgz file to a temporary location on the ESX server
  3. Extract the file hpmgmt-8.x.x-vmware3x.tgz with a tar-zxvf command
  4. In the extracted directory, run the install script — later versions of the agent have a script which is to be manually run first, and requires a reboot. 
  5. Amongst other configuration prompts, you will be prompted to use an existing snmpd.conf, if you choose “no,” the install will create a new snmpd.conf that has to be configured with your snmp settings.
  6. If you use an existing snmpd.conf, you will have to add one line to it:  cd to /etc/snmp/ and edit snmpd.conf.  Add the following line:  dlmod cmaX /usr/lib/   – this extends the SNMP agent to include the HP objects as a module.
  7. Restart snmp with:  service snmpd restart


The HP agents implement the Compaq mibs under the OID   To test, you can use an SNMP browser to remotely connect and walk this OID, or from the ESX server, you can use an snmpwalk command:  snmpwalk –v 2c  -c <read-only community name>  localhost

Monitoring with SCOM

  1. Discover the ESX servers as Network Devices
  2. Create a group for HP ESX servers (optionally in a new management pack).  You can use dynamic inclusion logic by setting a filter on the Device Description (Contains vmnix)
  3. Create your SNMP monitors and rules, targeting the SNMP Network Device class.  Configure the monitors and rules to be disabled, and then use an override to enable them for the HP ESX server group
  4. Create any required views or console tasks

What to Monitor?

When HP purchased Compaq, they made a smart decision in utilizing the Compaq SNMP MIBs for all HP servers, as this is one of the better vendor SNMP implementations out there.   It has remained very consistent over the years and most importantly, it tends to implement a single status value for each group of subcomponents that are represented in SNMP tables, so you don’t have to walk the table to get the overall status.    Thus, instead of checking the status of each disk drive, which will vary in number (and identifier in the table), you can just poll the cpqDaMibCondition ( from the CPQIDA MIB to get the overall intelligent drive array health.  The agent’s System Management web console can be used for specifically drilling in to problems, so from a monitoring perspective, it is really only necessary to know when there is a problem, and what it’s general nature is.

These are the SNMP objects that I like to alert on for HP servers running UNIX:

Object Name OID
CPU Fans cpqHeThermalCpuFanStatus
Drive Array Health cpqDaMibCondition
Drive Array Controller (1) cpqDaCntlCondition
Power supplies cpqHEfltTolPwrSupply
System Fans cpqHeThermalSystemFanStatus
Temperature (Status) cpqHeThermalTempStatus
Thermal Conditions cpqHeThermalCondition
Integrated Management Log cpqHeEventLogCondition
Critical Errors cpqHeCritLogCondition
Correctable Memory Errors cpqHeCorrMemLogStatus

For reference on SNMP MIBS, ByteSphere provides a great Online MIB Database.  The primary Compaq MIBS to look for are: CPQHLTH, CPQIDA, CPSTSYS, CPQHOST,  CPQNIC, CPQTHRSH.


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