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Category Archives: System Center 2012

Based in Wallingford, CT, Amphenol is one of the largest manufacturers of interconnect products in the world. The Company designs, manufactures and markets electrical, electronic and fiber optic connectors, coaxial and flat-ribbon cable, and interconnect systems.

The primary end markets for the Company’s products are communications and information processing markets, including cable television, cellular telephone and data communication and information processing systems; aerospace and military electronics; and automotive, rail and other transportation and industrial applications.

To efficiently support its IT environment, Amphenol leverages Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM), a Windows product that enables administrators to manage the deployment and security of devices and applications across the enterprise.

Amphenol recently sought to upgrade its existing environment to SCCM 2012 R2, the latest iteration of the technology. The company enlisted Microsoft and The Henson Group, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with extensive experience in System Center technology and a long history serving the IT needs of manufacturing organizations.

 

Solution

Microsoft enlisted the assistance of The Henson Group, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with extensive experience in solving the IT challenges of modern professional services organizations like Amphenol.

The client partnered with Henson Group for a seamless upgrade to SCCM 2012 R2. A Henson Group System Center architect defined the scope of the engagement by mapping out a phased approach that included gathering functional and technical requirements, and after, an extensive engineering and testing phase was implemented.

The main deliverables for the project included:

Review of Amphenol’s SCCM architecture

  • Review current desktop environment (Image Creation/Update, Management Tools, Software Updates, Folder Redirection/Synchronization, User Profiles, Shares, Printers, Group Policies, User location, Collect Hardware refresh cycle, etc.)
  • Review existing tools and processes for PC deployment

Subsequent to the review, Henson Group formulated an extensive array of recommendations for the upgrade and optimal use of SCCM 2012. Henson Group then a series of onsite meetings at the client to review these customized best practices and provide specific training and walkthroughs. These sessions focused on various topics, including, but not limited to:

  • Manage Sites
  • Manage collections
  • Monitor site health
  • Configure software updates
  • Manage site communications
  • Manage boundary groups
  • Manage role-based security
  • Managing clients
  • Deploying clients
  • Deploy and configure SCCM end point protection for AV
  • Manage client agent settings
  • Manage hardware inventory
  • Manage software inventory
  • Manage Operating System Deployment (OSD)
  • Configure the OSD environment
  • Build and capture an image
  • Deploy an image
  • Manage images
  • Deploy Applications and Software Updates
  • Create an application/update
  • Deploy an application/update
  • Monitor application/update deployment
  • Manage the software library and application catalog

 

Results & Benefits

Based on the review, analysis and knowledge transfer provided by Henson Group, Amphenol was able to successfully achieve its vision for an optimal upgrade to System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2.

During the requirements gathering and review phases of the engagement, the client’s existing policies and solution for imaging was updated to match a more comprehensive set of requirements. The policy, governance and new systems management capabilities offered an efficient and more predictable deployment and administration capability.

The improved imaging process was more reliable and more supportive of the client’s long-term vision. Henson Group partnered with Amphenol to design a migration plan which minimized disruptions to daily business. Meanwhile, Henson Group supported the IT organization with the expert mentoring and cross-training the client’s IT staff needed. The business successfully met its deployment goals.

 

Products

  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012

 

Contacts Us Today!

To request a free consultation to learn how your organization can realize similar benefits and gains with Microsoft System Center deployment services provided by preferred Microsoft Gold Partner The Henson Group, please email Info@HensonGroup.com or call +1.800.980.1130.

B&H Photo Video, founded in 1973 and located at 420 Ninth Avenue on the corner of West 34th Street in Manhattan, New York City, is the largest non-chain photo and video equipment store in the United States. Since its founding, B&H Photo has established itself as the place to go for the best prices and service for photographic, audio, video, computer, and home entertainment needs.

To efficiently manage its IT environment, B&H Photo Video decided to deploy Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM), a Windows product that enables administrators to manage the deployment and security of devices and applications across the enterprise. Part of the Microsoft System Center 2012 systems management suite, SCCM 2012 discovers servers, desktops, tablets, and mobile devices connected to a network through Active Directory and installs client software on each node. It then manages application deployments and updates on a device or group basis, allowing for automated patching with Windows Server Update Services and policy enforcement with Network Access Protection.

To support this deployment, B&H Photo Video approached Microsoft, which in turn enlisted The Henson Group, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with extensive experience in System Center technology and a long history serving the IT needs of retail organizations.

