CM 12 R2 Prerequisites on Server 2012 R2

In a next couple of posts I will try to share automated scripts for various installations. First of them will be for installing all prerequisites for installation of System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 on Windows Server 2012 R2

Script is simple and code will be shown here, but at the bottom of this post you can find download link so you don’t need to type script.

NOTE: In this script you need to be adjust path to configuration file and name of configuration file if you will use other than this

Open PowerShell and type:

Install-WindowsFeature –ConfigurationFilePath <CM12Prereqs.xml>

(mine is looking like this:

Install-WindowsFeature -ConfigurationFilePath ./CM12Prereqs.xml)

Here you can find .ps1 and .xml file for download as a .zip file CM12Prereqs.zip
More about this can be foud here

Windows Intune – part 3. – Adding users. (survival guide)

Windows Intune supports integration with Active Directory, Office 365 and Windows Azure AD. Office 365 and Windows Intune use same user database (if you have same @domain.onmicrosoft.com). Today I will describe how to add users in Windows Intune.

Adding users without any connection is simple. When you log on to https://account.manage.microsoft.com go to Manage – Users and then click New. UserManage

Here you can choose between adding one by one (or only one user) or add multiple users at once (Bulk add.)

If you choose to add one user you will be redirected to this screen.

Adding User1

Required data is only user name and display name. You can also choose domain if you added your domain to Windows Intune before. If you want to add additional details you must expand screen (on triangle), and then you will have same options as screen above.

After you fill desired and required data click next. Then you will be redirected to next screen. Here you can assign role and you must add location (country for this user)

Adding User2

Choose Windows Intune group and press next. Type user mail address to send it username and password for Windows Intune access.

Adding User3

Click create to finish user creation.

For bulk add go to Manage – Users – New, and choose Bulk add. Next screen will be opened.

BulkUser1

Download both file, blank and sample .csv. Create your .csv file from blank based on sample and then upload file. When you press next verification will check if everything is OK. If you receive error you will be able to see where error occurred and why

BulkUser23

If everything is OK you will have screen like this

BulkUser4

Set Sign-In status and location

BulkUser5

Set group to Windows Intune. On next screen set email address. All usernames and passwords will be sent to this email address. Press create.

Now you have users added in Windows Intune . About Active Directory synchronization and Windows Azure AD I will write later.

Windows Intune – part 1. (survival guide)

Logo_WindowsIntune

 

From second or third of January Windows Intune is available in Croatia. Not just in Croatia. Windows Intune is Available also in Serbia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia. This is almost whole region. Unfortunately Windows Intune is not available in Bosnia for now. I hope that this situation with Bosnia will change soon. In this series of posts I will try to describe what is Windows Intune, how to configure it, how to use it and what is bigges value of Windows Intune for customers and ITPros.

So what is Windows Intune?

Windows Intune combines both cloud and on-premises capabilities to fit your PC and mobile device management needs.

Of course this is Microsoft sentence but this sentence very good describes value of Windows Intune. My personal opinion is that Windows Intune is very good tailored product for most customers which don’t have or don’t want to have IT departments. Windows Intune have combined System Center Operations Manager and System Center Configuration Manager functionality in cloud. For managing your clients you must have web browser and internet access. And of course Windows Intune subscription. New Windows Intune is supporting BYOD which is most growing trend in IT currently (my personal opinion). Support is enhanced from PCs to Windows 8 RT, Windows Phone 8, Android and iOS devices. Windows Intune integrates with Active Directory Domain Services so that you can align with existing user accounts and security groups form your local Active Directory or from Azure Active Directory. You can also centralize management of updates, software, and policies for user devices. It supports integration with System Center Configuration Manager 2012 SP1. Now you can manage devices which is not part of your domain.

And what I do not want is to turn this post into Windows Intune listing options and capabilities. I will describe it in blog posts that follows. All what you will need after some time is Windows Intune subscription. In next post I will describe how to add users and Windows Intune interfaces.

You can subscribe for a 30 day trial account here.

And here is some pricing and features details. Stay well until next time. Winking smile 

Intune features and prices

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Administrator Cookbook

Before few weeks I receive excellent book about System Center Configuration Manager 2012.

Name of the book is: Microsoft System Center 2012Configuration Manager Administrator Cookbook. It’s written by two MVPs, Brian Manson and Greg Ramsey, and reviewed by two another MVPs Torsten Meringer and Kim Oppalfens.

4941EN_Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Administration Cookbook_cov

The more I read, I more understand complexity of System Center Configuration Manager, and tips and tricks about fine tuning. One of basic things is how to deal with SQL server. If you set up your SQL in wrong way, you will face problems lately. SQL can slow your Configuration Manager performance to almost unusable. But in the book you can find advices how to avoid this to happen.

System Center Configuration Manager is probably the most complex and feature rich product in the System Center suite. For managing all features you will need knowledge about IIS, SQL, WSUS, WMI, PXE, SSRS, operating systems and networking (and much more which I forgot probably). So I found this book very usable in every day working with Configuration Manger 2012 (CM12 as called in book).

Microsoft System Center 2012Configuration Manager Administrator Cookbook also can be very good for total beginners (administrators starting with System Center 2012). In book you can find practical advices and solutions how to continue when you are stuck, or how to do something from scratch (and avoid problems).

Generally I’m very satisfy with my copy of Microsoft System Center 2012Configuration Manager Administrator Cookbook, and I’m using it every day on my job. For checking my previous configuration of my System Center 2012 and when I plan to implement new feature to see how to do it.

If you are interested for this book you can find it on Packt publishing or Amazon.com

SQL collation and System Center

What is SQL collation? SQL collation refers to a set of rules that determine how data is sorted and compared. Character data is sorted using rules that define the correct character sequence, with options for specifying case-sensitivity, accent marks, kana character types and character width.

SQL collation knows to be pretty annoying thing, especially if you chose wrong one.

I find out that on hard way. After I was install SCCM 2012 RC and I was try to „upgrade“ to RC2.

Where is the catch? Catch is when you going to install SQL server, by default it picks up collation from regional settings (in my case Croatian). You can change collation during installation but if you are not careful enough you could face with serious problem (like me). Why? Because RC will work fine but upgrade to RTM will be almost impossible.

Here are few pictures how to choose right collation

Collation 1Collation 2Collation 3Collation 4

Microsoft supports upgrade System Center 2012 products from RC to RTM. RTM (or RC2) will asks for SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS collation on your SQL. Now you have problem if you pick wrong collation before or you didn’t pick it at all (you have default created on regional settings bases).

Only way to resolve the problem is to uninstall SQL and install it again with correct collation.

But if you are using existing SQL you need to (can) change collation before installing SCCM 2012.

How can you do that? You can do that using a script: “Setup /QUIET /ACTION=REBUILDDATABASE /INSTANCENAME=
MSSQLSERVER /SQLSYSADMINACCOUNTS=demo\administrator /SAPWD= Pa$$w0rd /SQLCOLLATION=SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS“

Collation 5

You must do that before starting setup SCCM 2012, or setup will fail with error message about wrong collation. If you have right collation, setup will create CM_xxx database (where xxx is site code)

And for last thing, you can’t change collation on existing CM_xxx database. Why? CM_xxx database is really complex, and collation change will fail. Colleague of mine Luka Gros tried but he didn’t make it. He received error every time.

I show this on demo on my presentation on Windays12 and this was one of tricks which I presented for SCCM 2012