Intro to SCCM

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I’ve been administering Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM) for over 4 years now.  Overwhelming at first, I have slowly picked up the nuances and can say I am comfortable in troubleshooting any issues and distributing various software. Unfortunately I have not had any time with System Center 2012 Configuration Manger(SC 2012 CM – don’t you just hate it when Microsoft does this type of naming).

SCCM allows administrators to do a variety of different tasks including reporting on software and hardware, deployment of a standard image,  and software distribution among other things. The following sections describe high level tasks for different ways to use SCCM

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The concept for software distribution is really simple and in a nutshell consists of the following

  • create a software package
  • distribute the package to secondary site servers (for geographically diverse locations)
  • advertise the package to clients (either manually or through a collection of computers)

OS deployment is somewhat similar but consists of additional tasks

  • create boot image package. This is to go into the pre-windows mode or as microsoft states Windows Preboot Environment (WINPE)
  • create os package
  • create drivers package
  •  create task sequence (a series of commands/tasks to perform) with OS and Drivers package
  • advertise task sequence into a collection
  • import computer (preferably using MAC Address) into collection

Report can be done by doing the following

  • run a built-in report or create a custom one (uses modified sql syntax to create queries)
  • edit the requires parameters/variables
  • run the report

In order to distribute software to computers, the computer requires to be able to contact the server through DNS and install what is known as an SCCM client. The client can be installed automatically when building a computer through OS deployment, or manually installed provided the SCCM server is able to contact the clients Admin$ share. Without this client, SCCM will not be able to report on the computer nor distribute any package.

 

Well, this was a very short intro on SCCM. Further posts will delve into advanced topics such as native mode and certificates, step by step creation of packages and more . Please let me know of any specifics you would like to know and I will try my best to post it.

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