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February 24, 2012
February 2012 Newsletter

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News and Geek Stuff

January 2012


As we are approaching MMS the heat is on for System Center. An increased interest for all of the components could possibly be related to the new licensing rules by Microsoft.

With this comes an increased interest in all of our trainings for the System Center products, with the ConfigMgr being the leader. Kent Agerlund has run this class for quite some time and the reviews has been outstanding. He is a living example of the trainings that we provide, an instructor that knows the product inside out from real life scenarios, not an instructor that knows the courseware inside out, period.

Together with Johan Arwidmark, Kent ran a special one week training called the MVP Combo Pack – The ultimate MDT2012 & ConfigMgr2012 training, in London. That very same training is now scheduled for the US market in Orlando in May with re-run in New York City in August. Johan is also running his always essential Deployment training with MDT 2012 and ConfigMgr in Irvine later this spring.

As mentioned in earlier newsletters, we are striving to provide training on all of the System Center components in an early stage and on a deep technical level. System Center Operations Manager 2012 being another example of this with Kare Rude Andersen running his own developed course based on his work with customers participating in the early adopter program.

Not sure what to use the OpsMgr for?  Check out this video that Kare did together with his colleague Jakob (who is running our Orchestrator class), helping you keep track on the coffee pot with the help of OpsMgr.

On the schedule is of course our own Michael Nystrom running a 3 day hands on session in Systems Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012

Windows 8 is another anticipated s/w slated for later in 2012, but we know already now that the first public beta will be released shortly, hence Johan  have some suggestions for more readings in his contributions below.

Finally, if you are lucky to live in Scandinavia we have a special treat for you (of course it’s open to all that are willing to travel) in Jeremy Moscowitz giving a one day seminar followed by a 3 day training in Group Policy in Stockholm this May. Read more here.


Kent Agerlund

Global conditions in ConfigMgr 2012

Johan Arwidmark

Getting ready for Windows 8

   Kare Rude Andersen

Resource pools in Operations Manager 2012 (SCOM)
   Michael Petersen

Extending OSD progress UI info in SCCM

Global conditions in ConfigMgr 2012

One of the very need features in the new Application model is Global conditions. A Global condition is a requirement rule that is evaluated in real time by the client. The client will only start downloading the application if the global condition is true.

ConfigMgr. 2012 ships with several global conditions like memory, operating system, primary user etc. Those conditions are pretty useful and can be used right out of the box.

Besides the canned conditions, creating custom conditions can be very powerful and all you need is a few steps to get your started. In this post, I’ll explain how you can create a global condition based on WMI that can be used when deploying applications to specific hardware models. For the sake of testing I have created an Application that must only be installed on all Lenovo W510 laptops.

Creating a WMI condition

My global condition will query WMI prior to downloading the application and verify that the computer model matches a Lenovo W510. In order to figure out which WMI class to use, I have downloaded Scriptomatic from Microsoft.

When selecting the Win32_computerSystem class I can see that the property I’m looking for is “Model”.


1.   Next is creating the condition, open the ConfigMgr. administrator console, select Software Library, Application Management, Global Conditions and click Create Global Condition from the ribbon.

Create a condition with these settings:
Name: Computer model
Device type: Windows
Condition type: Setting
Setting Type: WQL query
Name space: root\cimv2
Class: win32_computersystem
Property: Model




Configuring the application to use the global condition

1.   Select the Application - in my example 7-ZIP and open the deployment type properties.

2.   Click Requirements

Click Add and configure these settings
Category: Custom
Condition: Computer model
Rule type: Value
Operator: Equals
Value: 431929G (that’s the computer model name found with Scriptomatic)

1.   Click OK and save the changes.

Testing the global condition

Prior to installing the application, I will create a simulated deployment and use that to verify if my global condition is working.

Right click the Application and select Simulate Deployment.

   Select a target collection, the Install action and finish the deployment

A simulated deployment is almost a real deployment except that the user will never notice anything and that the application is never installed. All the dependencies and requirements rule are checked.

Open the Monitoring workspace, select deployments and have a look at the results from the simulated deployment.

Click View Status to get more information about the simulation.


