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On July 28, 2017, Microsoft announced that they have released version 1706 for the Current Branch (CB) of System Center Configuration Manager that includes new features and product enhancements!

As written on microsoft.com

Many of these enhancements are designed for organizations that are going through the digital transformation and want to modernize their IT infrastructure, policies, and processes. With each release of Configuration Manager, we are focusing on the following themes:

  1. Configuration Manager makes it easier to adopt and deploy Windows 10 and Office 365.
  2. Configuration Manager enables the management of Windows 10 security settings to protect users and company data.
  3. Configuration Manager helps customers build the bridge to modern management of Windows to simplify management.
  4. Configuration Manager infrastructure is streamlined for simpler and easier use, reducing your total cost of ownership.
  5. Microsoft continues to provide iterative value to customers using Configuration Manager connected with Microsoft Intune.
  6. Microsoft is committed to delighting our customers by continuing to invest and iterate on Configuration Manager based on customer feedback.

We are continuing to see strong adoption by our customers. As of today, we have more than 40,000 organizations managing more than 84 million devices using the Current Branch of Configuration Manager. And thanks to our active Technical Preview Branch community, the 1706 update includes feedback and usage data we have gathered from customers who have installed and road tested our monthly technical previews over the last few months. As always, 1706 has also been tested at scale – by real customers, in real production environments.

Here are just few of the enhancements that are available in this update:

Windows 10 and Office 365

  • Manage Microsoft Surface driver updates – You can now use Configuration Manager to manage Microsoft Surface driver updates.
  • Windows Analytics Commercial ID and Windows telemetry levels – You can now specify the Windows Analytics Commercial ID and configure telemetry, commercial data, and Internet Explorer data collection settings in Client Settings for use with Upgrade Readiness.
  • Improvement for Express Update support – Express file download time has been significantly improved.
  • Improved user experience for Office 365 updates – Improvements have been made to leverage the Office Click-to-Run user experience when a client installs an Office 365 update. This includes pop-up and in-app notifications, and a countdown experience.

Windows 10 Security

  • SecureBoot and TPM inventory data – Hardware inventory can now determine whether the device has SecureBoot enabled and various properties of the TPM (enabled by default).
  • Windows Defender Device Guard – You can now include trust for specific files and folder paths in Device Guard policies.

Modern Management

  • Azure AD-enabled Cloud Management – You can now onboard the site to Azure AD via Cloud Services. Additionally, you can install the client on the Internet.
  • Windows Update for Business enhancements – There is a new dedicated experience to configure and deploy deferral settings for easy discoverability.

Streamlined Infrastructure

  • Cloud services consolidation – There is now common experience for OMS Connector, Upgrade Readiness, Windows Store for Business, and Cloud Management.
  • Reload boot images with latest WinPE version – During the “Update Distribution Points” wizard on a boot image, you can now reload the version of Windows PE in the selected boot image.
  • Boundary Group improvements – Boundary groups now support configuring the time for fallback for software update points.
  • Configuration Manager Update Reset Tool – We have added new tool to reset and restart in-console updates when they have problems downloading or replicating.
  • Accessibility – Screen reader improvements and improved keyboard navigation in and out of the ribbon in the Configuration Manager console.

Configuration Manager connected with Microsoft Intune

  • Entrust as certificate authority for PFX Certificates – Entrust can now be used as the certificate authority for PFX certificates.
  • Additional Android for Work features – You can now configure app configuration policies for Android for Work.
  • Additional Compliance Policy settings – We added additional compliance policy settings that were previously available only in Intune standalone.
  • Cisco IPSec VPN support for iOS – Cisco IPsec will be a new connection type option for VPN profiles for iOS.
  • Windows Edition Upgrade policy – This policy allows admins to set a policy to upgrade Windows 10 to Enterprise editions.
  • Additional MAM settings – We added new settings such as block screen capture (Android only), disable contact sync, and disable printing.
  • Windows configuration settings – We added new Windows configuration item settings that were previously only available in Intune standalone.

