February 19, 2010

ITMU Functionalities: How it works?

Advertisement Begins
Check %windir%\system32\ccm\logs\execmgr.log – All advertisements executed by the SMS client are written to this log. You should be able to find the AdvertisementID for the Scan. Also, look for Requesting content from CAS for package version ## – ## should be the current package source version for the Microsoft Updates Scanner. Finally, you should see the command line used (which contains “Scanwrapper.exe”), the process created, and the Raised Program Started Event for AD: .. At this point, ScanWrapper.exe has been launched.

ScanWrapper Begins
Check %windir%\system32\ccm\logs\ScanWrapper.log – This log is generated by ScanWrapper.exe – Use the Date/Time column to find the most recent Software Updates Scan Tool Started entry. It will perform checks for Windows Update Version, Client Version, etc. ScanWrapper.log will also show the “Source Directory” and “Cache Directory” for the CAB file. ScanWrapper then launches SMSWusHandler. *Note: Scanwrapper.log is also used for other Scanning tools, such as the Extended Software Update Inventory Tool (ESUIT).

SMSWusHandler Begins
Check %windir%\system32\ccm\logs\SMSWusHandler.log – This log is generated by SMSWusHandler.exe, and is used to initiate actions on the Windows Update Agent. Use the Date/Time column to find the most recent SmsWusHandler Started entry. After performing a Windows Update version check, you will see an entry that reads similar to this: ScanPackage serviceID being used for this search is {78cc3df0-6ae3-4990-ab7c-87aeffb4b7fc}. The log will pause on this entry for a few minutes, because SMSWusHandler has handed off the scan to the Windows Update Agent.

WindowsUpdate Begins (and Completes)
Check %windir%\WindowsUpdate.log – This log is generated by the Windows Update (Automatic Updates) agent, which is used for patch scan and installation. Use the Date/Time stamp (located at the beginning of every row) to find the most recent Logging Initialized entry. Follow the log for Added Update entries. **Some entries in this log may appear as errors, but are actually “normal” – review the help link for more information.

SMSWusHandler Completes
SMSWusHandler continues after the completion of WindowsUpdate, listing each potential update, and states whether “Applicable” or “Installed”, writes the data to and .xml file in the cache directory (e.g., C:\WINNT\system32\VPCache\\Results.xml), and finishes the log with SmsWusHandler Terminating.

ScanWrapper Completes
ScanWrapper continues after the completion of SMSWusHandler, by reading the results.xml file – (e.g., Patch information from C:\WINNT\system32\VPCache\\Results.xml). The log then writes the details of each potential update, (including MS KB and security bulletin ID), and states whether the patch is applicable or installed. Next, it writes the data to Win32_PatchState_Extended. Finally, the information in Win32_ScanPackageVersion is updated, and Scanwrapper exits

Advertisement Completes
Finally, execmgr.log completes with a message similar to the following: Execution is complete for program Microsoft Security Updates. The exit code is 0, the execution status is Success.

What is Binary Differential Replication in SCCM?

Binary Differential Replication, sometimes known as "delta replication," is used by Configuration Manager 2007 to update package source files with a minimum of additional network traffic.

When Configuration Manager 2007 updates the source files for a package, and the source files have already been distributed, it sends the parts of the package that have changed since the last time the package was sent (originally, as an update, or as a refresh). This minimizes the network traffic between sites, especially when the package is large and the changes are relatively small. A file is considered to be changed if it has been renamed, moved, or its contents have changed.

The originating site keeps the differences between the current version of a package and the previous five versions. If a child site or distribution point has one of the previous five versions of the package, the originating site will send the appropriate changes to that site. If the child site has an older version of the package, the originating site will send the entire package.

If the originating site sends the changed files for a package but the receiving site no longer has the package, or the package has been altered at that site, the receiving site will send a status message to the originating site reporting the problem.

In order for Configuration Manager 2007 to use binary differential replication, all receiving sites must first have received at least the initial version of the package. Until all receiving sites have the initial version, Configuration Manager 2007 will not use differential replication.

Care should be taken when distributing changes to a package's source files. If the path to a receiving site is closed, it is important that you not attempt to update the distribution point multiple times before the site address is again available. Each update will include the files from the previous update because the receiving sites will not yet have the previous update. As a result, the updates will include multiple redundant files, wasting network bandwidth.

