SCORCH : An introduction to Orchestrator – Computer Groups

System Center 2012 – Orchestrator is designed to interact with all of your data center systems. Computer groups let you target selected activities against a set of similar computer systems instead of a single computer. By configuring the activities in your runbook to use a computer group, you have the flexibility to add computers dynamically … Continue reading SCORCH : An introduction to Orchestrator – Computer Groups

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In telemetry we trust?

More than patches

Telemetry is one of those things that tends to divide a room. On one hand it’s productive and accurate feedback for your product of choice and on the other hand it’s big brother spying on what you’re doing in that product. I wanted to share a recent experience with you based on my recent upgrade of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) to the recent 1710 release as it may make you change your mind.

The long awaited 1710 release was made available last week a little before midnight in the UK on 20/11/17 (or 11/20 in the US Smile). The next morning I fired up my lab which runs the current branch version of SCCM, ran the early update ring PowerShell script and proceeded to whizz through the wizard in a speedy not hastily fashion. This was lab after all so on with the day job and I’ll check…

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Add Custom Notifications to a ConfigMgr Task Sequence

smsagent

One feature I would really like to see added to a Configuration Manager task sequence is the ability to natively provide notification messages to the logged-on user. Previously, to accomplish this, I have used simple pop-up notifications like the Wscript Shell Popup method in a PowerShell script, together with the handy ServiceUI utility in MDT to display the notification in the logged-on users’ session. This has worked well enough for simple messages, and has been useful in several scenarios. For example, see my blog post about prompting for input during a task sequence.

Recently I wrote a PowerShell function to display my own custom notifications using WPF, called New-WPFMessageBox. This allows for much greater customisation of the message box, including adding your own WPF content. So I decided to revisit displaying notifications during a task sequence using this new function instead. In this post I will show you how…

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Getting Data from the Intune Data Warehouse with PowerShell

smsagent

The Intune Data Warehouse is a great addition to the Microsoft Intune service allowing visibility of historical data for reporting, data and trend analysis for your Microsoft MDM environment. It comes with an OData feed that allows you to connect to the data with PowerBI, Microsoft’s reporting and data visualization service.

The Data Warehouse RESTful API (currently in Beta) can be used to get data from the warehouse using a REST client. I decided to explore how to do this with PowerShell so I can run some ad-hoc queries and analyse trends in the data.

To get data from the Intune Data Warehouse we need to do three main things:

  1. Create a native App in Azure and give it access to the Intune Data Warehouse
  2. Authenticate with Azure using OAuth 2.0 and get an access token
  3. Invoke the RESTful web service using http

Create a Native App in Azure

In your Azure…

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New tool: ConfigMgr Add2Collection

smsagent

Today I released a new tool for the community! ConfigMgr Add2Collection is a free tool that allows IT administrators and support staff to add resources to collections in ConfigMgr independently of the ConfigMgr console. It honors role-based access control (RBAC) to limit visibility of collections where appropriate. It can be used either on the Site Server or a remote workstation using PS remoting.

The tool includes a collection explorer so you can browse for collections, view collection details and current membership.

See more info here.

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Getting started with the Power BI SCCM Template

SCCMentor/MECMentor - Paul Winstanley

This blog runs through the process of setting up Power BI and the SCCM template which will give you detailed information on your System Center Configuration Manager including client and server health, malware protection, software updates, and software inventory across your organisation.

First things first, to run the Power BI SCCM template you need to running PowerShell v5 on the device that you install it on.

Run a Get-Host on your device to see the PowerShell version installed.

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If it’s not v5 then go to here and grab a copy and install.

Download the SCCM Template

Next head over to https://powerbi.microsoft.com/en-us/solution-templates/sccm/

Click ‘Install Now’ to start the installation of the Power BI SCCM template.

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Scroll down and click ‘Sign In’

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Once you have signed in you will need to allow access to the Business Platform Solution Template. Click Accept to do this.