Customer Feedback

  • Create and run PowerShell scripts – You can now create and run scripts with parameters to devices and collections.
  • Task Sequence improvements – You can now easily toggle when the task sequence progress is or is not displayed to the end user, on a granular step-by-step basis. Additionally, groups in the task sequence editor can be collapsed or expanded.
  • Share an application from Software Center – You can copy a direct link to an application in Software Center using the new Share button in the Application Details view.

Note: As the update is rolled out globally in the coming weeks, it will be automatically downloaded, and you will be notified when it is ready to install from the “Updates and Servicing” node in your Configuration Manager console. If you can’t wait to try these new features, this PowerShell script can be used to ensure that you are in the first wave of customers getting the update. By running this script, you will see the update available in your console right away.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text][vc_cta_button2 h2="" title="Complimentary Deployment Analysis with Industry Leading System Center Engineering Talent" size="lg" position="bottom" accent_color="#dd9933" link="url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.managedsolution.com%2Fsccm%2F||"]

The future of client health automation is here. Managed Solution provides businesses with complete, end-to-end solutions for their technology needs.


windows server 2016 - managed solution

Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016

By Kurt Mackie as written on redmondmag.com
Microsoft today announced that Windows Server 2016 and the System Center 2016 management suite of products have reached "general availability" (GA) status.
GA means that the products can be purchased and used in production environments. Both are now licensed on a per-core basis, instead of the earlier per-processor approach. In addition, today's GA milestone means that that Microsoft's service provider partners can now begin testing Windows Server 2016 in their datacenters.
In late September, both products were at the earlier "release-to-manufacturing" stage. They got a small bit of stage time during Microsoft's Ignite keynote product "launch" back then.
Microsoft seems to have reserved Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 product details for its Ignite session attendees. Many of those sessions are currently available on demand via the Ignite 2016 Channel 9 portal. The agenda for Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 sessions at Ignite can be found at this page.
Also, Microsoft announced this week that it will broadcast a Windows Server 2016 Webcast on Oct. 13, starting at 9:00 a.m. Pacific Time. The Webcast will feature talks by Microsoft luminaries such as Jeffrey Snover, Jeff Woolsey and Erin Chapple.

Windows Server 2016 Highlights

Microsoft is marketing Windows Server 2016 as another advance in its "hybrid cloud" approach. The "hybrid" part means that the traditional customer-maintained server model can work with the services delivered from Microsoft's datacenters, such as Microsoft Azure services and Office 365 services.
Windows Server 2016 was "forged in our own Azure datacenters," Microsoft stressed in its announcement. The new server also has software-defined capabilities that come from Microsoft's experience in running Azure datacenters. Microsoft also had previously announced that the Docker Engine was added to Windows Server 2016 at "no additional cost" to customers. It facilitates running applications without conflict by using either Windows Server Containers or Hyper-V Containers, which both tap Docker Engine technology.
Microsoft lists its application server product support on Windows Server 2016 in this TechNet publication. The main Microsoft application server products that aren't yet supported on the new Windows Server 2016 product include Skype for Business Server 2015, BizTalk Server 2016, Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 15 and Host Integration Server 2016. They will get supported eventually, though, a Microsoft spokesperson indicated.
IT pros looking for hardware recommendations for Windows Server 2016 might take a look at this listcompiled by Thomas Maurer, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional. He's also compiled other useful links on "deployment, upgrading and certification" in this blog post.
Microsoft is touting access to its new server technology via a relatively new licensing portability option. It's for current Windows Server users that have Software Assurance coverage. Under this "Azure Hybrid Use Benefit" option, if an organization has Windows Server products installed on premises that are covered by the Software Assurance annuity program, then it's possible to move that licensing from an organization's infrastructure and use Windows Server virtual machines on Microsoft Azure datacenter infrastructure.
Windows Server 2016 currently can be downloaded. It's available via the MSDN subscriber portal and the TechNet Evaluation Center (a free 180-day trial copy).

