Articles from May 2011



CEP Virtual Machine Manager 2012 Beta started

Today another Community Evaluation Program started, this time for System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012. During this session the CEP was explaned bt Kenon Owens, the Technical Product Manager of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 beta. The next following months I will try to follow this CEP also and report the information back to you, but since the Configuration Manager CEP is my priority I might have to skip some sessions. Read the session summary!

Like said, the session kickoff, presented via Lync this time, was well attended by I think 30 persons and a team from Microsoft. The first CEP session, SCVMM 2012 Beta Overview presented by Kenon Owens.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 is used to manage the Private Cloud Infrastructure and can be used for:

  1. Deployment
    • Infrastructure enhancements (High Available VMM Server, Upgrade, Custom Properties, Powershell)
  2. Fabric Management
    • Hyper-V bare metal provisioning
    • Hyper-V, VMWare and Citrix XenCerver management
    • Network Management
    • Storage Management
    • Update Management
    • Dynamic Optimization
    • Power Management
    • Monitoring Integration
  3. Cloud Management
    • Application Owner Usage
    • Capacity and Capability
    • Delegation and Quota
  4. Service Management
    • Service Templates
    • Application Deployment
    • Custom Command Execution
    • Image Based Servicing

Deployment

  • SCVMM Upgrade support
    • Virtual Machine Manager supports upgrades from:
      • VMM 2008 R3 to VMM 2012 RC
      • VMM 2012 RC to VMM 2012 RTM
  • VMM is High Available
    • VMM can be installed and configured as a High Available VMM Server, VMM server is now cluster aware
  • Powershell support
    • VMM is fully powershell scriptable
    • Backward compatible with VMM 2008 R2 scripting interface

Fabric Management

  • Physical Server
    • Manage multiple hypervisors – Hyper-V, VMWare, XenServer
    • Server hardware management – IPMI, DCMI, SMASH, Custom via provider
    • Hosting provisioning – from baremetal to Hyper-V to Cluster provisioning
  • Network
    • Define logical networks using VLANs and Subnets per datacenter location
    • Address management for Static IPs, Load Balancer VIPs and MAC Addresses
    • Automating provisioning of load balancers via provider
  • UPdate Management of Fabric Serrvers
    • Update operation control
    • updating a hyper-v cluser is fully automated
    • integrated with WSUS
  • Dynamic Optimization
    • Cluster level workload balancing scheme to optimize for VM performance
    • Leverage live migration to move workloads
  • Power Optimization
    • Leverages live migration to pack more VMs per host
    • Power down servers to optimize for power utilization
  • Enhanced Placement
    • over 100 placements checks / validation
    • support for custom placement rules
    • multi-vm deployment for services

Private Clouds

  • Private Cloud
    • abstraction that enables opaque usage model for service and VM managements
  • Fabric
    • Compute: logical grouping of hosts or clusters in host groups
    • Storage: Storage classification, Pools, Providers and Arrays
    • Network: Logical Networks, IP/MAC address pools, load balancers, VIP templates
  • Delegation – User Role
    • Quota: Defines per user limits on compute, memory, storage, number of VMs

Service Lifecycle Management

  • Service Templates
    • used to model a multi-tier application
    • source of truth gor deployed service configuration
  • Applications
    • Built-in support for web-deploy, server app-v, SQL DAC
    • Custom command execution for other application packages
  • Image-based
    • OS seperated from apps
    • Composed during deployment
  • Servicing
    • Change the template and then apply that change to deployed instances
    • Upgrade domains ensures application availability during servicing

Supported Operating Systems and Services

VMM Server:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 64bits (standard, enterprise, datacenter)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64bits (standard, enterprise, datacenter)

HA VMM Server

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 64bits (standard, enterprise, datacenter)
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 64bits (standard, enterprise, datacenter)

Database Server

  • SQL Server 2008 SP2
  • SQL Server 2008 R2

VMM Console:

