Tuesday, November 29, 2011

VMware vCenter Protect Update Catalog (Patch Management)

A few months ago I posted a blog about "System Center Updates Publisher (SCUP) 2011 integration in ConfigMgr". This can be found here: Blogpost: SCUP 2011 

With SCUP 2011 you can create and install update packages that's not in WSUS by default. This time I have an interesting expansion on SCUP 2011. It's called "VMware vCenter Protect Update Catalog" (formerly known as Shavlik SCUPdates).

"VMware vCenter Protect Update Catalog" is a data catalog for deploying 3rd party, non-Microsoft updates with Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr). Our data catalog extends ConfigMgr to cover updates for these applications, which are not covered natively in ConfigMgr. Updates for the most attacked applications such as Adobe Reader and Acrobat are made available in these files. The files also include detection and deployment data for additional Microsoft legacy applications.

Supported Third-Party Applications: 
  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Flash Player
  • Adobe Reader
  • Adobe Shockwave
  • Apple iTunes
  • Apple QuickTime
  • Apple Safari
  • Apple Application Support
  • Citrix Presentation Server for Windows Server 2003
  • Citrix XenApp for Windows Server 2008 x64, x86
  • Java Runtime Environment
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • Mozilla SeaMonkey
  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • Opera
  • RealNetworks RealPlayer
  • Skype
  • And many more

More information, trial software and a datasheet can be found here:

Nice to see that SCUP functionality will be more interesting now!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Microsoft Management Summit 2012 Registration Open

Today I received the following message:

Microsoft Management Summit 2012 Registration Open


Innovation. Expertise. Community.

At the 2012 Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) the brightest and most skilled IT Professionals from around the world meet to increase their technical expertise through deep hands-on technical training, sharing of best practices, and interaction with innovators and pioneers in desktop and device management, datacenter and cloud technologies.

We hope you will join us for this popular event designed to stimulate new thinking and forge lasting relationships among a remarkable group of IT professionals and industry leaders.

Be the First to Try New Technology

At MMS you will be the first to learn about how Microsoft management technologies enable a new breed of datacenter through private cloud and public cloud solutions, and deliver a more flexible and productive desktop infrastructure. You’ll also gain free access to valuable trial software and be able to visit with over 50 technology companies who will be exhibiting their latest innovations and technology solutions.

Five Days of Intense Learning & Networking

MMS offers a jam packed schedule of learning opportunities that will help you accelerate your career and solve today’s most challenging technical problems while preparing you for tomorrow’s innovation.

Learn about a variety of technologies by attending sessions through either labs or self-paced labs, as well as Microsoft Certification Exam and tests when you’re ready to take the next step.

Bring your questions, your experiences and your curiosity to structured and unstructured networking events that will provide the opportunity to meet and discuss topics of common interest peer-to-peer or with Microsoft and industry experts.

Register now: http://www.mms-2012.com/registration
April 16-20 @ The Venetian, Las Vegas, Nevada

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Installing the ConfigMgr 2012 Release Candidate (RC)

On 27 october 2011 the Release Candidate (RC) of ConfigMgr 2012 is released. Because I'm doing ConfigMgr implementations most of times, I want to know which changes are made during installation. In this blog the setup of this new release is viewed, to see if there are any differences between previous releases. This installation is done on a Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise x64 server.

Have a look on Microsoft TechNet for download information: Download Microsoft System Center 2012 Pre-Release Products

Nice to see that ConfigMgr 2012 is now combined with Endpoint Protection 2012, which is the successor of Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010.

Unpack the file, and start Splash.hta for starting the setup. The following screen will be seen then, which has many new options in it:

When choosing INSTALL a message is displayed that DotNet Framework 3.5 SP1 and 4.0 are needed for starting the installation. So let's see first what's needed on the server for having a successful installation:
  • DotNet Framework 3.5 SP1 and 4.0 (with default IIS Role Services)
  • Remote Differential Compression (RDC)
  • Background Intelligence Transfer Service (BITS)
  • Windows Server Updates Servies (WSUS) > (optional)
  • IIS Role Services > IIS 6 WMI Compatibility

While ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 2 must be installed on SQL Server 2008 with SP1 and CU10 (because SP2 and R2 are not supported), they can be used for installation now! For SQL Server 2008 SP2 with CU6 is needed or SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 with CU3 is needed.

For Supported Configurations information, visit http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg682077.aspx

Then the installation begins..
  • Available Setup Options (Primary Site Server, Central Administration Site, Recover a Site Server)
  • Microsoft Software License Terms
  • Updated Prerequisite Components (15 items till now)
  • Server Language Selection (English by default and 5 other languages) which is new in RC
  • Client Language Selection (English by default and 21 other languages) which is also new in RC
  • Site and Installation Settings (Site Code, Site Name, Console)
  • Primary Site Installation (install a standalone site, or join an existing hierarchy)
  • Database Information (Server and Database name, Instance name)
  • SMS Provider Settings (cannot be installed on a clustered SQL server)
  • Client Computer Communication Settings (Native or Mixed mode)
  • Site System Roles (Choose HTTP or HTTPS for MP or DP, this can be choosen per rol)
  • Customer Experience Improvement Program Configuration
  • Setting Summary
  • Prerequisite Check
  • Install.. (this takes a while..) 
After that ConfigMgr 2012 RC is installed! Not that hard I think? Just 12 minutes has been used to install ConfigMgr and database.

