This whitepaper provides an overview of Software Updates Management in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with an emphasis on a detailed understanding of each process involved and how to troubleshoot those process when problems arise. All aspects are discussed, including prerequisites, installation and configuration, configuring deployments, performing maintenance as well as administrative best practices.
Configuration Manager 2012 R2 disaster recovery is a complex process. It requires sufficient knowledge of the Configuration Manager Product & dependent components. This document describes the steps to recover a full Configuration Manager 2012 R2 hierarchy in case of disaster. This document also describes the steps to recovery either CAS or Primary sites as well as additional steps that Configuration Manager Administrators should follow in order to restore a Configuration Manager Hierarchy or Sites without data loss. This document also provides some helpful troubleshooting tips.
At a higher level, there are the following few steps described below to recover an entire hierarchy in the event of disaster. Please note that the steps are different for recovering an entire hierarchy and individual site servers such as CAS or Primary sites. Please refer to appropriate sections within this document to recover appropriate site servers. The approximate time noted below in each of the tasks may vary significantly as there are many factors involved when recovering an entire hierarchy so use this timing as an example ONLY.
- Collect CAS & Primary Site Information (~1 hour) In this step, collect & document all the necessary information required from the existing hierarchy. This task should be followed regularly whenever there are updates/changes at the site level so that it will save time at the time of disaster recovery.
- Backup Sites – CAS & Primary (~3 hrs.) This section describes backup options.
- Recover CAS Site (~3 to 48 hrs.) This section provides the steps to recover the CAS Site server. Global data can be recovered within 3-4 hours but for site data it can take up to 48 hours.
- Recover Primary Site(s) (~3 to 48 hrs.) This section provides the steps to recover Primary Site servers. Global data can be recovered within 3-4 hours but for site data it can take up to 48 hours. Recover from supplemental backups (~2 hrs.)
- This section describes the steps to recover the additional components of Configuration Manager.
Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 supports the management of Apple Mac clients. The client for Mac computers allows you to discover, collect inventory, manage settings, and deploy applications and patches using your Configuration Manager environment.
Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 also supports the management of UNIX and Linux servers. The clients for UNIX and Linux extends the scope of your Configuration Manager environment to collect inventory, deploy software, and run reports about UNIX and Linux servers in your enterprise. The client operates as a workgroup client that is managed by Configuration Manager.
Feature Summary: Mac Client: The following Mac versions are supported in this release:
- Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
- Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion)
- Mac OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion)
The following scenarios are supported through the Mac client in Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1:
- Discovery – Discovers Mac OS X system in Active Directory and through network discovery
- Hardware Inventory – Provides hardware inventory and auditing of computers running Mac OS X, including a list of installed software similar to add/remove programs for Windows systems.
- Settings Management – Ensures computers running Mac OS X comply with company policies using scripts and preference list management.
- Application Deployment – Distributes required software via app model.
- Software Updates Management – Distributes patches utilizing Software Distribution and Settings management features.
UNIX/Linux Client: The following UNIX and Linux versions are supported in this release.
- AIX Version 7.1, 5.3
- Solaris Version 11, 10, 9
- HP-UX Version 11v2, 11v3
- RHEL Version 6, 5, 4
- SLES Version 11, 10, 9
- CentOS Version 6, 5
- Debian Version 6, 5
- Ubuntu Version 12.4 LTS, 10.4 LTS
- Oracle Linux 6, 5
The following scenarios are supported by the UNIX and Linux clients:
- Hardware Inventory – Hardware inventory can be viewed through Resource Explorer and can be used to create collections of UNIX and Linux computers.
- Software Inventory – Through hardware inventory the list of natively installed software can be gathered from the UNIX and Linux computers – similar to add/remove programs for Windows systems.
- Software Distribution – Deploy new software, update existing software and apply OS patches to collections of UNIX/Linux computers (using a package and program). Run arbitrary maintenance scripts on a collection of UNIX/Linux servers.
- Secure and Authenticated Communications
- Consolidated Reports
Download the Clients for System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager here :
The Upgrade Assessment Tool provides the following functionality:
- Retrieves device driver compatibility information for installed peripheral devices and creates reports that you can use to determine which device drivers need to be upgraded to support the Windows operating system.
- Allows you to see which computers meet the recommended system requirements for Windows operating systems and to customize these requirements for your environments.
- Creates summary reports that you can use to see an enterprise wide view of operating system upgrade readiness.
- Allows you to create dynamic collections for an operating system deployment. The collection query rules can be based on system requirements, application compatibility status, and device driver status.
