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ConfigMgr Cmdlet Library v5.0.8328.1155 released

2:05 pm in Configuration Manager by timdk

metro-powershell-logoA quick blog post to inform you that Microsoft yesterday released version 5.0.8328.1155 of the System Center Configuration Manager Cmdlet Library.

This version includes support for Configuration Manager 1511.

Full list of versions of Configuration Manager supported in this release:

    • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2
    • System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager
    • System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1
    • System Center Configuration Manager (current branch version 1511)

    Full details and download link can be found here.

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Configuration Manager 1511 Updates and Servicing : a closer look at the updating experience

8:00 am in Configuration Manager by timdk

Earlier this week Microsoft has released update 1512 for Configuration Manager. In this post we will focus on the implementation experience and walk through the steps required to implement this update in an existing TP4 1511 environment. We will look at how an existing site becomes aware of updates, how to validate the prerequisites and update the site. After that we will also see how to update the other components like the console and clients.

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Read the full blog post here.

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WMUG NL Community Event Speaker

11:55 pm in Community, Configuration Manager, Microsoft Intune by timdk

2015-12-14_23-41-19Tomorrow I will be presenting at a community event hosted by the Windows Management User Group (WMUG) in the Netherlands.

Session: What to expect from ConfigMgr vNext?

Abstract : The next version of Configuration Manager is soon to be released. In this session we will look at the future roadmap of Configuration Manager and explore the new features, enhancements and infrastructure changes that are coming with the next release. Additionally will also outline how to get to this release from your current environments.

More information on the sessions and the full event agenda can be found here.

Registrations are currently still open. Click here if you want to attend!

Hope to see you there!

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ConfigMgr vNext Feature Highlight : Multiple Deployments for ADR’s

2:00 pm in Configuration Manager by timdk

This blog post is part of the Coretech Global Xmas blogging marathon – today is my turn to share something new and as a subject I have picked a feature which will be available in the upcoming new release of Configuration Manager : support for multiple deployments with a single Automatic Deployment Rule (ADR).

Background

ADR’s are not entirely new as they already existed in Configuration Manager 2012. One of the shortcomings of ADR’s in 2012 is that they only support a single deployment. So if you have a phased deployment -for example lab, pilot and production- within your organization, you would have to create a new ADR for each phase. These ADR’s would be very much identical except for the target collection and the scheduling.

In the vNext release of Configuration Manager this is no longer an issue as a single ADR will now support multiple deployments. So following the above example we could use a single ADR for patching our lab, pilot and production machines. Time to have a closer look into how this will work.

The base ADR

Defining the rule for the machines in the first “Lab” phase is identical to what you have been doing in the past for Configuration Manager 2012. A quick walk through the steps:

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After specifying a name and description for the ADR we pick the Patch Tuesday template that Microsoft has included out-of-the-box. We set the target collection to our lab workstations collection. Notice there are no options to define additional collections here. As this is the lab collection we opt to have the deployment enabled immediately.

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In the deployment settings we picked the default settings.

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In the Software Update settings we picked the default settings. Note that the last one day option offcourse only is valid if we let the rule run no later than one day after patch Tuesday.

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We set the schedule to run every second Wednesday of the month.

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For the lab phase both the available time and the installation deadline are set to as soon as possible.

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Define the user experience. In our example we used the default settings.

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In the next step we can specify the alert options. Also here we kept the default settings.

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Also for the download settings we kept the defaults.

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Specify the deployment package to store the patch binaries. In our example we used an existing package.

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We will download the binaries from the internet.

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In our environment only English is required.

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Review the summary and click next.

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At this point our our ADR has been created and we can close the wizard.

The end result is shown in the picture below. We have our ADR which currently still has a single deployment as defined in the wizard we just walked through.

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Adding additional deployments

To add and additional deployment we need to select our ADR and select Add Deployment action either through the ribbon or via a right-click.

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This action will kick off a slightly trimmed down wizard similar to the regular ADR one.

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In step one we need to specify a target collection. We will take our second collection containing our pilot phase machines. By default the deployment would be enabled here also but as we would like some more control and make sure our lab tests were successful first, we will disable it. At a later point in time an administrator will have to enable the deployment manually.