System Center 2016 Highlights

The GA announcement of Microsoft's System Center 2016 suite of products means that all of its components are now available, including Virtual Machine Manager, Operations Manager, Orchestrator and Service Management Automation, Service Manager, Data Protection Manager and Configuration Manager. A 180-day trial edition is available for download at Microsoft's evaluation portal here.
Instead of listing the exhaustive feature details, Microsoft broadly listed the following highlights of the System Center 2016 suite:
  • Faster time to value with simple installation, in-place upgrades, and automated workflows.
  • Efficient operations with improvements in performance and usability of all System Center components.
  • Greater heterogeneity and cloud management with broader support for LAMP stack and VMware, including monitoring resources and services in Azure and Amazon Web Services.
There's also a Microsoft white paper listing the System Center 2016 highlights (PDF).
Microsoft is also touting an option to license System Center 2016 components via its Operations Management Suite (OMS) subscriptions. OMS is Microsoft's solution for managing public cloud workloads. There are four service options available to OMS subscribers, namely Insights & Analytics, Automation & Control, Security & Compliance, and Protection & Recovery. They are priced per node.
Various System Center 2016 components come with each of those OMS service options. For instance, Configuration Manager use rights come with an Automation & Control OMS subscription. It's also possible to "attach OMS services to your existing System Center license," which Microsoft calls the "OMS Add-on for System Center." It requires having Software Assurance coverage on System Center to use this add-on option. More details about these System Center-OMS licensing options can be found in Microsoft's OMS "Pricing and Licensing Datasheet" (PDF).

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SCCM pairings - managed solution
Unify your IT management infrastructure & simplify client health with 0 touch deployments.
Streamline operations with a unified infrastructure that integrates device management and protection across mobile, physical, and virtual environments.

Enterprise Class Remote Client Health with SCCM & SHARC

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Windows 10 + System Center

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whats new in system center - managed solution
 The new System Center is here!
Improve your IT operations with System Center solutions that ease the monitoring, automation, and provisioning of your software-defined datacenter. Plus, integrate Operations Management Suite to get visibility and management in the cloud.

Download the whitepaper to learn about all the latest updates for simplified data management.

Want to Learn More about Professional Services? Contact us at 800-208-3617 



simplified provisioning - managed solution

Industry Leading System Center Engineering Talent

It’s time to think about your overall Identity & Access Management Strategy and we can help. Stay in control of your IT—across your environment and platforms. Simplify the deployment, configuration, management, and monitoring of your infrastructure and virtualized software-defined datacenter, while increasing agility and performance with System Center. With System Center Configuration Manager, data management becomes easy, reliable, and efficient.

Here's what we're loving about System Center 2016:

      • Reduce complexity with infrastructure provisioning

        • Seamlessly deploy, configure, and manage your software-defined datacenter infrastructure across compute, networking, storage, and security. Plus, take advantage of cloud-ready Windows Server 2016 capabilities—including Nano Servers, shielded virtual machines, and efficient, software-defined networking and storage solutions.
      • Increase efficiency with automated processes and self service

        • Automate any datacenter task to reduce errors and increase speed using built-in orchestration and IT Service Management. Offer self-service capabilities through an intuitive web portal and highly efficient service management.
      • Get the insights you need with workload and infrastructure monitoring

        • Monitor health, capacity, and usage to diagnose and troubleshoot issues across applications, workloads, and your infrastructure—before they result in costly downtime or slow performance. Access rich analytics and insights using native integration with Operations Management Suite.


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Enable employees to work anywhere on the devices that they choose

Deploying and managing Windows is easier than ever before with new improvements including the support of the latest Windows 10 features, Windows in-place upgrade, more frequent and easier updates, unified end-user portal, and on-premises mobile device management (MDM).
Through integration with Microsoft Intune, you can extend your System Center Configuration Manager to manage PCs, Macs, and Unix/Linux servers along with cloud-based mobile devices running Windows, iOS, and Android, all from a single management console.

Watch the video to learn more:


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