Using System Center Configuration Manager on a wide computer scope can result in unexpected or untrue reporting. For example, some computers can be off for a long time or an administrator has removed it from managed computers, they are inactive clients.
When you deploy an Application or Software Updates with SCCM 2012, some reports can be totally wrong, they don’t reflect the reality, if a lot of computer are no more managed but still exist in SCCM.
To workaround this, Microsoft introduced the Inactive Client property. SCCM Client gets and puts information to the management point and if it doesn’t report for a number of days, it will be set as Inactive Object. Inactive Clients can be excluded from reporting in order to be more accurate.
Inactive Client report
Let’s see how to change the default number of days before an object will be set as inactive .
If you manage a System Center Configuration Manager solution in your enterprise, you may have branch sites with slow bandwidth. When you deploy an Application, users in this remote site complain of slow network connections because of SCCM’s downloads.
Several solutions can be used to solve this issue, as BranchCache or deploy a Distribution Point on site. Using BranchCache needs to modify configuration on Windows Servers and Clients, like role installation and GPO. Moreover Distribution Point needs infrastructure on site, so budget allocation. Fortunately, Microsoft allows us to easily manage BITS transfer using SCCM.
Let’s see how to do deploy this configuration on remote sites.
Do you know that you can easily display a World Map of your servers location with System Center Configuration Manager 2012?
This feature is built in with SCCM, and it lets you to quickly have a look on the health of your infrastructure. Moreover, some managers like to have this map available for project presentation.
SCCM Server World Map
In this post, I set the location for one Primary server, but you can do it for all Primary and Secondary sites. Let’s see how to do that:
When you deploy a computer with System Center Configuration Manager 2012 using OSD, the WinPE phase displays a name like “IT Organization“. It is possible to change this name by your real corporation name.
WinPE IT Organization
Let’s see how to do that.
It is possible to change the product key in System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (SCCM 2012). By example, if you installed the product in trial mode and get your license key after the installation.
SCCM 2012 Evaluation period
Change Product Key
Unfortunately, the license key can not be changed using SCCM Console but we must change it using Configuration Manager Setup.
SCCM Configuration Manager Setup
SCCM Configuration Manager Setup
- Select Perform site maintenance or reset the site.
SCCM Perform site maintenance
- Select Upgrade the evaluation edition to a licensed edition. Copy/paste your license.
SCCM Change Product Key
System Center Configuration Manager 2012 brought the possibility for a collection to refresh its members using Incremental Update. It means that the collection will periodically evaluate new resources only, and does not execute a Full Update Membership.
SCCM Collection Incremental
By default, the interval is set to every 5 minutes. But if you want to increase or decrease it, you can do it easily with the SCCM Console.
As you know, Microsoft released System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1 and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2 (SCCM 2012) in the same time. You can read more here.
This release can be confusing for some people because 2012 SP2 and 2012 R2 SP1 binaries are the same. The same .exe or .iso file.
For exemple, when you want to download and install System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1 (SCCM 2012 R2 SP1) from scratch, there is no more 2012 R2 SP1 iso. Only 2 files can be downloaded:
- SC2012_SP2_Configmgr_SCEP.exe (762 MB)
- SC2012_R2_SP1_Configmgr.exe (1,10 MB)
SCCM 2012 R2 SP1 Download
For migrating or for fresh install, the file to mandatory execute is SC2012_SP2_Configmgr_SCEP.exe. We only use SC2012_R2_SP1_Configmgr.exe when we want to activate R2 features.
Let’s see how to do a fresh installation of System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1 (SCCM 2012 R2 SP1)
System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 now supports SQL Server 2014. But you will have an error during the wizard if you try install SCCM 2012 SP1 /R2 on SQL Server 2014.
SCCM Installation Wizard checks the version of SQL Server. However, it treats SQL Server 2014 like a version not supported:
The SQL Server srvsql.lab.local is not accessible or its version not supported.
Microsoft released a patch to correct this problem. KB3020755
The description of the KB is “Restore fails when the site database” but we will copy dll into the Wizard folder.
We need to do 4 steps:
- Download and extract the KB into a temporary folder.
- Execute CM12-R2-QFE-KB3020755-X64-ENU-OOB.exe. It will extract 2 files : prereqcore.dll and setupcore.dll
- Copy these files into the SMSSETUP\BIN\X64\ folder.
- Exit and restart the installation Wizard.
SCCM Team wrote a post on this topic here
Sometimes, it can be useful to execute an Application / Package in the SCCM Software Center using Powershell.
For example, if an application is only available, not required, in the deployment and you want to install several package without logging to the computer.
Unfortunately, there is no built-in powershell cmdlet to do this. We must call method with a specific dll.
With System Center Configuration Manager 2012, there is a new functionality: Application Catalog. Using Application Catalog, you can deploy an application on user collection, and all users can use this web page to install or request an application.
To launch the Application Catalog, you can use the existing link on Software Center:
Link Software center
Depends on your system configuration, Internet Explorer can prompt for your login / password. Even if you are in your domain.