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We kept the default Deployment settings.

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In our scenario we wanted one week of lab testing before deploying to the pilot collection so the schedule settings were adjusted accordingly.

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We kept the default User Experience settings.

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We kept the default Alerts settings.

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We kept the default download settings.

Note: I noticed that these download settings do not match with the default download settings from the Create ADR wizard. Clients on a slow boundary or using fallback by default will not install the updates. Also content download to Microsoft Updates is unchecked by default in the add deployment wizard. Make sure to check the options carefully before clicking next.

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Review the summary and click Next

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Our additional deployment was created successfully. Click close.

As you can see our second deployment is now in place. We still have only one ADR.

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To support our scenario end-to-end all we needed to do is to add a third deployment for our production environment. The end result would look like this:

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So what is the end result after running the rule? This is shown in the screenshot below. There are 3 Software Update Groups, each of these groups have a single deployment as per the schedules configured in the ADR.

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The names of the Update Groups get a numeric appendix based on the order and total number of deployments for the ADR.

That’s it for this feature highlight.

Enjoy the upcoming holiday period and until next time!

Tim

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by timdk

Technet Webinar: What’s new on the Configuration Manager horizon Debrief

8:15 am in Community, Configuration Manager, Enterprise Mobility Management, Events, Microsoft Intune by timdk

faq1Thanks to all who attended my webinar on What’s new on the Configuration Manager  horizon last Friday. As promised a quick debrief blog post to highlight and answer some of the questions from the Q&A.

Here we go:

Q: So you can do an in-place with 2012 right? And for side by side is the full new build?

In place upgrade scenario will be supported from the following:

  • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1
  • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2
  • System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager
  • System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1

Side-by-side migrations are not supported. A possible approach is to Setup a new vNext environment, then upgrade your existing environment to vNext and then migrate your objects to the new vNext environment you built in step 1.

Q: Will the Application Catalog site still depend on Silverlight?

Application Catalog will be merged into the new Software Center – no need for a separate web interface anymore.

Software Center has a new, modern look and apps that previously only appeared in the Application Catalog (user-available apps) now appear in Software Center under the Applications tab. This makes these deployments more discoverable to users and removes the need for them to use the Application Catalog. Additionally, a Silverlight enabled browser is no longer required.

Q: So no 2016 , no new UI, just monthly updates?

Yes, Yes, and no not really. :-)

There is a lot more to Configuration Manager than just the “as-a-service” approach. See the session recording for details.

Q: On-prem MDM will support iOS and Android as well as hybrid SCCM+Intune?

In the technical previews support is limited to Windows 10 devices only.

Currently there is no information if/when other platforms will get in scope.

Q: Will SQL Server AAG (AlwaysOn Availability Groups) be supported for an upgraded installation and not only for a new installation?

Currently not supported in the TP.

In future releases you will be able to move to using SQL always on, on already installed sites.

Q: Are there any Statements when ConfigMgr vNext will Support Server 2016 for deployment and for being used as Site Server OS?

I am not aware of any exact statements on timing. Do assume there will also be a ConfigMgr release at the time 2016 products are released.

Q: Can you make software available to the Windows 10 (Business) App Store?

There is no integration with the Business Store yet.

Q: Do you have a list of features you listed and what is in TP4 today?

Have a look here : https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn965439.aspx

Q: Are there changes in the app deployment for other os (mac / linux)?

There was a recent announcement where Intune support for Mac OS X was unveiled.

That article also indicates that: for customers using System Center Configuration Manager integrated with Intune to manage devices in a hybrid deployment, we’re excited to announce that all these same Mac OS X management features will be available in the upcoming major update to Configuration Manager.

 

Update 30/11 : Session recording has been made available here.

Until next time!

Tim

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by timdk

Technet Webinar: What’s new on the Configuration Manager horizon:

2:05 pm in Community, Configuration Manager, Events by timdk

ITProWebinar

Tomorrow I will be delivering a Technet ITPro Webinar on the next release of Configuration Manager.

During this session I will give a high level overview on what to expect from this new version.

