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Microsoft MVP 2014 Award

6:35 pm in Uncategorized by timdk

On October first I was awarded with the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) award.

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Now would be the perfect time to take the opportunity and thank all those who have supported, encouraged and helped me in the past few years. Without that support I would not be where I am today.

To my community peers: it is a pleasure and an honor to be able to spend time with all of you! Thanks for all the technical talks and knowledge shared, but also for all the fun and good times!

Also a big thanks to those who have attended my sessions, follow my blog, reach out on social media, etc. … this makes all the time and effort spent more than worthwhile!

Getting up to this point has been quite a journey – and for sure there is much more to come!

Cu Around!

Tim

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Implementing Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Cumulative Update 2

5:37 pm in Uncategorized by timdk

This blog post outlines the installation of Cumulative Update 2 for Configuration Manager 2012 R2 in our lab. Details about this update are documented in KB2970177. Note that this CU introduces some changes to Windows PowerShell which are documented in a separate KB article KB2962855. Additionally CU2 also adds support for Ubuntu v14.04 – details about this update for the Linux/Unix Client are documented in a third article KB2976481.

Note that this update is applicable for Configuration Manager R2 only, if you are currently still running Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 please refer to my previous blog post on implementing Cumulative Update 4 for ConfigMgr SP1.

Before we begin we need to get the sources for the CU here.

The CU is applicable directly to the following components:

    • CAS
    • Primary Sites (standalone or in a hierarchy)
    • Secondary Sites
    • SMS Provider(s)
    • Console(s)

    Additionally it contains updates for the following components:

    • CAS
    • Primary Sites
    • Secondary Sites
    • SMS Provider(s)
    • Consoles
    • Clients

    The lab we are upgrading does not contain all the components listed above, a CAS and Secondary Site(s) are not present.

        Primary Site

      Cumulative Updates for Configuration Manager are implemented top-down so we start with the site server of the standalone primary site. Before running the installer with elevated privileges ensure there are no more console connections.

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        The installation is started.

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        Click Next on the welcome screen.

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      Accept the license terms and click Next.

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      Verify all prerequisite checks were passed and click Next.

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      Leave the option to update the (locally installed) console.

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      Leave the option to update the site database and click Next.

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      During the setup process we can opt to create packages to support updating other components in the infrastructure. Leave the options to have these packages created and click Next.

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      Leave the default settings for the servers package and click Next.

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      Leave the default settings for the console package and click Next.

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      Leave the default settings for both the x86 and x64 client package and click Next.

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      Review the setup summary and click Install when ready.

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      Installation progress is shown.

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      Click next when the installation is finished. In our small lab it took about 10 minutes.

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      Click Finish to close the installation wizard. As indicated we will need to do a reboot.

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      More details about the installation and what is happening under the hood can be found in the log file located in the %windir%\temp folder. The last lines of the log should also state successful installation and the reboot requirement.

      Once the system is back online there are a few ways to verify the CU2 installation. First method is to look for the following entries in Programs & Features > View Installed Updates.

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      In the registry we can also verify the CU level (in HKLM\Software\Microsoft\SMS\Setup)

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      And also in the properties through the Console:

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      During the setup we opted to have some packages created to support implementing CU2 on other components in our infrastructure. These packages should now be visible in the Software Library. Browse to packages and type R2 CU2 in the search box to quickly locate those packages.

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      Important: Do not forget to distribute the content of these packages to your Distribution Points!

      Important (2): Do not forget to update your boot images. This can be done by selecting a boot image, right-clicking it and then selecting the action to Update Distribution Points.

      Secondary Sites

      If there are any Secondary Sites in your environment the next step is to implement the CU on those sites. The server update package can be used to automate this. To target the site servers a collection can be built which is populated based on the following query:

        • select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name, SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,
          SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_G_System_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS_64 on SMS_G_System_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS_64.ResourceId = SMS_R_System.ResourceId where SMS_G_System_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS_64.DisplayName = "System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Secondary Site Setup"

        Consoles

        As part of the implementation process on the site server the locally installed console was updated. Any remaining remote consoles in the environment can be updated using the console upgrade package.

        To build a collection containing the machines with the console installed the following query could be used:

      • select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name, SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM. ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_G_System_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS on SMS_G_System_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS.ResourceId = SMS_R_System.ResourceId where SMS_G_System_ADD_REMOVE_PROGRAMS.DisplayName = "System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Console"

      Clients

      Also our clients within the environment need to be brought up to the level of the Cumulative Update. There are multiple approaches to accomplish this; one method could be to deploy the client update packages created automatically during the implementation process.

      As there is a package per processor architecture we will also create matching collections to target our deployments. This is an example query for a collection containing all 64-bit clients with a client version not equal to CU1:

      • select SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceID,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceType,SMS_R_SYSTEM.Name, SMS_R_SYSTEM.SMSUniqueIdentifier,SMS_R_SYSTEM.ResourceDomainORWorkgroup,
        SMS_R_SYSTEM.Client from SMS_R_System inner join SMS_G_System_SYSTEM on SMS_G_System_SYSTEM.ResourceID = SMS_R_System.ResourceId where SMS_R_System.ClientVersion != "5.00.7958.1303" and SMS_G_System_SYSTEM.SystemType = "X64-based PC"
        The query for the collection with 32-bit clients is identical; just replace “x64-based PC” with “x86-based PC”.

      A client with CU2 installed will display the following version in its properties:

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      Also the component version numbers are updated, looks like the same components were in scope as with CU1 a few months ago.

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      That’s it for now in our lab.

      Good luck with your CU2 implementation!

      Tim

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      Cumulative Update 1 for System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager released!

      5:42 pm in Uncategorized by timdk

      Microsoft has released Cumulative Update 1 for System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager. This update contains all previously released updates and hotfixes for Configuration Manager R2.

      Full details and download information can be found here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2938441/en-us 

      Note that next to fixing issues, the CU also introduces some changes for Windows Powershell. These changes are documented in a separate KB: 2932274

      I will be test driving this CU in my lab shortly so stay tuned for more information.

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      My new address …

      5:36 pm in Uncategorized by

      Welcome!

      A few weeks back the virtual boxes with the content of my existing blog at www.dekeukelaere.com arrived here already. As they have all been unpacked it is about time that I start working on a first post to introduce myself and to outline what you may expect to find here in the future.

      On to the first part: who am I?

      I am a freelance infrastructure consultant with over a decade of experience in the world of systems management. During those years I have had the opportunity to work mainly in large enterprise environments, and occasionally in the world of SMB’s. I have been contracted mainly for designing and implementing systems management and monitoring products and processes. In the past 4 years I have worked almost exclusively with Microsoft System Center products. I am excited to be part of the Belgian SCUG, and as such I am ready to share my own experiences and also to learn from fellow System Center enthusiasts.

      Secondly: what to expect?

      Similar to my previous blog, this will be the place where I will be sharing thoughts, knowledge, and notes from the field related to the System Center product stack. My main focus has been and will remain on System Center Configuration Manager and Operations Manager, but as things evolve I expect to also getting more involved in other products from the stack. After all … This is only the beginning and there is a lot out there in the world of System Center to further explore!

      So far for the short introduction. In case of additional questions or feedback, feel free to shoot them at me.