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.
Sometime, you may need to activate Powershell in your SCCM WinPE boot image. This can be used by advanced script, or to display a GUI in Powershell. System Center Configuration Manager 2012 offers the possibility to easily integrated this feature.
How to enable this feature with SCCM 2012 R2:
By default, System Center Configuration Manager 2012 use a small TFTP block size, 512 bytes. This behavior is set to be compatible with all network configuration, but the result is that the PXE boot speed can be slow using Operating System Deployment with SCCM.
We can resolve this problem by adding a registry key on the PXE Server. Modification must be made on PXE Distribution Point.
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.
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.
If you want to deploy the App-V 5 Agent on your computers, you can use System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2012. The most easily method is to use an Application. By this way, you have the possibility to link some Dependencies and target specific operating system architecture (x64 or x86).
To deploy App-V 5 agent, you have to follow these steps:
- Configure Dependencies.
- Create Application.
- Configure Deployments type for x64 and x86.
- Deploy on a collection.
- Check installation.