Day three of the Management Summit started again with a Keynote of Brad Anderson, vice president of Microsoft. The Keynote was about “You. Empowered to Embrace Consumerization”, how the user can get access to their application. It doesn’t matter if the application is used on the “primary device”, a non trusted workstation or a VDI Desktop delivered by XenDesktop and Hyper-V (with dynamic memory). For SCCM 2012 can handle all deployment types go give the user very where the same application. During the same keynote, the public release of Beta2 of System Center Configuration Manager was announced.
During the Keynote, also Windows Intune was shown by a partner of Microsoft. Windows Intune gives partners of Microsoft the ability to manage the workstations of different customers. Windows Intune, which is still in beta, enables you to monitor workstations and the status of Windows Updates and Forefront Anti-virus agent. In the future things like software deployment and Desired Configuration Management will be added to the Cloud service of Microsoft. Windows Intune cost about $11,- per month and it gives you also a Windows 7 Enterprise license.
Based on the Keynote, Citrix showed during the “Turning Wow into How – Leveraging System Center and more for Desktop Virtualization” the integration of Citrix with SCCM 2007. When integrating Citrix with SCCM, you are able to deliver for instance App-v applications in XenApp. When creating an application for XenApp, a task scheduler script will publish the application to XenApp.
During two sessions about the Application Management in SCCM 2012, the new application model was explained. The model is changed drastically, deployment types, detection methods, requirement rules, supersedence, dependencies, monitoring, deploying and role based administration were a few of the new “features” that were explained. I will come back to these items in later blogs.
Day four started with some virtual labs to get familiar with the beta 2 version of System Center Configuration Manager. The sessions of the day where again based on System Center Configuration Manager 2012. A deep dive in the Software Update Services (SUP) and Compliance and Settings Management were two of the subjects that got my attention. The best feature of the new SUP, is I think the auto approval of updates that you want to be automatically approved and deployed. Also options as update clean up, update supersedence support and reporting are enhanced or new.
With Compliance and Settings Management you are able to check if your workstations are compliant to policies you are able to define. If one or more workstations are not compliant, you can configure auto remediation to get your workstations compliant again.
The Systems Compliancy Manager is a Solution Accelerator of Microsoft and it’s a free peace of software to centralize the management of security related Group Policy settings. With the tool you are able to document the Group Policies, create the Group Policies and Audit the policies. A command line tool, LocalPGO allows you to take the local policy of a machine and generate a file that you can import at a golden image. This way your just deployed images is out of the box secure and compliant.
The last session of the MMS 2011 for me was about Software Delivery Advanced Topics and Troubleshooting with SCCM 2012. In this session the most important log files and ways of troubleshooting were show.