  • Windows Server OS support as VMM server
  • Windows 7 32 and 64 buts (professional, enterprise, ultimate)

Self service portal:

  • IIS Server: Windows Server OS support same as VMM Server
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 9

VMM Library Server:

  • Windows Server OS support same as VMM Server + Windows Server 2008 SP2 (32 and 64 bit)
  • No Windows Server 2003 Support

The following software is needed to be able to install VMM Server

  • Windows Automated Installation Kit 2.0 (AIK) only
  • .NET 3.5.1
  • Powershell 2.0, WinRM 2.0
  • SQL Server 2008 or SQL Server 2008 R2 (local or remote)

Feature Requirements:

  • Bare Metal Provisioning
    • Windows Deployment Services (Windows Server 2008 R2 only)
  • Patching
    • WSUS 3.0 SP2 64bit
  • PRO
    • Operations Manager 2007 R2+
  • Citrix XenServer
    • XenServer Integration Suite for SCVMM
    • Needs to be installed on XenServers
  • Storage Automation (SMI-S)
    • EMC, NetAPP (talks ongoing with other vendors)
  • Load Balancer Integration
    • Custom provider (F5, Citrix, Brocade (RTM))
    • Needs to be installed on VMM server(s)
  • Power Management/OSD (IPMI, SMASH, Custom Providers)
    • No action is needed for SMASH and IPMI supported hardware since these are built in
    • To use the custom iLO provider install it on the VMM server(s)

During the rest of the presentation the installation scenario’s and migration scenario’s were shown.

Next Session is June 9, 2011. The subject is “Adding Hyper-v host, deploying bare metal hyper-v hosts”. Interesting!

 

System Center Podcasts in iTunes

Looked half a year ago in iTunes for Technet content but everything I found was really outdated. Today I came across the System Center Podcast in iTunes. As the description says, this podcast is designed to provide relevant information about the System Center Suite. The podcast aims to assist organisations with maximizing their System Center investment through advice and expertize from MVP’s and experts who bring a wealth of knowledge and a combined experience that is unparalleled.

The System Center Podcast is a monthly produced podcast featuring some of the most respected and knowledgeable MVP’s and experts in the community. Panelists will include Pete Zerger (OpsMgr MVP), Roger Zander (SCCM MVP), both from our partner Winworkers, Maarten Goet (OpsMgr MVP) and Andy Dominey to name just a few. I think I will be a subscriber from now on :)

The first two podcasts are:

Episode 1 MMS 2011 (24 March 2011)
Pete Zerger, Oskar Landman, Andy Dominey and Dan Kregor talk about the new products and features announced at MMS 2011
Link

Episode 2 – Head in the cloud (20 may 2011)
Pete Zeger and Wally Mead talk about the announchments of TechEd, Opalis Integration Server 6.3 Unleashed, the Private Cloud, the Community Evaluation Program and lot’s more.

Link

CEP Configuration Manager 2012 Hierarchy Technical Overview summary

Today another Live Meeting session of the Configuration Manager 2012 Community Evaluation Program was held. The subject this time: Hierarchy Technical Overview. With Configuration Manager 2012 lots of nice things in the Configuration Manager Hierarchy are changing. Let’s see which nice things will change :)

Today D.C. Tardy, Senior Program Manager of the Configuration Manager team guided us the through the changes.

Key takeaway for today are simplification of infrastructure and simplification of administration!

Configuration Manager 2012 will have the following Infrastructure promises

  • Modernizing architecture
    • Minimizing infrastructure for remote offices
    • Consolidating infrastructure for primary sites
      • Central Administration Point is just for administration and reporting.
      • File processing occurs once at the primary site and uses replication to reach other sites
      • System generated data (Hardware and software inventory and Status) can be configured to flow to the CAS directly.
    • Be  trustworthy
      • Interactions with SQL DBA are consistent with SCCM 2007
      • Configuration manager admin can monitor and troubleshoot new replication approach directly

Simplify your hierarchy! Collapse the multi-tier approach to a CAS with Primaries.