Supported operating systems: Windows 7 Enterprise, Windows 7 Service Pack 1, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008 Datacenter, Windows Server 2008 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter, Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise, Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard, Windows Server 2008 Service Pack 2, Windows Server 2008 Standard, Windows Server 2012
- Other Requirements:
- Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager:
- The site server must be running Configuration Manager SP1 with Cumulative Update 1.
- Configuration Manager clients can run Configuration Manager with no service pack, Configuration Manager SP1, or Configuration Manager SP1 with Cumulative Update 1.
- You must have a reporting services point to view the compatibility information from clients.
- You must have one or more distribution points to deploy the ACT inventory collection package to clients.
- Clients must run hardware inventory.
- Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) 6.0. To download and install the toolkit, see Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows® 8. The Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) is a collection of tools that you can use to customize, assess, and deploy Windows operating systems to new computers. For more information about the Application Compatibility Toolkit, see Application Compatibility Toolkit Technical Reference.
- Microsoft .NET Framework 4. To download and install the .NET Framework 4, use one of the following resources:
You must install the following software before you install the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Upgrade Assessment Tool.
For planning guidance and installation instructions for the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Upgrade Assessment Tool please see the Upgrade Assessment Tool Technet Documentation.
The Upgrade Assessment Tool depends on both System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 and the Application Compatibility Toolkit 6.0. The beginning of the Upgrade Assessement Tool support lifecycle will be the same as System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1. It will be supported on the System Center 2012 lifecycle.
The Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Package Conversion Manager allows for converting packages and programs into applications and deployment types in System Center Configuration Manager 2012. There is a migration feature which is released with the Configuration Manager 2012 that allows packages to be migrated from 2007 to 2012. Once you have migrated your package objects and installed PCM it is just a matter of analyzing your packages to determine their readiness state and then converting the packages with the appropriate readiness state to applications. This release comes in 6 languages and will work with both System Center Configuration Manager 2012 and System Center Configuration Manager 2012 SP1.
- Analyzes Packages
- Automatic Conversion
- PCM Plug-In
- Fix and Convert Wizard
- Package Conversion Dashboard
- Online Help
- Bulk Analyzer
The following System Center 2012 – Configuration Manager add-ons and extensions are available for download:
Package Conversion Manager (PCM) The Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Package Conversion Manager allows for converting packages and programs into applications and deployment types in System Center Configuration Manager 2012. There is a migration feature which will be released with the Configuration Manager 2012 that allows packages to be migrated from 2007 to 2012. Once you have migrated your package objects and installed PCM then it is just a matter analyzing your packages in order to determine which readiness state each are in, and then converting those packages that are in the appropriate readiness state. . This release comes in 4 languages.
Physical to Virtual (P2V) Migration Toolkit
The System Center 2012 Configuration Manager P2V Migration Toolkit facilitates the re-utilization of existing x64 server hardware using virtualization technologies, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Hyper-V. The P2V Migration Toolkit was specifically designed to assist in situations where there are remote Configuration Manager 2007 SP 2 site servers that need to be retained during side-by-side migration process to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. The P2V Migration Toolkit is geared to supporting P2V migrations at remote, branch offices that do not have existing onsite Virtual Machine Manager infrastructure.
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager ToolkitThe Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Toolkit contains nine downloadable tools to help you manage and troubleshoot Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. The following list provides specific information about each tool in the toolkit.
- Client Spy – A tool that helps you troubleshoot issues related to software distribution, inventory, and software metering on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Policy Spy – A policy viewer that helps you review and troubleshoot the policy system on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Security Configuration Wizard Template for Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager – The Security Configuration Wizard (SCW) is an attack-surface reduction tool for the Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 operating system. Security Configuration Wizard determines the minimum functionality required for a server’s role or roles, and disables functionality that is not required.
- Send Schedule Tool – A tool used to trigger a schedule on a client or trigger the evaluation of a specified DCM Baseline. You can trigger a schedule either locally or remotely.
- Power Viewer Tool – A tool to view the status of power management feature on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Deployment Monitoring Tool – The Deployment Monitoring Tool is a graphical user interface designed help troubleshoot Applications, Updates, and Baseline deployments on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients.
- Run Metering Summarization Tool – The purpose of this tool is to run the metering summarization task to analyze raw metering data
- Role-based Administration Modeling and Auditing Tool – This tool helps administrators to model and audit RBA configurations.
- License Tracking PowerShell Cmdlets – The PowerShell cmdlet “Get-ConfigMgrAccessLicense” is used to get license usage information for all the servers and clients within scope of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. The cmdlet returns a list of licensable features and a list of unique users and devices per unique licensable feature.