Solution

A Henson Group System Center architect defined the scope of the engagement by mapping out a phased approach that included gathering functional and technical requirements, the subsequently managing  the implementation.

The main deliverables for the project included:

Phase 1: Discovery & Deployment

  1. Capturing of SCCM 2012 business and technical requirements
  2. Discovery for AD, Network, Workstation (OSs, Models, Drivers), OS Provisioning, Reporting Requirements, and Processes/Procedures
  3. Review of B&H’s existing desktop environment (Image Creation/Update, Management Tools, Software Updates, Folder Redirection/Synchronization, User Profiles, Shares, Printers, Group Policies, User location, Collect Hardware refresh cycle, etc.)
  4. Creation of logical and physical architecture documentation for SCCM 2012 R2 and Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) including server/Virtual Machines, disk/SAN, and High Availability/Disaster Recovery specifications
  5. Creation of SCCM Container(s) in Active Directory
  6. Extension/verification of SCCM Schema Extensions
  7. Creation of SCCM service accounts, Servers/Virtual Machiens, and a Microsoft SQL instance
  8. Configuration of SQL TCP port for SCCM
  9. Installation of required roles and features for SCCM Server

Phase 2: Verification and Training

  1. Review and resolution of any SCCM alerts and event logs
  2. Provision of a list of monitors for SCCM Servers for monitoring
  3. Verification of inventory reports are functional
  4. Deployment of Windows update through SCCM via WSUS
  5. Deployment of one MSI to test collection to validate application/patch deployment
  6. Training, administration, and troubleshooting of BitLocker and AppLocker
  7. Knowledge Transfer , including special emphasis on the following topics:

Manage Sites Manage collections

Monitor site health

Configure software updates

Manage site communications

Manage boundary groups

Manage role-based security

Manage the software library and application catalog

Manage Clients Deploy clients

Manage client agent settings

Configuring SCCM end point protection for AV

Manage Inventory

Manage hardware inventory

Manage software inventory

Results & Benefits

The Henson Group successfully achieved the objectives for B&H’s implementation of System Center Configuration Manager 2012. The Henson Group’s discovery, design and deployment was completed within eight days, without disruption of the client’s business operations.  Moving forward,  B&H is now able to leverage a robust array of management capabilities, including, but not limited to Software Deployment , Operating System Deployment , Software / Hardware Inventory and others to streamline the IT department’s day-to-day tasks.

Meanwhile, Henson Group supported the IT organization with the expert mentoring and cross-training the client’s IT staff needed. The business successfully met its deployment goals.

Products

  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2

Contacts Us Today!

To request a free consultation to learn how your organization can realize similar benefits and gains with Microsoft System Center deployment services provided by preferred Microsoft Gold Partner The Henson Group, please email Info@HensonGroup.com or call +1.800.980.1130.

Windows 10 represents a major paradigm shift for Microsoft and the Windows ecosystem in general as they modernize the platform by introducing “Windows as a Service” capabilities. Businesses are beginning to evaluate the new capabilities of Windows 10, including Windows as a service, as part of their deployment plans. With Windows 7 recently transitioning into extended support, businesses need to begin planning for the future of their Windows operating system environment.

Although there are many aspects to consider in managing a Windows device, one of the essential early stages of the lifecycle is deployment. More than 70 percent of businesses use System Center Configuration Manager for PC management, and that market share continues to grow every quarter. Configuration Manager is an industry leader, and the Operating System Deployment (OSD) feature is one of the most popular and frequently used. The product supports many traditional operating system deployment methods as well as support for newer Windows 10 deployment scenarios such as in-place upgrade.

To learn the best practice for deploying Windows 10, please download the free ebook Deploying Windows 10.

Technology is a critical component of every aspect of Training Consultants’ operation, from online instruction courses and examinations to corporate programs and marketing. Burdened with nagging network downtime, connectivity issues and increasing outages that its previous managed services provider was unable to overcome, Training Consultant sought a resolution that would deliver the high availability needs and optimal bandwidth usage it needed.

Seeking to enhance the hardware supporting its key business applications as well as its public website and customer-accessible extranet, Training Consultants needed to migrate its core business infrastructure to continue supporting its business. Moreover, in the span of the last few years, the IT needs of the company have increased substantially, with new demands emerging for additional IT capacity and new storage locations for data.

