System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Logo www.oostdam.infoSystem Center Configuration Manager 2012 surely develloped a lot. Allthough it is July 2011 now, as I'm writing this article, I've started to play around with the Beta 2 release of this product. The Beta 1 has been around for a while, I know, but Beta 2 seems more and more ready to manufacturing. Sure, MOM2005 and SCCM 2007 R2/R3 where great product that are almost common in enterprise organizations, but they had some difficulties as well. SCCM 2012 in the Beta release has some also, but it has been improved a lot, and it look very promising I must say. So I decided to share some major benefits and improvements to you as a reader,all from my personal opinion, that will be available in SCCM 2012 in the final release as far as I can see now.. Get a good course, educate yourself and go to like this product, as I personally do allready.

There has been a change in the name of what we used to call the "Central Site Server". This is now called the CAS (Central Administration Site) which I find confusing as Exchange has simulair names, but I guess I better get used to this. Naming, all over the SCCM product versions has hardly been changed over the years. I still find lots of names, I know for years and years.

What is totally different/new in SCCM 2012 ?

  • First, one of the most common reasons the product SCCM is used for, namely deploying Microsoft Updates with the WSUS technics, and degrading that product almost to an engine, as been changed in a beautiful way, which administrators all over the world, would have liked Microsoft to do that in first version of MOM. After waiting for many, many years, an automatic approval rule will be possible for certain categories of updates. In another article, probably later this month, I will describe this further more. Sorry for the junior administrators, but this saves a lot of time on a montly bases.
  • The console: Allthough I have not configured all the options yet, it seems to be possible to manage all functionalities, for (the intergrated) Forefront 2010, App-V, Med-V and XenApp 6. Until July 2011, I've only been able to integrate Forefront and App-V, but it seems to be possible, perhaps it will be better in the RC, or it is my lack of knowledge,.... Windows 7 phones most be possible as well, but I don't own one,... Maybe more later about this topic.

  • The Ctrl+Alt+Del function is back in the Remote Tools.  No more work arounds and extra shortcuts!

  • Different delivery methods will be possible in a flexible way. This concept is will probably be named as "Conditial Delivery". At this time I'm still trying to set this up, but switching between a virtual machine and a Terminal Server works fine. The software seems to detect also if a user is using a laptop or mobile device. I find this very interesting, but I will need more time to sort this out. Based on the device, there are possibilities to automaticly offer the software streamed, published to a Terminal/XenApp server.

  • Settings can be changed for all computers as well as for group collections. One of the major problems in the field was that in earlier versions a lot of settings where set for the whole site. From Hard- Software discovery, and, well etc. etc. In 2012 it is possible to scope every setting for all computers as well as for (group)collections.

  • Role Based Security is introduced in SCCM 2012, which is great news!. Everything in the System Center product range is going to look more and more the same, which is a good thing. This allows enterprise administrators to delegate some control to site specific administrators.

  • The client itself has been given a new self reparing health function, which promises to have some "automatic resolving" features. My test environment is to small for this, I hope it works and will actually do the job in real life, as it has given me a lot of troubles sometimes.

  • No extra primary sites will be needed (this can be a hugh license reduction) as throttling and scheduling task can be administrated at the distributionpoints itself by different administrative groups in SCCM 2012.
  • Only the SQL Reporting is available. The classic way no longer exist.
  • Client Status Reporting (chcservice.exe) is no longer a available as a download, but has been integrated.
  • In 2007-R3 there were allready "Desired Configuration" possibilities. In SCCM 2012, (enterprise)administrators can force clients to "auto-remediate" clients and I can allready imagine possibilities to control corporate compliance issue's in several ways and manors.
  • It seems to be possible, that multiple third-party web-located software-portals will become available for users, to download their own software or definition parts from, and install them theirselves, as long as the enterprise administrators allowed and approved it. I've read some noce things about it, but have not been able to test it yet. Maybe more later..

Later more: Busy as I often am,... I will try to add more changes and new features to this article later this week, so stay tuned...

Hope that this article will have helped you a bit further............ 

Have fun, using System Center Configuration Manager 2012 !
I known I'am looking forward towards to official release after playing with this Beta !


Ben OostdamBen Oostdam has been working with Windows systems since 1993. Worked for several companies as a system administrator, and is currently a Senior Support Engineer for Qurius Customer Care in the Netherlands specialized in System Center Solutions.

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