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Any Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) Gurus here?

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Lazy Libran, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. As the title says.

    I'm interested in getting some first hand information.
  2. I can see if my little bro knows anything about this if you like :)

    Not sure if this is his area of expertise but he is a systems engineer (whatever that is)
  3. theres shit loads on nr just wait and see
  4. Not a guru, but I'd sum it up as "more complicated than it needs to be, but better than SMS". Haven't used 2012 yet. What do you want to know?

    Having said that, my current project involves FIM which I describe as a "steaming pile of shit, without the potential of being used as fertiliser"
  5. Hoping to trial it at my workplace soon. I've had a chat with my manager and he is willing to look at it so my aim is to setup a little presentation with pros & cons, benefits & negative things etc.

    I've heard that is better than SMS but what are your thoughts on it re: application packaging, deployment, OS rollout etc?

    Even installation and setup. How easy is it to configure and setup etc?
  6. Installation and setup is easy, like all MS products.

    The fun starts when you package OS images and post-installation steps for deployment.

    We usually use it for clients to build/rebuild their workstations but a lot of clients are switching to VDI now which means they build much less often.

    If you have a reasonably homogenous fleet of workstations (i.e. you only have a few brands/models of laptop) then it works really well. If you have a large mix of workstation makes and models, the overhead of maintaining SCCM becomes so large that you're better off manually building them.

    SCCM 2010 also takes the excellent WSUS interface and ruins it, making you deploy updates in a painful fashion.

    Say we have a client, with 3 models of laptop to deploy and a SOE comprising Office and say 10 non-MS applications that are installed with MSI files. I'd scope 5 days to build SCCM, build SOE and perform pilot deployment. That should give you an indication of effort. If then then buy a new model of laptop with significantly different hardware, I'd scope a half day to update the driver model for the new machine (assuming they don't want to change the SOE).

    If you're looking to do an XP -> W7 migration, SCCM can help you there too. There are a few ways to do it but the easiest is to do an automated migration of the form:
    - SCCM creates a partition to store the user state on the workstation and copies it there
    - SCCM formats the original partition, installs W7 SOE and then migrates the user state back in

    To scope, test and pilot that I'd say 6-8 days assuming that the SOE comprises all the apps and the org doesn't have a mass of un-approved applications deployed out to certain users.

    Bottom line: SCCM is good if your business has the SOE locked down tight. SCCM won't help you when your executives want the new shiny toy they saw in their MBA magazine.
  7. Thanks a lot for sharing the first hand experience. We'ave a locked down SOE and not many computer models at this stage so might be tad easier than individual builds using Ghost.

    We're not looking at Windows 7 rollout in the very near future and if/when that happens, newer hardware will be used so things might be easy.

    We've a fleet of 200 desktops and about 50 laptops so as a first POA, I want to simplify application deployment, asset management, computer mainteneance and then take it from there.

    Thanks again.
  8. OK well I think it still comes as 180 day trial, so get a sample of each of your hardware types and try it out. There are plenty of how-to's on the interweb.
  9. Yeh. That's the plan. The trial version is there and my workplace even has a license for it so that's no biggie but will start the trial.

    Did you have to install it on a server or any desktop will do?
  10. Server requirements are not a lot. You can trial with SQL Express if you want. Your main requirement is for disk space, e.g. you'll probably need 30GB per image plus a bunch of space for your post-installation tasks.

    Naturally I'd be installing it on Windows Server 2008 R2. SCCM 2012 is not supported on Windows Server 2012 yet.
  11. That would be ok I can use a virtual server 2008.

    Server 2012 is not even set up yet at my workplace yet. A bit of an ancient set up here, if you know what I mean. :)
  12. You'll need something with a bit grunt and plenty of storage, You'll need a SQL instance to house the database, you'll also need AD and it is recommended that you do a schema extension to your AD to allow clients to locate SCCM services within your domain. If you wish to do software updates, you'll need a seperate WSUS deployment (if you already have WSUS, they can co-exist within your domain during transition). If you with to do SOE deployment with PXE you may need to configure PXE helpers depending on your network configuration.

    I'm a System Center and SOE specialist for Data#3, we have an offering called "Rapids" that we do for organisations that are about the size of yours. A Rapid is where we come in and do basic design and configure for SCCM (or any or all of the System Center products) with the most common features configured, we provide a handover and basic rundown with that.

    PM me if you need any info..
  13. Thanks Sammy. I'm in IT myself and probably will assist our Infrastructure team if we decide to go ahead with SCCM 2012.

    There is already a WSUS environment so unsure if it will be replaced by SCCM.

    Your job does sound very interesting though. A lot of travel involved?
  14. attack of the nerds lol
  15. attack of the nerds lol
  16. attack of the nerds
  17. :D

    At least no one of us is called Dave.
  18. most likely many
  19. Cool, it'll be good experience...

    If you deploy SCCM you may as well integrate WSUS with it, you get much better control over the scheduling of software updates deployment. It also allows you to roll updates in with your WIM image capture so that your SOE is deployed pre-updated...

    Yeah I do accasional travel for different projects.. I go to Adelaide and Brisbane pretty regularly, recently went to the big gold mine in Cadia Valley NSW for some work...

    It always stay interesting for sure!