• New Features SCCM 2012

    Posted on August 2, 2013 by in Application Packaging, Desktop Engineering, SCCM Interview FAQ

    Below is the table that illustrates new Features that were introduced in SCCM 2012.

    We will explain the features in more detail as we go along the blog.

    Features SCCM 2007

    SCCM  2012

    Hardware & Software Inventory


    Automatic Client Health Remediation

     NO  YES

    Software Distribution

     YES  YES

     Computer based targeting

      YES  YES

    User based targeting

     Partial  YES  YES

     State-based Application Distribution


     Self-service portal


     App-V Package Deployment

      YES  YES

    Xen-App Package Deployment


     Uninstallation via Software Center


    User-Device Affinity

     Distribution Point Groups  YES
     Boundary Groups  YES
     Application Revision History  YES
     Content Management  YES
     Software Updates  Via WSUS  Via WSUS
     3rd party application   YES  YES
     Automatic Software Updates Deployment Rules  YES
     Automatic clean-up of Superseded and Expired Updates  YES
     Software Metering   YES  YES
     Collection-based Policies  YES
     Remote Administration  Remote Tools &
    Remote Desktop
     Remote Tools + Ctrl-Alt-Del
     Reporting  Basic & SQL Reporting  SQL Reporting Services                   
     Administrator Console  YES  YES
     User-friendly ribbon  YES
     Status reporting  Partial YES  YES
     Agent Managed  YES  YES
     Integrate with Active Directory  YES  YES
     Automatic Boundary Discovery  YES
     Forest Discovery  YES
     Discovery of Computers  YES  YES
     Operating System Deployment  YES  YES
     Offline Servicing of OS Image  YES
     Task Sequence  YES  YES
    Maintenance Windows  YES  YES
    Desired Configuration Management  YES  YES
     Automatic Remediation of Configuration Drift  YES
    Internet Based Client Management  YES  YES
    Integration with Windows Server 2008 Network Access Protection  YES  YES
    Intel vPro Intergration  YES with SP1  YES
    Role-based Access Control  YES
    Power Management  YES with R3  YES
     User Power Management Opt-out  YES
    Windows Mobile Device Management  YES  YES
    Non-Windows Mobile Device Management  YES

    The Top Five features that were included in SCCM 2012 are:

    1. User-centric management One of the big themes in SCCM 2012 is User Centric Management. This theme is carried forward throughout the product. Software distributions can now be targeted at users rather than just at devices. Think about a call center or a security desk, where multiple users share the same hardware. Previously when targeting a software distribution, SCCM limited you to collections based on systems but now software distributions can be directed at specific users or groups of users.  Additionally, users can define a primary device (or you can set up rules to determine a primary device) and have a different software policy for primary and non-primary devices. Consider the scenario where a manager logs onto a subordinates workstation temporarily, if the system is not designated as his primary device, any applications specifically targeted at managers primary devices, will not be available to him on that system.
    2. Configuration settings remediation Desired Configuration Monitoring has been available since SMS 2003 and was renamed to Desired Configuration Management and enhanced in SCCM 2007. The ability to report and alert on compliance has been useful in monitoring and managing configuration drift. SCCM 2012 takes the concept of managing configuration drift to the next level. First of all, the feature is now called Configuration Settings and can be applied to desktops, servers, mobile devices and users (see point one above). My favourite new functionality is the ability to remediate WMI, registry, and script settings that are not compliant. Automated remediation can drastically reduce the time that a non-compliant configuration stays out of compliance.
    3. Collection-based configuration settings In SMS and SCCM 2007 client configuration settings are designated at a site level. If different client agent settings are required for different devices then a separate site is required. Consider an environment where developers machines would have minimal agents (inventory only perhaps), or where servers have different requirements. In SCCM 2012, client settings can be customized and targeted at specific collections within the same site. This will reduce the complexity of many site hierarchies.
    4. Dependency-based software distribution In SMS and SCCM 2007, software distributions are targeted at collections of devices. Typically, an administrator would create a collection that meets the pre-requisites for the application being deployed using a query and then associate the package to the collection with a n advertisement. This worked fine when the paradigm was device centric as long as the collection was built correctly. With user centric software distribution, it can be difficult to determine which device a particular software distribution will ultimately be targeted at.In SCCM 2012 Requirement Rules and/or Global Conditions are used to specify preconditions for a deployment such as: available hardware (e.g., memory, available hard disk space, etc.), software pre-requisites (e.g., Office must be installed as a prerequisite for Office SP1), user affinity (Is this the user’s primary device?). This is a much more elegant approach to application management, especially when coupled with the new concept of Deployment Types.  An application can have multiple deployment types (such as an upgrade, uninstall, virtual app, local install, mobile device version) and the deployment type can be triggered based on the Requirement Rules or Global Conditions.
    5. Software Center and Application Catalog
      Keeping with the user-centric theme, the Software Center and Application Catalog is essentially an application that allows users to set some configurable settings as well as request  and install available applications. This “App Store” model can minimize some of the challenges associated with managing devices and applications for mobile technology-savvy users that are used to fending for themselves.
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    Senior Desktop/Infrastructure Engineer with over 10 years of proven experience in planning,designing & implementation of enterprise level Workstation builds for Finance, Pharmaceuticals, Telecommunication and other Domains. Desktop Engineer cannot rest as, Desktop world is very different it is fast paced, new technologies evolve and change at a rapid pace. For more info please visit: www.linkedin.com/in/srinivaskolla

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