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System Center Configuration Manager Current Branch Unleashed

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System Center Configuration Manager Current Branch Unleashed


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  • Fully updated to reflect improvements in System Center Configuration Manager Current Branch
  • New capabilities for testing client deployments
  • Support for Intel Active Management Technology (AMT)
  • Enhancements to OS deployment and application management
  • Office 365 client update management
  • Improvements in compliance and endpoint protection
  • Microsoft Passport for Work integration
  • Mobile device management via Microsoft Intune
  • Windows 10 support, and more


  • Copyright 2018
  • Dimensions: 7" x 9-1/8"
  • Pages: 1168
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-672-33790-8
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-672-33790-1

System Center Configuration Manager Current Branch provides a total systems management solution for a people-centric world. It can deploy applications to individuals using virtually any device or platform, centralizing and automating management across on-premise, service provider, and Microsoft Azure environments. In System Center Configuration Manager Current Branch Unleashed, a team of world-renowned System Center experts shows you how to make the most of this powerful toolset.

The authors begin by introducing modern systems management and offering practical strategies for coherently managing today’s IT infrastructures. Drawing on their immense consulting experience, they offer expert guidance for ConfigMgr planning, architecture, and implementation. You’ll walk through efficiently performing a wide spectrum of ConfigMgr operations, from managing clients, updates, and compliance to reporting. Finally, you’ll find current best practices for administering ConfigMgr, from security to backups.

Detailed information on how to:

  • Successfully manage distributed, people-centric, cloud-focused IT environments
  • Optimize ConfigMgr architecture, design, and deployment plans to reflect your environment
  • Smoothly install ConfigMgr Current Branch and migrate from Configuration Manager 2012
  • Save time and improve efficiency by automating system management
  • Use the console to centralize control over infrastructure, software, users, and devices
  • Discover and manage clients running Windows, macOS, Linux, and UNIX
  • Define, monitor, enforce, remediate, and report on all aspects of configuration compliance
  • Deliver the right software to the right people with ConfigMgr applications and deployment types
  • Reliably manage patches and updates, including Office 365 client updates
  • Integrate Intune to manage on-premise and mobile devices through a single console
  • Secure access to corporate resources from mobile devices
  • Manage Microsoft’s enterprise antimalware platform with System Center Endpoint Protection
Using this guide’s proven techniques and comprehensive reference information, you can maximize the value of ConfigMgr in your environment–no matter how complex it is or how quickly it’s changing.



Sample Files (74 KB .zip)

Appendix C: Reference URLs (116 KB .pdf)

Appendix E: Extending Hardware Inventory (1.43 MB .pdf)

Sample Content

Online Sample Chapter

Looking Inside Microsoft Configuration Manager Current Branch

Table of Contents

Introduction     1
Lab Environment     4
Disclaimers and Fine Print     4
Chapter 1  Configuration Management Basics     7

10 Reasons to Use Configuration Manager     8
The Evolution of Systems Management     9
Systems Management Defined     14
Microsoft’s Strategy for Systems Management     16
Bridging the Systems Management Gap     26
The Value Proposition of Configuration Manager     27
Chapter 2  Configuration Manager Overview     29
A Journey Through Time: SMS to ConfigMgr Current Branch     29
Configuration Manager Terminology     35
What’s New in Current Branch (Through the 1710 Release)     53
Deprecated Features, Software, and Operating Systems     67
Chapter 3  Looking Inside Configuration Manager     69
Understanding the ConfigMgr Architecture     70
A WMI Primer     76
Configuration Manager and WMI     89
Inside the ConfigMgr Database     101
Status and State Messages Overview     106
Site-to-Site Replication     107
Active Directory Integration with ConfigMgr     110
Chapter 4  Architecture Design Planning     117

Developing the Solution Architecture     117
Planning for Infrastructure Dependencies     122
Hierarchy Planning in ConfigMgr     130
Site Planning for Configuration Manager     138
Planning for Client Deployment and Settings     147
Planning for External Device Management     159
Planning for Continuous Updates     164
Planning for Restorability and Recoverability     168
Chapter 5  Network Design     173
Configuration Manager and the Network     174
Understanding Data Flows     177
Designing Intrasite Communication     179
Using Intersite Communication     182
Designing Client Communication     190
Troubleshooting Network-Related Issues     209
Chapter 6  Installing and Updating System Center Configuration Manager     217
Performing Preinstallation Tasks     218
Performing Site Installation Tasks     225
Configuring Site Properties     238
Troubleshooting Site Installation     248
Updating Configuration Manager     249
Chapter 7  Upgrading and Migrating to ConfigMgr Current Branch     255
Deciding Whether to Upgrade or Migrate to Current Branch     256
Upgrading to ConfigMgr Current Branch     256
Migrating to ConfigMgr Current Branch     263
Migrating Reports and Clients     278
Troubleshooting Migration Issues     280
Chapter 8  Using the Configuration Manager Console     285

