Introduction to System Center 2016 Configuration Manager
System Center 2016 Configurations Manager (SCCM 2016) simplifies the management of cross-platform servers, workstations, notebooks and handheld devices for on-premises, hosted and hybrid cloud environments. Configuration Manager is used to manage over 100 million computers worldwide and offers key capabilities such as enterprise-wide operating system and application software deployment including patches and updates, compliance settings management, infrastructure health monitoring, asset inventory, software license management, software metering, and remote access management.
Configuration Manager leverages a broad array of Microsoft technologies. SCCM integrates tightly with Microsoft Intune for mobile device management, Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), Certificate Services, Exchange Server and Office 365 Exchange Online, Windows Group Policy, DNS, Windows ADK and USMT, Windows Deployment Services, and Remote Desktop. Configuration Manager also uses Active Directory Domain Services, SQL Server databases and SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), Internet Information Services (IIS), BITS, and BranchCache.
Progent's Microsoft certified consulting team can help organizations of any size to plan and implement a single-site deployment or a site hierarchy for SCCM 2016 based on best practices and can integrate the entire range of Microsoft products to create a cohesive device and application management solution. Progent can also show you how to set up a hybrid cloud environment that allows you to use SCCM 2016 to provide unified management of resources deployed across both Microsoft Azure and physical datacenters. In addition, Progent offers expertise for non-Microsoft platforms supported by Configuration Manager by delivering expertise with Apple macOS and OS X computers, all major distributions of Linux, iPhones and iPads, and Android smartphones.
Note: Microsoft has changed the branding and servicing model for Configuration Manager since the initial release of Configuration Manager 2016. For a description of these changes, see Configuration Manager 2016 current branch consulting.
New Features of Configuration Manager 2016
Since the introduction of Configuration Manager 2016, Microsoft has begun a program of releasing frequent updates, either baseline or incremental, that can be located and installed with an in-console service called Updates and Servicing. The faster pace of update releases makes it more challenging than ever for Configuration Manager administrators to keep current with SCCM technology. Progent can provide the expertise of a Configuration Manager 2016 consultant with experience designing and deploying Configuration Manager, Windows 2016 and SQL Server solutions in multi-site and hybrid cloud environments for enterprises that include large legal and financial organizations. Progent can help you assess the business value of Configuration Manager's continuing flow of enhancements and Progent can help you implement SCCM's new technology to achieve fast time to value.
Important areas addressed by Configuration Manager 2016's new features include mobile device management, mobile application management, Windows 10 support, compliance settings management, data leakage protection, and hybrid cloud integration. New features of SCCM 2016 include:
How Progent Can Help You with Configuration Manager 2016
- Configuration Manager Client Pre-production Testing
The Configuration Manager console lets you create a pre-production collection in order to test a new Configuration Manager client version. When the pilot test has completed successfully, you can promote the new client to production and automatically upgrade the rest of the site.
- Windows 10 Support
The SCCM's Create Task Sequence Wizard automatically creates the steps required to upgrade computers to Windows 10. This new feature can be used with Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 computers. Support for express installation files for Windows 10 updates reduces the size of downloads and installation time on clients.
- On-premises MDM
On-premises Mobile Device Management (MDM) takes the place of the Intune connector to allow SCCM to manage mobile devices that do not connect to the Internet. For details, refer to Configuration Manager 2016 MDM consultants.
- Reassign Distribution Point
The Reassign Distribution Point feature in Configuration Manager 2016 saves time by letting you reassign up to 50 shared distribution points at once instead of processing reassigned distribution points individually.
- Improved Disaster Recovery with SQL Server Always On Availability Groups
You can use asynchronous commit replicas to recover synchronous replicas in the SQL Server Always On availability groups used with SCCM, making it possible to add replicas for use as off-site backups for disaster recovery.
