Thursday, 24 March 2011
MMS 2011 Day 2
Day 2 - the first real day of the conference, and the day of the myitforum party!
Keynote 1 - You. Empowered by the Cloud
Surprisingly early start to day 2 with a Keynote at 8.30am. There were two keynotes at MMS 2011, the first focusing on cloud computing, the second on the consumerisation of IT.
First up was the announcement that Opalis has been renamed as System Center Orchestrator. Another new addition to the System Center family is System Center Advisor. This product, formerly codenamed Atlanta, allows you to track config changes on your systems, and compare them with best practices. The beta is available today.
A key theme in the keynote was separating the apps, data, and OS on servers to provide increased manageability and reliability. Server app-v is a key component here, which can also help reduce the number of OS images you have for your servers. To help with building and managing these private clouds, Microsoft released the beta of Virtual Machine Manager 2012 this morning.
We were given a quick demo of Avicode for client experience monitoring. The most impressive part of the demo was drilling down into exactly what part of a stored procedure is causing slowdowns.
Tomorrows keynote- the consumerisation of IT. On the slide deck they had a picture of an iPhone- does this mean we'll be managing idevices through sccm soon?
You can watch the first keynote here.
BA01 Configuration Manager State of the Union
After the keynote, comes the 'real' keynote for SCCM. The biggest announcement came at the end!
As usual, lots of top ten lists. Interestingly the User state migration hotfix is the 2nd most applied behind the r3 power management hotfix. I'll be blogging about this particular patch at a later date, it's a pain to apply and affects OSD builds even when you're not using USMT.
As mentioned in the keynote Opalis is now Orchestrator. Out fall 2011 with built in support for sccm 2012. Built in actions like add computer to collection are supported.
Adobe Reader X has had support for ConfigMgr since November 2010 for updates through SCUP.
Sccm 2012 beta 2 will be RTW any day now. There's new exclude/include rules for collections!
They provided a great demo of role based administration. Thankfully you can now scope users to collection, and hide features and collections a user doesn't have access to. And at last you can run two instances of the console at once with different credentials.
2012 has integrated global search across the entire product. They gave the example of searching for Flash. This search returned applications, deployments and software updates. You can drill down and see the context (eg properties of package) direct in the search dialog.
Supercedence is another new feature in SCCM 2012. This allows you to set rules based on versions of a product so that if you install version 9.2 of a product it will first detect and uninstall version 9.1. This also provides a graphical view of the supercedence of your apps.
SCCM 2012 also provides a graphical view of your site hierarchy. You can enter geographical locations and view a bing map with the location of all your sites.
An important point for those thinking of evaluating SCCM 2012 that are deploying/have deployed FEP - you'll need to wait for a compatible version of FEP.
They announced PCM (Package Conversion Manager) to ease the transition to the new application model. This tool analyzes and checks whether classic software packages can be converted to the new app model, and if so, can convert them for you. It has a cool dashboard which gives pie and bar charts for readiness and conversion status.
One potential point of confusion with the new application model that they cleared up - legacy software distribution is still there. You can continue to use the classic way of deploying apps if you want to.
The SCCM 2012 SDK has been updated with powershell cmdlets such as new-collection, get-package.
Server Configuration Packs look interesting. These are packs of DCM settings built and converted from the Microsoft Best Practices Analyzers. DCM is becoming much more important in SCCM, and has been rebranded as Settings Management for the 2012 release of the product. This now includes settings enforcement to remediate configuration drift.
They quickly mentioned the P2V Migration Toolkit, which will assist with virtualizing SCCM site systems. Yesterday's BA17 Virtualizing Configuration Manager went into much more depth about this tool.
The last announcement was the headline grabber. SCCM 2012 will support Linux/unix servers. They are planning to offer support for various versions of Red Hat, SuSE, Solaris, HP-UX and AIX. These appear to be the same supported platforms as OpsMgr. The client will offer a subset of current Windows ConfigMgr functionality, and will be available some months after SCCM 2012 RTMs. They revealed a previously hidden talk on Wednesday - BA16 Configuration Manager 2012: Cross Platform Management.
Finally, they will be uploading howto videos for SCCM 2012 on Connect.
BA03 Configuration Manager 2012: Technical Overview
The main change in SCCM 2012 seems to be the Application model. In SCCM 2012 you will be managing applications, not scripts. By managing the Application you get a host of nice new features - automatic revision management and supercedence. As mentioned above, supercedence can enforce the uninstall of a previous version before installing the new version. The Application model also allows a choice of deployment options based on the device the user is sitting at - so, for example, a full install on their primary PC, but a streamed app on any other PC.
The PXE Service Point role has been bundled into the Distribution Point role.
Client health has been greatly improved in SCCM 2012 - a new program ccmeval.exe runs on the client itself and can check and remediate problems with the client.
There's lightweight device management based on Exchange ActiveSync - this will provide limited inventory and tasks that can be run on mobile devices that connect to your Exchange server via ActiveSync.
They've improved the Settings Management (DCM) interface, and you can now browse for Registry keys to check/remediate!