Microsoft Windows Installer, Application Compatibility and Deployments

What’s New in System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) v.Next

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)System Center Configuration Manager v.Next provides powerful and flexible user-centric management, allowing people to be able to seamlessly access their data from virtually anywhere, across multiple device types while providing IT with unified management tools and centralized control.

Providing User-Centric Management

Configuration Manager v.Next provides client management a user-centric approach, without being overly complex, while simplifying and consolidating onto a single, unified tool. These comprehensive user-centric management tools can help IT to manage and provide people with software that is tied to their identity and can follow them across multiple devices and access scenarios.

Flexible Delivery of Applications

Configuration Manager v.Next automatically delivers people applications by sensing and responding to system conditions that can be used to intelligently deploy applications in using a method most appropriate to the situation., a concept known as Conditional Delivery. This type of application delivery is provided through a new application model where the application itself is defined once, then delivered through multiple channels such as virtual, mobile, on presentation servers, or via traditional application deployment. This allows for a significantly simplified application deployment process. The applications themselves are protected with state-based delivery, which continues to provide people with predictable and reliable access to applications in the event that they are damaged or accidently deleted. People get the best experience with each of their devices through a process that distinguishes between primary and secondary devices and delivers services in the most appropriate way— including traditional, streaming, or from a presentation server.

On-Demand Applications

Configuration Manager v.Next helps to reduce the load on IT staff by providing people with an intuitive, self-service Web portal that allows anywhere access to enterprise applications that are dynamically customized by the user’s identity and role, helping to make people more effective, productive, and empowered. This rich storefront experience allows people to intuitively find and select which applications they need access to – making it easy to let people choose exactly what they need to do their jobs, when they need it.

Unifying Management Tools

Configuration Manager v.Next helps modernize IT, providing for a simplified, lean, and unified infrastructure for management and security to streamline your operational costs. Centralized management of desktop virtualization platforms, including Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-v) {App-V Guides/Tutorials}, Microsoft Enterprise Virtualization (Med-V), and Citrix XenApp, is also integrated into the Configuration Manager v.Next.

In addition, Configuration Manager v.Next provides for robust mobile device management support on multiple platforms such as Windows® Phone and Nokia Symbian, enabling people to self-provision applications, control settings, and manage mobile device updates.

Forefront® EndPoint Protection will also be built on Configuration Manager v.Next. Forefront EndPoint Protection and Configuration Manager are being brought together to help organizations gain efficiency in client protection management by reducing infrastructure and simplifying Deployment, thus helping to reduce costs.

Simplify IT Processes to Reduce Costs and Support Compliance

With Configuration Manager v.Next you can now set baseline configurations for your client systems to help automatically detect vulnerabilities based on changed configurations and to help identify non-compliance issues. With IT-defined automated remediation in Configuration Manager v.Next, configurations that have been changed from the baseline configuration can be detected and automatically reset to the desired configuration to further enhance system compliance.

Simplifying Management Administrative Improvements

Configuration Manager v.Next eliminates the need for additional primary Configuration Manager sites, which were traditionally used for data segmentation, by allowing for throttling and scheduling capabilities on distribution points as well as in primary sites. This allows for Configuration Manager site design flexibility that was not possible with previous versions.

The administrator console in Configuration Manager v.Next has been significantly enhanced with the addition of a role-based access control (RBAC) model that provides administrators with a streamlined console customized to their specific role—granting only what they need to do their job.

In addition, Configuration Manager v.Next provides for a ‘self-healing client’, that auto-remediates client health, even if the client is removed. This can significantly reduce IT administrative overhead and improve deployment reliability.

Providing an Integrated Platform

Configuration Manager v.Next provides for integrated end-to end IT client lifecycle management, from imaging to application delivery, maintenance, patching, and remediation, as well as supporting decommissioning of the devices—all through a single tool.

Additionally, Configuration Manager v.Next provides tight interoperability with Windows with features such as BranchCache™, direct access, power-saving settings, the User State Migration Toolkit (USMT), and the Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT). Because of this interoperability, it can help administrators get the most from Windows clients while gaining efficiencies in management.

Legacy Configuration Manager Migration and Support

Configuration Manager v.Next provides support for an organization’s existing traditional device-centric management models. The product does not require organizations to immediately replace legacy management techniques and can instead make a slow and gradual move to the new models. This allows for the flexibility to take advantage of new upgrade features without necessarily switching to new management models in entirety.

Unify and Simplify

Configuration Manager v.Next allows for a comprehensive user-centric approach to client management, tying applications directly to a user’s identity and allowing applications to follow people across multiple device types. Combined with user-friendly tools such as the self-service portal, Configuration Manager v.Next empowers people with the flexibility to work from multiple locations and on multiple devices.

Finally, Configuration Manager v.Next provides for a single view into overall client health, and allows for IT controls and remediation automation that helps to enhance the overall client management approach.

Summing up

The 3 Significant Pillars of this release of System Center Configuration Manager include,

Embrace user-centric management

  • Provide a rich application management model to capture admin intent
  • Allow the administrator to think users first
  • Provide the end user a fitting user experience to find/install software with
  • Allow the user to define their relationship to applications

Modernize our infrastructure and core components

  • Redesigned hierarchy and SQL Server replication
  • Automated content distribution
  • Client Health improvements and auto-remediation
  • Redesigned admin experience and role-based security model
  • Native 64-bit and full Unicode support

Continue to improve throughout the product

  • Software Updates auto-deployment (including Forefront definitions)
  • Automated settings remediation (DCM “set”)
  • Consolidated and expanded mobile device management
  • Improvements to OS Deployment and Remote Control
  • And much, much more.

In the upcoming articles, you will read more on the Software Distribution benefits in SCCM v.Next, Mobile Device Management etc.

Source: System Center Configuration Manager v.Next Data Sheet and MMS2010 Presentation Materials