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  • A unique book on managing Windows clients in an enterprise environment

    Posted on April 27th, 2015 By Andreas Stenhall + No comments

    ECM-Cover-200wMost books written about Microsoft products are very focused on one single product. A book about Windows Server covers all you need about the server OS itself. A book about System Center Configuration Manager covers everything you need to know about ConfigMgr in its bubble and a book about a Windows client covers everything you need to know about the client itself.

    The book Enterprise Client Management using Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 covers not only the Windows client (Windows 7 as well as 8.1) but how to manage it using Windows Server 2012 R2 and the System Center 2012 R2 products. So all in all a complete scenario on how to manage your Windows clients in the enterprise in a very effective way using Microsoft management tools available.

    The book is now also available on Kindle as of mid April 2015!

  • Remove client from collection in OSD task sequence using Orchestrator

    Posted on July 7th, 2014 By Andreas Stenhall + 2 comments

    A common setup when using System Center Configuration Manager to deploy is to have an OSD collection which has a required deployment. Moving clients to that Collection will let them be reinstalled or installed. After deployment is done you typically want the machine removed from that collection. There are a few ways of doing that but my favorite is using an Orchestrator runbook.

    Orchestrator Runbook Configuration

    Note: In this guide I assume that you have installed System Center Orchestrator 2012 SP1 or 2012 R2 in your environment.

    1. First you need to download and install the Orchestrator Integration for Configuration Manager which will add the items we are using to remove the machines from a Collection in Orchestrator Runbook Designer.

    2. Start Orchestrator Runbook Designer and setup the connection to the ConfigMgr primary site server by going to Options > SC 2012 Configuration Manager.

    3. Add a connection to your SCCM server and make sure to test the connection using the Test connection button before proceeding.

    ORC23

    4. Now Create a new Runbook and go to Activities > Runbook control and drag “Initialize data” to the Orchestration pane. Do the same by choosing SC12012 Configuration Manager under Activities, and then drag  “Delete Collection Rule” out on the Orchestration pane.

    5. Hover over the Initialize data icon and then drag the arrow to the Delete Collection Rule. It should look like the below image.

    ORC
    6.  Right click Initialize Data and choose Properties. Add two details and name them CollectionID and ClientName.

    ORC21

    7. Right click Delete Collection Rule and choose Properties. Start by choosing the connection you created in step 3. Note: Do not type in the text as below, instead right click the area right to Collection and choose Subscribe > Published Data. Choose CollectionID and click OK. Repeat for Membership Rule. Choose Finish when done.

    If you type in the text manually you will get this error when executing the runbook: The SMS Provider reported an error. Details: Generic failure

    ORC22

    8. Before proceeding I strongly recommend that you execute the runbook in test mode, supplying a client name and collection ID of a machine located in the collection you want the client removed from.

    Note: Do not forget to check in the runbook after testing and when you are done, or it will fail to execute during operating system deployment.

    Task Sequence Configuration

    Now that the runbook is running successfully you can use it in your Task Sequence. Note: This requires that you have integrated Microsoft Deployment Toolkit with Configuration Manager and that you are using an MDT Task Sequence.

    Modify a task sequence and create a New group. The recommended section to run the Runbook is in the State Restore phase of the Task Sequence. To be on the safe side first run a “Gather”, then you must add “Use Toolkit Package” and last but not least execute the actual runbook by adding the “Execute Runbook” step.

    ORC4

    Also note that runbooks are run with the SCCM network access account so you must add that account to the Orchestrator user group that you have assigned, check the permissions and which group name to add to the relevant Orchestrator group in  Runbook Designer by right clicking the name of the runbook tab and then choose Permissions.

    If you do not you will get this error in the  ZTIExecuteRunbook.log (where all events related to the runbooks are stored):

    Unexpected response from web service. 405 Method Not Allowed
    < ?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”utf-8″ standalone=”yes”?>
    < error xmlns=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/ado/2007/08/dataservices/metadata“>
    <code></code>
    <message xml:lang=”sv-SE”>The requested operation requires Publish permissions on the
    Runbook</message>
    < /error> ZTIExecuteRunbook 2014-07-03 10:01:56 0 (0x0000)

    Happy orchestration and deploying!