SMS 2003 SP3 Asset Intelligence Update Available by 31 January 2008

Just announced that the first bulk catalog update for Systems Management Server 2003 SP3 Asset Intelligence will be available by 31 January 2008.

http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2480557&SiteID=17&mode=1

Configuration Manager Documentation Library Update

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=81997356-7f18-48b2-a53a-d6f995a47f35&DisplayLang=en 

The Configuration Manager Documentation Library has been updated. The Documentation Library is the primary documentation for Configuration Manager 2007. The November update contains new material and fixes to documentation problems reported after Configuration Manager 2007 was released. Refer to “What’s New in the Configuration Manager Documentation Library for November 2007” for a list of topics that are new or updated in this version. The updated smsv4.chm will have a date of 11/06/2007 and will overwrite the existing smsv4.chm in %systemroot%\help. This information is also available online in the TechCenter Library http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb680651.aspx.
Feature Bullet Summary:

The Documentation Library includes the following types of information:

• Setup and upgrade instructions.
• Information about new features and backwards compatibility.
• Conceptual descriptions about the technologies and features in Configuration Manager 2007.
• Procedural topics describing how to use the various features in Configuration Manager 2007
• Step-by-step topics to guide you through sample deployments
• Scenario topics to provide examples of how the technology might be used
• Security and privacy information about the features
• Troubleshooting information

System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Configuration Pack Catalog

Get all your configuration packs here:

https://www.microsoft.com/technet/prodtechnol/scp/configmgr07.aspx 

 

System Center Configuration Manager 2007
Configuration Pack Catalog

Desired Configuration Management (DCM) is a feature in System Center Configuration Manager. With DCM, utilize Microsoft and third party best practice configuration knowledge to improve configuration definition and maintenance. Find the software you need to define configurations for your Microsoft and third party applications with Configuration Manager 2007.

LINQPad

This is really cool:

http://www.linqpad.net/

Tired of querying in antiquated SQL?

Well, you don’t have to!  LINQPad lets you interactively query SQL databases in a modern query language: LINQ.  Kiss goodbye to SQL Management Studio!

LINQPad supports everything in C# 3.0 and Framework 3.5:

  • LINQ to SQL
  • LINQ to Objects
  • LINQ to XML

LINQPad is also a terrific tool for learning LINQ: it comes preloaded with 200 examples from the recently released C# 3.0 in a Nutshell.  There’s no better way to experience the coolness of LINQ and functional programming.

LINQPad is free and needs no installation: just download and run.  The executable is only 1MB and is self-updating.

System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Toolkit Released

The ConfigMgr 2007 Toolkit contains 7 downloadable tools to help you manage and troubleshoot ConfigMgr 2007.

The following list provides specific information about each tool in the toolkit.

      Client Spy – A tool to help troubleshoot issues related to software distribution, inventory, and software metering on Configuration Manager 2007 clients.
      Policy Spy – A policy viewer to help review and troubleshoot the policy system on Configuration Manager 2007 clients.
      Trace32 – A log viewer that provides a way to easily view and monitor log files created and updated by Configuration Manager 2007 clients and servers.
      Security Configuration Wizard Template for Configuration Manager 2007 – An attack-surface reduction tool for the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 operating system with Service Pack 1 and Service Pack 2 (SP1 and SP2) that determines the minimum functionality required for a server’s role or roles, and disables functionality that is not required.
      DCM Model Verification – A tool used by desired configuration management content administrators for the validation and testing of configuration items and baselines authored externally from the Configuration Manager console.
      DCM Digest Conversion – A tool used by desired configuration management content administrators to convert existing SMS 2003 Desired Configuration Management Solution templates to Desired Configuration Management 2007 configuration items.
      DCM Substitution Variables – A tool used by desired configuration management content administrators for authoring desired configuration management configuration items that use chained setting and object discovery.

