System Center 2012 SP1 Orchestrator: Getting Started with Configuration Manager 2012 Integration

Introduction

System Center 2012 SP1 Orchestrator is a tool to help automate enterprise processes. It stresses the reduction of code writing, which has its benefits, but also has its drawbacks. In my personal opinion, everyone should learn how to write code. These days, if you’re focused on the Microsoft platform, there is nothing better to learn than PowerShell. Knowing how to write code will help you to fill in gaps in the integration of two or more software products.

Given the wide array of functionality offered by System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Manager, it would seem highly desirable to use Orchestrator to automate some of that functionality. You can perform functions such as:

  • Creating or deleting Collections
  • Invoke Collection membership evaluations
  • Add or remove Collection Membership Rules
  • Enumerate Collection members
  • Deploy Applications or Configuration Baselines
  • Invoke ConfigMgr client actions

In the next section, we’ll explore how to set up integration between Orchestrator and Configuration Manager.

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PowerShell: Move ConfigMgr Collections

Introduction If you work with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) 2007 in any capacity, you probably are familiar with the concept of "collections" and how painful they can be to work with sometimes. The ConfigMgr console does not provide any method of moving a collection from one parent to another, and the … Read more PowerShell: Move ConfigMgr Collections

PowerShell: Report / Check the Size of ConfigMgr Task Sequences

Introduction

In Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 operating system deployment (OSD), there is a limitation of 4MB for task sequence XML data. This is discussed in a couple of locations:

The Technet document linked to above says the following:

Extremely large task sequences can exceed the 4-MB limit for the task sequence file size. If this limit is exceeded, an error is generated.

Solution: To check the task sequence file size, export the task sequence to a known location and check the size of the resulting .xml file.

Basically, the Technet troubleshooting article is suggesting that you would need to go into the ConfigMgr console, right-click a task sequence, export it to a XML file, and then pull up the file properties. That’s fine for one-off troubleshooting, but what if you had 1000 task sequences and needed to know how large all of them were? Read on to find out how!

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HP ProLiant DL360 G7 Video Driver

I was looking for a video driver for the HP ProLiant DL360 G7 so I could import it into ConfigMgr for the purposes of deploying Windows Server 2008 R2 to them. Oddly enough, HP doesn’t list a video driver available for download on the driver download page for this system model. On one server, I noticed that the device name was "ATI ES1000,” and most of you are probably aware that the ATI brand name has been gone for some time, so this seemed a bit odd.

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PowerShell: Get a List of Installed Software from ConfigMgr

Let’s say you’ve got Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) in your IT environment (and if you don’t, why on earth not!). If you’re on the desktop management team, you might occasionally get requests from someone on a network or security team, inquiring as to the installed software on a particular client, or group of clients.

Rather than diving straight into the ConfigMgr reports, as most people do, sometimes it’s just faster to load a data set into PowerShell and massage the data from there. Why PowerShell? Well, it provides very easy, real-time filtering and sorting capabilities, and if you need to make a modification to a temporary “report,” you don’t have to worry about modifying the Report object in the ConfigMgr provider, which is typically done through the ConfigMgr console.

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ConfigMgr 2007: PXE Service Point Installation Error

Just recently, I was getting an error in the pxemsi.log (pxemsi.log.lasterror) while trying to install a ConfigMgr 2007 PXE Service Point (PSP):

DEBUG: Error 2203:  Database: C:WindowsInstaller1e0d86.ipi. Cannot open database file. System error –2147287037
MSI (s) (20:FC) [09:46:12:689]: Product: SMS PXE Service Point — Internal Error 2203. C:WindowsInstaller1e0d86.ipi, –2147287037
Internal Error 2203. C:WindowsInstaller1e0d86.ipi, –2147287037

 

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ConfigMgr: Cleanup Software Updates Objects

Introduction

A common complaint I hear about Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) 2007 is the ability to clean up expired and superseded software updates from the objects related to software updates. As software updates are marked as expired or are superseded by newer software updates, Microsoft marks the old updates accordingly. Once an update has been retired, it is desirable for ConfigMgr administrators to remove the updates from deployments and reporting objects. This cleanup effort saves disk space for deployment packages, and can reduce unnecessary information from showing up in reports.

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ConfigMgr Software Updates: Enforcement State Unknown

There was an interesting thread going on over at the MyITforum MSSMS mailing list. Apparently if certain settings are not properly configured, System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) clients will show a status of “Enforcement state unknown” for certain software updates. One proposed solution was the following: I had a similar issue some time … Read more ConfigMgr Software Updates: Enforcement State Unknown

PowerShell / ConfigMgr: Count of Client Manufacturer / Models

Introduction If you’re an administrator of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) 2007, you might be interested in finding out what make / model of client & server systems you have, and how many of each unique value you have. Most people would probably simply pull up a ConfigMgr report, but did you … Read more PowerShell / ConfigMgr: Count of Client Manufacturer / Models

ConfigMgr: You Receive Error 0x80070490 in a Capture Task Sequence

If you ever work with Operating System Deployment (OSD) in Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM / ConfigMgr) 2007, you might build a task sequence that only performs an OS image capture (as opposed to an OS build & capture). You might think — logically — that you only need a single task sequence step to perform this action: a “Capture Operating System Image” step. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. If you attempt to run a task sequence like this, you’ll probably receive a 0x80070490 error code, which means “element not found.”

image

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