Learn System Center Configuration Manager in a Month of Lunches
Covers SCCM 1511 and Windows 10
James C. Bannan
  • June 2016
  • ISBN 9781617291685
  • 320 pages
  • printed in black & white

The single most useful consolidated source of SCCM guidance I’ve found.

Francis Setash, US Department of State

Learn System Center Configuration Manager in a Month of Lunches is a super-practical guide to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. In this book, you'll cut to the chase and learn the administrative procedures and techniques that will keep your systems humming smoothly.

Table of Contents detailed table of contents

1. Before You Begin

1.1. Why Configuration Manager?

1.2. Is this book for you?

1.3. How to use this book

1.3.1. The main chapters

1.3.2. Try It Now sections

1.3.3. Above & Beyond sidebars

1.3.4. Working with PowerShell

1.3.5. Labs

1.3.6. Further exploration

1.3.7. Which Log? sections

1.4. Setting up your lab environment

1.5. Online resources

1.6. Being immediately effective with ConfigMgr 2012 R2

2. Setting up your lab environment

2.1. Create the virtual environment

2.2. Download the prerequisite software

2.2.1. SysinternalsBGInfo

2.2.2. Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT) 2013

2.2.3. Microsoft Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK) for Windows 10

2.2.4. Microsoft SQL Server 2012 SP1

2.2.5. Windows Server 2012

2.2.6. Windows 10 Enterprise x64

2.2.7. System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2

2.2.8. System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2 Prerequisites

2.2.9. Hydration Script Package

2.3. Install and configure MDT 2013

2.3.1. Populate MDT with all the prerequisite software

2.3.2. Use MDT to generate an automated build image (ISO)

2.4. Build the Virtual Machines

2.4.1. LAB-DC01

2.4.2. LAB-CM01

2.4.3. LAB-CLIENT01

2.5. Verify the ConfigMgr installation

3. Making ConfigMgr aware of your environment

3.1. Discovery concepts

3.1.1. Looking at log files

3.2. Discovery methods

3.2.1. Active Directory Forest Discovery

3.2.2. Active Directory System Discovery

3.2.3. Active Directory User Discovery

3.2.4. Active Directory Group Discovery

3.3. Boundaries

3.3.1. Creatinga boundary

3.3.2. Creating a boundary group

3.3.3. Linking the boundary group with Configuration Manager

3.4. Lab

3.5. Ideas for on your own

3.5.1. Controversy over boundaries

4. Managing ConfigMgr Devices and Users

4.1. Understanding Devices and the ConfigMgr client

4.1.1. Installing the ConfigMgr client on remote systems

4.2. Preparing for Client Push

4.2.1. Set the Client Push account permissions

4.2.2. Open the Windows Firewall

4.2.3. Configure the Client Push account

4.3. Perform a Client Push

4.4. Users in the ConfigMgr world

4.5. Creating relationships between Users and Devices

4.5.1. UDA scenario

4.5.2. Creating UDA relationships

4.6. Lab

4.6.1. Discover DC01

4.6.2. Disable the Windows Firewall on DC01

4.6.3. Push the ConfigMgr client to DC01

5. Organizing Devices and Users

5.1. Collection Concepts

5.1.1. Collection Membership

5.1.2. Collection Limiting

5.2. Creating a new Collection

5.2.1. Creating a new Device Collection

5.2.2. Creating a new User Collection

5.3. Understanding Windows Query Language

5.3.1. Creating a basic query

5.3.2. Using multiple attributes

5.3.3. Querying multiple sources

5.3.4. Combining data from multiple sources

5.4. Managing Collections

5.4.1. Use folders

5.4.2. Be aware of Collection updating

5.4.3. Moving Collections between hierarchies

5.5. Lab

5.6. Ideas for on your own

6. Configuring ConfigMgr clients

6.1. Exploring client settings

6.1.1. Default client settings

6.1.2. When to change the default client settings

6.1.3. Changing the default client settings

6.2. Creating custom Settings

6.2.1. Create custom Device settings

6.2.2. Create custom User settings

6.3. Deploying custom settings

6.3.1. Deploying Device Settings

6.3.2. Deploying User Settings

6.3.3. Verify deployed settings

6.4. Forcing policy updates

6.4.1. Forcing a policy update via a local client

6.4.2. Forcing a policy update remotely via a console

6.5. Lab

7. Creating and Configuring Applications using the AppModel

7.1. Overview of ConfigMgr 2012 AppModel

7.1.1. ConfigMgr 2012 vs. ConfigMgr 2007

7.1.2. Applications vs Packages

7.2. Creating an ConfigMgr 2012 Application

7.2.1. Preparing the Application Source

7.2.2. Create Your Application

7.3. Configuring Your Application

7.3.1. Deployment Types

7.3.2. Requirements

7.3.3. Detection Methods

7.4. Lab

8. Deploying Applications & Packages to ConfigMgr clients

8.1. Deploying Applications

8.2. Deploying Applications to Devices

8.2.1. Step One: Distributing Application content

8.2.2. Step Two: Deploying the application to a Device Collection

8.2.3. Step Three: Installing an Application on a Device

8.3. Deploying Applications to Users

8.3.1. Installing the Application Catalog

8.4. Creating and Deploying Packages

8.4.1. Creating a Package

8.4.2. Deploying a Package

8.5. Turning Packages into Applications

8.6. Labs

9. Ensuring that ConfigMgr clients can access content

9.1. Distribution Points

9.2. Distributing Content

9.3. Distribution Point Groups

9.4. Keeping Content Healthy

9.4.1. Validate an individual package

9.4.2. Automating content validation

9.4.3. Spotting validation errors

9.5. Lab

9.6. Ideas for on your own

