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O/S Deployment Thread, Migrating to Windows 7 this summer. Is SCCM overkill for a secondary school? in Technical; Been looking up SCCM 2012 over the last few weeks and looks like it will do everything we want it ...
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    Sam_Brown's Avatar
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    Migrating to Windows 7 this summer. Is SCCM overkill for a secondary school?

    Been looking up SCCM 2012 over the last few weeks and looks like it will do everything we want it to do... and more. But I will admit it does seem a lot more complicated and indepth as opposed to our normal Windows XP Sysprepped Images.

    Would people on here recommend SCCM? Or is it overkill and something like SPECOPS \ MDT would be more suited for a secondary school?

    The main reasons I like SCCM is it's not just deployment... but also software distribution, WSUS and inventorying as well all in one. I also love the idea of SCCM Endpoint Protection.

    But again... do people this this is overkill?

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I dont, we use it here, everything all in one box. If you separate things, you have more servers, an overkill

    Sysprep is dead easy in SCCM for Windows 7.

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    Sam_Brown's Avatar
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    What sort of specs is the box you run it on? The required specs from Microsoft seem a little high for a secondary school!

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    I have SQL on another box but SCCM is on a 8GB virtual machine with a quad core processor. Not got any performance issues.

    Microsoft do go OTT on the specs.

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    use SCCM you get it for peanuts with a EES agreement.

    tbh I only use the software deployment and operating system deployment,

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    We use SCCM to good effect. It isn't overkill tbh, the server specs required aren't that much at all. You can have software, OS and patch deployment, inventory (hardware, software/licensing), anti virus, full monitoring etc in one system. It's capable of scaling from just a few machines to tens of thousands, so it can indeed seem like it might be built more for massive corporations, but for a few hundred it's ideal. You can customise it how you like, make deployment screens bear your school name, be as broad or as specific with your collections as you like (a collection is a group of machines you might use for software deployment). The AV alone has made some people just chuck it on there so they can manage Forefront (now System Centre Endpoint Protection) and have spread from there. SCEP is more worthy as an enterprise AV solution than the likes of Symantec and Sophos.

    If you're set up with EES licensing, go for it IMO. But start testing now - and I mean *now*. Practice makes perfect with getting things set up, run it on a VM on a decent workstation and knock yourself out.
    Great guides to help on windows-noob.com and loads of advice from those who've jumped on here.
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 5th May 2013 at 08:01 PM.

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    We use SCCM. It absolutely is over-complicated if all you want to do is deploy operating systems with it, but it's capable of so much more than that and we make heavy use of most of its features - we've even started to manage our macs through it, and we have an eye on its ability to link to Windows inTune to manage mobile devices if the situation with Meraki ever goes pear-shaped. And don't under-estimate the time and training savings you get from being able to manage everything through one interface.

    If you need to use a lot of its features, if you'd be doing these features with different tools otherwise or you'd be suffering from not having access to those features, then at the nearly give-away prices Microsoft charge education for it, I'd suggest it's worth considering it good value for a tool that lets you deploy OS and Applications via the same console (ask Dell for a quote for KACE tools and that'll put the price into context very rapidly) and you get a lot of other features "free" on top of that.
    Last edited by Roberto; 5th May 2013 at 08:10 PM.

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    are you guys using it instead of standard wsus? i didn't like how 2007 did it, i have 2012 in a lab wsus support is much better,

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Yes, we're using WSUS as part of SCCM. We moved from an RM network so that was natural progression

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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Yes, we're using WSUS as part of SCCM. We moved from an RM network so that was natural progression
    is it 2012?

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ConradJones View Post
    is it 2012?
    Yes, it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ConradJones View Post
    are you guys using it instead of standard wsus? i didn't like how 2007 did it, i have 2012 in a lab wsus support is much better,
    Agreed. 2012 all round is much better than 2007.

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    I'll start off by saying I work for Specops Software. Full disclosure ;-)

    The latest release of Specops Deploy supports full configuration and management of SCEP/FEP.

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    Been running SCCM for years now...and 2012 is much easier to use and configure than 2007. For the ease of managing machines, their builds, software and av...fits the ticket nicely. They do also do an "essentials version" for smaller networks and the online cloud version too (minus some features, but same principal)

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    I'm a big advocate for SCCM - especially 2012!
    I use all the features -and as people have already said, 2012 makes it a lot easier to configure and control.

    If you have WSUS, then the natural progression is SCCM - if you use WSUS for auto approval and deployment, then SCCM 2012 has this feature built into it now. I use it mainly for AV Definition, and manually control the updates,. SCCM also saves space as you don't need to download every single update, unlike WSUS. You only download updates when you are ready to deploy them, and it will then delete them when you remove them from the deployment packages.

    OSD is far better as well, I tend to do Task Sequence imaging rather than flat WIM based. Again - space saver as you just store the OS package and the Application packages. Also, you can easily clone a TS and then customise it very very quickly. (With a WIM you would need to rebuild and capture the reference PC just to update a single package!

    Currently trying to convince my employer to do the 2007 to 2012 shuffle, but they ar dragging their heals a bit too much..



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