  • Use Primary sites for:
    • Scale more than 100.000 clients
    • Reduce impact of site failure
    • Local point of connectivity of administration (political)
    • Political reasons
    • Content regulation
  • Use primary sites not for:
    • Decentralized administration
    • Logical data segmentation
    • Client settings
    • Languages
    • Content routing for deep hierarchies
  • Use Secondary site for:
    • Manage upward flowing wan traffic
      • Sensitive networks
  • Tiered content routing for deep network topologies
  • No local administrator
  • Secondary Site servers support and uses SQL  Express, MP, DP, SUP and PMP
  • Use Distribution points for
    • Sites with not enough bandwidth for BITS
    • Multicast for operating system deployment
    • App-v streaming
  • Not use Distribution Points for
    • When BITS provides enough control for WAN traffic
    • When BranchCache is deployed
      • DP on Windows Server 2008 R2
      • Vista SP2 KB960568
      • Windows 7
  • Distribution Points provide
    • Scheduling and throttling data synchronization
    • PXE and multicast properties
    • Role can be installed on clients and services
    • Specify drives for content storage
  • There is no support anymore for all the old prestaging technology (courier senders, pkgPreLoadOnSite tools, manual prestaging)

Content Prestaging

  • New for Configuration Manager 2012
  • One feature that can preload on a site srver or distribution point
    • All package types supported
    • Content library and package share
    • Registers package availability with site server
    • Prestaged content file is compressed
    • Singe action to load multiple prestaged content files
    • Conflict detection to ensure latest package version

Forest discovery

  • Discovers site servers forest plus any trusted forests
  • Manually adds forests that are not trusted
    • Forests for a perimeter network
    • Supports both publishing and discovery
  • Discovery returns; domains, IP Subnets and AD Sites
  • Supports boundary creation, on demand selection or automatically

Boundaries

  • Retained same boundaries as SCCM 2007
    • Active Directory Site
    • IP Address range
    • IPv4 subnet
    • IPv6 prefix
  • Boundary management has been simplified
    • Automatically create boundaries as part of forest discovery
      • Enable AD forest discovery
    • Separated client assignment and content lookup
    • Added boundary groups to keep boundaries organized in logical containers
    • Boundary groups are the primary object for client assignment and content lookup ( not the boundary itself)
  • Automatically create a boundary group and associated boundaries from Configuration Manager 2007 site during migration

When you need a Central Administration Site?

  • More than one primary site in a single hierarchy
  • Off-load reporting and administration from you Primary Site
  • Migration consideration: The Central Administration Site must always be installed on new hardware.
  • You can move administrators from primary sites to the CAS for reducing

SQL for Configuration Manager 2012

  • One configuration Manager site per SQL Server instance
  • All database communication is encrypted
  • TCP/IP ports for service broker need to be opened in the firewall (1433 4022)

Replication of Configuration Manager data

  • Global data is replicated via SQL
    • Collection rules, package metadata, software update metadata, deployments
    • Found on Central Administration Site, All Primary Sites and Secondary sites (subset of global data)
  • Site data is replicated via SQL
    • Created by system
    • Collection members, Hardware inventory, alert messages
    • Found on Central Administration Point, Originating Primary Site
  • Content is replicated via file based replication
    • Software packages, installation bits, software updates, boot images
    • Found on Primary Sites, Secondary Sites and Distribution Points
  • For more information about the replication you can find there.

