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ConfigMgr on xendesktop with the usage of provisioning server : Unique GUID issue and the smscfg.ini

8:25 am in citrix, ConfigMgr, ConfigMgr 2007, ConfigMgr 2007 R2, ConfigMgr 2012, ConfigMgr SP2, ConfigMgr V.next, configmgr2007, ConfigMgr2007 R3, Deployment, PVS, R3, sccm, SCCM 2007, SCCM 2007 R2, SCCM 2007 R3, SCCM 2007 SP2, SCCM 2012, SCCM v.Next, sccm2007, Xenapp, Xendestop by Kenny Buntinx [MVP]

Have you ever tried to manage your XENDesktop or PVS target devices using Configuration Manager in combination with an App-V integrated scenario ? I have a few customers that started to use Citrix Provisioning services and where faced with some issues when they wanted to pre-cache there App-V packages with Configmgr 2007 SP2 R3 . In some ways, managing the devices using SCCM is irrelevant due to the nature of how PVS works, but I’ve run into a few companies that insist on using SCCM for inventory management  ,  License reporting and virtual application targeting. The ConfigMgr client, is not designed to work well in a streamed OS environment. 

Citrix Provisioning Services allows for multiple servers to stream their boot disk from the same master image (vDisk). During the boot process, PVS will make sure each server has a unique SID and dynamically apply the computername together with some other tasks to make those systems unique.

If you tried installing the SCCM client on a PVS image, you will notice that SCCM shows new machines with the same name every time a PVS target device reboots in standard mode. This is because the SCCM client changes the GUID when an image is pushed to new hardware. ConfigMgr  uses the GUID to keep track inside his database.

ConfigMgr uses an ID that is generated on the Client to identify a machine inside the ConfigMgr hierarchy. This ID, also known as SMS GUID is generated during ConfigMgr Client installation.
An Algorithm, which combines the Timestamp (Time of ConfigMgr Client Installation) and the Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) is used to generate a unique Identifier.
A Client generates a new SMS GUID if the following things change

  • the SMBIOS serial number
  • the Machine SID
  • the Hardware ID (see appendix)

Appendix
Criteria for Hardware ID monitoring:

  • FirstDriveSerial
  • MACAddress
  • CDROMDevice
  • DisplayAdapter
  • HwidVersion
  • ProcessorSerial
  • DiskDevice
  • SCSIAdapter
  • DiskAdapter
  • ProcessorType
  • RAMSizeMb
  • Dockable

 

This GUID is stored in the c:\windows\SMSCFG.ini file. You can read this value out by a vbscript

The problem we see is in a Citrix Provisioned desktop, this file comes up with a duplicate GUID each time. This causes the SCCM client t re-generate the GUID and create a new file on every boot.
You can find this information here http://support.microsoft.com/kb/837374

The Fix ( I got this content and script from Rick Rohne – citrix guru )

In order to persist the computers GUID, you must be using “cache to targets hard drive” when you place your systems in standard mode. We will use the hard drive to save the SCCMCFG.ini file after each reboot.
This also means that "cache to RAM" or "cache to Server" will not be sufficient because the cache will be purged on every reboot.

Step 1 :

To resolve this, first, you have to run a script when switching from private mode to standard mode. This is done by the XENDesktop Admin after he modifies the default image…

This script stops the SCCM service and deletes the c:\windows\SCCMCFG.ini file.

‘————————— SCCM Cleanup.vbs————————————–
‘Stop SCCM client strServiceName = "CCMExec"
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\.\root\cimv2")
Set colListOfServices = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from Win32_Service Where Name =’" & strServiceName & "’")
For Each objService in colListOfServices objService.StopService() Next ‘ Cleanup SCCM Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject") Set aFile = fso.GetFile("c:\windows\SMSCFG.ini") aFile.Delete
—————————————————————————————-

Step 2 :

Now, you have to run a shutdown script and startup script that basically places the ‘c:\windows\SCCMCFG.ini’ file on the Cache drive on shut down. When the computer boots up, it will check to see if the file exists on the cache drive.

