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SCCM SP2 R2 – it must of have been the Turkey

Article by Danny Knox

It must have been “feast induced drowsiness” that cause me to miss this.  Had to be.

I was trolling for technology webcasts and found one from thanksgiving week (2009) for SCCM – Technical Overview: System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 and R3 (Level 200) that among other things covers these gems:

Improved Client Policy Evaluation in SP2

  • Faster policy processing
    • Before SP2, policy download was queued locally for 2 minutes before processing
    • This 2 minute delay has been removed in Service Pack 2
  • More efficient software distribution configured to run at user logon
    • Before SP2, user policy requests were not downloaded for 10 minutes after user logon event
    • This caused a delay in User/Group targeted advertisements
    • A common scenario is an App-V distribution environment where User or Security Group targeting is used
    • This 10 minute delay has been removed in Service Pack 2
    • User or Security Group targeted advertisements are instantly available after user logon in Service Pack 2

Can I get an AMEN?  Someone at Microsoft needs to be on the tower shouting this out to the masses.  Since Redmond is not, I will!  Albeit, my tower is a bit smaller but none the less I’M SHOUTING!!!

I can’t tell you how many MDOP POC’s I’ve done where the client wants to use SCCM to deliver App-V packages but has already seen the almost immediate delivery of App-V Management Server App-V packages and wanted to know why SCCM can’t do that.  It can now.  Just about fills my holiday wish list.  Well, there is the hope of bringing back Zero Touch for App-V self provisioning of pre-approved App-V applications and the ability to make request to a manager for apps the user needs but doesn’t have.  I can wait.

One of the other items that sort of sticks out is this one –

SMS 2003, time to migrate

  • Mainstream Support ends Jan 2010
    What does that mean?

    • No-charge Problem Resolution Support ends
    • We no longer accept product design change requests (DCRs) or provide new feature functionality
    • We no longer provide new non-security hotfixes without enrollment in Extended Hotfix Support

Sort of?  You know how not so good financial and political news is made available to the public at 3 pm on a Friday?  That’s what this feels like to all the folks that got their SMS 2003 environments up and running and had to do so from how to we say this, a not so well tuned previous SMS product of whose vintage will not be named here.  While you were enjoying your “feast induced drowsiness” you get this update about end of support for SMS 2003.  I hope you’re awake now.

In preparation for SCCM you might entertain propping a parallel Windows 2008 Server to then install SCCM SP2 R2 into for a migration instead of an upgrade to SMS.  This is one of our preferred method at CompuCom.  Taking a deployment approach by department you can remove the older SMS clients and seed by ‘collections of computers’ from SCCM that receive the new SCCM client thereby keeping SMS 2003 up while the migration is in progress until the last device has been migrated.

Plan now folks – before you make that SMS 2003 support call and are asked where to bill the call to.