10. Keeping ConfigMgr Clients Patched

10.1. Install the Software Update Point

10.1.1. Install WSUS prerequisites

10.1.2. Install and configure WSUS

10.1.3. Install post-WSUS hotfix

10.1.4. Install the software update point

10.2. Configure Software Updates in ConfigMgr

10.3. Download Updates into ConfigMgr

10.4. Deploy Updates to ConfigMgr Clients

10.5. Lab

11. Preparing to deploy Windows

11.1. Importing an Operating System Image

11.2. Starting your deployment with WinPE

11.3. Handling different hardware platforms

11.4. Creating a new task sequence

11.5. Lab

12. Deploying Windows

12.1. Creating a new client system

12.2. Preparing for network booting

12.3. Customizing the Deployment Task Sequence

12.3.1. Customizing disk partitions

12.3.2. Specifying TS variables

12.3.3. Applying device drivers

12.4. Deploying Windows

12.4.1. Making content available from Windows PE

12.4.2. Deploying the Task Sequence

12.4.3. Installing Windows

12.5. Lab

12.6. Ideas for on Your Own

13. Advanced Deployment of Windows with ConfigMgr and MDT

13.1. Integrating MDT with ConfigMgr

13.1.1. Installing MDT

13.1.2. Building MDT packages within ConfigMgr

13.2. Making sure that MDT is awesome

13.2.1. Verifying MDT packages

13.2.2. Exploring MDT functionality

13.3. Lab

14. Managing Linux clients

14.1. Installing an Ubuntu server

14.2. Installing the ConfigMgr client for Linux

14.3. Navigating ConfigMgr for Linux

14.3.1. Connecting to Ubuntu remotely

14.3.2. ConfigMgr logs for Linux

14.4. Lab

15. Deploying to Linux and Mac clients

15.1. Working with Linux clients

15.1.1. Working with the Linux client

15.1.2. Inventorying Linux systems

15.1.3. Deploying Linux packages

15.2. Working with Mac OS X

15.2.1. Introducing Internet-Based Client Management

15.2.2. Installing the OS X client

15.2.3. Deploying OS X Applications

16. Managing antimalware with ConfigMgr

16.1. Enabling System Center Endpoint Protection

16.1.1. Configuring Software Updates

16.1.2. Endpoint Protection Server Role

16.1.3. Endpoint Protection on Clients

16.2. Using Antimalware Policies

16.3. Dealing with Malware outbreaks

16.4. Labs

17. Making sure clients are healthy

17.1. Understanding Common Client Health Issues

17.2. Administering Client Health

17.2.1. Active Clients

17.2.2. Inactive Clients

17.3. Using Client Center for Configuration Manager

17.3.1. Monitoring

17.3.2. Inventory

17.3.3. Software Distribution

17.3.4. Agent Settings

17.4. Labs

18. Reporting in Configuration Manager

18.1. Enabling Reporting Services

18.2. Executing Reports

18.3. Subscribing to Reports

18.4. Building Custom Reports

18.5. Labs

19. Keeping an eye on your Clients

19.1. Enabling Software Metering

19.2. Configuring Compliance

19.2.1. Configuration Items

19.2.2. Configuration Baselines

19.3. Compliance in action

19.4. Labs

20. What to do when things go wrong

20.1. Assessing Site Health

20.2. Common Environmental Issues

20.2.1. Disk Space

20.2.2. Active Directory

20.2.3. DNS

20.2.4. Admin Rights

20.2.5. Internet Access

20.3. Labs

21. Securing Configuration Manager

21.1. Administrative Users

21.2. Security Roles

21.3. Security Scopes

21.4. Granular permissions

21.5. Labs

22. All Engines Full Ahead

22.1. Advanced ConfigMgr projects

22.1.1. More infrastructure

22.1.2. Use HTTPS

22.1.3. Go to the cloud

22.1.4. Take control of your database

22.1.5. Advanced client configuration

22.2. Learn from the community

About the Technology

Businesses rely on a complex patchwork of client computers, physical and virtual servers, middleware, mobile devices, and cloud services. Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) sits in the middle of this mix, providing a single administrative control center to deploy and manage Windows servers and applications across your entire infrastructure, including cross-platform management of Mac OS X, Linux, and UNIX. To get up to speed with the day-to-day tasks of managing a system with ConfigMgr, all you need is this book—and a quiet place to eat your lunch.

About the book

Learn System Center Configuration Manager in a Month of Lunches is a super-practical guide to Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. In this book, you’ll cut to the chase and learn the administrative procedures and techniques that will keep your systems humming smoothly. Whether you’re a new sysadmin or you already understand the inner workings of Active Directory and Windows Server, you’ll be productive immediately as you work through the 22 self-contained lessons in this handy tutorial.

What's inside

  • Covers the latest build of Configuration Manager
  • How to simplify updates, operating system deployment, and reporting
  • Cross-platform and mobile management including Linux, OS X, and Windows
  • Smart application delivery

About the reader

No prior experience with System Center Configuration Manager needed.

About the author

James Bannan is a Cloud and Datacenter Management MVP based in Australia.


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The best book that explains SCCM with the least amount of theoretical jargon.

Nasir Naeem, Interserve Plc

A one-stop shop for ConfigMgr admins.

David Moravec, Mainstream Technologies

A nice, gradual, and hands-on introduction to SCCM ... will bring you to operational status in no time.

Alain Couniot, STIB-MIVB

The quickest way to learn SCCM!

Joseph Moody, DeployHappiness.com