With its IT infrastructure built primarily on Microsoft and related technologies, Training Consultants approached Microsoft to recommend a cloud-based solution, based on Microsoft Azure technology. Microsoft Azure is a growing collection of integrated cloud services—analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, and web—for moving faster, achieving more, and saving money. Microsoft enlisted the assistance of The Henson Group, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with extensive experience in solving the IT challenges of modern professional services organizations like Training Consultants.

 

Solution

From small dev-test projects to global product launches, Azure is engineered to handle any workload. More than 57 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on Azure, which offers enterprise grade SLAs on services, 24/7 tech support, and round-the-clock service health monitoring. Customers include Skanska, Heineken, 3M, Dyson, Paul Smith, Mazda, GE Healthcare, Trek, McKesson, Milliman, Towers Watson, NBC Sports, TVB, and many more.

Following a thoughtful evaluation process of technical, security and financial aspects, guided by a top Henson Group architect in partnership with Microsoft, a Microsoft Azure cloud platform solution emerged as the ideal option. Henson Group managed the migration of Training Consultants’ complete infrastructure to Azure IaaS VMs. Henson Group also proposed to upgrade their existing OS and SQL versions to keep updated with newer capabilities.

 

Objectives

The main objectives of the project were to achieve a secure and stable IT infrastructure, which would be flexible to accommodate future growth, while achieving financial cost efficiencies. Logistically speaking, in terms of the actual deployment, as Training Consultants delivers a wide range of training and testing services for its corporate clients and individual users on an ongoing basis, it could not afford to halt work for deployment. Migration had to be implemented without outage of server access and break in the work of employees. Acquiring practical experience with the migration to the Microsoft Azure environment was also a key mandate.

 

Results

The Henson Group designed, implemented, and migrated Training Consultants’ current software to Microsoft’s Azure “cloud” services environment. The migration included moving the applications from the client’s old server to multiple Azure VMs, installation of the existing software, software upgrades, troubleshooting, general configuration and support.

Henson Group preserved the Training Consultants’ internal domain and VPN connectivity, but provided secure (https) access to all applications. Each Azure VM was sized to meet the specific application running on it. This was done with some, but minimal changes to the applications. The project was completed with two months.

Today, Training Consultants is experiencing much better infrastructure performance with the Azure cloud solution. The client does not have to support or maintain hardware anymore as the modern hardware is maintained by Microsoft. The solution allows the VMs to grow as the business grows. Meanwhile, Training Consultants now has its IT infrastructure accessible at 99.9 % without any investments into hardware. In terms of cost efficiencies, Training Consultants shed its cumbersome managed services contract in favor of Azure’s pay-as-you-go services that it can now quickly scale up or down to match the demands for its business. Per-minute billing and a commitment to match competitor prices for popular infrastructure services like compute, storage and bandwidth mean Training Consultants will consistently achieves cost-effective expense management of its infrastructure.

Server administration for Training Consultants was significantly simplified and became more effective. Only servers, which are necessary, are used, and that only in the time, when it is necessary. Developers can install servers according to their need and requirements of their work. Significant benefit of Microsoft Azure lies in the possibility of scaling operation. The solution enables flexible increase in IT server capacities. The original hardware limitations thus no longer exist.

 

Benefits

  • Improved agility
  • Increased elasticity
  • Improved quality
  • Redundancy and resiliency
  • Risk reduction
  • Greater efficiency

 

Products

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Microsoft Assessment and Planning Toolkit
  • Microsoft System Center 2012
  • Windows Azure Pack for System Center

To request a free consultation to learn how your organization can realize similar benefits and gains with Microsoft Azure deployment services provided by preferred Microsoft Gold Partner The Henson Group, please email Info@HensonGroup.com or call 1.800.980.1130.

Try the free 180-day evaluations and see how the latest releases provide enterprise-class datacenter and hybrid cloud solutions with new capabilities, including:

Virtualization, live migration, and multi-hypervisor support
Provides an integrated and high-performance virtualization platform with a host of new capabilities including live migration compression and live migration with RDMA as well as integrated virtualization management across different hypervisors.

Storage transformation
Delivers breakthrough storage performance at a fraction of the cost with new capabilities, including automated storage tiering across hard disks and solid state drives, as well as improved SAN and file-based storage management.

Access & Information Protection
Empowers users to be productive while maintaining control and security of corporate information with new capabilities including device registration, policy-based access control to corporate applications and data, and multi-factor authentication.