Click Requirements Not Met. Notice that is show the Actual Value of the WMI property, very nice







Getting ready for Windows 8

By Johan Arwidmark
Chief Technical Architect – Knowledge Factory

On February 29 Microsoft will be releasing the Consumer Preview of Windows 8, and at TechEd in June, both TechEd North America and TechEd Europe, you will be able to attend to a whole bunch of sessions related to Windows 8. This also means that the time for start learning about Windows 8 is now, so I decided to put together a few good resources for you.

Building Windows 8 - An inside look from the Windows engineering team

The Windows 8 Roadshow – If you are lucky to live in Sweden:  An expert team of six serious geeks (me included) is touring the country in late march.

1 hour video session - Inside Windows 8 – Creating Custom WinPE 4.0 boot images

1 hour video session - Inside Windows 8 – The new Assessment and Deployment Kit, ADK

1 hour video session - Inside Windows 8 – Mastering the Setup Engine


Resource Pools in Operations Manager 2012 (SCOM)

Today with the current version of SCOM, we have problems with failover on the management server side when we talk about Network device or Linux/UNIX agent. A normal Windows Agent will automatically fail over to another Manage Server but since it’s the Management Server who initiate the session against a Network Device or Linux/UNIX host it’s not possible to do a automatically fail-over.

In 2012 the solution is: Resource Pool – A Resource Pool is a collection of Management Severs which together will decide a primary management server for the agent, and are able to switch over to another management server in case of a management server error. Beside the management servers you are able to include an Observer server so it’s like a failover cluster. SCOM 2012 must always have 2 Management Servers and one Observer, or three management servers in a Resource pool to be able to vote for a primary management server for an Agent.

PowerShell Commands for the Resource Pool :

Information about Resource Pool:
Get-SCOMResourcePool | FT  (Check the fields: IsDynamic and Observers.)

Creating a new Resource Pool:
$PoolMembers = Get-SCOMManagementServer
New-SCOMResourcePool –DisplayName “Cisco Pool” –Member $PoolMembers –Passthru

Add a server called CTIIS as an Observer of the Cisco Pool, Type:
$Obs = GET-SCOMAgent –Name “”
GET-SCOMResourcePool –DisplayName “Cisco Pool” | SET-SCOMResourcePool –Observer $Obs
GET-SCOMResourcePool –DisplayName “Cisco Pool”



Extending OSD progress UI Info in SCCM

While running a task sequence, info on what is happening is shown in the progress UI, well the name of the Task Sequence, and the step that is running anyway!!

But what if we could extend that info to let us know other things as well! Turns out that is as easy as typing a little extra text in the Task Sequence editor.

Example 1:

Let say you are administrating a large environment, doing several OSD tests against a number of MPs, and DPs. Now wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually see where data is picked up, right there on the screen during deployment.

Let go with the location of the OS image, which you would always want to pick up from the local DP!

First navigate to you image in the Operating System Images node in SCCM, and check the Image ID, here CEN00009

Open your Task Sequence, in edit mode. Highlight your Apply Operating System step, and change the name to include the OS image location variable %_SMSTSCEN00009%

That’s all there is to it. When you now run your TS the content of the variable shown in the progress UI like this

Example 2:

Same scenario as before, but now we would like to know which MP the client is installed against. In this case we just need to change the name of the “Setup windows and ConfigMgr” step to include the variable &_SMSTSMP% like this:

This again would show this:

The only thing you need now is a list of all the available variables. To get that, just run the following .vbs script, and all variables will be added to SMSTS.log

Set Env = CreateObject("Microsoft.SMS.TSEnvironment")

For Each Var In Env.GetVariables
WScript.Echo Var & "=" & Env(Var)



Where to find us......


MVP Combo Pack- The Ultimate MDT 2012 and ConfigMgr 2012 training with Kent Agerlund and Johan Arwidmark

Orlando, FL

May 7-11

Mastering System Center Configurations Manager 2012 with Kent Agerlund

Irvine, CA

March 19-22
March 26-29
April 9-12

Mastering System Center Operations Manager with Kare Rude Andersen

Bellevue, WA
San Francisco    

March 12-15
April 30

Mastering Windows Deployment with MDT 2012 and ConfigMgr2012 with Johan Arwidmark

Irvine, CA April 11-13
Mastering System Center Virtual Machine Manager with Mike Nystrom Bellevue, WA
March 5-7
 Mastering System Center Orchestrator 2012 with Jakob Gottlieb Svendsen  Minneapolis       May 21-23


Full schedule at






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