SMS_DEF.mof – Tedious Task of Editing it . No Longer in SCCM 2012


I AM LOVING IT !! 

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yes , this is what you will say when you will come to know that you would no longer need to edit the ugly looking SMS_def.mof files for customization in Hardware Inventory !! All you need to add some new data in hardware is using the below Pop Up :

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Why use SCCM ? A lot of Helpdesk and new SCCM Engineers ask me this Question ? Email : sccmabheek@gmail.com


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WHY SCCM ?

A lot of Help desk engineers ( who wish to learn the tool ” SCCM ” ) and new SCCM admins ask me this question : “Why do we use SCCM Server ”

My Answer to them is ”

Example # 1:  Suppose the CIO or the IT Manager ask you that he wants you to deploy a software on HR users machine . Now !! here is the Catch . Let us say that your company is spread across the globe( UK , US , ASIA  etc etc ) . now being a Systems engineer you will be in a shock .

My Answer to this is using SCCM 🙂 . images (1)You may use software deployment feature of SCCM to achieve this !!

             Example # 2: Let us say that the IT Manager or CIO wants to see the list of all the computers which have a specific software xyz installed on it .

” How do i do this  ” 

My Answer to this is using SCCM 🙂       images (1). Using SCCM Reporting 1.e hardware Inventory 

Example # 3 : Let us say recently you company recruited 500 people ( 100 in India , 100 in US , 100 in UK , 100 in Norway , 100 in Singapore ) . Now the CIO wants all these machines to have the OS and Company’s mandatory applications installed on them . How do we perform this .

My Answer to this is using SCCM 🙂  images (1). Using Operating system Deployment feature of SCCM .

Similarly there are many other features that SCCM provide .

Why do we use BITS in SCCM ? ( A lot of People have this Question in Mind ) – Contact – sccmabheek@gmail.com to Reach me !!


 

I have seen a lot of new SCCM Admins actually asking me what is the use of BITS in SCCM

I will explain this in two Sentences :Image

 

1.  With BITS , the data Transfer uses only the available bandwidth and will never choke your network while delivering something to clients or to Sites.

2. With BITS if we have a suspended data to be transferred , it will resume from the same point at which it wassuspended .

Hope this clarifies the queries of young SCCM Admins :-)

What is difference between a proxy management Point and A Management Point ?


Here is another Frequently asked question on SCCM :

Proxy management Point and A Management Point : Well Both are Single point of Contacts for the Client . With primary Site the clients being assigned to the primary will report to Management Point at Primary site . With Secondary site , Clients assigned to it will report for proxy management Point ( Which is Management point at Secondary Site )

So in a nutshell A proxy management point is a management point but it is present on Secondary Site . Rest All is same .

Cross Forest SCCM Implementation


With SCCM 2012 one of the wonderful feature that you get is the SCCM Cross Forest Implementation Made A lot Easy !!

 

For the best case scenario your cross forests should have Kerberos Authentication Between them . Even if there is no kerberos Authentication A two way external trust , One way External trust , non trusted forests

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could be brought under one SCCM Site .

 

The only exception to this could be forests where strong DMZ restrictions/ Security restrictions  could be present .

My mantra( Secret ) For Software Distribution Point !! ( Contact # sccmabheek@gmail.com


Ok !! Guys Am back with my Mantra for Software Distribution :

I am sure that after you read this post  you will never forget the process of Software Distribution : Yes !! TRUST ME ON THIS 

 

What Do you want to do , How do you want to Do , Where do you want to Do , When do you want to Do !! 

 

This is my Mantra for Software Distribution :

 

What : What part covers what do you want to do . This is defined in Package . So when you create a SCCM package you tell SCCM what do you want to do . See the below Image from Windows Noobs . In this Image we have created a package and it clearly states that you want to deploy Firefox ( Remember !! “What do you want to do “)

 

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Now that we have covered What , Let us move to “How do you want to do ” part . This part is covered in the Program . Everything that you mention with regards how this package should be deployed comes under Program like : The installation should be silent installation , Suppress Notification ( User should not receive any Notifications on his machine) , Program should run if the user is logged in or not logged in or any , Which particular platform ( OS) this Package should run . All these conditions come under Program ( Remember !! How do you want to do ). See the Snapshots below for more clarifications :