Performance Analysis of Logs (PAL) Tool

Great tool for performance analysis

http://www.codeplex.com/PAL 

Project Description
Ever have a performance problem, but don’t know what performance counters to collect or how to analyze them? The PAL (Performance Analysis of Logs) tool is a new and powerful tool that reads in a performance monitor counter log (any known format) and analyzes it using complex, but known thresholds (provided). The tool generates an HTML based report which graphically charts important performance counters and throws alerts when thresholds are exceeded. The thresholds are originally based on thresholds defined by the Microsoft product teams and members of Microsoft support, but continue to be expanded by this ongoing project. This tool is not a replacement of traditional performance analysis, but it automates the analysis of performance counter logs enough to save you time. This is a VBScript and requires Microsoft LogParser (free download).

To use PAL

The PAL tool is primarily a VBScript that requires arguments/parameters passed to it in order to properly analyze performance monitor logs. In v1.1 and later of PAL, a GUI interface has been added to help with this process.

Requirements

Operating Systems
PAL runs successfully on all of the following operating systems: Windows XP SP2, Windows Vista, and Windows 2003 Server. 32-bit only due to OWC11 requirements.
Note: The optional GUI (windows form) portion of PAL requires the Microsoft .NET Framework v2.0.
Log Parser 2.2
Log parser is a powerful, versatile tool that provides universal query access to text-based data such as log files, XML files and CSV files, as well as key data sources on the Windows® operating system such as the Event Log, the Registry, the file system, and Active Directory®. PAL uses the Log Parser tool to query perform logs and to create charts and graphs for the PAL report.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=890cd06b-abf8-4c25-91b2-f8d975cf8c07&DisplayLang=en
Microsoft Office Web Components 2003
Log Parser requires the Office Web Components 2003 in order to create charts.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=7287252c-402e-4f72-97a5-e0fd290d4b76
Training
Watch online at: http://www.livemeeting.com/cc/microsoft/view?id=JKGT3N
or
Download it (20071005IntrotoPALwmv.zip) from:
https://www.codeplex.com/Release/ProjectReleases.aspx?ProjectName=PAL&ReleaseId=6759
Questions, Problems, or Feedback: Please post to the Discussions section of the web site or email PALTool@microsoft.com.

Configuration Manager and Content Location (Package Source Files)

 

Configuration Manager and Content Location (Package Source Files)

Topic last updated — August 2007

Content location in Configuration Manager 2007 refers to how Configuration Manager 2007 clients find package source files for advertisements and software updates. When a client needs to locate content, it sends a content location request to a management point:

  • When a client is located within the boundaries of its assigned site, the client requests content location from its default management point.
  • When a client is located within the boundaries of a secondary site that is attached to its assigned site, and the secondary site has a proxy management point, the client requests content location from the proxy management point. If no proxy management point is installed in this secondary site, the client requests content location from its default management point.
  • When a client is located within the boundaries of a site that isn’t its assigned site or a secondary site that is attached to the client’s assigned site, a client that can access site information from Active Directory Domain Services (global roaming capability) will request content location from the resident management point in the site into which it has roamed. If the resident management point cannot provide this information (the content is not available in that site), the client falls back to asking its default management point.
  • When a client is located within the boundaries of a primary site lower in the hierarchy than its assigned site or a secondary site attached to its assigned site, a client that cannot access site information from Active Directory Domain Services (regional roaming capability), will continue to request content location from its default management point in its assigned site.

For more information about how clients find management points, see Configuration Manager and Service Location (Site Information and Management Points). For example scenarios, see Example Roaming Scenarios for Configuration Manager: Simple.

How Management Points Return Available Distribution Points to Clients

When a management point receives a content location request from a client, it identifies distribution points that host the content requested by clients. For requested advertisements, the package ID and version number is used to identify the requested content. For software updates, the software update configuration item UniqueID value and configuration item version is used to identify the requested content.

The distribution points searched first will be the distribution points in the client’s current site. The current site might be the client’s assigned site, or a secondary site attached to its assigned site, or another site into which the client has roamed. If the content is not available in the client’s current site, distribution points are searched in the client’s assigned site. In this way, clients can access content only from distribution points from their current site, or their assigned site.