Multitenant virtual networks
Builds on your existing network investments while enabling pooled, elastic network infrastructure. Includes network virtualization to abstract workloads from underlying network infrastructure while securely isolating separate network tenants.

Download the free Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2evaluations today and see how they can transform your datacenter.

For more information and a free consult, please contact Henson Group athttp://www.thehensongroup.com/ or 800-980-1130.

Virtualizing Your Data Center with Hyper-V and System Center

​If you’re new to virtualization, or if you have some experience and want to see the latest R2 features of Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V or Virtual Machine Manager, join us for a day of practical (and free!) online training. Learn how to build your infrastructure from the ground up on the Microsoft stack, using System Center to provide powerful management capabilities. Microsoft virtualization experts Symon Perriman and Matt McSpirit (who are also VMware Certified Professionals) demonstrate how you can help your business consolidate workloads and improve server utilization, while reducing costs. Learn the differences between the platforms, and explore how System Center can be used to manage a multi-hypervisor environment, looking at VMware vSphere 5.5 management, monitoring, automation, and migration. Don’t miss this information-filled virtualization event!

http://www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com/liveevents/Virtualizing-your-Datacenter-with-Hyper-V-and-System-Center#?fbid=InLzotiIpnr

For more information and a free consult, please contact Henson Group at http://www.thehensongroup.com/ or 800-980-1130.

 

Just a quick reminder that Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager is now available. Note that the System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager Update Rollups are cumulative. Read more and download here:

Update Rollup 6 for System Center 2012 R2 Service Manager

For more information and a free consult, please contact Henson Group at http://www.thehensongroup.com/ or 800-980-1130.

Many people request a SCCM report to track software deployment progress.  An example, you are working on new office version deployment and you want to track the progress on install office count.

Here’s a quick post about a custom report to get the all office versions installed on SCCM clients. One can use same query for other software installed in you environment, you just need to change the display name of the product. To get the software title use this  table “add_remove_programs_data”

For more information and a free consult, please contact Henson Group at http://www.thehensongroup.com/Pages/Default.aspx or800-980-1130. Report code below:

select

count(Total.Name0) as Total_Systems,COUNT(office2003.Name0) as MSoffice2003,COUNT(Office2007.Name0) as MSOffice2007,COUNT(Office2010.Name0) as MsOffice2010

From

(select vr.Name0 from v_R_System vr)

as Total

left join

(select distinct sys.Name0,

displayname00 as OfficeEdition,

version00 as OfficeVersion  from system_disc sys

left join

add_remove_programs_data arp on sys.itemkey = arp.machineid where

(displayname00 = ‘Microsoft Office Basic Edition 2003’

OR displayname00 = ‘Microsoft Office Excel 2003’

OR displayname00 = ‘Microsoft Office Outlook 2003’

OR displayname00 = ‘Microsoft Office Personal Edition 2003’

OR displayname00 = ‘Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003’

OR displayname00 = ‘Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003’

OR displayname00 = ‘Microsoft Office Standard Edition 2003’)

and client0 = 1)as office2003

on Total.Name0=office2003.Name0

left join

(Select distinct sys.Name0,

displayname00 as OfficeEdition,

version00 as OfficeVersion  from system_disc sys

left join

add_remove_programs_data arp on sys.itemkey = arp.machineid where

(displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Personal 2007’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Professional 2007’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Professional 2007 Trial’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Professional Hybrid 2007’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2007 (Beta)’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Standard 2007’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Standard 2007 Trial’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007’)

and sys.client0 = 1)as Office2007

on Total.Name0=office2007.Name0

left join

(select distinct sys.Name0,

displayname00 as OfficeEdition,

version00 as OfficeVersion  from system_disc sys

left join

add_remove_programs_data arp on sys.itemkey = arp.machineid where

(displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office 2010’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Standard 2010’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Professional 2010’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Home and Student 2010’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Home and Business 2010’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2010 (Beta)’

or displayname00 like ‘Microsoft Office Starter 2010 – English’)

and sys.client0 = 1) as office2010

on Total.Name0=office2010.Name0

 

The new video provides an introduction to Service Manager for customers who are looking for initial insight in the features of System Center Service Manager, along with Orchestrator and integration with the other System Center components.

Please enjoy the video and let us know if you have any questions.

http://blogs.technet.com/b/servicemanager/archive/2014/12/16/new-video-overview-of-service-manager-capabilities.aspx

For more information and a free consult, please contact Henson Group athttp://www.thehensongroup.com/ or 800-980-1130.