Nice to see that Endpoint Protection 2012 is immediately available in the ConfigMgr console now. This with Antimalware and Windows Firewall policies by default.

Next blog will zoom deeper in new features of this ConfigMgr release! I'm very excited again about this new ConfigMgr release! Hope you are too!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Disable the GUI in Windows Server 8 with PowerShell

Last month I installed Windows Server Developer Preview (Windows Server 8). This can be found here: Windows Server 8 installed

There is the choice between installing the Full Installation, Server Core or Features on Demand edition. By default when doing a Full Installation the GUI is installed. In this blogpost I wil explain how to remove the GUI with usage of PowerShell.

This is the default screen after doing a Full Installation

Start Windows PowerShell with the default button available

In PowerShell the following commands are needed to remove the GUI:
  • Import-Module ServerManager
  • Get-WindowsFeature
  • Remove-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell
  • Shutdown /r /t 5

After reboot the default screen is changed, no background anymore..

When logon, Server Manager and a command window is started

In PowerShell it's possible to enable or disable Windows features again

Open the command window for that and use the following commands:
  • PowerShell
  • Import-Module ServerManager
  • Get-WindowsFeature
  • Add-WindowsFeature <Name> (or)
    Remove-WindowsFeature <Name>

The following command are needed to install the GUI again:
  • Add-WindowsFeature Server-Gui-Shell
  • Shutdown /r /t 5

If needed, Windows PowerShell Getting Started Guide:

Thanks to @RandolphWinjaja for PowerShell support.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Deploy Office 2010 with the Office Customization Tool (OCT)

Office 2010 will be installed with Setup.exe by default. It's however possible to use the Office Customization Tool (OCT) to decide which functionality must be used during install. With the created MSP file afterwards it's possible to do a unattend install with the usage of ConfigMgr. How to do that is explained in this blogpost.

First create a source location for the Office 2010 files. Run the Setup.exe with the /Admin parameter then. Choose to create a new Setup customization file.

There is the choice to choose between "Office Open XML formats" or "OpenDocument formats". In my case I choose to keep the current settings.

There are a lot of settings which can be configured in the Office Customization Tool. The most used are "Installation location and organization name" (and a few other settings).

Then select (in my case) "Licensing and user interface". I'm using a KMS client key here. For unattend and silent install use [Display level: None] and Suppress modal. Uncheck "Completion notice" here.

There is the choice to remove older Office versions before installing Office 2010.

Select which programs must be installed during Office 2010 setup. That's all for now for having a unattend Office 2010 install.

Choose "Save as" for creating a MSP file. This MSP must be placed in the Office 2010 source location then. Choose the Updates folder for that. All MSP files placed in the Updates folder will be automatically installed/used during install.

Then create a new package in ConfigMgr, with a Setup.exe command line. There are no additional installation switches needed. It's however possible to use an config.xml file for additional configuration. More about that on this TechNet post: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc179195.aspx

Hope things are clear now for Office 2010 deployment.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Create new Windows collections based on Query rules

Collections in ConfigMgr can be used for dynamic view. This will happen when a Query rule is used, based on Operating Systems or Active Directory containers (for example). There are a few blogs which describes this functionality already:

How to create a query based on Direct membership is described here:

How to configure ConfigMgr collections to Active Directory containers is described here:

In this blog I will describe how to create a new collection with Query rule.

First create a new collection in ConfigMgr and choose Membership rules based on Query rule. Click the [yellow database icon] and choose the query explained below. Choose "Dynamically add new resources" when using ConfigMgr R3 to automatically add new devices.

In this case I'm using a Resource class based on System Resource and  "Edit Query Statement" for creating a new Query rule.

Select the Criteria tab and the [yellow star icon] for that. Click "Select" afterwards.

In this case I'm using a Attribute class based on System Resource and a  Attribute based on "Operating System Name and Version".

When choose OK in the screen before (Select Attribute) the above screen will be displayed. Choose [Operator: Is Like] and Value based on Operating System variable here.

When choose OK in the screen before (Criterion Properties) the above screen will be displayed. Click OK afterwards.

The new collection with Query rule is ready now. All Windows 7 systems (in my case) will be automatically added in this new collection.

For new Windows releases use the following queries:
  • Windows Vista: Value = %Workstation 6.0%
  • Windows 7: Value = %Workstation 6.1%
  • Windows 8: Value = %Workstation 6.2%
  • Windows Server 2008: Value = %Server 6.0%
  • Windows Server 2008 R2: Value = %Server 6.1%
  • Windows Server 8: Value = %Server 6.2%

That way it's possible to create new collections with support on new Operating Systems. I will add support for new Operating Systems later when available.