Monday, November 21, 2016

System Center & Update Mechanism SCCM

Since SCCM 1511 a whole new update mechanism is introduced. In this new approach the Windows 10 update mechanism - where updates are pushed out in so called ‘rings’ - is used by SCCM 1511 and later as well.

As such SCCM is growing into a Software-as-a-Service model, titled CaaS, ConfigMgr-as-a-Service. As a result the latest & greatest version of SCCM is dubbed ConfigMgr Current Branch.

For all of my customers this approach works great. No more Googling required in order to see whether their SCCM environment is up to date. Instead the SCCM Console itself, tells the admins when an update is available.

And it doesn’t end there. SCCM also aids in rolling out the upgrade! Of course, a backup of the related VMs and SQL database is always advised, but still SCCM itself aids you in upgrading to the Current Branch, by:

  1. Notifying you when an update is available;
  2. Downloading it;
  3. Packaging it and upload it to the DPs;
  4. Running the Prerequisite Check in order to see the current environment is ‘upgrade ready’;
  5. Rolling out the upgrade;
  6. Upgrading all the related components;
  7. Warning you when something goes wrong (haven’t heard about this at all yet Smile);
  8. Finishing up and cleaning up all the ‘mess’ which is normal after any upgrade.

As such, rolling out an upgrade of SCCM/ConfigMgr has evolved from a tedious and sometimes even hideous task, in a controlled workflow which is pretty solid.

This results in faster adoption of the Current Branch. So in order ‘to keep up’ one has to invest less more time, resources and budget.

System Center-as-a-Service?
Therefore I am hoping that one day the rest of the System Center 2016 stack will adopt the same approach as used by SCCM today.

It would lessen the administration burden significantly and help companies to grow into the idea that System Center-as-a-Service (SCaaS?) is good, helping them to adopt Azure based workloads and services even faster.

Hopefully Microsoft will choose for this approach one day. Please let me know how YOU think & feel about such an approach.

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