A few days ago Microsoft has released Cumulative Update 1 for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1. Next to fixing a series of issues this Cumulative Update also introduces some new Powershell functionality.
Full details and the download link are available here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2817245/en-us .
Last week Microsoft has released Cumulative Update 2 (CU2) for Configuration Manager (Article ID: 2780664).
The download link, and full details on the issues that were fixed are available here.
This release replaces the previously released Cumulative Update 1 with article ID 2717295. All the fixes in the update 2717295 are replaced by this update..
Until next time!
ConfigMgr 2012 Prereq Checker warning: Verify site server permissions to publish to Active Directory
During installation of Configuration Manager 2012 RC2 the prerequisite checker lists a warning for the prerequisite: Verify site server permissions to publish to Active Directory although the required permissions are in place.
As the environment might expand and more site servers could be implemented it was opted to grant the permissions using a domain local security group which has the site server computer account added as a member.
First check was to verify if the required permissions on the System Management container are implemented for the group. Additionally it was confirmed the site server computer object was added as a member. When running the prerequisite checker it still shows the warning even though permissions are in place.
In a second scenario permissions were implemented on the System Management container using the computer object instead of using groups. When re-running the prerequisite checker it did no longer show the warning and passed the check.
According to feedback received this is behaviour as expected.
This was logged earlier as a bug for the RC1 release of Configuration Manager 2012. The bug report mentioned this would be fixed as of build 7688. Apparently at that point the fix was to reword the explanation offered by the prerequisite checker as opposed to implementing a fix that would have to create a dummy object in AD to test actual permissions.
Bottom line: the warning message can safely be ignored as long as the permissions for the group containing the site server(s) are correctly implemented.
After being absent for a few of the previous CEP sessions I was happy to be able to attend the PCM and P2V Toolkit session yesterday. Below are some key takeaways from this session. This was the last session for this year, next one is scheduled for January 11th 2012.
Package Conversion Manager (PCM)
PCM is a feature pack for Configuration Manager 2012 which will allow you to prepare and move your packages towards the new app model.
A best practice approach to convert packages would be:
- Migrate Objects
- Create apps in a lab environment
- Test apps in a lab environment
- Export and import
The package migration options from 2007 to 2012 are:
- Do nothing and leave the package and program
- Convert Manually
- Convert using PCM
Selecting conversion candidates:
- Good : App-v, MSI and Executable files (user facing applications)
- Bad: System maintenance tools (defrag, etc …) and end of life applications
Understanding PCM manual vs automatic conversion rules:
- Package contains only 1 MSI
- No unconverted dependencies exist
- Content is accessible
- Must have content
- Is a software distribution package
- Contains at least one program
- Using the conversion dashboard
- Advanced troubleshooting: using the pcmtrace log in the %temp% folder
PCM is scheduled to be released at the same time as Configuration Manager 2012.
Configuration Manager P2V Migration Toolkit
A utility to help migration to Configuration Manager 2012 in specific scenarios, for example a remote site server migration where the goal is to re-use existing server hardware.
How can the P2V toolkit help:
- Eliminates the need of parallel physical servers at remote sites
- Repurpose existing site server into a virtual instance
- Hosting ConfigMgr 2007 AND ConfigMgr 2012 on the same physical machine using virtualization
- Simplifies and automates creation of a virtualization task sequence
- Simple and intuitive interface to create and deploy the task sequence
- All virtualization tasks sequence steps are built-in
- Limited input needed by remote site administrators
- Task Sequence with stand alone media (fully automates the end-to-end process)
- Bootable media only
Offcourse the hardware should meet the necessary prerequisites for virtualization and Hyper-V.
The P2V toolkit will ship at the same time of Configuration Manager 2012 RTM as a separate tool.
The release candicate is already available via Connect.
Recently I have ran into an issue at a customer site where software update lists did not properly replicate down to child primary sites. Some of the latest update lists were either incomplete or not visible at all. As a result the customer could not properly advertise the latest software updates.
Initial investigation of the problem shows that the objmgr.box\INCOMING\ and objmgr.box\INCOMING\Retry folders on the child sites contained a lot of unprocessed CID and SDM files. Looking further into the objreplmgr.log errors like to one below are logged:
Processing replication file C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Configuration Manager\inboxes\objmgr.box\INCOMING\Retry\S00_73333.SDM in retry.
