January 31, 2011

Microsoft SCCM 2012 (vNext) in Cloud computing environment?

Microsoft introduces Dynamic Datacenters to deliver cost effective solutions and is integrating
System Center products with private cloud computing foundations. These products are-

System Center Data Protection Manager
-- for data protection and recovery

System Center Configuration Manager
-- to design, configure and deploy

System Center Service Manager
-- for IT Service Management

System Center Operations Manager
-- to monitor and manage service end to end

System Center Virtual Machine Manager
-- to virtualize, deploy and manage

-- IT Process Management

I am trying to get some news how these products work under cloud computing environment and will share you soon.


Go Green for IT - Implement Cloud Computing Infrastructure

Cloud computing is virtualized compute power and storage delivered via platform-agnostic infrastructures of abstracted hardware and software accessed over the Internet. These shared, on-demand IT resources, are created and disposed of efficiently, are dynamically scalable through a variety of programmatic interfaces and are billed variably based on measurable usage.

Cloud "Applications"
Examples: SalesForce, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Quicken Online

Advantages: Free, Easy, Consumer Adoption
Disadvantages: Limited functionality, no control or access to underlying technology

Cloud "Platforms"
Examples: Google App Engine, Heroku, Mosso, Engine Yard, Joyent or Force.com (SalesForce Dev Platform)

Advantages: Good for developers, more control than “Application” Clouds, tightly configured
Disadvantages: Restricted to what is available, other dependencies

Cloud "Infrastructure"
- Provide “Compute” and “Storage” clouds
- Virtualization layers (hardware/software)

Examples: Amazon EC2, GoGrid, Amazon S3, Nirvanix, Linode
Advantages: Full control of environments and infrastructure
Disadvantages: premium price point, limited competition

Cloud "Extenders"
- Provides extension to Cloud Infrastructure and Platforms with basic functionality

Examples: Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon SQS, Google BigTable
Advantages: Extends functionality of Compute & Storage Clouds to integrate with legacy system or other clouds
Disadvantages: Sometimes requires use of specific Platforms or Infrastructure

Cloud "Aggregators"
- Sits on top of various Cloud Infrastructures for management
Examples: RightScale, Appistry
Advantages: Provides more options for Cloud environments
Disadvantages: Dependent on Cloud Providers
Hosting Heads to the Clouds
Static -> Dynamic = Quick & Easy Scalability
Cost Prohibitive -> Cost Effective = Cost Efficiencies
Predictable -> Unpredictable = Innovations
Stagnant -> Growth = Evolution
Traditional Hosting -> Cloud Hosting = FUTURE!

sources: http://blog.GoGrid.com

January 20, 2011

Optimize your IT Infrastructure with cost effective solutions

One of the most admiring thing of Microsoft is to be very customer oriented and to provide best solution/services within optimum cost. I really appreciate that MS always focuses on business needs and there are timely enhancements of MS technologies.

Generally, Organization looks for optimized IT Infrastructure withing its production environment and it's like investing on IT resources as below-
  1. Infrastructure Setup need Servers and workstations
  2. Servers need servers management tools  
  3. Server management tools need server administrators
  4. Server Administrators need skills upgrade (Trainings & Certifications)
  5. Workstations need few agents to be managed properly
  6. agents need system engineers
  7. If company is medium or large scale enterprise, it further requires Global Service Desk and Onsite Service Desk
 As IT consultant, I think, now Microsoft is coming with solutions as

Infrastructure Setup need Servers and workstations

-- Cloud Computing, Virtualization
Servers need servers management tools
-- System Center products (SCCM, SCOM, etc)
Server management tools need server administrators
-- MS might come up with Artificial Intelligence
Server Administrators need skills upgrade (Trainings & Certifications)
-- Virtual Labs

Workstations need few agents to be managed properly
-- SCCM Client (for Managing)

Workstations need system engineers to troubleshoot any issues
(If company is medium or large scale enterprise, it further requires Global Service Desk - GSD and Onsite Service Desk - OSS)
If it's GSD - MS is coming up with Service Manager 2010 (SCSM 2010 provides built-in processes based on industry best practices for incident and problem resolution, change control, and asset lifecycle management. Through its configuration management database (CMDB) and process integration, Service Manager automatically connects knowledge and information from System Center Operations Manager, System Center Configuration Manager, and Active Directory Domain Services)

If it's OSS - TIFIC (finally recommended)

IT environment presents a difficult challenge for IT Service Support organizations who are facing the reality of “doing more with less” — while improving customer satisfaction. End users support presents a unique challenge due to the shear number of applications (productivity, line-of-business, etc.), that many users have gone mobile and that the typical end user computing environment is going through constant change, which we all know is the root cause of most problems.

The net result is an overwhelmed, reactive IT support staff that and are facing some difficult challenges.

  • Higher call volumes, longer wait times and higher abandonment rates
  • Longer support calls
  • Lower first time fix rates and more costly escalations
  • Declining customer satisfaction

Utilizing Support Automation technologies, Enterprise IT Service Support organizations can reap significant business benefits that include:

  1. Transform the support organization from being reactive to being proactive — thereby increasing end-user and support staff productivity and satisfaction.
  2. Reduce the support load (fewer calls) on the service desk through automated resolution of known problems.
  3. Reduce the AHT (Average Handling Time)
  4. Increase FTR (First Time Resolution), eliminating costly escalations
  5. Improve end user satisfaction
note - pls go thru link for more information on TIFIC http://www.tific.com/?page_id=13

I will come up with Cloud computing concepts soon.

January 13, 2011

Important tips for SCCM Client Upgrade/Reinstall

If you are upgrading sms clients to sccm, you can run sccm client setup file directly to machines as it automatically detects any legacy version of sms and removes (uninstalls) it.

but if you have any problem with existing SCCM client and you really want to reinstall client to make it healthy, don't run ccmsetup.exe file directly to machine, first uninstall sccm client using ccmsetup.exe /uninstall from machine and then install it.

Note: Always try to lookup on sccm client logs for better troubleshooting and try repair client if it was working earlier and finally reinstall it.

Client installed but showing as 'No' to SCCM console - troubleshooting tips #3

It's better to understand the difference between reinstalling sccm client and repairing sccm client. When you reinstall a client, it creates SMS classes in WBEM repository, initiates policies for notification to SCCM management point and gets new SMS GUID as an identification but it won't delete the exisitng GUID (SMS keeps it until we delete certificate using ccmdelcert.exe from the toolkit.. or uninstall sccm client porperly). SMS identifies it as new record and acts on it as new client. If you have added this machine to somewhere your system based collection, it won't be getting any policies. Machine, having old GUID certificate, would be negligable and policies would be rejected from respective Management point.
While, if you repair a client; it removes old certs, assigns it new certificate and initiates policies as unique record. It works properly and policies are apporved by MP.


January 8, 2011

Client installed but showing as 'No' to SCCM console - troubleshooting tips #2

During troubleshooting this strange behaviour, I got to know that if sms clients are not upgraded as sccm clients, they will show status as Client installed 'Yes' but it won't be approved by site and will not work properly.

In other scenario, it might show client installed status as 'No' if your client is not upgraded or is not assigned to respective site.

You need to query all clients with legacy version and install sccm client on these machines.