The agenda in a nutshell:
– Roadmap for Configuration Manager
– High level overview of infrastructure changes and new features
– How to prepare for and get to the next version

At the end of the session there will also be a Q&A where you can fire away any questions you may have.

Registrations are still open so you can still join us! Click here for details.

Hope to see you there!

Tim

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by timdk

ConfigMgr vNext : Technical Preview 3 released

7:58 pm in Configuration Manager by timdk

Today Microsoft has released System Center Configuration Manager and Endpoint Protection Technical Preview 3.

tp3

As listed on the Configuration Manager Team Blog this release includes the following new features:

  • Deployment of required applications to Windows 10 devices managed via on-premises mobile device management (MDM).
  • Cluster-aware settings.
  • High availability support with SQL Server 2014 AlwaysOn.
  • Ability to run software update cleanup tasks.

All features available in previous Technical Preview releases are also included in this release.

Read the full article here and download the sources here.

Until next time!

Tim

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by timdk

ConfigMgr vNext: A first look at the core installation

9:05 am in Configuration Manager by timdk

One of the announcements at the Ignite Conference earlier this week was the availability of the System Center Configuration Manager vNext –or should I say 2016- Technical Preview. This blog post shares the basic steps and experience of installing this Technical Preview in my lab environment.

Preparations & Prerequisites

A few steps I walked through before doing the actual installation

  1. First things first: get the installation binaries here.
  2. Second: read the required info to get you started here. There are some requirements (mainly the same as for ConfigMgr 2012) and limitations to take into account.
  3. Prepare the backend SQL database. I used SQL 2014. You will need the following features: Database Engine Services, Reporting Services Native and the Management Tools.
  4. Download the ConfigMgr Prereqs using SetupDL.exe from the installation media. The download is approximately 674Mb. Content looks identical to ConfigMgr 2012 R2 but a bit larger in size (last time I checked it was 655Mb for 2012 R2).
  5. Optionally extend the AD Schema.
  6. Install all other requirements, features and roles. As the guidelines in the preview documentation pointed towards 2012 I just used my automation scripts I had available for ConfigMgr 2012.

The installation procedure

Now on to the actual installation. In this lab environment I will install the site server, database and all roles on a single virtual server.

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Launch the splash.hta from the installation sources.

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Select Install.

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Click Next.

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The technical preview only allows installation of a standalone Primary Site. We will opt not to go for the typical installation.

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Accept the license terms and click Next.

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Accept more license terms and click Next again.

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Select the option to use previously downloaded files and provide the path to the files. Click Next.

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The downloaded prerequisite components are verified.

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Provide a site code and site name. Leave the default installation folder and the option to install the console locally on the site server.

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As we run the SQL backend on the same server we can leave the default options and click Next. Tip: make sure to check that the installation account has the required permission.

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Leave the default options. Click Next.

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Leave the default options. Click Next.

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Select the option to configure the communication method on each site system role. Click Next.

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Here we opted to uncheck both boxes and install the Management Point and Distribution Point later on.

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This is a lab so yes we will join the CEIP. Click Next.

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Review the settings summary and click Next.

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A prerequisite checker is launched. Resolve any blocking items and click Begin Install.

Note: I commonly grant permissions for the site server to publish to AD through group membership. The prerequisite checker could not verify this in the past. It seems also in this new version this is still the case.

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15 Minutes later the core setup is completed.

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More detailed information on what is happening behind the scenes can be found in the ConfigMgrSetup log files located in the root of the system drive.

Once the basic installation was completed I added the Management Point and Distribution Point roles. The procedure for doing this is also identical to the one in Configuration Manager 2012.

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To wrap up a quick look in the console at the build numbers of the Technical Preview.

 

Conclusion

For those familiar with installing the previous versions of Configuration Manager the setup experience is still pretty much the same.

That is all for now. Make sure to watch this blog for more content on vNext as I explore it further in my lab environment during the upcoming days and weeks!

Tim

ConfigMgr 2012 CEP – PCM & P2V Toolkit Session Key TakeAways

6:15 pm in Uncategorized by hakkktgfdeUG

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 […]

ConfigMgr 2012 CEP – SDK Session Key Takeaways

7:00 am in Uncategorized by hakkktgfdeUG

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, […]