What's new in ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1, ConfigMgr 2012 Sp2 and ConfigMgr vNext (technical preview version of ConfigMgr 2016?)

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Here is some of the latest news from Microsoft Ignite 2015 about ConfigMgr (SCCM 2012). This blog will briefly review the next updates for SCCM 2012 and some of the new features included in them. We will cover the release dates first and then some of the features that are in each update. Release dates: The below chart's top two rows are the most relevant for ConfigMgr fans. The first row named ConfigMgr is the next major version of ConfigMgr (vNext). The technical preview was released last week and the "final" release is scheduled for the end of 2015. The second row is the next Service Pack for the current version of SCCM 2012. If you are not on SCCM 2012 R2, there also will be a SP2 for you (ConfigMgr 2012 SP2). If you do have R2 installed, then the update will be called ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1. If the third row is relevant to you then we need to talk. Microsoft will release a hotfix for the SCCM 2007 users, but this will not include OSD support for Windows 10. You will need to use MDT or some other tool for Windows 10 Image management and deployments. But really, you should seriously consider upgrading to SCCM 2012 if you are still on 2007 (call us, we can help).

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Key Features (Service Pack): ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 and ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 will have many changes in OSD, with the Hierarchy, and many other areas. To quickly review these please read on. OSD There is better Task Sequence stability for those times when updates may cause multiple reboots. Some other OSD improvements will be better logging in smsts logs (YES!), role-based access for standalone media, and improvements to driver management UI (fixed 24 bugs and DCRs). Windows 8.1 ADK will be supported and you will be able to upgrade to Windows 10 ADK once it is released. You also will be able to upgrade operating systems to Windows 10 using task sequences and powershell. This upgrade feature is supposed to improve greatly "out of the box" with vNext. Hierarchy ConfigMgr will now be able to exclude servers from auto client upgrades. There will be improved Management Point (MP) rotation logic and a better MP list logic. SQL Server 2014 will be supported with this latest service pack. Scale has been greatly improve to 600K clients hierarchy wide. Standalone Primaries will support up to 150K with WSUS optimizations and Secondary Sites will now go up to 10k. Other Feature Updates Of course ConfigMgr 2012 R2 SP1 or ConfigMgr 2012 SP2 will enable support for Windows 10. It will also enable a lot of Intune functionality. In essence they redid the insides of ConfigMgr to allow for future Hybrid Intune extensions to be released. This will also greatly improve even more in vNext. There are changes in the Application Management around support for Win10 apps and also faster App-V publishing at first logon. A couple of the Content Management improvements that have been made are for PullDP functionality and also better checkpoint restarts so packages do not have to start over if there are network issues. There are even more changes in this latest service pack. Watch the BRK3861 video (link below) around the 50 minute mark for those other features. The following is a slide they used in that session to cover the Key Features in this service pack.

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Key Features (ConfigMgr Tech Preview, vNext): Cluster Aware Management One really cool piece coming is the Cluster Aware Management. There will be a new tab in the collections (Yes, another one!) to cover two different scenarios: 1. Keep x% of cluster online during patching and 2. Patch my cluster in a declared order. This is very much needed for patching and managing datacenter clients. On-Premises MDM infrastructure You will be able to manage Windows 10 devices using MDM with on-premises infrastructure. OSD OSD will have the "OS Upgrade Package" object in the console for more "out of the box" functionality for OS upgrading. We will also be able to have ConfigMgr in Azure and there will also be in-console client deployment monitoring. I am sure many more features will be added between now and the Q4 of 2015. Download the Technical Preview here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/evaluate-system-center-configuration-manager-and-endpoint-protection-technical-preview

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Much of the information in this blog came from the Ignite sessions BRK3861, BRK3328, and BRK3495. https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2015/BRK3861 https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2015/BRK3328 https://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Ignite/2015/BRK3495

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