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You’ll now be presented with a Download button.

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Install…

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Parallels Mac Management for SCCM – Part 6 – Deploying Packages

SCCMentor/MECMentor - Paul Winstanley

In Part 1 of the Parallels Mac Management for SCCM series I installed the Parallels Configuration Manager Console Extension. I installed this on my site server ‘ConfigMgr’.

Part 2 focused on the installation of the Parallels Proxy which I installed on a remote server called ‘Parallels’ which I intend to use to install the Parallels roles.

Part 3 of the series concluded the ‘role’ installation, namely the NetBoot Server and OS X Software Update Service.

Part 4 of the Parallels series focused on getting the Parallels Mac client onto a Mac OS X device.

Part 5 of the series showed you how to deploy an application down to a Mac OS X device, install it via the app portal and remove the application.

In Part 6 of the series I will show you how to deploy a package to a Mac OS X device. Since packages can be used with…

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Parallels Mac Management for SCCM – Part 5 – Deploying Applications

SCCMentor/MECMentor - Paul Winstanley

In Part 1 of the Parallels Mac Management for SCCM series I installed the Parallels Configuration Manager Console Extension. I installed this on my site server ‘ConfigMgr’.

Part 2 focused on the installation of the Parallels Proxy which I installed on a remote server called ‘Parallels’ which I intend to use to install the Parallels roles.

Part 3 of the series concluded the ‘role’ installation, namely the NetBoot Server and OS X Software Update Service.

Part 4 of the Parallels series focused on getting the Parallels Mac client onto a Mac OS X device.

In Part 5 of the series I will show you how to deploy an application down to a Mac OS X device, install it via the app portal and remove the application.

Set up the CMAppUtil tool

Before we can configure the application in ConfigMgr we need to convert the deployment onto a format that ConfigMgr…

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Parallels Mac Management for SCCM – Part 4 – Installing the client

SCCMentor/MECMentor - Paul Winstanley

In Part 1 of the Parallels Mac Management for SCCM series I installed the Parallels Configuration Manager Console Extension. I installed this on my site server ‘ConfigMgr’.

Part 2 focused on the installation of the Parallels Proxy which I installed on a remote server called ‘Parallels’ which I intend to use to install the Parallels roles.

Part 3 of the series concluded the ‘role’ installation, namely the NetBoot Server and OS X Software Update Service.

Part 4 of the Parallels series focuses on getting the Parallels Mac client onto a Mac OS X device.

There are various ways in which to get the Parallels Mac client installed on an end device.

  • Parallels Network Discovery – Discovers Mac computers on the network, push installs Parallels Mac Client on them, and then enrolls each Mac in Configuration Manager.
  • SCCM Active Directory System Discovery – Discovers domain joined Mac computers and adds them…

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Parallels Mac Management for SCCM – Part 3 – NetBoot Server & OS X Software Update Service

SCCMentor/MECMentor - Paul Winstanley

In Part 1 of the Parallels Mac Management for SCCM series I installed the Parallels Configuration Manager Console Extension. I installed this on my site server ‘ConfigMgr’.

Part 2 focused on the installation of the Parallels Proxy which I installed on a remote server called ‘Parallels’ which I intend to use to install the Parallels roles.

Part 3 of the series concludes the ‘role’ installation, namely the NetBoot Server and OS X Software Update Service.

The Parallels NetBoot server is required for Mac Operating System Deployment. ‘NetBoot is a technology from Apple that enables Mac computers to boot from a network. You need to install this component if you plan to deploy OS X images to Mac computers. The component must be installed on a computer running Windows Server 2008 SP2 or later’ (see http://download.parallels.com/pmm/v4.5/ga/docs/en_US/Parallels-Mac-Management-for-SCCM-Administrators-Guide.pdf)

The OS X Software Update Service ‘allows you to manage Apple software updates
(patches) for OS X using…

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