I have recently been having a lot of conversations with customers about System Center in general, and SCCM in particular. Most of my conversations have centered around understanding the capabilities of the SCCM product, as well as those of the entire System Center suite. In future posts I will be exploring various aspects of every product in the System Center suite. For now, I thought it would be good to start you off with a listing of the new and updated features that are part of the R2 release.
1) System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manger now supports deployment of Windows 8.1 and Windows server 2012 R2. There is added support for boot images created by using the Windows Automated Installation Kit (Windows AIK) for Windows 7 SP1 and based on Windows PE 3.1.
2) System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manger is now integrated with Windows Intune and this is named as Unified Modern Device Management. This means you can use System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager together with Windows Intune to manage a broad array of PCs and devices covering Windows, Windows RT, Macs, Windows Phone, Apple iOS and Android.
3) You can now select Resultant Client Settings (RSOP) from the Configuration Manager console to view the effective client settings that will be applied to the selected device. This is another great feature.
4) You can now reassign Configuration Manager clients, including managed mobile devices, to another primary site in the hierarchy. Clients can be reassigned individually or can be multi-selected and reassigned in bulk to a new site.
5) Compliance Settings – New mobile device settings and mobile device setting groups have been added.
6) Profiles – There are new Certificate Profiles, VPN Profiles and Wi-Fi Profiles introduced in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and the supported devices include those that run iOS, Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1, and Android.
7) Software Updates – There is a new maintenance window dedicated for software updates installation. This lets you configure a general maintenance window and a different maintenance window for software updates. You can now change the deployment package for an existing automatic deployment rule. New software updates are added to the specified deployment package every time an automatic deployment rule is run. A new feature called Software updates preview lets you review the software updates before you create the deployment.
8) Application Management – Web applications in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager are a new deployment type that allows you to deploy a shortcut to a web-based app on users devices.
9) Collections – A new management option allows you to configure maintenance windows to apply to task sequences only, software updates only, or to all deployments.
10) Reporting – Configuration Manager reports are now fully enabled for role-based administration. The data for all reports included with Configuration Manager is filtered based on the permissions of the administrative user who runs the report. Administrative users with specific roles can only view information defined for their roles.
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