If it does not, the SCCM client will register itself to the SCCM server and create a new c:\windows\SCCMCFG.ini file. Upon shutdown, the c:\windows\SCCMCFG.ini file is copied to the cache drive.

This is a simple batch file script that can be loaded into active directory as a computer startup script for the OU where XENDesktop computers reside.

Startup Script

IF EXIST G:\SMSCFG.ini COPY G:\SMSCFG.ini C:\Windows\SMSCFG.ini /y > c:\smserror.txt

Shutdown Script

COPY c:\windows\SMSCFG.ini G:\SMSCFG.ini /y > g:\smserror.txt

Conclusion :

PVS images that are managed by SCCM will show up as unique entries in the SCCM database. This will at least make sure that systems will keep their own SCCM computer record and not generate a new one on every boot, but still it requires management overhead as there is no way to tell that those systems will get the same SCCM configuration / advertisements if something will go wrong in the middle of this process !

Therefore I expect since Citrix and Microsoft SCCM are allianced together in the V-Alliance , we would also like to see that the integration between ConfigMgr 2010 and Citrix Provisioning services  and that there will be "PVS-Awareness" in Configmgr 2012.

 

Hope it Helps ,

Kenny Buntinx

ConfigMgr v.Next = ConfigMgr 2012

12:33 pm in ConfigMgr 2012, ConfigMgr V.next, SCCM 2012, SCCM v.Next by Kenny Buntinx [MVP]

A bit late maybe , but as expected, the name for the next release of ConfigMgr, will be System Center Configuration Manager 2012.

This was announced during TechEd Europe @ Berlin. The product is currently in Beta 1. Beta 2 is expected be released around H1 2011.

 

Hope it Helps ,

Kenny Buntinx

SCCM V.next Beta 1 : Released !!!

3:40 pm in ConfigMgr, ConfigMgr V.next, SCCM v.Next, V.next by Kenny Buntinx [MVP]

Today I am very excited to announce the release of Beta 1 for System Center Configuration Manager v.Next.

System Center Configuration Manager v.Next is uniquely positioned to provide for powerful and flexible user-centric client management, allowing users to be able to seamlessly access their data from virtually anywhere, across multiple device types while providing IT with unified management tools and centralized control.

This next release of Configuration Manager is focused on 3 main pillars:

User centric application management  – Empowering Administrators to define intent, and end users flexible access to the right application at the right time

  • Allow the administrator to think users first
  • Application management model to capture admin intent
  • End user self-service software portal

Infrastructure simplification – Simplify management infrastructure, processes and administrative overhead

  • Unified management across PCs and devices
  • New role based administration and end-user experiences
  • Automated content distribution and troubleshooting
  • Redesigned core infrastructure and improved scalability

Simplify Client Management – Daily tasks, model based configuration management and improvements over existing capabilities

  • Automated compliance remediation
  • Client health and auto remediation
  • Remote control enhancements
  • Offline servicing of OS images

Read it further at Jeff’s Wettlaufers Blog post : http://blogs.technet.com/b/systemcenter/archive/2010/05/24/the-next-generation-of-client-management.aspx

You will see me blogging more and more on V.next when doing my Beta 1 test routines , so stay tuned …

 

Hope it Helps ,

Kenny Buntinx

SCCM : State of the union @ MMS-2010

5:15 am in ConfigMgr, ConfigMgr 2007, ConfigMgr 2007 R2, ConfigMgr SP2, configmgr2007, mms, MMS2010, sccm, SCCM 2007, SCCM 2007 R2, SCCM 2007 SP2, SCCM v.Next, sccm2007 by Kenny Buntinx [MVP]

Let me start by saying that it has been a great State of the union , and for those of you that didn’t make it this year, that they are working in the Systems Center Configuration Manager Space. Make sure you are here next year, because you are missing out on a lot of great stuff with Josh Pointer & Bill Anderson.