Monitoring replication

 

  • Is done in the Configuratino Manager Management Console
  • Administration Node shows disk space problems at site for instance SQL database
  • Monitoring node shows us alerts set for instance disk space
  • Monitoring can be done in the Hierarchy Diagram
  • Database Replication node gives replication information about site to site replication (global replication status
  • Diagnostic information can be saved to CSV files

Client settings

  • Easiest step to infrastructure reduction; stop using primary sites for different client settings
  • Default client settings for the entire hierarchy
  • Custom client settings assigned to collections
    • Priority-based conflict resolution
      • Custom settings override default settings
    • Resultant settings can be an aggregation of both default and one or more custom settings

Hardware inventory client settings

  • No editing .mof files because of the console experience in the Configuration Manager Console :)
  • Browse WMI namespace to select the classes you need
  • Backward compatible (you can import existing .mof files)

Client Settings & collection assignment

  • Collections are global data
  • Collections are bow globally evaluated at all sites
    • Clients from any site can be members and receive targeted deployments
    • Change focus from site-centric administration to client-centric
  • Remember:
    • global data: collection rules & counts
    • Site data: collection members

Role based administration

Role based administration is a very important peace for allowing hierarchy simplification. The concept is based on “Display what’s relevant to me”

Role Based Administration allows:

  • Mapping organizational roles of administrators to security roles
  • Hierarchy-wide security management from a single management console
    • RBA is global data
    • Concept of RBA:
      • Security Roles, what types of object can I see and what can I do to them?
      • Security Scopes, Which instances can I see and interact with?
      • Collections, Which resources can I interact with?

Collection limiting

With Configuration Manager 2012 you are able to limit collections.

  • Every collection is limited by another
  • Assigning a collection to an administrator automatically assigns all limited collections
  • Ship with to read-only root collections
    • All systems
    • All users and user groups

Promises for Configuration Manager 2012 vs 2007

  • Scalability and data latency improvements
  • Consolidating infrastructure for primary sites
  • Minimizing infrastructure for remote offices

Migration thoughts

Be sure to see the Migration Session and my movie about migrating Configuration Manager 2007 to Configuration Manager 2012. To further prepare your SCCM 2007 environment please look at the following:

  • Flatten your hierarchy where possible
  • Plan for Windows Server 2008, SQL 2008 and 64-bit
  • Start implementing BranchCache with Configuration Manager 2007 SP2
  • Move from web reporting to SQL Reporting Services
  • Avoid mixing user & device collection definitions
  • Use UNC path’s to MSI in package source path instead of  local paths

The question I asked about when a client receives more client settings via different collections, if there is a way to view the resultant set of client settings is passed to the Client Settings part of the Configuration Product Team. If it’s not there yet, I think that it would be a nice feature for in Configuration Manager 2012 ;)

Next session is about June 8, Application Management part 2. Be there! :)

Exchange 2010 permissions not inherited correctly

Had some trouble with the “Include Inheritable Permissions From This Object’s Parent” checkbox becomes unchecked every hour(?). This is normally done when a user is member of the Domain Admins, Enterprise Admins or the Administrators Active Directory groups. Normally removing the membership of the administrator groups will work, but if the user is not member of one of those groups you need to edit th adminCount attribute via AdsiEdit.
You can do this as follows;
Using ADSIEDIT.MSC browse to the user object and look for “adminCount” and set it either to <not set>.

Just a quick tip with thanks to an answer on Expert-Exchange.com.

Note, setting the value to zero is not working for me, setting the value to <not set> looks fine.

While troubleshooting a colleague pointed out the following blog. this really interesting blog is in dutch.

TechEd 2011 Session recordings available

Yesterday the System Center related recordings of TechEd North America were published on the System Center Team Blog Site. The sessions contain a lot of System Center information and content that was presented at the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas this year.

Since there is not going to be a TechEd conference in Europe this year, the System Center team placed the links to the recordings and slide decks of most of the System Center Related sessions of TechEd North America which was held in Atlanta last week. See and enjoy the new features of for instance Configuration Manager 2012, Service Manager 2012, Orchestrator 2012 and Operations Manager 2012.

Follow this link to the post of the System Center Team Blog. To see all the TechEd sessions, please follow this link!