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We are now done with how Part . Let us now move to Where do you want to do . As pretty cleary stated where do you want your package to be pushed . Ya ya !! You know the answer , yes !! its Collections . So answer to where do you want to do is ” Collections ( Group of machines where the software will be deployed) . Last is “When ” . I am sure you know that When covers when should this software be deployed on users machine . And the answer to this is ” Advertisement ” 

 

So Next time you forgot about the sequence or the steps of Software Deployment just think this way ” What , How , Where and When ” 

 

🙂 Happy Deployments 

Primary Site vs Secondary Site vs Distribution Point ( SCCM 2012 ) !! Which one to choose and when to Choose ?


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Normally You would find SCCM Architects / Designers / Administrators in a Dilemma when it comes to Which one to choose : A Primary Site vs Secondary Site vs a Distribution Point :-

OK I will try to make life easy for you here : Choose a Primary When you want to manage Clients Directly . Choose Distribution point at almost most of the occasions except for :

  • Scenarios where : You want to manage the Upwards flow of Data , You want to have a local SUP ( Software Update Point ) , You want to have a local Management Point so that Clients Pick up policies and report to this Local MP , and your low bandwidth site has more than 500 Client Machines ( When i Say 500 , its a ball parking figure ) .

I hope I have made life Easy for you here . So next time you design a SCCM 2012 Environment for a Client Do consider the above mentioned points .

 

 

Client files for Software Distribution .


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This is the most commonly asked question about SCCM . Well the answer to this is :

Policyagent.log : This log contains information about the new policies received by the client.

Policyevaluator.log: This log contains information about the evaluation of new policies that are being received .

Datatransferservices.log : This log contains the software download information onto the client machine .

execmgr.log ( Most Important) : This log contains all other relevant information .

Extending AD Schema in SCCM !! Is it Mandatory


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A lot Of times it is being asked to the SCCM Admins and Architects ” Is it Mandatory to Extend the Ad schema for SCCM Implementation ” . Well !! The answer to this is ” NO ” . SCCM will work the same way with or without Extending the Schema . IT is just that Extending the Schema makes life Easy for SCCM Admins . If you do not extend the Schema you need to follow some Workarounds to get your stuff done . One such example is If you extend the schema then your Clients use AD domain services to find the Management Point . Suppose I do not extend the Schema then I will need to configure SLP. 

 

One Feature that cannot be implemented if AD Schema is not extended is NAP . For Everything else we Have Work Arounds !!

 

 

For Further Information Use : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg712272.aspx

Stand Alone Primary Site and CAS Installatiion !!


I have seen a lot of Posts on Internet which were written on SCCM 2012 and owners have not modified their Posts which is causing a lot of problems for the new admins / architects ?

With SCCM 2012 ( Prior SP1) Release it was not possible Imageto add a CAS after the installation of Stand Alone Primary Server , however with SCCM 2012 SP1 this is very much possible.

 

So you may start with a stand Alone Primary and later on as need be you may add CAS and other Primaries in the hierarchy .

How Many Client Machines for One Distribution Point


A lot of SCCM Admins and Architects struggle to find answer to this question : ” How Many Machines per Distribution Point “

 The answer to this question is tricky and depends on a number of things . However a ball parking figure could be ” 25 – 30 Machines per DP for a 1.5 MB link ” . I have safely assumed that you are considering Patching , Hardware Inventory , Software Inventory , OSD , and other features . 

 

Note : This post is AS IS . Your actual environment might need few extra Considerations .

 

However you still need to check the Network usage , Peak Usage , What features you are including in your SCCM Environment.  

SCCM 2012 DP ( Distribution Point)


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The NEW Distribution Point in ConfigMgr 2012 B2

Posted on April 10, 2011

I already tweeted last week that I really, really like the new Distribution Points in ConfigMgr 2012. Around that time they started writing some really good posts at the ConfigMgr OSD Blog about the new Distribution/PXE Point and Content Management. Even though these posts give really good information I still feel like I have to write down what I really, really like about it. So in this post I will sum up some of the cool new features/ properties of the new Distribution Point in ConfigMgr 2012. 