Successfully processed Object ScopeId_43C9B1DB-9FC7-4363-8027-36D0C5C24148/AuthList_14C762F6-811D-473F-941F-58B126C93CEF.3
SDM Package ScopeId_43C9B1DB-9FC7-4363-8027-36D0C5C24148/AuthList_14C762F6-811D-473F-941F-58B126C93CEF.3 does not exist in the DB, will insert it with the IsDeleted Flag Set.
SQL MESSAGE: sp_SetupSDMPackage – SDMPackage refers another SDMPackage that is not available yet
sp_SetupSDMPackage returns an error 2
Referenced SDMPackages are not available yet: http://schemas.microsoft.com/systemsmanagementserver/Site_43C9B1DB-9FC7-4363-8027-36D0C5C24148/SUM_cee535ab-0ae5-44e7-8fdf-0f698b27e6f9/1(0);
Failed to Delete Object ScopeId_43C9B1DB-9FC7-4363-8027-36D0C5C24148/AuthList_14C762F6-811D-473F-941F-58B126C93CEF.3. Will add the Replication File C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Configuration Manager\inboxes\objmgr.box\INCOMING\Retry\S00_73333.SDM to the Replication File Retry Queue.
Similar errors exists when the site is processing .CID files.
Interdependencies exists between the different items used for software updates. If the referenced objects are not available the new file will not be correctly processed. It seems that for this particular child site a hickup occured in the replication and the information on the child site is incomplete.
To resolve the issue I ran through the following steps:
1. Stop the SMSEXEC and SMS COMPONENT MANAGER services. This will bring all activity on the site to a standstill.
2. Rename the INCOMING folder to INCOMING_old and recreate an new empty folder structure (so INCOMING and all retry/bad subfolders).
This way we can monitor which files are replicating down and if they are properly being processed, and also see what is being moved into the retry and bad folders.
3. Run the following query on the child site database: Delete from CI_ConfigurationItems Where CIType_ID in (1, 6, 8);
Note that the ID’s may be different for each site. Run the query Select * from CI_Types to get the proper list.
We need to delete the following types: SoftwareUpdate, SoftwareUpdateBundle and AuthorizationList
4. Then run this query: Update CI_SDMPackages set IsDeleted = 1 where SourceSite = ‘XXX’;
Make sure to replace the XXX with the site code of the central site in the hierarchy.
5. And execute the following: Exec sp_DeleteOldSDMPackageData 0;
6. As a final step force a full replication by dropping a XXX.SHA file in the objmgr.box folder on the central site
Here XXX is to be replaced with the site code of the child site.
7. Restart the services stopped in the first step to bring the site back in operational mode.
Shortly after these steps you should see files appearing in the objmgr.box\INCOMING\ folder on the child site again. You can also see if they are being processed in the objreplmgr.log file. Do not be alarmed if initially some files are put in the retry folder again. They will eventually be processed when all dependencies are in place. A full replication can be time consuming: in my case it took over 12 hours for the procedure to complete. Eventually the end result was that the Update Lists showed up completely again.
Note: the above procedure includes making direct changes to the backend database. If you have a support contract I would highly recommend to involve a Microsoft Support representative to ensure you infrastructure remains supported.
Some key takeaways from the CMCep session held on the 10th of August. Topic for this session was the ConfigMgr 2012 SDK, presented by Heena Macwan and Martin Dey.
- After MMS: SDK Beta program started. On invite only.
- ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2 RTM time: SDK Beta available on Connect). Initial draft SDK, including:
- Coverage for the new AppModel classes and members
- Draft porting guide
- ConfigMgr 2012 RTM time: SDK Update, including:
- Details of all modified classes and members to help port existing solutions
- ConfigMgr 2012 RTM + 6 Months: SDK RTM
- Details on all new members and classes
- Samples and how-to’s
SDK Extension Areas
- Admin console
- Add right-click options, forms, wizards, nodes and views
- Insert tabs into existing forms
- SMS Provider
- Enabling automation of any UI activity
- Actions achieved through WMI classes, properties and methods
- MP interface
- Allows unsupported clients to be managed through proxy (MP Proxy)
- Provide extra support for windows clients
- Client interfaces
- Exposes interfaces to control panel applet
- Ability to enact custom policies at the client
- Note: client inventory customization no longer required
Porting from 2007 to 2012
- Some areas will require changes to port to 2012
- Guidelines will be made available.