- Data Warehouse Service Point
The new Data Warehouse Service Point stores and reports on historical data (up to three years) for a Configuration Manager environment. The data warehouse site system role is supported at the top-tier site of your Configuration Manager hierarchy. Data is automatically synchronized from the Configuration Manager Site Database to the Data Warehouse Database, powered by SQL Server 2012 or later, where it can be used by the Reporting Services point to for health, compliance, security and inventory reporting. Reports included with the Data Warehouse site system role include computers missing software updates, hardware and software inventory, infrastructure health, detected malware, and summaries of software distribution.
The site database can auto-sync with a data warehouse for reporting on long-term Configuration Manager data
- Peer Cache Content Sharing
Peer Cache is native to Configuration Manager and uses SCCM's standard distribution workflow and boundary group settings to deliver content from any client designated as a content source. When SCCM management points give clients information about where to find required content, they include Peer Cache sources. Like BranchCache, which is a Windows feature, Peer Cache saves WAN bandwidth by utilizing data cached at a remote destination site without its own distribution point. The advantage of Peer Cache is that it works with Windows PE clients and Peer Cache clients can be in different subnets and still share content.
- Cloud Management Gateway
The Cloud Management Gateway (CMG) is an Azure subscription service that simplifies the management of SCCM clients on the Internet. CMG uses the cloud management gateway connector point to link on-premises Configuration Manager infrastructure to Azure so clients connected either to your private network or to the cloud can access on-prem SCCM site system roles.
- Fallback Boundary Groups
Configuration Manager clients that are unable to access content from a distribution point within their boundary group can fall back to a content source with an established relationship with their boundary group. The Configuration Manager console allows you to define a client's wait time before looking for content in a neighboring boundary group. In case a client is unable to access a new server, it can quickly try the next server from its available server pool.
- Azure Active Directory Integration
The Azure Services Wizard replaces tedious individual workflows for setting up key Azure services used with SCCM. Clients can authenticate by using Azure Active Directory and you can configure Azure Active Directory User Discovery. You can also access Upgrade Readiness and view upgrade-compatibility data for clients.
- Alerts for Endpoint Protection
Configuration Manager can notify administrators when malware issues are detected within your SCCM hierarchy. The alerts appear in the SCCM console in the Endpoint Protection dashboard and can also be set up to be emailed to designated users.
Progent's Microsoft-certified consulting team includes Configuration Manager subject matter experts who can help businesses of any size to create a hierarchy design plan for a Configuration Manager deployment, migrate efficiently to Configuration Manager 2016 from a prior release, and set up SCCM 2016 to streamline device and application management. Progent can provide occasional online guidance and troubleshooting to help you overcome technical bottlenecks with your SCCM 2016 rollout, or Progent can provide end-to-end project management outsourcing or co-sourcing services to make sure your Configuration Manager implementation is completed on schedule and within budget.
Progent's SQL Server consultants can help you set up Configuration Manager site databases and data warehouses based on SQL Server 2016. Progent can also help you use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to generate historical reports about your Configuration Manager 2016 environment. Progent's certified Windows Server 2019 integration experts and Windows Server 2016 consultants can help you deploy Configuration Manager on Windows Server and configure Active Directory Domain Services for your SCCM 2016 environment. Progent's Windows 10 consultants can help you set up Configuration Manager 2016 to take advantage of the new deployment, management and security features of Windows 10. Progent's Microsoft Intune consultants and Azure hybrid cloud integration consultants can help you connect Configuration Manager with Intune to provide unified management of mobile devices across your enterprise. Progent's iPhone and iPad consultants and Android experts can help you incorporate smartphones in your Configuration Manager 2016 solution.
Progent's certified security and compliance consultants can help you design and deploy an advanced information assurance strategy that utilizes the data protection improvements available in Configuration Manager 2016. Progent can also provide System Center 2016 Operations Manager consulting to track the health, performance and availability of your hybrid cloud network and anticipate/resolve looming technical issues before they result in downtime. Progent's System Center 2016 consultants offer remote and on-premises support for the entire line of cloud-smart management tools included in Microsoft's System Center product family and can provide services like Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) consulting, Data Protection Manager (SCDPM) integration, plus Orchestrator and Service Manager consulting.
To find out more about Progent's consulting and troubleshooting support for System Center 2016 Configuration Manager, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.
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