The processing time for large packages can take an extended period of time (20-30 minutes in some cases or even longer, depending on the size of the package). During this package compression/decompression and hashing/signature-creating process, distmgr.log might appear to be idle, even though the process is continuing.

February 17, 2010

General SMS Console access tips

If you can’t add a site server name to your SMS console try adding an entry to your machines hosts file located at C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts.

Also, it may help to add the servers’ domain to your machines list of DNS entries.

To do this on the Windows XP based computer that is running the SMS Administrator console, follow below steps:

1. Click Start, click Run, type dcomcnfg.exe, and then click OK.
2. Locate the Console root node, expand Component Services, expand Computers, and then click My Computer.
3. Right-click My Computer, and then click Properties.
4. In My Computer Properties, click the COM Security tab.
5. In Access Permission, click Edit Limits.
7. In Permission for ANONYMOUS LOGON, click Allow setting for Remote Access.
8. Click OK two times.
9. Restart your computer.

February 16, 2010

WMI commands to refersh SMS Policy on machines

To Request policies:
WMIC /namespace:\\root\ccm path sms_client CALL TriggerSchedule "{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000021}" /NOINTERACTIVE

To Evaluate(Apply) policies:
WMIC /namespace:\\root\ccm path sms_client CALL TriggerSchedule "{00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000022}" /NOINTERACTIVE

February 10, 2010

Query to get SQL Server version and edition

Pls use the below query to get the SQL server version and edition-

SELECT SERVERPROPERTY('productversion'), SERVERPROPERTY ('productlevel'), SERVERPROPERTY ('edition')

How SMS gets status report for custom MIF file?

SMS looks for the MIF file to be placed in either the machines temp directory (%TEMP%) or the system root directory (%SYSTEMROOT%). SMS also ensures that the MIF file was created after the program execution was started to make sure that it does not accidentially import incorrect status information.

Once SMS finds a matching MIF file, it will parse the file and, if valid, it will transmit the data back to the SMS server. It will then delete the MIF file from the file system.

If SMS does not find a matching MIF file, then it does not delete any files (MIF or otherwise) and returns a SUCCESS value if the exit code from the executed process was 0. Any other value results in a FAILED value being returned up to the SMS server.

The status MIFs generated on the clients must be saved in either the system %temp% or %Windir% directories. %Windir% is used if the user has sufficient privileges to write to that folder; otherwise the files are placed in the %temp% folder. The preprogrammed status MIF generation tools will automatically place status MIFs in these directories. If you generate status MIFs by using other techniques, you must ensure the status MIFs are placed in these directories.

February 2, 2010

How to obtain 100 % ConfigMgr Client Installation?

To ensure that all systems that are intended and targeted for the ConfigMgr client installation. The best client deployment method is using AD GPO that will apply 3 settings.

1. the ccmsetup parameters are place in the registry
2. the WSUS URL is place in the registry.
3. applies the ADM Client Assignment template.

Enable WSUS/SUP Client Installation. In the GPO add the WSUS URL for your SUP Site Role. As clients join the domain or connects to the network, the Windows Update Agent will scan against your WSUS server and the ConfigMgr client will be detected as not installed and WSUS will install the client treating the client as if it was a critical update.

The installation will start about 2 to 3 minutes after the client is detected as not installed. This method will also upgrade a client that is lower than the published version in WSUS. If a client is already installed with the right version, the client will be re-assigned to your site if not already assigned. Also as part of this GPO you will want to add the ADM Client Assignment template. This is comes with ConfigMgr 2007. This template will keep clients assigned to the site of choice.

Two things will happen automatically for you. If the client is un-installed for any reason, WSUS will re install the client on the next WSUS scan. If the client is re assigned to another site, the ADM template with automatically reassign the client back to the originating site code immediately.

sources: MyITForum.com

Daily SCCM Administrative logs: ConfigMgr'07 Inboxes to Monitor

Listed here is a list of the ConfigMgr 2007 inboxes that should be checked on a regular basis to ensure that your site(s) function as expected.

A backlog of files can indicate problems accessing the site database.

A backlog of files can indicate problems accessing the site database.

