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Enterprise Software Thread, System Center: Where to start? in Technical; Originally Posted by shadowx Impero can deploy MSI's. SCCM can too (Well, so they say). Impero is infinitely faster and ...
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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowx View Post
    Impero can deploy MSI's. SCCM can too (Well, so they say). Impero is infinitely faster and more reliable, although more suited to single deployments EG if flash breaks and needs a re-install.

    We are on SCCM 2007, perhaps 12 is better. But 2007 is not worth the bandwith to download it let alone get it working
    2012 works with MSIs very well, it was one of the new features - they are classed as Applicatons, separate from Packages, and have supersedence etc. available.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    SCCM's handling of package deployment is nothing short of excellent. It doesn't have the "immediate" effect you see from Impero or RM systems for instance, but it's reliable and far more flexible; i.e. Impero won't keep MSI's installed on certain machines, it won't reinstall if a machine is rebuilt or loses an installation, it can install per user or per system, to maintenance windows and much much more. We use a successful combination of both - all permanent software with one exception (Solidworks!) pushes out through SCCM 2012 and anything tiny (for instance little fixes) get pushed out to relevant machines via Impero. Different targets really.

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowx View Post
    We came from a netware solution which worked virtually flawlessly to an SCCM system which eveyr now and then throws a wobbly and borks the PXE stopping working machines from booting. It takes literally hours to install flash player to a handful of machine (and I am talking single digit number of machines here). If the server goes off, EG power cut (despite UPS) or server maintenance it very rarely starts up correctly and requires "fixing". The process of making and deploying an image is so convoluted it's not even funny anymore. It's reports page, where it tells you what machines are installing etc..., is so useless it's faster and more reliable just to walk around the school and look at the screens. I could go on...
    I've installed and setup 2007 before moving to 2012. I can understand that you might be annoyed with 2007, it has its quirks.

    2012 is much better. PXE working fine. Software installs working fine. Updates, AV... I could go on. Complete OS builds are done within about 45 mins, done the 30 pc library in 1 hour on Monday, zero touch. We had 60% of teacher PCs updated with SIMS (using SCCM) before the school even started, so mandatory installs are quick.

    We're down to 1 task sequence for our latest curricular builds, with variation of software based on PC name and hardware types. It takes time to get working but long term it'll make your life very, very easy.

    2012 is a great piece of kit when working right.

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    sonofsanta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    It takes time to get working but long term it'll make your life very, very easy. 2012 is a great piece of kit when working right.
    Amen brother, preach it!

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    Theblacksheep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    all permanent software with one exception (Solidworks!) pushes out through SCCM 2012
    .... snap!

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    Simples, single Task sequence for our main machines. Only have different ones for laptops which do bit locker related stuff. Then there are AD groups which are tied into collections which fire of other task sequences. Agreed, set up right it is a genius piece of kit. You do need to invest the time in setting up a collection and TS structure.

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    flyinghaggis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shadowx View Post
    How to start? Get the SCCM disks and shred them. It's a lot quicker than trying to set SCCM up and get it working. In fact, erasing the CD literally bit by single bit with a small magnetic needle would be quicker than trying to get SCCM do what it SHOULD do.
    +1 TBH. When SCCM works it's quite nifty but it always seems to find a new and exciting way to break. As others have said when it does break the error messages are so cryptic and the event logs so hard to track down that it's often takes days to remedy. If anything that fact alone means I'd be tempted to stick with the more basic deployment methods simply because they appear to be more reliable.

    Admittedly we're using SCCM 2007 so it may be that 2012 is improved. The thought of trying to upgrade it sends a shiver down my spine though....
    Last edited by flyinghaggis; 30th January 2013 at 10:22 AM.

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyinghaggis View Post
    Admittedly we're using SCCM 2007 so it may be that 2012 is improved. The thought of trying to upgrade it sends a shiver down my spine though....
    You can't upgrade in place, but can do it side-by-side. Nice guide: Migrate from SCCM 2007 to SCCM 2012 Part 1 | Nico's System Center Blog

  9. Thanks to sparkeh from:

    flyinghaggis (30th January 2013)

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    Jamo's Avatar
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    I can recommend SCCM for application deployment, I originally found 2007 to be a bit annoying for PXE booting as the handling of 'unknown' clients is an absolute dogs dinner.

    We have SCCM set up just for app deployment atm, using MDT for the station imaging as its far more reliable for us currently. I'm sure 2012 has some good things with PXE though, its a huge improvement over 2007.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkeh View Post
    You can't upgrade in place, but can do it side-by-side. Nice guide: Migrate from SCCM 2007 to SCCM 2012 Part 1 | Nico's System Center Blog
    I hardly migrated anything (collections and packages) and recreated most of the environment to make sure it was both clean and streamlined. Pretty simple migration TBH.

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    alan-d's Avatar
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    I'm sure I'm missing something but can't seem to get my head around collections at the moment

    When setting up collections, does this have to be done manually or does SCCM pull it from AD?

    For example my AD looks something like;

    Computer Rooms
    ---- Workstations
    ---------------- Room 1
    ----------------------- PC1
    ----------------------- PC2
    ---------------- Room 2
    ----------------------- PC1
    ----------------------- PC2
    ---- Laptops
    ---------------- Room 1
    ----------------------- Laptop 1
    ----------------------- Laptop 2
    ----------------------- Laptop 3
    ---------------- Room 5
    ----------------------- Laptop 31
    ----------------------- Laptop 32
    ----------------------- Laptop 33

    Can this be replicated in SCCM automatically or have I got to recreate each OU as a collection manually?

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Well I'm currently sitting here watching the Assessment and Deplyment Kit install as it seems it's a pre-requisite that Windows-Noob didn't mention. Otherwise the I don't think I would have got this far without the Windows-Noob site. Researching into App-V, the next part of my project, suggests it too relies on SCCM to push packages. So SCCM does seem pretty central to everything.

    All I can say is thank god for virtual machines! I wasn't expecting the hardware requirements - min 4 cores, 8-16Gb ram, 500gb hard drive! Ouch! Still dynamically allocated ram and expanding VHD's means I don't really care what the requirements are - it can take what it needs...

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    Quote Originally Posted by alan-d View Post
    I'm sure I'm missing something but can't seem to get my head around collections at the moment

    When setting up collections, does this have to be done manually or does SCCM pull it from AD?

    Can this be replicated in SCCM automatically or have I got to recreate each OU as a collection manually?
    Collections are manual. You can make a collection based on AD, but its not needed.

    I only have a few collections based on AD, for instance optional install software for teachers laptops targeted to OU groups. They can then use software center and install what they want.

    I use collections for application counts (each app and version) for update targeting. OS versions for update targeting. Then some large groups (use % wildcards) for large scale deployments. Break away from AD and target what you need.

  15. 2 Thanks to Theblacksheep:

    alan-d (30th January 2013), tmcd35 (30th January 2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theblacksheep View Post
    Collections are manual. You can make a collection based on AD, but its not needed.

    I only have a few collections based on AD, for instance optional install software for teachers laptops targeted to OU groups. They can then use software center and install what they want.

    I use collections for application counts (each app and version) for update targeting. OS versions for update targeting. Then some large groups (use % wildcards) for large scale deployments. Break away from AD and target what you need.
    Many thanks

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    sparkeh's Avatar
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    The way I structure things now is to have AD set up in the most convinient way for GPOs and SCCM set up for things like app deployment and OSD, for me they don't look similar at at all.
    SCCM collections are awesome, especially as they can be dynamic

  18. Thanks to sparkeh from:

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