Sequencing the System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Administrator Console with App-V 5.0

How to use App-V 5.0 to sequence the Configuration Manager 2012 Administrator Console? In this example, I’m also installing SP1 and CU1 so the console will be the latest and greatest (as of today). If your ConfigMgr Administrator Console is not at this exact same version, these steps should still work for you, however I have only tested it on 2012 SP1 and 2012 SP1 CU1

I can think of uses for this!

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SQL Virtual Log Files and impact on ConfigMgr performance

VLF (Virtual Log Files) can have a negative effect on database performance. Too many VLFs will slow down the startup, shutdown and read/write performance of any database.

VLFs are created when a transaction log file is allowed to auto-grow. While auto-growth will likely be enabled per database, the transaction log file should already be sized appropriately so it will not need to auto grow

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Windows Server and SCCM 2012 SP1 – Configuration Management with DCM

I’ll walk you through using System Center Configuration Manager’s Desired Configuration Management (DCM) to keep tabs on the critical configurations set on your server fleet:

Check Antivirus signatures, driver versions, VM Integration Services versions
Check Service Pack or other updates
Check certain file/folder/versions or details
Run a script/code and parse the output
You can check for the existence or the lack of something
You can make the settings required or optional/conditional
Your imagination might just be your only limitation with what you can check

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New USMT 5.0 Features for Windows 8

(Windows ADK), which replaces the old WAIK and contains the updated User State Migration Tool 5.0 (binary version 6.2.8250). The new tool brings a long sought capability to the toolset: corrupt store detection and extraction. There are also various incremental supportability improvements and bug fixes.

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Build a FREE System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 Lab in the Cloud

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 ( “ConfigMgr 2012 SP1” ) offers lots of great new capabilitiesfor IT Pros, but building a lab to evaluate, test and study ConfigMgr can be challenging if you don’t have spare hardware capacity in your data center.  In this Step-by-Step Guide, I’ll walk through the steps that I used to build my ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 demo and study lab in the cloud on the Windows Azure platform.  Click here

Creating a Software Update Group based on an input file

Depending on your patching process the way you structure and create Software Update Groups in Configuration Manager 2012 may vary. At quite a few customers I see a scenario where the monthly patch review board spawns a spreadsheet with the Updates to be released into the environment. Having to create a Software Update Group based on that spreadsheet manually can be a time consuming task for the Configuration Manager administrator.

With the new powershell cmdlets available in Configuration Manager 2012 Service Pack 1 I found out it was really straightforward to automate the creation of the Software Update Groups and populating them based on a csv input file. For someone like me, having very little experience with Powershell and scripting in general, it only took a few hours of playing in my lab to accomplish this. Lets have a look at the steps I’ve walked through.

Step 1 – The input file

Use the Configuration Analyzer to troubleshoot System Center components

It’s no secret that the many tools in System Center 2012, and the new features in Service Pack 1 (SP1) to System Center 2012, present a vast array of architecture and configuration decisions. While all the components work together to deliver data center management and cloud services, each formerly-separate product like Operations Manager (SCOM) or Configuration Manager (SCCM), does requires its own configuration. Missteps, oversights, or just typos in setting up System Center 2012 SP1 can vex admins when components don’t work or interoperate as needed-and each component needs to be set up “just so” to achieve their collective potential.

Microsoft has released a way to discover how to optimally configure System Center 2012 SP1 components: The System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Analyzer is your new first-line troubleshooting tool for issues with System Center 2012 SP1 server-side components. Keeping true to the theme that System Center 2012 SP1 is one product with various components, Microsoft released this single analyzer for the entire System Center 2012 SP1 suite, rather than individual tools for each component. The business benefit is that you can make sure you are getting the most value from your management software with little additional effort and at no cost.

A best practice analyzer for your management tools