Upgrading XenDesktop 5 to SP1

This week, XenDesktop 5 SP1 was released. The most interesting improvement is support for XenServer 5.6 SP2 with IntelliCache. IntelliCache will reduce IOPS load on your storage with 90% according to Citrix. Because we are using XenServer, and want to use this new feature, the first step is to upgrade to XenDesktop 5 SP1.

If you want to upgrade XenDesktop 5 to SP1, it is mandatory to upgrade your Citrix license server to version 11.9. Upgrading the license server is straight forward. Download the XenDesktop SP1 upgrade package. The Delivery Controller Upgrade package of 141 MB also contains the license server upgrade. Start the autorun from the cd and choose to install XenDesktop. This will automatically upgrade the licenseserver.

Unfortunately, after upgrading I had some problems with XenApp servers contacting the license server. Disabling the firewall resolved it. The license server install should configure the firewall automatically. So I decided to uninstall the license server and did a fresh install. Now from the full XenDesktop 5 SP1 cd. There is no need to backup your license files if you install on the same location. The license files will be re-used automatically.

This time I was asked to open up the firewall.

After the fresh install, the license server is functioning properly. My XenApp servers now find the license server. In the firewall you find the license server rules.

As you can see, there is a block rule for Citrix licensing. This is for remote administration on port 8082. If you want to remote administer the license server, you should change the rule to Allow.

When you start the License Administration Console from the startmenu, it opens a webbrowser with the following message.

I don’t understand this message, because when I open my webbrowser and go to http://localhost:8082/dashboard?vendor=&licenseTab=&selected=, the License Administration Console will open. And, surprisingly, after that I opened the console in my webbrowser, I can also use the License Administration Console shortcut from the startmenu without the strange message.

It looks to me that the license server is not just a license server anymore, but an integral component of XenDesktop. In Control Panel, Programs you only find Citrix XenDesktop to uninstall, no license server anymore. And you can see that if you also install Desktop Studio on the license server. This also contains a Licensing node from which you can add licenses.

In the Action Pane you can choose the option Change Licensing Server.

As you can see, there is an option Take ownership of this license server. The license server is also used by XenApp, XenServer and other products, so why is XenDesktop claiming this server?

You can also notice that there is a warning on valid licenses. I will come back on that later.

Ok, now that my license server is working, it’s time to upgrade XenDesktop. I inserted the SP1 upgrade cd on my XenDesktop Controller and started the update. Please note that an upgraded controller is incompatible with the current database. Citrix recommends upgrading half of the controllers, and then perform a database upgrade. After that, the old controllers are incompatible with the database and should be upgraded then. If you only have one controller, you should upgrade outside business hours, because the clients cannot log in because of the license warning.

When finished, you can start the Desktop Studio console. You can choose to upgrade the database.

I select automatically. The upgrade is finished in a few seconds.

When you go to the Licensing node in the Desktop Studio console now, you will see that the license warning is gone now. The warning was a result of the change in licensing model. The database upgrade fixed this and can use the new licensing model.

After all, the upgrade of the license server gave me more trouble than upgrading XenDesktop. Next step will be upgrading XenServer.

Movie: How to migrate SCCM 2007 to SCCM 2012?

The migration of SMS 2003 to SCCM 2007 was not an easy migration. Microsoft is going to make the migration of SCCM 2007 to SCCM 2012 fairly easy. Read an earlier blog about the migration process and for sure watch this movie :)

