Day three in Berlin.
Today was the first time that the name System Center Configuration Manager vNext wasn’t used anymore. It’s announced that the next installment of SCCM will be called SCCM 2012. So yes, unfortunately we have to wait a bit longer before we can see it in a production environment.
SCCM 2012 will have a new architecture, more on this later. It also will have some new features;
Remote Control is back! SMS 2003 was the last version that had this capability, it was dropped in SCCM 2007 because in certain situations it would leave a system unlocked with an administrative account logged on. In SCCM 2012 it will return with some enhancements to make it more secure.
Roll Based Access Control
Part of the new architecture is RBAC. It’s now possible to give access to a limited part of the interface (and functionality). For instance, just the patch management. Or just the reporting part.
Mobile Device Management
System Center Mobile Device Manager will be integrated with SCCM 2012. It will integrate with Exchange to make it possible to manage the Exchange features from SCCM. And it won’t just support Windows Mobile. Nokia is fully supported and there is also limited support for IOS4 and Android!
Offcourse, patchmanagement in SCCM isn’t new. What is new is that you won’t get RSI anymore from approving updates! There are now automatic approving policies. You can define policies in about the same way that you make rules in outlook. You can choose to apply them on workstations or servers or both and you can schedule how often it should check compliance. That way you can make sure Forefront gets updated every day, but the rest of the updates only come once a month.
One of the greatest features of SCCM has been the deployment of systems. In SCCM 2012 there will be support for offline maintenance to your image. You can let SCCM automatically mount your image in lets say the weekend, apply all approved updates and unmount the image. This way your image will always stay compliant and it will save time in the deployment process itself.
New Architecture some changes
SMS has always been about the systems. Not that surprising since it’s called System Management Server… but the world has moved on and now we’re challenged to manage users that have multiple devices to perform their daily work on. That’s why SCCM 2012 has been made User Centric. It’s now possible to assign software to users and define policies so SCCM will act different if you log on to your corporate desktop compared to login on from your personal laptop.
No, your collections and advertisements won’t be a waiste of all your time, SCCM 2012 will still support those, but it’s much easier now to deploy a new version of a software package. If for instance Adobe Reader gets upgraded, you can now say it should supersede older versions. If a machine receives an advertisement for an older version, SCCM will automatically decide to deploy the latest version instead.
Another nice new feature is that you now have option to enforce the desired state of a machine. You can define a policy so that once a machine drifts from the desired state, it will automatically gets remediated. Great if you users have admin rights and tent to destroy office for instance… Office will get automatically repaired.
I can’t wait to get this going at Andarr!