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Posts Tagged ‘CEP’

ConfigMgr 2012 CEP – PCM & P2V Toolkit Session Key TakeAways

December 15, 2011 Leave a comment

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:

  • Automatic
    • Package contains only 1 MSI
    • No unconverted dependencies exist
    • Content is accessible
  • Manual
    • Must have content
    • Is a software distribution package
    • Contains at least one program

Following up:

  • 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

Toolkit options:

  • 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.

ConfigMgr 2012 CEP – SDK Session Key Takeaways

August 15, 2011 Leave a comment

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.

 

Planning

 

  • 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)
  • RBAC
  • Data Warehouse
  • Mobile Device Management
  • Alerts and Monitoring
  • OSD
  • Software Update Management
  • Client Health

 

Powershell Support

 

  • 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

 

ConfigMgr 2012 CEP – Hierarchy Overview Key Takeaways

May 27, 2011 Leave a comment

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:

 

Infrastructure Promises

 

  • 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

 

Hierarchy Simplification

 

  • 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

 

Distribution Points

 

  • 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

 

Content Prestaging

 

  • 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
    • Compression
    • 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)
  • Boundaries
    • 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

 

SQL Server

 

  • One site per SQL instance
  • All database communication is encrypted
  • TCP/IP port for service broker

 

Client Settings

 

  • 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

 

Collection limiting

 

  • 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

 

ConfigMgr 2012 CEP – Migration Session Key Takeaways

February 25, 2011 Leave a comment

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:

  • Collections
  • Advertisements
  • Boundaries
  • 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

ConfigMgr 2012 CEP – Mobile Device Mgmt Session Key Takeaways

February 21, 2011 Leave a comment

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

    Exchange connector

  • 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 …)

Management

  • Overview:

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Device Enrollment

  • 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)

ConfigMgr 2012 CEP – SUM Session Key Takeaways

February 5, 2011 Leave a comment

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.

Configuration

  • 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)
  • RBA
    • 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
  • Deployment
    • 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

     

    Maintenance

    • 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
    • Reporting
      • Extensive out-of-the-box reporting features
    • Content Library
      • Updates are stored in the content library
      • Maintenance tasks to delete expired updates and content
    • Troubleshooting
      • 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:

    • 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

ConfigMgr 2012 CEP – Settings Mgmt Session Key Takeaways

January 20, 2011 Leave a comment

With some delay I finally managed to wrap up my notes from the last ConfigMgr 2012 CEP session. Topic for Theme 7 is Compliance and Settings Management, formerly known as Desired Configuration Management (or DCM) in Configuration Manager 2007.

The session is presented by Onur Koc, Senior Program Manager at Microsoft. Next to Compliance and Settings Management he is also responsible for the Power Management features in Configuration Manager 2012.

Vision:

  • Provide a unified platform for customers and partners to define, monitor, enforce and report configuration compliance in the enterprise for users accross all supported ConfigMgr devices.

Key TakeAways:

Simplified Administration Experience

  • Role Based Access Control (RBAC): builtin role for Compliance Settings Management
  • CI Creation by browsing a master (or gold) system
  • Baseline creation is simplified

Baseline Deployment

  • Terminology change: "Assignment" as known in ConfigMgr 2007 is no longer used.
  • This is consistent throughout other ConfigMgr features.

User & Device targetting

  • Compliance SLA’s and Alerting
  • Per user evaluation and remediation

Monitoring Compliance status

  • From within the SCCM console
  • Report on remediation, conflict and errors

Monitoring vs Remediation

  • Automated Remediation for registry, WMI and script based settings
  • Remediation reporting to identify what settings were reconfigured

CI Revisioning and Audit tracking

  • CI Versioning capabilities
  • Audit changes (eg who modified what and when)

Support for mobile phones

  • Support for WM 6.1 and WP 6.5.x
  • Windows Phone 7 not supported

Migration from SCCM 2007

  • Investments on v4 config packs will be maintained
  • Import CI’s and Baselines into ConfigMgr 2012
  • Migration tool will automatically convert v4 schemas to v5

Noteworthy items from the Q&A:

  • Monitoring compliance status will also be possible using a new Management Pack for System Center Operations manager.
  • Configuration Manager 2012 Beta 2 release still on schedule for H1 release. Quality driven so if needed some slip will be allowed.