CEP Meeting Application Model part 1 summary

During this high level meeting about the new Application Model in Configuration Manager 2012 an earlier session was repeated. In this blog I will be a summary about this session and most of the information can also be found in the slide deck of the session.
Nevertheless, Microsoft invested big time to create a new application model where the user can be the center of the deployment / management of the applications. In my opinion, this worked out well and Configuration Manager is going to be a mature configuration management platform.
Last but not least, I won the monthly price of the Community Evaluation Program, thanks guys!
Application Model Diagram
Like I wrote a couple of times, the Application Model within Configuration Manager is drastically changed. The key elements are listed below;
  • Administrator properties (Keep your apps organized and managed)
  • End User metadata (user friendly information for you users)
  • Deployment Type (workhorse for application)
  • Requirement Rules (can/cannot install application)
  • Dependencies (applications that must be present)
  • Detection method (is the application installed?)
  • Install command (command line and options)
  • Content (source files for the applications)
How does Configuration Manager 2007 compare to Configuration Manager 2012 Application Model:
Configuration Manager 2007 Configuration Manager 2012
Package Application and Deployment Types
Program
Advertisement (Install Status) Deployment (state based) via detection method
Collection rules (Server) Requirement rules (Client)
None User Device Affinity
Run Advertised Programs Software Center
None Software Catalog
None Single Instance Content Management
App-V in Configuration Manager, what is changing?
App-v is fully part of the Application Model and part of Configuration Manager 2012. Configuration Manager 2012 with app-v will fully support the VDI solution of Microsoft Hyper-and Citrix XenDesktop. At this time you still need a separate client but I asked the guys from the Beta2 program if the App-V client cannot be part of the Configuration Manager Client.
  • Integration requires App-V 4.6 client
  • New Application Model, User-centric features
    • Enable support for application dependencies
    • Improved update behaviors
    • Selective publishing of components
    • Dynamic Suite Support
    • Instant icon gratification for unlock events
    • Integration with Remote Desktop Services (TS)
  • Content Improvements
    • Streaming improvements
    • Reduce virtual app footprint when using Download and Execute
Software to Mobile Devices
Software to Mobile Devices is simplified and part of the application model. Configuration Manager offers a unified easy way to manage software distribution experience for users and administrators.
  • Software – automatically installed on devices as “required” deployment
  • End-User – automatically associated with their device (UDA)
  • Administrator – Maintains a unified deployment and monitoring administration experience.
Dependencies
When deploying applications you can define application dependencies. A dependency can be another required application to be installed.
  • Other deployment types that must be present in order for the current application deployment type to be installed
  • You can build 1 to n dependencies
  • This AND this AND this OR this
  • Dependencies are modeled as applications and can also be deployed independently
Deployment
Deploying applications says it all. J
  • Replaces the “Advertisement” from Configuration Manager 2007
  • Is created when an Application is deployed to a Collection
    • Applications are state based and only deploy to a collection once
  • Two types of deployment purposes
    • Required
    • Available
      • § Available for User targeted displayed in the Software Catalog
      • § Available for Device targeted displayed in Software Center on client
      • Provides setting for “Pre-deployment” feature when targeting user or user security group collections
On demand installation process
  1. 1. User clicks install on the item in the software Catalog
  2. 2. Web Site checks users permissions to install
  3. 3. Web site requires client id from Configuration Manager Client agend and passes it to the site server
  4. 4. Server creates policy for the specified client and application and passes it to the client
  5. 5. Client agent evaluates requirements from the policy and initiates the installation
  6. 6. Client agent completes the installation process and reports status
Detection Methods
  • Detection methods enable systems to determine whether or not an application is already present on the system (Discovery)
  • In Software Updates world, this is known as IsInstalled
  • Many system attributes play into presence of an application on a system (registry, file versions, MSI, WMI, etc)
  • Detection is the key to any state based software distribution system.
A deployment rule can have the following rule types:
  • File system rules
  • Registry rules
  • Windows Installer
All the rules can be combined in detection expressions. Any combination with logical operators AND and OR can be used to create complex rule sets.
Requirement Rules
  • Properties of users and/or devices that makes delivering software appropriate
  • Rules are defined per deployment type
  • Rules are evaluated in real-time on the client
  • Rules are evaluated before the content is downloaded to the client
The following requirement rules can be set:
Type Global Condition Name
Machine Machine Operating System and Architecture