IMG_0052

I was really surprised when they showed this slide . They even called me on stage ! I was really touched …( read the real story at http://scug.be/blogs/sccm/archive/2010/04/19/mms-2010-the-road-trip-continued-we-have-made-it-but.aspx )

image

 

But now , lets continue with the serious stuff . I will try to give you a good overview of what has been said during the “State of the Union” below. There was a lot of valuable info today.

What the ConfigMgr team did the previous 12 months for people who really didn’t know yet :

  • They released ConfigMgr 2007 SP2 ,
  • They released the ConfigMgr dashboards
  • They released the new Application Compatibillity Toolkit 5.5
  • They released a 64 bit management pack for SCOM
  • They released SCAP
  • The documentation team created some :

 

What the ConfigMgr team additionally learned :

  • 1/3 of the total ConfigMgr traffic on the Asset Intelligence service had an uptake in the last 3 months
  • With recent uptake on AI, the ConfigMgr team learned that there are new gaps in title and categorization that they need to invest into.

 

What the ConfigMgr team will do in the next 12 months :

For ConfigMgr 2007 :

  • The documentation team will :
  • Targeted for 2010 there will be releases for adobe patch management thru SCUP ( system center update publisher ).There is an agreed principle that Adobe will be ready at least before the end of this year for Adobe Reader and Acrobat products:

 

    • Supporting Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)
    • Leveraging Microsoft System Center Updates Publisher (SCUP)
    • Hosted as catalogs at Adobe for automatic download by SCUP
    • Products: Adobe Reader and Acrobat (Versions still being determined)
    • All updates – Quarterly and Out-of-Cycle Updates (New major versions under consideration)
    • Simultaneous with the rest of Adobe Reader and Acrobat deliverables

 

  • Shavlik has released a new plugin for SCUP called SCUPdates ( multivendor ) . (see www.shavlik.com) . Shavlik Data Team maintains updates for multiple vendor products such as Adobe, Apple, Citrix – in a single catalog file.
  • Config Mgr R3 : Yes , it still isn’t off the radar.

 

For ConfigMgr V.next :

Let me start by saying that SCCM v.Next is still minimum 1 year away, so I will start with the stuff that is more or less targeted for release dates (however it can always change). They said during the “State of the union” that the development cycles are longer then the ones for SMS 2.0

  • Beta 1 – May 2010
  • Beta 2 – Q1 CY 2011
  • RTM – H2 CY 2011

 

Here are some readiness tips for V.next :

  • System Requirements :
    • Site servers and site roles require 64-bit OS (distribution points are an exception)
    • Distribution points are an exception (32 bit is supported for standard DP’s)
    • SQL 2008 SP1 with CU6 (64 bit) needed
    • SQL reporting is the only reporting left (web based reporting is gone)
  • Hierarchy :
    • Flatten the Configmgr 2007 hierarchy
    • Start implementing branch cache
    • Start learning about SQL replication
    • Best practices – AD Sites for site boundaries, UNC paths for source content, Break up collections that contain both users and devices
  • The new ConfigMgr V.next App Model Helpers :
    • State based applications needs certain detection methods. Tip: Use App CI’s today for your applications to learn about this. SCUP is also a good tool for this
    • Rules vs Queries . Tip: Use DCM today to learn how to author settings and rules as experience will be the same.

 

What about the partnership with Citrix ?

Configmgr/Xenapp Relationship :

  • Long term collaboration on user centric architecture and experiences
  • Integration that drives core product designs of both ConfigMgr and XenApp
  • Logical next step in 20+ year MS/Citrix relationship

Xenapp Connector for Configmgr :

  • Offer a single, integrated view and management of all enterprise applications
  • Extend ConfigMgr applications to a broader set of users, devices and access scenarios
  • Advanced automation with ConfigMgr delivers applications and updates to XenApp servers without impacting users
  • Citrix Dazzle enables self service access to XenApp delivered applications from any device
  • Available in June 2010 ( could still change )

Configmgr V.next & Xenapp V.next :

  • Citrix XenApp & ConfigMgr V.next will align on user centric computing vision
  • Citrix will build upon ConfigMgr V.Next as a best practice for enterprise application management
  • Citrix will continue to integrate XenApp application delivery into future versions of ConfigMgr v.next

