Posts Tagged ‘SCCM’

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 …)


  • Overview:


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)
Categories: Configuration Manager Tags: , , , ,

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.


  • Superseded Update support
    • Persist SCCM 2007 behavior and automatically expire superseded updates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



    • 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
Categories: Configuration Manager Tags: , , , ,

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.


  • 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.
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ConfigMgr 2012 CEP – OSD Session Key Takeaways

December 17, 2010 2 comments

Below are some key takeaways from the Configuration Manager 2012 CEP session on OSD, which took place on December 15th. Session speaker for this topic was John Vintzel, Senior Program Manager in the Configuration Manager team.

Offline servicing:

  • A feature allowing to update an OS stored in the Configuration Manager library, eliminating the need to redeploy and recapture it.
  • Beneficial for reducing deployment time and exposure to vulnerabilities during deployment
  • Allows for scheduled updating at any time
  • Based on the DISM tool (from the WAIK)
  • Works for Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 and later OS’s, for all CBS based updates

Media Updates:

  • Prestart command (used to be pre-execution hook) improvements
    • No more complex steps to add prestart command to media
    • Ability to include files and add media specific variables
    • Available with prestaged, bootable and standalone media
  • Automation improvements
    • Improvements to help with Zero Touch deployments. No more "click Next".
    • Unattended boot media mode, eliminating most forms of user intervention
    • Deployment selection from prestart command (scripts, custom HTA …)
  • Hierarchy-wide Media
    • Media no longer tied to a specific site
    • Media will dynamically find site and MP based on boundaries
    • Overrides and site specific media are also available

    USMT 4.0 Integration:

  • Easy and integrated way to use USMT 4.0 features with Configuration Manager

Application Integration:

  • New SWD features can also be used for OSD
  • Install application for Applications or install Packages for classic packages and programs
  • Real time requirement evaluation and honoring of dependencies
  • Applications do require installation mode for systems

User Device Affinity (UDA):

  • Define user and device relationship during rollout of the machine
  • Administrator defines the setting for UDA (do not allow, require approval or auto-approve)
  • Associated to certificate, which can be revoked at any time
  • Available to boot media, prestaged media and PXE

Apps and UDA new features allow different approach and specific usage scenarios:

  • Use applications for complex software installations
  • Use task sequence for the deployment of an OS

Centralized Management:

  • Improved experience for centralized administration
  • Components used for OSD can be managed from the CAS or primary site
  • Also Task Sequences are global data which can be deployed from the CAS or primary site
  • Computer Import and Association can occur from CAS or primary site
    (Association requires 2 systems from the same site)
  • OSD related roles like Distribution Point, PXE Service Point and State Migration point can only be installed at a site, as no client are managed directly from the CAS.
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Configuration Manager vNext is Configuration Manager 2012

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

At the TechEd Europe conference in Berlin the official name for Configuration Manager vNext was announced: as of now we can refer to it as Configuration Manager 2012! During a visit at the System Center booth I had to opportunity to talk to Mark Florida about the next version and walk through a pre beta 2 installation. Pretty cool features are on the horizon and I’m looking forward to test drive the next beta as soon as possible.

Looks like Configuration Manager is not the only product being stamped “2012”: during yesterdays (only) session on Operations Manager vNext there was also a reference to the name Operations Manager 2012. According to the roadmap information currently available both products are expected to RTM in 2011.

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