Machine Operating System Language
Total Physical Memory
Free disk space
(system, admin defined partitions or any)
Machine AD Organizational Unit (OU)
Machine AD Site
ConfigMgr Assigned Site
CPU clockspeed/frequency
# of processors
Screen resolution
User Primary Device
Custom Create new

Simple conditions
Complex conditions (expressions)
What is User Device Affinity?
  • Is the key to helping our customers move to
  • User Centric Software Distribution
    • Provides the ability to define a relationship between a user and a device
    • Allows the admin to think “user first”, while also ensuring the application
      not installed everywhere the user logs on
  • Configuration Manager 2012 supports:
    • Single primary user to primary device
    • Multiple primary devices per user
    • Multiple primary users per device
  • The system allows both the administrator and user to define this relationship
The benefits are:
  • Allows the deployment of software based on the nature of the relationship between the user and device
  • Enables Pre-Deployment of Software: Allows software to be pre-deployed on a user’s primary devices whether or not the user is logged in
How can User Device Affinity be set?
  • User device affinity relationships are defined:
    • Based on a usage threshold on client
    • Using import file from external system
    • As part of Operating System Deployment
    • During Mobile Device enrollment
    • By end-user through Software Catalog
    • Manually by administrator
  • Client Agent Settings
    • Define user device affinity configuration at collection level
    • Usage and User based user device affinity can be enabled and configured using client agent settings
Application Management
  • Retiring an application when it is decommissioned
    • Select ‘Retire Application’ action
    • Existing deployments continue to work
    • No new deployments can be created
    • An application can come out of retirement by reactivating it
  • Revision history
    • View revision history of an application object
    • Delete revisions
    • View individual revisions
    • Revert back to a previous revision
  • Applications and all of their contents, dependencies can be exported and imported from the Configuration Manager 2012 console
Applications and Task Sequences
  • Use Applications for complex software installation in place of the task sequence
    • Applications are optimized for user targeting, task sequences are still machine based
    • Optimized for conditional delivery, dependencies and version management
    • Not preventing the use of task sequence, however Application will cover almost all scenarios!
  • Application guidance for operating system deployment
    • “Install Application” is an integrated task sequence action.
      • Application will evaluate at run time during the task sequence
      • Assesses applicability for deployment type based on rules and processes the
        dependencies at run time
    • Operating system deployment process guidance
      • Only install Applications that require state restore (USMT Settings) as part of a task sequence
      • User device affinity/pre-deploy will complete the install of user targeted applications immediately after the task sequence completes
Content Distribution
  • Distribution Point Groups
    • Improved functionality and workflow
    • Can be linked to Collections for workflow optimization
    • Automatic distribution of content for added distribution points
  • Single Instance Storage – Files will be stored once, even if they are used across multiple applications
  • Bandwidth Control – Customize time and bandwidth utilization on Distribution Points
  • Enhanced views for content that has been distributed
    • From a distribution point or group, the ability deployed content
    • From application, package, etc… the ability to see the Distribution Points or Groups

Configuration Manager Community Evaluation Program schedule

More than a month ago the rerun of the Configuration Manager 2012 Community Evaluation Program was started. A couple of days ago the new schedule of the sessions where published on the CEP site. See the list below, the topics are subject to change ;)

Meeting or Event Event Date
Overview Live Meeting 4/6/2011
Migration Live Meeting 4/27/2011
Application Management Part1 5/4/2011
Hierarchy Simplification 5/25/2011
Application Management Part2 6/8/2011
Application Migration Tool 6/22/2011
Application Q&A Session 7/13/2011
Forefront Endpoint Protection 8/10/2011
SDK 8/24/2011
Software Update Management 9/7/2011
Cross Platform 9/21/2011
Device Management 10/5/2011
Settings Management 10/19/2011
OS Deployment 11/2/2011