System Center Configuration Manager 2016 Preview with Windows 10 Review

Well I was finally able to setup the Technical Preview 4 for Windows Server 2016. I also installed System Center Configuration Manager 2016 Preview 4 on top of it using 2016 Hyper-V and SQL 2012 SP1. Most additions and changes focus on implementing Mobile Device Management with Intune and Upgrades and deployments with Windows 10, as well as the addition of a Windows 10 Servicing Node in the Software Library.

Now, this is a technical preview so features may be named differently or come and go till the actual release product. Other than the additions I see no real console changes or removal of features from 2012.  One thing is for sure though the Azure Cloud is in play with integration to Azure VMs now being officially supported as a client to a Primary Site so you can manage Azure IaaS from an on-premise site or you can deploy a single standalone primary site in the Cloud. Intune is still the MDM solution being used for BYOD scenarios and Mobile Application Management.

Most of the new features in SCCM 2016 so far are:

Windows 10 is a major portion of the new settings in Configuration Manager 2016, Upgrade Policies, Service Plans and Windows 10 Updates to name a few.To see the list of requirements and limitations click here for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview.

Upgrade Policies: In the Asset and Compliance Node Under Compliance you have Windows 10 Edition Upgrade, right click and you get Create Edition Upgrade Policy Wizard. You will use this to change versions/editions to Enterprise. More information can be found on this subject here. You can also change licensing during this procedure.

The versions available to change are shown below, you can also apply Product Key or License xml file.

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Service Plans:  Organizations adopting Windows 10 will have to choose a service branch, including current branch (monthly updates), current branch for business (updates every four months) and long-term servicing branch (which is like the old service pack model). Click here for view of TP3 Dashboard which enables you to view the state of Windows as a service in your environment.

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An All Windows 10 Updates node specific to pushing updates out to upgrade version/edition, notice these are upgrade updates.

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All regular updates are still found under the All Software Updates node.

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Application Management Policy in the Application Management node to create Android and IOS Device policy for application deployments is also available in SCCM 2012 R2 SP1.

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As of SCCM 2012 SP2 Application Management Policies allow you to change security settings and control data protection on mobile clients such as IOS 7 and later, Android 4 and later shown below.

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Also new, we finally (instead of searching on fallback status or digging in logs) get client deployment status in the Monitoring node, an addition under Client Status. Great for client deployment failure counts in addition to client activity.

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Others features include extending the mobile device integration with more feature rich on-premise and Intune options. Including tracking of BYOD and CYOD by using the on-premise Exchange Connector, Intune Subscription to bring these  IOS and Android devices into the Enterprise and Corporate-owned Enrollment Profiles for more security. Also Upgrade and Servicing the cloud devices.

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So check out the list of features coming in System Center Configuration Manager 2016, meanwhile I still need to use SCCM 2012 R2 SP1 while I still can to deploy Windows 10 and check out the other 2016 System Center Products for future posts. Till then my friends.

As of this writing the Windows 10 Mobile Launch is on.

Also talk of removing Windows 10 support in SCCM 2012 after certain builds, ConfigMgr 2012 supports Windows 10 version 1507 (build 10.0.10240) and 1511 (build 10.0.10586) for the lifecycle of these builds. Any new Windows 10 CB/CBB builds released in the future will not be supported with ConfigMgr 2012 and will require System Center Configuration Manager current branch for supported management.

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