Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Cool New Features in ConfigMgr 2012 R2 (SCCM 2012 R2)

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ConfigMgr 2012 R2 RTM was released in October 2013 and adds many exciting new features to the product.

In this blog I will highlight some of these features - features that I think will be really useful to Systems Administrators. So, in no specific order, let's go.

ConfigMgr Setup - Database & Log files.

When you run Setup to install a new primary site or central administration site, you can select non-default locations for the site database files. The option to specify non-default file locations is not available when you specify a SQL Server cluster.


You can now reassign Configuration Manager clients, including managed mobile devices, to another primary site in the hierarchy. Clients can be reassigned individually or can be multi-selected and reassigned in bulk to a new site.

This is particularly useful when a client moves between sites. This was an issue in previous versions.

There is now an additional option in the Client Push wizard. When you choose to "Always reinstall the client software" you can now also choose to "Uninstall the existing Configuration Manager client"

Choose "Resultant Client Settings" by right-clicking on a client.

This is very useful if a client is a member of quite a few collections and different client settings have been applied to each collection. You can see at a glance which "resultant client settings" are now applied to that client.

Cancel a Distribution

Consider the scenario. You've just distributed a 15GB image to all your DPs and have now realized that it was the wrong image. Now, in R2, you can just cancel the distribution. This is my favourite new feature.

Company Resource Access

See the new folder under Compliance Settings. In ConfigMgr 2012 R2 you now have the ability to deploy Certificate, VPN and WiFi profiles to a collection of devices.

The screenshot shows the VPN types that can be deployed.

Mobile Device Management

I will soon write a blog describing a full MDM implementation using ConfigMgr 2012 R2 and Intune - with management of Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android devices.

This chart shows the MDM features now available with R2.

Monday, 2 December 2013

Advanced Powershell for ConfigMgr 2012 (SCCM 2012)

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This will be the last post in my ConfigMgr 2012 & PoweShell series. The previous posts discussed the following topics:
  • PowerShell Basics
  • Connecting to ConfigMgr site via PowerShell
  • Basic PowerShell Cmdlets for ConfigMgr 2012.

In this section I will provide links to the best online resources I have found for advanced PowerShell for ConfigMgr 2012.

Getting Started with PowerShell: The Pipeline

This blog is by Ed Wilson (The Scripting Guy) and is an extract from his book "Windows PowerShell 3.0 First Steps".

It describes the way that the Windows PowerShell pipeline takes the output from one command, and sends it as input to another command. This is a very powerful scripting feature as it removes the necessity to store the results of the first command as a variable.

eg Get-NetAdapter | Enable-NetAdapter

Configuration Manager PowerShell SDK

This blog by Kaido Järvemets shares PowerShell scripts in the following areas

See sample scripts

Microsoft Configuration Manager 2012 and PowerShell

This particular blog by David O' Brien describes how he wrote a PowerShell script to "Create Configuration Manager Device Collection".

Use the navigation arrows to find more scripts

Automate Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with PowerShell

This is where David O' Brien has published his PowerShell scripts to Codeplex.

Click on the Source Code tab

ConfigMgr 2012 - PowerShell Right Click Tools

Download the PowerShell Console extensions for ConfigMgr 2012.