The management point then sorts the list of identified distribution points in relation to the client’s current boundary location.

First, the management point looks for protection distribution points:

  • If the content is on protected distribution points, and the client’s current boundary location is included in the protected boundary configuration on protected distribution points, these distribution points only are returned to the client.
  • If the content is not on protected distribution points, but the client’s current boundary location is included in the protected boundary configuration, by default management points continue to provide the client with a list of non-protected distribution points that do host the content. However, when the following option is deselected on the advertisement or software update deployment setting, no distributions points are returned to clients and the client will not be able to download the content until it is added to the protected distribution points: Allow clients to fallback to unprotected distribution points when the content is not available on the protected distribution point.

For more information about protected distribution points, see About Distribution Points.

Next, the management point sorts the distribution points according to whether the client is currently in a fast network boundary that is configured for the management point’s site:

  • If the client is on a fast network boundary, the management point identifies the distribution points from its own site and marks them as “local”.
  • The remaining distribution points are marked as “remote”.
  • If there are both local and remote distribution points, the local distribution points are ordered before the remote distribution points.

The list of available distribution points is returned to the client after the filtering process (for protected distribution points) and sorting process (local and remote).

How Clients Choose Distribution Points from the List

Clients receive the list of distribution points, perform their own selection criteria, and then attempt to connect with the first distribution point. If that connection fails, it tries the next on the list.

The order in which clients try to connect to distributions point is the following, first for distribution points marked local (if any) and then for distribution points marked remote:

  • Distribution points on the same IP subnet as the client
  • Distribution points in the same Active Directory site as the client
  • Remaining distribution points

Within each sorting category, the client prefers distribution points that are enabled with the option Allow clients to transfer content from this distribution point using BITS, HTTP, and HTTPS. Without this option enabled, client connections to distribution points are over server message blocks (SMB).

As an example, a client will choose a distribution point with this option enabled located on the same IP subnet over a distribution point without this option enabled. However, the client will choose a distribution point that is not enabled with this option and that is located on the same IP subnet as the client over a distribution point that is not enabled with this option but located on the same IP subnet as the client.

Within each sorting category, the order of distribution points is nondeterministic, which provides a level of load-balancing for the servers. So, a client would attempt to connect to any of the distribution points that are enabled with the option Allow clients to transfer content from this distribution point using BITS, HTTP, and HTTPS on the same IP subnet as the client, and then attempt to connect to any of the distribution points that are not enabled with this option when they are on the same IP subnet as the client.

Internet-Based Distribution Points

When the client is being managed over the Internet, and requesting content from a site configured for Internet-based client management, all Internet-based distribution points in that site will be returned to the client.

In this scenario, distribution points must be configured with the option Allow clients to transfer content from this distribution point using BITS, HTTP, and HTTPS, and the selection of a distribution point by the client is nondeterministic.

Content Availability

When clients successfully connect to a distribution point on the intranet to access content, the content will always be available to clients that are located within fast network boundaries for the site on which the distribution point is located.

For clients that are not located within fast network boundaries for the site (they are located within slow network boundaries, or within boundaries defined for another site, or outside all configured boundaries on the intranet), the availability of the content depends on the configuration of the advertisement or software update deployment. In this scenario, the default configuration is to prevent access to the content, in order to preserve network bandwidth.

You can change this default setting so that advertisements and software update deployments download and install locally when the client is connected over a slow network boundary. This will ensure that clients can always install the content, but at the expense of network bandwidth over potentially slow and expensive WAN links.

These settings are configurable in the following places:

For more information about how clients find management points and content when they move from one location in the hierarchy to another, see About Client Roaming in Configuration Manager.

For example scenarios of how clients access content according to boundary configuration, their network location, and the configuration of advertisements and software update deployments, see Example Roaming Scenarios for Configuration Manager: Complex.

Configuration Manager and Content Location (Package Source Files)