New Extensibility Areas in 2012
- Application model
- Settings Management (formerly DCM)
- Data Warehouse
- Mobile Device Management
- Alerts and Monitoring
- Software Update Management
- Client Health
- Phase 1 available at ConfigMgr 2012 RTM : Drive Namespace context and support for get-item access by Object Type
- Phase 2 at 2 2012 : cmdlets covering key CM WMI namespace objects
In March round 2 of the Configuration Manager 2012 Community Evaluation Program was kicked off. It was announced that during this round the topics of the earlier round would be recycled but based on the Beta 2 release of ConfigMgr 2012. I intend to also participate in this round and share key takeaways for each of the CEP sessions.
Two days ago the session on ConfigMgr Hierarchy was scheduled. Presenter for this session was D.C. Tardy, senior Program Manager. Below you can find some key takeways:
- Modernized Architecture
- Minimizing infrastructure requirements for remote locations
- Consolidating infrastructure for primary sites
- Improvements related to scalability and data latency
- Being Trustworthy
- Interactions with SQL DBA are consistent with ConfigMgr 2007
- ConfigMgr Admin can monitor and troubleshoot replication approach independently
- Clients are managed through primary sites, not the CAS
- CAS is needed when:
- There is more then one primary site in a hierarchy
- There is a requirement to offload reporting and administration from the primary site
- Add primary sites for:
- Scaling (100.000+ clients)
- Reduce impact of site failure
- Local point of connectivity for administration
- Political reasons
- Content Regulation
- Use secondary sites for:
- Managing upward going WAN traffic
- Tiered content rooting for deep topologies
- Location without local administrators
- Add local DP’s for:
- Situations where BITS is not sufficient for controlling WAN traffic
- OSD Multicasting
- App-V Streaming
- New for DP’s:
- One DP type
- Can be hosted on client and server OS’s
- Throttling and scheduling features
- PXE / Multicast capabilities
- Drive specification for content storage
- Requires IIS feature
- New functionality in ConfigMgr 2012
- One feature that can preload on site server or DP
- Supports all package types
- Content library and package share
- Registers package availability with the site server
- Conflict detection to ensure latest package versions are used
Forest Discovery & Boundaries
- Forest Discovery
- Discovery at the site server forest level and any trusted forests
- Ability to manually add forests that are not trusted (eg DMZ scenarios)
- Returns the domains, sites and IP Subnets
- Supports the creation of boundaries (can be automated)
- Same types are in ConfigMgr 2007
- Simplified management
- Automatic creation as part of forest discovery
- Split between client assignment and content lookuo
- Boundary groups for organizing boundaries in logical containers
- Boundary groups are the primary object for client assignment and content lookup – not the boundaries!
- Auto-create boundary groups when migrating from ConfigMgr 2007
- One site per SQL instance
- All database communication is encrypted
- TCP/IP port for service broker
- Approach change
- Essential to stop use primary sites for different client settings
- Default client settings for the entiry hierarchy and custom settings assigned to collections
- Custom settings overrule default settings. Priority based.
Role Based Administration
- Remove clutter: goal is to only display what is relevant to the current user
- Security roles determine what objects a user can see and what he can do with them
- Security scope: what instances can I see and interact with
- Collections: which resource can I interact with
- Assigning a collection to an administrator automatically assigns all limited collections
- Product ships with only 2 read only root collections
- Every collection is limited by another
- All Systems
- All Users & User Groups
Some key takeaways from the CEP session on migrating from Configuration Manager 2007 to Configuration Manager 2012. Session hosted by Eric Orman and Jeroen van Eesteren, both from Microsoft.
How migrations were commonly handled in ConfigMgr 2007:
- Clients were reassigned and updated
- Objects were migrated using scripts and custom tools
- Infrastructure was implemented side by side
- Inventory data was either regenerated or preserved
What ConfigMgr 2012 will offer in regards of migration:
- Assistance for migrating objects and clients
- Minimizing WAN impact
- Flattening the ConfigMgr hierarchy
- Maximizing the re-usability of x64 hardware
Migration functionality will come out-of-the-box with ConfigMgr 2012:
- Automated object migration (collections, packages, boundaries, metering rules, etc …)
- DP sharing: fallback to ConfigMgr 2007 DP for obtaining migrated content
- Content prestaging (similar functionality as the PkgPreLoadOnSite utility)
- Distribution point upgrade to reduce requirement to redistribute content
High-level migration steps:
- Enable migration by specifying a ConfigMgr 2007 source central site
- Enable DP Sharing
- Define migration jobs
- Upgrade and re-assign clients to a ConfigMgr 2012 site
- Distribute or leverage DP sharing for deployment of migrated objects to new 2012 clients
- After client migration start distributing content to ConfigMgr 2012 DP
- Decommission ConfigMgr 2007 Infrastructure
Objects supported for migration:
- Software Packages and Virtual App packages
- Software update objects: deployments, deployment packages, templates and update lists
- OSD objects: boot images, driver packages, drivers, images, packages and task sequences
- DCM / Settings Management elements: Baselines and CI’s
- Asset Intelligence customizations
- Software Metering Rules
How to prepare your environment for migration:
- Get to the ConfigMgr 2007 SP2 level as a minimum
- Collections best practices:
- Avoid using mixed collections containing users and devices
- Avoid collections using multiple query rules which limit to different collections
- Use UNC paths for defining package sources. Avoid using local paths.