  • Distribution Point Role: The Distribution Point Role is now merged into one single type that can be used on workstations and server. Also there is now the ability to choose (and prioritize) two drives for the use of the Distribution Point. To me this is a logic choice as there are now no vague difference anymore in what is supported with which type of Distribution Point.
  • DPPropertiesPXEPXE Service Point Role: The PXE Service Point is now a property of a Distribution Point. To me this is a logic choice, as there was always a Distribution Point needed when there was a PXE Service Point. Besides that it also saves a lot of confusion, because of the extra Server Share Distribution Point that got created (SMSPXEIMAGES$). Adding a Boot Image to the RemoteInstall folder of WDS is now just a property setting of a Boot Image (Deploy this boot image from the PXE Service Point).
  • Distribution Point Groups: The Distribution Point Groups functionality got a really nice update too. It can still be used to distribute content to multiple Distribution Points at the same time, but now it also directly distributes content (assigned to the group) to new members of the group. To me this is a really nice (and very logic) additions to this functionality, because now all the members of a group always have the same content assigned to it.
  • Content: The Distribution Point now has the option to show all the content that is assigned to. It also gives the option to validate the content and to manage (redistribute or remove) the content. Also the possibility to validate the content is added. This means as much as, the hash of the content will get checked on a schedule. When the has doesn’t mach this will be reported, but not “fixed”. To me this is a great addition to finally be able to quickly see the assigned content to a Distribution Point. Also no hash mismatches anymore! Well… if the content gets checked on a regularly base and (manual) actions will be taken.
  • Content Library: The Distribution Point now stores the data in the Content Library (SCCMContentLib). This library is divided in three parts, Data Library (DataLib), File Library (FileLib) and Package Library (PkgLib). The Data Library stores Metadata about files, the File Library stores actual files and the Package Library stores references to files. To me this looks like a good solution to prevent the many different times (and locations) that where used to store data on a Distribution Point.
  • Boundary Groups: The Distribution Point now gets protected by adding a Boundary Group directly to it. And a Boundary Group can contain multiple Boundaries. To me this is a not necessary addition, because now there will always be the need to create a Boundary Group to be able to create a Protected Distribution Point.

 

Important : The post is taken AS IS from :   http://www.petervanderwoude.nl/post/the-new-distribution-point-in-configmgr-2012-b2/

SCCM 2007 VS SCCM 2012 SP1


There has been a lot of posts on what is new in SCCM 2012 . In this Post I will try to Divide the Diffrence in the two versions from the Design and Implementation point of view and from Administration point of View :

From Design and Implementation Point of View :

1. Simplification in Terms of Hierarchy : Let me explain this . In SCCM 2007 if we wanted to manage a group of 300 users over a avaregae link we would have used a Secondary Point but in SCCM 2012 We would use a Distribution point rather than going for Secondary site . This is because Microsoft has added features like Throttling and Scheduling in the Distribution Points in SCCM 2012.

2. Role Based Access Control : In SCCM 2012 Many a times the reason for using additional Primary site was to saggrigate set of duties like x set of admins should have access of deploying packages only , certain set of users should manage Desktops only and not servers. To achieve this in SCCM 2007 was tough and in some cases impossible . But now with SCCM 2012 RBAc you can manage all this very easily .

3. Less USe of CAS : You will find that you will hardly need a CAS unless your user base is very high
4. Active Directory Forest Discovery : This is a new feature that is available with SCCM 2012 Only . This can be used to manage Multiple forests Environment.

FROM Admin Point of View :

1. User Centric : SCCM 2012 is user centric . I will make this easy to understand . Let us say that you have users in your company who use a Laptop, Desktop , Ipad , A Windows based phone at the same time . Let us say that you want a software to be available on all these devices for these users so in SCCM 2012 you will distribute this software to this user rather than distributing it to his 4 systems in SCCM 2007.

2. Application Catalog at User End : Now users in SCCM 2012 will have access to a small website from which they can use which software they want on their machine ( provided Admin has given them the access to have this software).

3. There is no reprting point in SCCM 2012 as it was there in SCCM 2007 . We have only SSRS in SCCM 2012.