The quest for true silent MDM Enrollment

If you’ve been reading my blog recently, you’ve seen a lot of posts about MDM and Provisioning Options for Windows 10.  Previously we’ve covered:

And in this post we will dig further into the options available to us to deploy a Provisioning Package with the goal of allowing for silent MDM Enrollment and Silent application of a provisioning package!

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SCCM v Intune Showdown

sccm

If you’re an SCCM Administrator you’ve likely heard of InTune and might be wondering when to use it.

In this post, we’ll cover how SCCM and Intune are able to manage Windows 10 full desktop computers (including laptops and Windows tablets like the Surface or Surface book.)

If instead you’re wondering about managing the Surface RT, lol, enjoy your metro cutting board.

Best use for a Surface RT in 2016

To understand where InTune really shines, let’s think of where SCCM works best:

  • known and defined network infrastructure
  • well connected end-point devices (less of an issue today)
  • standardized hardware models
  • standardized, company owned hardware
  • Active Directory Domain (all SCCM servers must be domain members)
  • Managed machines are either domain joined, or need certificates (certs =PKI =Even more infrastructure and configuration)
  • Wonderfully powerful imaging capabilities

It becomes pretty obvious, SCCM is for the big enterprise,  which its also expensive and has some serious requirements.

Now, let’s contrast this to the management story we have from Intune:

  • No requirement for local hardware or infrastructure
  • No on premises Active Directory requirement
  • Works very well with Azure AD
  • Works great with user owned and heterogeneous devices
  • Literally zero imaging options

For the rest of this post, I’ll list the big capabilities of an Enterprise Client Management tool and contrast how each of these tools perform at that task, we’ll cover: Continue reading

SCCM 1606 Cloud Proxy Guide

Configmgr in the cloud

UPDATE

This post is about the Cloud Proxy feature, which was included with Tech Preview 1606 of SCCM Current Branch.

While featured in the Tech Preview for 1606, Cloud Proxy was not included with the production release of SCCM 1606, which shipped on July 22, 2016.

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So, while you cannot use this SCCM 1606 today, it’s still available in the tech preview.

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SCCM 1602 nightmare upgrade

This week, we had a scary ConfigMgr 1602 upgrade.

Of course, as a consultant you have to be cool like a fighter pilot in the face of adversity, as crying is frowned upon by customers when they see your hourly rate.  So when everything falls over, and there are spiders coming out of the air conditioner, you say ‘hmm, that’s strange’ and then whip out your laptop to begin opening log files like a fiend.

It was a day like any other

Before the upgrade, I ran through a practice run on my test lab domain, to try to prepare myself. We then used Kubisys to mirror our production SCCM and ran /TestDbUpgrade. All good.

However during the install we saw the install hang for a long time trying to stop sccm services.

Note :We saw this before with this same instance of SCCM when we upgraded to 1511; the install froze for an hour trying to stop the services. At that time, we manually stopped the SMS exec service and component Manger and the install proceeded.

So when the install froze again, we gave it ten minutes before manually stopping the SMS exec service. Install proceeded like normally and all looked fine in the logs until we tried to open the console.

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Configuration Manager cannot connect to the site

When I see errors like this, I immediately thing SMS Provider.

What’s the SMS Provider?
Good question!  While we tend to think SQL when we think SCCM, in reality ConfigMgr really stores a lot of information in the WMI repository on the Primary sites and the CAS.  Additionally, WMI plays a role in how data is stored in the SQL Database for ConfigMgr as well.

The SMS Provider is critical for allowing this interaction between the SCCM Console, WMI and SQL.  If you don’t have any working SMS Providers you can’t use the ConfigMgr console!

 

So we knew the SMS provider (which does a bunch of WMI stuff) likely couldn’t be reached, so I opened up the primary sites SMSProvider log \primary\SMS_SiteCode\logs\SMSProv.log and check out this nasty looking message! Continue reading

SCCM 1602 Query – All Online Machines

Quickpost: SCCM 1602 Query – All Online Machines

With the Advent of client activity indicators in SCCM 1606:

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We can now see which machines are online at a given time.  I love these green checkboxes.

I thought it would be cool to try to make a collection of only currently online machines.  So, into the query editor we go!  We’ll add a new query rule, and then use the wizard to add a new value.  This is all that you need to grab only the currently online systems.

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This collection works VERY well for Incremental Updates.  However, Scheduled Updates don’t make much sense

And the end result:

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They’re all online!  So green!