I’m blogging live once again using the live webcast from the Microsoft Management Summit 2010. Today’s featured speaker is Brad Anderson.
Anderson says that Windows Update updated 90million Windows 7 computers in March 2010. This session will focus on management of the PC. The role of the desktop administrator will change, involving cloud (that’s #1) and security.
Configuration Manager 2007 R3
As promised by Jeff Wettlaufer in a TechNet Edge video, Configuration Manager 2007 R3 is now in public beta (after a lengthy TAP). Jeff comes on stage to show power management of R3. This is all about learning about power usage, policy creation/enforcement, and reporting.
We see power consumption reporting being enabled on a collection. A series of reports are viewed, e.g. the cost (local cost defined by you) of the power based on KwH. That might be useful for servers. Power management settings are also configured in the collection. All the familiar ones are available from Windows 7. You can define peak and non-peak as well as on battery and plugged in. You can also define a wake-policy to tell a machine to power up, get some policy/updates and go back to sleep. Now you run reports to see how you improved your power consumption, e.g. environmental impact. You can quantify the savings from pre- and post-policy. A report shows the types of activity that keep computers awake in relation to computers/monitors being active/asleep. Handy for tuning policy or trying to figure out why something never powers down.
The CEO of 1E is featured in a video. He couldnt’ travel because of the travel chaos. MS missed a UC demo opportunity here. 1E is one of the biggest players in extending ConfigMgr functionality. They’ve built upon the power management of ConfigMgr with a product called Night Watchman. Claims it saves Dell $26/PC/year in power costs.
XenApp Management with ConfigMgr
A distribution type for XenApp can be created in ConfigMgr Software Distribution. New package and programs are created in there. A advertisement is set up to install the package onto the XenApp servers. Users get drained from the servers, the apps get installed and then users can log in.
Dynamic Memory and RemoteFX
Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 is now talked about and how the new Hyper-V features positively impact VDI – more machines per host and better graphics.
Michael Kleef comes out to demo. This is the first time non-NDA people get a demo as far as I know. You can see a VM being started up with 1GB RAM and it will be able to grow to 3GB RAM. Additional memory will be allocated as required and released back to the host when not required. The current usage is shown in the Hyper-V console. VMM will get an update to enable this management.
RemoteFX is aimed at VDI. The host has a high end graphics card. This will be shared by Hyper-V VM’s on the host for graphics processing for the VDI machines. A demo of 720P video is shown running on a remote VM. Aero features like peek and flip are there. The GPU does the work, not the CPU. This is shown in Performance Monitor.
ConfigMgr Advanced Hardware Power Management
ConfigMgr can audit machines that aren’t even powered up, e.g. Dell 11G servers. You get an audit of the racked, networked machines that are still powered off. When ready, ConfigMgr can power them up and deploy an OS.
ConfigMgr To Consolidate Security – Forefront
ConfigMgr allows you to eliminate a separate security infrastructure by integrating with ForeFront End Point Protection. You don’t need new servers and you get an integrated console. Updating, policy analysis, reporting were already there since the 2007 R1 release.
Demo: Forefront appears in ConfigMgr as a set of packages by default. The install program has logic to be able to remove other AV solutions – just like Trend Micro has/had (it’s been a while). A set of collections based on different states are created – allowing context sensitive advertisements. A new Forefront node is created for policy creation. Here you can configure scan preferences, exclusions, how to get updates (default is ConfigMgr), scheduled scans, etc. You can then assign the policy to a collection. Reports are available to show status breakdowns, infections, etc.
This is a tidy solution. I still see lots of people not adopting it which is unfortunate.
System Center Configuration Manager in the Cloud
He said “cloud”! You know the drinking game rules: 1 shot – now! OK – put the bottle down. You’d already have alcohol poisoning if we played the MMS 2010 cloud drinking game.
Here’ comes Windows Intune. See my previous launch post. An admission that this is not nearly (not even way) as powerful as ConfigMgr. However, it will be updated quite frequently. It’s not a rival to ConfigMgr but it will be an alternative entry point to centralised management.
We get a very quick Windows Intune demo where we see update management. We see something ConfigMgr doesn’t have – update automatic approval policies like WSUS has.
We hear how a corporation used the beta to create a CMDB (ITIL/MOF configuration manager database) that integrated many System Center databases into one. That was done in 2 hours: a singe data warehouse for all configuration data. Nice!
On top of Service Manager 2010 MS has built in some auditing functionality. SMSD customers have access to Service Manager now.
NOW Service Manager gets the welcome it should have. Nicely done by the speaker :-) The team deserves a lot of credit – they wrote a product, got bad feedback, scrapped it and started all over. Not many will do that.
We get a demo on how Service Manager is used to assist with PCI compliance – stuff to do with credit card payments processing certification. A library of 350 (!) compliance documents is built into the package. You can pull from this. The demo pulls documents to do with American Express. Objectives are presented that IT will understand. Now you work on them, update your progress and track your progress. Some of this could be duplicated in other projects but Service Manager knows this and strips out redundant new steps. There is integration into OpsMgr, ConfigMgr and AD. Demonstration of compliance can be done using this too, making auditing much easier.
This is something I firmly believe in: we need to put some power back in the users hands, e.g. self service provisioning. Whether it be OS deployment, virtual machine deployment, software deployment, etc.
ConfigMgr v.Next is demonstrated now. It has some cool user focused stuff.
Desired Configuration Management (DCM) is shown. It will have remediation, not just the current reporting feature. In the demo, a file association no longer works. That’s because someone has uninstalled it. ConfigMgr uses a state to decide what software should be installed. AT LAST! This has been needed since SMS 0.0. V.Next will remediate the state (software is assigned to the PC but missing) by reinstalling the software. DCM can also remediate things like firewall, IE settings, etc. Enabling the remediation is a simple tick box operation for the administrator. Doh – the demo falls into the trap of trying to do things too quick in ConfigMgr. ConfigMgr is not meant to be a hurried product. Things in large enterprises take time.
The beta will be out in May. Everything is re-rewritten to leverage the DCM state engine. That’s the way it should be.
VMM v.Next, ConfigMgr v.Next, OpsMgr v.Next, Service Manager 2010 R2 all appear in 2011. MMS 2011 will be a crazy busy conference.
That was a keynote that had the content you want – lots of demos and lots of new stuff. Nicely done!