- Site codes must remain unique between ConfigMgr 2007 and ConfigMgr 2012 sites
Just a few days ahead of the next Configuration Manager CEP session I’m publishing my notes from the previous session on Mobile Device Management. Session presented by Hassen Karaa, Program Manager at Microsoft.
Microsoft Mobile Device Mgmt summary
- Formerly accomplished using Configuration Manager 2007 R3 and Mobile Device Manager 2008 SP1
- Functionality now unified in Configuration Manager 2012
- ConfigMgr will become the "single pane of glass" for managing servers, desktops and mobile devices.
- Using Exchange connector
- Depth Management of WinCE 6.0 Windows Mobile 6.x, WP 6.5 and Nokia Symbian based devices
- Secure enrollment
- Monitoring and remediation on device compliance
- Deployment of applications and configuration policies
- Provides the single pane of glass for all assets in the enterprise
- Transfers management aspect of mobile devices from the Exchange admin to Configuration Manager
- Supports Exchange 2010 (and hosted Exchange)
- Supports all EAS capable devices (WP7, iOS, Symbian, Android, Palm, Etc …)
- Secure over-the-air enrollment to simplify the end-user experience
- Establishes mutual trust between the device and the management server
Remote Device Wipe
- Administrator can wipe devices from the console
- Users can wipe devices from the application catalog
New features for Software Distribution:
- Application model
- Incorporates all supported Software types (MSI, Script, Etc …)
- Dependency handling improvements
- Requirement rules for installation
- Application supersedence and uninstall
- UDA (User Device Affinity)
- Unified monitoring experience
- Content Management (DP Groups and content library)
My notes from the CMCep Theme 8 session on Software Update Management (SUM).
Session from January 26th, hosted by Jason Githens. Jason is a Senior Program Manager at Microsoft and will also be presenting at the upcoming MMS 2011 event.
- Superseded Update support
- Persist SCCM 2007 behavior and automatically expire superseded updates
- Or Configure SCCM 2012 not to automatically expire them
- Supersedence expiration setting can go up to 99 months (3 is common at most customers)
- Specific roles and scopes for Software Update Management
- Agent Settings
- Client agent settings per collection (eg. Workstations vs Servers scenarios)
- Ability to define collections to which software updates do not get applied
- Migration support (SCCM 2007)
- Migrate templates and searches built in SCCM 2007
- Preserve existing Update Lists or Deployments
- Important: SUP configuration for products & classifications must be idential on SCCM 2007 and SCCM 2012
- Update groups
- Terminology changes: update lists are now update groups
- New updates added to an existing update group are automatically deployed
- Groups can be used for compliance only and/or for actual deployment
- Important: 500 items per update group remains limit also in SCCM 2012 (to ensure it is deployable)
- Automated deployments
- Automatic approval of selected updates
- Scheduled or manual run
- Objects created by rules are interactive (enable/disable, add/remove updates, etc …)
- End-User Experience
- New software center UI
- Control: install/schedule updates, usage of non-business hours
- In Console monitoring & alerts
- Console key compliance and deployment views
- Detailed state of all deployments and assets
- Software Update synchronization monitoring
- Alerts generation for key issues
- Extensive out-of-the-box reporting features
- Content Library
- Updates are stored in the content library
- Maintenance tasks to delete expired updates and content
- Key logfiles (similar to SCCM 2007): Wsyncmgr.log, objreplmgr.log
- New in 2012: RuleEngine.log, for tracking actions related to auto deployment rules
And some additional items from the Q&A session afterwards:
- Update groups
- Q: will there be a feature to support populating deployment groups based on external sources (xls, csv …)
A: no this will not be available
- Q: will the Office Reporting components be required to view statistical information
A: no, this is built-in in the SCCM 2012 console