SCCM Technical Preview 1901 was released with a bunch of cool updates. In this blog post I will cover 17 of the updates that I believe will benefit administrators the most in their day-to-day work.
For a full list of all the new features and fixes please refer to: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/core/get-started/2019/technical-preview-1901
17 UPDATES IN SCCM TP 1901
As mentioned in the Introduction, the below mentioned updates are not all updates for SCCM TP 1901.
UPDATE 1 – CLIENT HEALTH DASHBOARD
Issues with Client Health is a common reason for why the SCCM environment is not working as expected. Monitoring this has previously been difficult, but now we will have a dashboard for this.
We have previously had dashboards for actions such as:
- Software Updates
- Windows as a Service
- Windows Defender / Endpoint Protection
Now we also get a dashboard for monitoring Client Health:
For remediating Client Health issues, Anders Rödland has created a great solution: https://www.andersrodland.com/configmgr-client-health/
UPDATE 2 – SPECIFY PRIORITY FOR FEATURE UPDATE DEPLOYMENT
From Windows 10 1709 and later, it is possible to increase the setup priority for the Feature Update installation. By default, it will run in low priority, but it is also possible to increase it to Normal to decrease the time of the Feature Update installation. I have not yet tested the impact on the client when raising this.
I previously tweeted about this.
As many of you might have noticed, the Feature Update may take longer than the default Maximum Run Time of 60 minutes to install and will therefore fail. According to Microsoft recommendation, you can increase this limit to 240 minutes to solve this issue.
Read more about configuration of Setup Priority on Microsoft Docs: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/deployment/update/feature-update-user-install
UPDATE 3 – SPECIFY ALTERNATE CREDENTIALS FOR POWERSHELL SCRIPTS
Made as a production release in SCCM 1802 the Run Powershell script is great. It has however not been possible to configure in what context to run the script in. This should now have been fixed!
UPDATE 4 – OFFICE PRODUCTS ON LIFECYCLE BOARD
In the lifecycle board, it should now also be possible to see the status of Microsoft Office 2003-2016.
UPDATE 5 – MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS FOR COLLECTIONS
Many customers I’ve been to have issues with the collection structure, mainly because it’s hard to understand and get an overview of.
The Collection Evaluation Viewer is likely the most commonly used tool for collection evaluation maintenance.
In SCCM Technical Preview 1901 you will gain Management Inishgts in to:
- Collections with no query rules and no direct members
- Collections with the same re-evaluation start time
- Collections with query time over two seconds
- Collections with no query rules and incremental updates enabled
- Collections with no query rules and enabled for scheduled or incremental evaluation
- Collections with no query rules and schedule full evaluation selected
I have previously written a blog post for how to change the collection evaluation settings using Powershell: http://www.danielclasson.com/2015/05/powershell-script-for-configuring-configuration-manager-2012-collection-update-settings/
UPDATE 6 – SEARCH DEVICE VIEW WITH MAC ADDRESS
A long awaited feature. When viewing the Devices node, it should now be possible to search for devices by MAC addresses. I used to do this using Reports, but will most likely change my behavior after this.
UPDATE 7 – DISTRIBUTION POINT MAINTENANCE MODE
It will now be possible to put a Distribution Point in Maintenance Mode. This might be a good idea during hardware maintenance or software distribution.
UPDATE 8 – REMOVE SUPERSEDED UPDATES WHEN SERVICING IMAGE
If you are using Offline Servicing, it should now be possible to remove superseded updates from the image. The main benefit is reduction in image size.
UPADTE 9 – IMPORT A SINGLE INDEX FROM IMAGE
With current Windows 10 versions, all editions are included in the install.wim in different indexes. There is no point of having all indexes in your image if you only plan to use the Enterprise edition.
Accomplishing this was previously possible, but it required some work.
Mike Terril has written a great blog post about this: https://miketerrill.net/2018/06/23/optimizing-win10-os-upgrade-wim-sizes/
UPDATE 10 – CREATE AN SCCM PREVIEW LAB IN AZURE
Automatically create and configure virtual machines in Azure for an SCCM Technical Preview environment by leveraging Azure templates.
UPDATE 11 – VIEW RECENTLY CONNECTED CONSOLES
View most recent connections to the console.
UPDATE 12 – Stop cloud service when it exceeds threshold
It is now possible to stop the Cloud Management Gateway if it reaches a specified bandwidth threshold.
UPDATE 13 – CLIENT PROVISIONING MODE TIMEOUT
Clients being stuck in Provisioning Mode is a common issue if the Task Sequence is not completed successfully. It will now be possible to configure the timeout for this.
I have previously written a blog post about this: http://www.danielclasson.com/2014/07/force-sccm-client-out-of-provisioing-mode/
UPDATE 14 – DHCP AND SCCM ON SAME SERVER
By adding DoNotListenOnDhcpPort, it is now possible to have DHCP and SCCM on the same server.
I have previously written a blog post about this issue: http://www.danielclasson.com/2012/08/guide-solving-wds-issue-with-dhcp-port-conflict/
UPDATE 15 – HIDE CMD FROM TASK SEQUENCE
When configuring the Task Sequence variable OSDDoNotLogCommand to True, it will also hide the Run Command Line step in smts.log.
UPDATE 16 – VIEW MODE FOR TASK SEQUENCES
This is a long awaited feature. Instead of being forced to Edit the Task Sequence when you just want to have glance, it is now possible to View it.
UPDATE 17 – FAILED STEP ON TASK SEQUENCE ERROR
It will now be possible to see which step failed during the Task Sequence.
The SCCM Technical Preview 1901 is one of the most feature packed releases in a long time. I really love how the Product Team listens to User Voices and how much is happening with the product.
Let me know if you have any comments or feedback. I will start some testing as soon as possible 🙂
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About the author
Daniel Classon works as a Senior Consultant at Mansoft, focusing on Microsoft Configuration Manager, Windows 10 and Powershell
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