Touring the Console     286
Configuration Manager Workspaces     289
Deploying the Console     294
Using Role-Based Administration     297
Connecting to a Site     298
Personalizing the Console     298
The In-Console Alert Experience     299
Configuration Manager Service Manager     303
Using PowerShell with ConfigMgr     306
Security Considerations     308
Troubleshooting Console Issues     311
Console Logging     311
Connectivity Issues     313
Common Problems     313
Chapter 9  Client Management     315
ConfigMgr Client Agent Requirements     316
Installing, Upgrading, and Uninstalling ConfigMgr Client Agents     317
Finding Potential ConfigMgr Clients in Your Network     332
What to Know About Client Agent Assignment     343
Monitoring Client Agent Health and Activity Status     345
Understanding Client Settings     347
Using the Resource Explorer     364
Using Wake on LAN and Power Management     365
Chapter 10  Managing Compliance     371
Configuring Compliance Settings     372
Understanding Compliance Settings     374
Creating Configuration Items     378
Developing a Compliance Strategy     402
Troubleshooting Settings Management     406
Chapter 11  Creating and Managing Applications     409
ConfigMgr Applications Overview     410
Creating and Modifying Applications     415
Creating Detection Methods     427
Creating Detection Methods for Windows Installer Applications     427
Managing and Creating Global Conditions     433
Managing Application Management, Application Configuration, and Volume License Purchases     440
More About Managing Applications     447
Deploying PowerShell Scripts     457
Chapter 12  Creating and Using Deployment Types     459
Creating and Using Windows Installer Deployment Types     460
Creating and Using Application Virtualization Deployment Types     464
Using Deployment Types for Mobile Devices     470
Creating and Using Other Deployment Types     486
Chapter 13  Creating and Managing Packages and Programs     493
Understanding Packages and Programs     494
Creating a Package from a Definition File     495
Configuring Package Properties     499
Defining Program Properties     503
Creating Packages Using the Package and Program Wizard and for UNIX and Linux Systems     515
Chapter 14  Distributing and Deploying Applications and Packages     523
Creating and Managing Collections     524
Using Distribution Points     531
Deploying Applications and Packages     548
Understanding the End-User Experience     555
Monitoring and Troubleshooting     565
Chapter 15  Managing Software Updates     567
What’s New with Software Updates in ConfigMgr Current Branch     567
Creating Your Update Design     569
Planning for Software Updates     571
Configuring Components     577
Creating and Deploying Updates     594
Understanding Windows 10 Servicing     612
Client Experience     623
Troubleshooting Software Updates     629
Using the System Center Update Publisher     633
Summary     650
Chapter 16  Integrating Intune Hybrid into Your Configuration Manager Environment     651
Introducing Microsoft Intune     651
User Identity Options     655
Preparing Your Environment for Intune     656
Integrating Intune with Configuration Manager     664
Troubleshooting Intune Hybrid     674
Summary     680
Chapter 17  Managing Mobile Devices     681
Enabling Devices for Management     682
Managing Company Devices     695
Protecting Mobile Devices     697
Configuring Mobile Devices     701
Inventorying Mobile Devices     707
Deploying Apps     709
Using the Company Resource Access Workspace     714
On-Premise Mobile Device Management     718
Chapter 18  Conditional Access in Configuration Manager     723
Understanding Modern Authentication     724
Implementing Configuration Manager Policies     725
Enabling Conditional Access for Exchange Online     731
Enabling Conditional Access for SharePoint Online     737
Enabling Conditional Access for Skype for Business Online     741
Enabling Conditional Access for Exchange On-Premises     744
Monitoring and Troubleshooting Conditional Access     750
Chapter 19  Endpoint Protection     755
Protection Capabilities of Microsoft’s Antimalware Platform     756
Prerequisites for Endpoint Protection     763
Planning and Considerations     764
Deploying and Configuring Endpoint Protection     767
Monitoring and Reporting in Endpoint Protection     788
Endpoint Protection Actions and Alerts     794
Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection     801
Windows Defender ATP Capabilities     802
Chapter 20  Configuration Manager Queries     805
Introducing the Queries Node     806
Creating Queries     809
Using the ConfigMgr Query Builder     813
Understanding Criterion Types, Operators, and Values     816
Writing Advanced Queries     822
Understanding Relationships, Operations, and Joins     829
Using Query Results     834
Using Status Message Queries for In-Depth Analysis     837
Chapter 21  Configuration Manager Reporting     843
Overview of SSRS and Configuration Manager Reporting     844
Understanding Configuration Manager Data     846
Introducing Transact-SQL     850
Building a Report Design     853
Building a Basic Report     855
Advanced Reporting Concepts     869
Chapter 22  Operating System Deployment     871
What’s New with OSD in Current Branch     872
OSD Deployment Scenarios     873
Tools Used with OSD     874
Planning for OSD     876
Using the Console     878
Using Tasks and Variables in a Task Sequence     894
Site System Roles for OSD     897
Getting Ready for Deployment     905
Creating the TS Media     912
Troubleshooting OSD Deployments     919
Chapter 23  Security and Delegation in Configuration Manager     931

Planning for Security and Delegation     931
ConfigMgr Security Solutions     938
About Role-Based Administration in ConfigMgr     939
Securing Administrative Access to ConfigMgr     949
Securing the ConfigMgr Infrastructure     954
Chapter 24  Backup, Recovery, and Maintenance     969
Implementing Configuration Manager Backup     970
Recovering Configuration Manager Sites     982
Maintaining a Configuration Manager Site     986
Monitoring Configuration Manager     993
Appendix A  Configuration Manager Log Files     999

Viewing Log Files     999
Configuring Logging     1000
Client Logs     1001
Server Logs     1005
Appendix B  Co-Managing Microsoft Intune and ConfigMgr     1013
Modern Management in Windows 10     1013
Defining Co-Management     1015
Configuring Co-Management in ConfigMgr     1017
Appendix C  Reference URLs     1023
General Resources     1023
Microsoft’s Configuration Manager Resources     1030
Other Configuration Manager Resources     1040
Blogs     1043
Public Forums 1044
Utilities     1045   
Appendix D  Available Online     1049
Configuration Manager Reporting     1049
Live Links     1050
Extending Hardware Inventory–Online Only     1050
Index     1051

Appendix E (Online Only) Extending Hardware Inventory


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