A backlog of files can indicate a network corruption problem or a problem with the DDM

A backlog of files can indicate that the Software Inventory Processor cannot connect to the site database or that too many files were received.

A backlog of files can indicate problems with specific clients, with management points, or with the network that could cause data corruption.

A backlog of files can indicate that the Component Status Summarizer cannot process the volume of messages.

A backlog of files can indicate problems accessing the Systems Management Server (SMS) database

A backlog of files can indicate a bad custom MIF file or that a client computer cannot transfer the file correctly.

A backlog of files can indicate a bad DDR is preventing other DDR’s to process.

A backlog of files can indicate a network corruption problem or a problem with the DDM

A backlog of files can indicate a performance problem that is caused by a large number of messages.

A backlog of files in the policypv.box folder indicates that the policy provider component is not running.

A backlog of files can indicate that the Scheduler is backlogged or is already processing files of the same priority

A backlog of files can indicate that the Sender cannot connect to or cannot transfer data to another site.

A backlog of .srq files indicates that the sender cannot process the number of jobs scheduled for that sender or that the sender cannot connect to or transfer data to another site.

A backlog of files can indicate that many send requests are not completed or that the Scheduler has not yet deleted the files.

A backlog of files can indicate that the Software Inventory Processor cannot connect to the site database or that too many files were received.

A backlog of files can indicate problems with specific clients, with management points, or with the network, causing data corruption.

A backlog of files can indicate a performance problem. Examine status messages for the Site System Status Summarizer for possible problems.

A backlog of files can indicate that some site systems' clocks are not synchronized with the site server.

A backlog of files can indicate a problem with the Status Manager or that the component is trying to process too many messages.

A backlog of files can indicate problems with the connection to the computer that is running SQL Server.

A backlog of files can indicate a problem with the Status Manager or that the Status Manager is trying to process too many messages

A backlog of .sum and .sur files can indicate that the Software Metering Processor component cannot connect to the SMS database.

What is BranchCache? How SCCM supports BranchCache?

Microsoft introduced a new terminology in Windows7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 called BranchCache to reduce traffic load on wide area network called BranchCache. Network enabled with BranchCache cache data in branch and subsequent request to same data is served by cached stored in WAN branch. BranchCache optimizes traffic flow between Windows Server 2008 R2 servers and BranchCache-enabled clients; Windows Server 2008 R2 servers and computers running Windows 7 can be configured as BranchCache clients.

BranchCache operates in one of two modes:

1. Distributed Cache: In Distributed Cache mode, BranchCache-enabled clients cache copies of files downloaded from content servers across the WAN and send them directly to other clients when requested. Distributed Cache mode is especially beneficial for branch offices that do not have a local server.
2. Hosted Cache: In Hosted Cache mode, a Windows Server 2008 R2 server, known as the Hosted Cache, acts as the host for the cached content. BranchCache-enabled clients cache data that they have requested and downloaded from content servers locally and use the Hosted Cache to retrieve data that is not available from their own local cache. Clients know the identity of the Hosted Cache and retrieve data from the Hosted Cache. For data not available from the Hosted Cache, the client downloads the data from the content server and offers it for caching to the Hosted Cache. Hosted Cache mode is beneficial in organizations that want to audit access to content in the local cache, or larger branch offices that have local servers.

BranchCache Hosted and Distributed cache modes
BranchCache improves the performance of applications that use one of the following protocols:

a.Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS). The protocols that Web browsers and many other applications (such as Microsoft Internet Explorer®, Microsoft Windows Media Player®, and more) use.
b.Server Message Block (SMB), including signed SMB traffic. SMB is the protocol used for shared folders on Windows networks.
c.Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS). BITS is used to transfer files asynchronously between a client and a server. BITS is the protocol that System Center Configuration manager (SCCM) and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) use.

February 1, 2010

What's new in ConfigMgr'07 R3?

1. Scale & Performance Improvements: Collections in R3

a. Microsoft is focusing on evaluating new systems in R3 and will implement new collection setting called 'Fast evaluation' which populates newly discovered machines.
b. Full evaluations are still processed in the same way.
c. A new collection needs a full evaluation to show existing clients.