We will talk soon about it when we have our “Best of MMS” session in Belgium, Make sure that you register on the following link ; http://technet.microsoft.com/nl-be/ff628215.aspx

 

Hope it helped ,

Kenny Buntinx

Attend this SCCM Event with Wally Mead and 3 Belgian System Center MVP’s

1:05 pm in ConfigMgr, ConfigMgr 2007, ConfigMgr 2007 R2, ConfigMgr SP2, events, SCCM v.Next, Wally Mead by Kenny Buntinx [MVP]

 Attend this SCCM Event with Wally Mead and 3 Belgian System Center MVP’s

More information can be found here http://scug.be/content/Events.aspx 

Agenda

·         15u30 Registration

·         16u Opening Keynote by Kenny Buntinx & Alexandre Verkinderen

·         16u15 Wmi & SCCM autodoc by Kim Oppalfens

·         17u15 Break and Drink

·         17u30 Demonstrations of ConfigMgr 2007 R2 addons by Wally Mead 

·         19u30 one hour lunch

·         20u30 Config Manager vNext overview by Wally Mead

·         21u30 Q&A and Drink

by

SCUG.BE interviewed THE Jeff Wettlaufer at Techdays 2009 in Antwerp

9:11 pm in chopsticks, ConfigMgr, ConfigMgr 2007, ConfigMgr 2007 R2, Interview, Jeff Wettlaufer, SCCM 2007, SCCM 2007 R2, SCCM v.Next, techdays by

SCUG.BE interviewed the Jeff Wettlaufer (Sr. Technical Product Manager, System Center) at Techdays 2009 in Antwerp!

 

 

[evid:technet:1186]

 

Have Fun,

The SCUG.BE Team

 

SCCM v.Next details from MMS

6:25 pm in ConfigMgr, sccm, SCCM v.Next by Kenny Buntinx [MVP]

 

Hi All,

MMS 2009 is coming to an end and I finally found some time to start sharing some of the info I received earlier this week on ConfigMgr v.Next, the next version of SCCM due out somewhere in 2011.

Let me start by saying that it has been a great conference, and for those of you that didn’t make it this year, and that are working in the systems management space, make sure you are here next year, because you are missing out on a lot of great stuff.

<Rant>

Belgium was incredibly under-present at this conference; there were only 7 Belgian people here from 5 different companies. 2 Independents (Me & Kurt Van hoecke), 3 from Belgacom, David Vanderkelen from Telindus and Kenny from ComputaCenter. I guess it shows who is willing to invest in systems management knowledge.

</Rant>

Let me start by saying that SCCM v.Next is still 2 years away, so a lot of these things could still change quite a bit. I will start with the stuff that is more or less set in stone.

  • SCCM v.Next will be a 64bit only application just like Exchange 2007 is.
  • SCCM v.Next will require SQL Server 2008
  • SCCM v.Next will allow you to move deployments to User centric as opposed to device centric as we have done in the past. (More on that in an upcoming post)
  • The MMC 3.0 console will be replaced by a new “wunderbar”-based console to be inline with OpsMgr, VmMgr

     

Now for the stuff that is not 100% confirmed yet:

  • The security model will be replaced by a Role based access control mechanism with Security roles and security scopes (more food for a new post)
  • Software updates will support auto-accept rules to automatically start deploying specific update types (security updates) for specific products (Windows Vista)
  • Setup will require you to pass the quizzes from the documentation team before allowing you to continue
  • Remote control will bring back the option to press Ctrl+Alt+Del
  • You will be able to send Advertisement status messages to twitter or Microsoft Vine
  • Distribution points will support sender like scheduling and throttling
  • Distribution point groups will now be dynamic, so if you add a package to a distribution point group, and then add a DP to that group later on, that DP will now receive that package.

As stated in the header some of these unconfirmed ones, might NOT make it into the final product. J

Enjoy.

“Everyone is an expert at something”
Kim Oppalfens – Sms Expert for lack of any other expertise
Windows Server System MVP – SMS