How it works:
- Collections are evaluated by periodically executing a query
- results are inserted into a temporary table
- this table is then merged into the master collection results table (Collection Members)
- If there is no change in results, master results table not changed
- If onlya few resources have changed, evaluation process faster due to only processing changed resources.

2. Scale & Performance Improvements: Delta AD Discovery

a. Each AD discovery query has 2 tasks:
1. Discover any changes to any users or machines, based on the query, that would likely affect targeting (default is 5 minutes)
2. Perform a periodic "full scan" to capture users and machines last logged time, ensuring active users and machines are not made obsolete.

b. On an individual query basis, select to run "discovery now" for a full scan.

3. Scale Improvements: R3 supports 3,00,000 clients when using the default settings for all ConfigMgr 2007 features.

Note: No change to other site and site role supported numbers.

4. Sharepoint based ConfigMgr dashboard
- compliance metrics related to SUM, SWD, DCM, Licensing and OSD sections for a particular time period.
- sharepoint based authentication: customize dashboards based on User Roles.

What's new in ConfigMgr'07 Service Pack 2?

SCCM 2007 SP2 supports below platforms-
-Windows 7
-Windows Server 2008 R2
-Windows Vista SP2
-Windows Server 2008 SP2

New features added to SCCM 2007 SP2 are:
1. Managed Client Support - Client can be a target for apps, inventory, updates and more.

2. Site role host control - Servers can host all site infrastructure roles.

3. Improved Client Policy Evaluation -

a. Faster Policy Processing: before SP2, policy download was queued locally for 2 minutes before processing. This 2 mins delay has been removed in SP2.
b. Most efficient software distribution configured to run at user logon:
before SP2 user policy requests were not downloaded for 2 minutes after user logon event. This caused a delay is user/group targeted advertisements.
c. A common scenario is an App-V distribution environment where user/security group targeting is used.
d. this 10 mins delay has been removed in SP2 and user/group targeted advertisements are instantly available after user logon in SP2.

4. Branch cache support:
a. Integration enables configmgr organizations to
-significantly reduce WAN traffic
-reduce transfer loads on DPs.
b. Clients that are Branch Cache enabled will transfer content from peers if available before hitting DP.

5. SP2 will also continue to deliver new support for x64 architectures including:
a. x64 support for OpsMgr'07 client agent
b. Update to OpsMgr MP for x64 OS
c. x64 performance counters
d. Remote Control support added for x64 windows XP and x64 Windows Server 2003.
e. App-V x64 Client Support.

6. Asset Intelligence Certificate Requirement Removal:
ConfgMgr'07 SP1 introduced Asset Intelligence v1.5. With SP1, Asset Intelligence could be configured to use as online synchronization for updates. With SP2, the requirement to have the certificate has been removed.
-The initial release required a certificate.
Software Assurance is not required for this functionality, including SP1.

7. Intel vPro Technology: Integration Enhancements in SP2-

a. Wireless Profile Management
b. 802.1x support
c. Non volatile memory or third party data store (3PDS)
d. Access Monitor: Audit log
e. Remote Power Management: Power State Configuratio from SCCM console.

system center power management phases:
Monitor-> Plan-> Apply-> Check-> Report (saving in power consumption and costs and environmental impact)

8. OS deployment:

a. Multiselect and delete driver catalog drivers from the SCCM console
b. task sequence UI displays package names as in the SCCM console.

9. Better feedback on AD extension success/failure.

The "Windows Operating System" column has a "Not monitored" state for a new agent

Reason: This issue occurs because the new agent has the same NetBIOS name as a previously installed agent. When the agent is deleted from Operations Manager, the grooming of the deleted agent is hard coded to occur after two days. Therefore, the agent is not immediately groomed out of the database completely.

Solution: To work around this issue after the agent was deleted from the console, wait three days, and then add the new agent to Operations Manager. Or, make sure that two full days have passed, and then add the new agent to Operations Manager.

Package sending priority in Advertisement Properties

Sending priority
The priority of this package when sent to distribution points in child sites. Packages can be sent with High, Medium, or Low priority. The default setting is Medium priority. If a package has High priority, it will be sent before packages with Medium or Low priority. If a package has Low priority, it will be sent after packages with higher priority settings.

Note: A Package will be sent in the order in which they were created in the SMS Administrator console.