Configuration Manager (SCCM) Power BI Reporting

I would like to introduce you to the next generation of endpoint reporting we created at Ascent Solutions.  System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) vNext Reporting with Microsoft Power BI. Microsoft Power BI is the insight engine that your organization needs.  Not with just Configuration Manager reporting, but extending out into your cloud, data center, ITSM, ITAM, and even your security vulnerability scanning appliance. 

Does your organization have a grip on client reporting health, let alone if your getting the latest Windows updates deployed.  These are tough questions to ask new customer’s when we need to properly plan a new roll out.  

This video takes you through some developed possibilities.  These solutions are in constant development. I am adding new insights weekly to these reports. Microsoft’s Power BI give us no limits into your organizational IT makeup, including but, not even close, limited to, Microsoft Operations Management Suite, Azure SQL, Amazon RedShift, Oracle, and MySQL, and etc….

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Windows Migration Utility

Since Microsoft has decided to implement a true OS migration in Windows 10, I have decided to release my tool for the IT masses. The Windows Migration Utility is a User State Migration Tool (USMT) GUI.

The Windows Migration Utility is built for migrating user and system data to a defined location. Configuration of what is captured and restored uses USMT’s methodology of specifying configuration rules in XML files.  Utilizes the latest USMT version 5.0, so there is no reason for worrying about mapped network drives and printers USMT 5.0 does it.

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PowerShell Uninstall Automation

I have authored the PowerShell Uninstall script.  It gives the ability for IT Operations / ConfigMgr Admins to uninstall multiple versions of a particular software with one process.

Does your organization struggle when trying to cleanup software when standardizing on a application version? I.E. Oracle Java, Adobe Flash, RightFax, IBM products, etc…  Not all the versions you have are in ConfigMgr / SCCM or not in the application model?  If the answer is yes, the PowerShell Uninstall script is for you.

The PowerShell Uninstall script takes inputs from a CSV file.  Using the delimiter of “^”, don’t worry I have included a Excel file to build your CSV.

Since by nature when uninstalling legacy software there maybe pre-or post- process you must run. The PowerShell Uninstall script has functions to call a PowerShell script before or after the uninstall logic.

The PowerShell Uninstall script also includes a Boolean to  create the script as an ConfigMgr / SCCM Application.  In which you can attach to other programs for requirements.

To detect the PowerShell Uninstall script, have ConfigMgr / SCCM check existence of “%SystemDrive%\Program Files\Pomeroy\AppName”.  It will be an empty directory.  For the uninstall just use the command “rmdir /Q /S %SystemDrive%\Program Files\Pomeroy\AppName”

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SCCM 2012 Visio Low Level Overview

I have created an SCCM 2012 Visio overview.  This after searching high and low, and even asking Microsoft for a Visio diagram, and my searches ending in zero.

The SCCM 2012 Visio just shows a cookie cut / low level overview.  This is by no means a solution for every organization.  The diagram involves different hierarchy options. Not all sites will have a CAS, two primaries, or even secondary sites.

You can either save the SCCM 2012 Visio JPG for you consumption or click below to download the SCCM 2012 Visio PDF version.

SC2012_CM_LowLevel_Overview

SCCM 2012 Visio PDF

SCCM 2012 Folder Creation Script

I have created a script that will automate SCCM 2012 folder creation.  Either in bulk or single by single. It is a simple script with no parameters.  You just run the script and follow the instructions.  If you want to bulk folder create the text file must be in the format where the folder names is per line.

Example.

folder name 1
folder name 2
folder name 3
folder name 4
…..

Here is a walk through.

Get Help:

Get-Help.

Single Folder Creation:

Single folder creation.

Bulk Folder Creation:

Bulk folder creation.

Click the download link to give it a try.

CM2012 Node Folder Creation v2.0

 

Randomize Local Administrator Password

I created this tool to randomize local administrator passwords.

This application takes two strings and creates a calculated and complex password based on the input.   Now the local administrator’s password will be unique to each computer.

Here it is at screen launch:


A. The organization’s asset identification string.
B. The organization’s custom identification number.  Up to 10 digits long.
C. The selected password length for added complexity.
D. After all input is entered the user generates the complex password.
E. The result of the calculation.

Result:

The best part of this application is also supports it being used in the console.  This gives the application the ability to be scripted during an OSD build, deployed enterprise wide, or required update. Below is the console help menu and a PowerShell script I wrote to automate the process.  This is included in the *.zip file.

Enterprise Help Desk Dynamic Admin – Version 1.0.0.1

 

User Driven Installation (UDI) – Side-By-Side Migration

I have been working developing with the User Driven Installation (UDI) editor in my test environment. As it stands right now I see no point in creating HTA files anymore.  The UDI wizard is awesome looks like .net framework windows, and you can customize the heck out of it.

Here is my demo of my Side-By-Side migration.
 
  

USMT Local Utility

Have an SCCM 2007 USMT environment with no fail safe on restore.  Well arm your Help Desk with this utility, USMT Local Utility.  It is a huge stress saver.  Stop wasting time on client side troubleshooting get to a point and say enough is enough just do it local.

Use this ‘Stand Alone’ application to capture Windows XP, Windows 7, and Windows 8 and restore it on Windows 7 or Windows 8 OS’s.

This application was written in Visual Basic .NET (VB.Net) utilizing .NET Framework 2.0 so there is no compatibility issues with Windows XP.  This makes the application have no other prerequisites other than the “Source” folder being in the same directory as the executable.
Just type in the location where you want to store the migration file and click on the run button.
 
 
This application will encrypt the created “MIG” file with the key hard-coded in the application.  If you use this application to capture the computer you can only use this application to restore it.
Wait it gets better, did you capture the PC using SCCM but the restore is failing due to who knows what, bad association or just bad client, well you can restore from SCCM USMT captures.  When you hit restore just click specify encryption key and put the path to the State Migration Point path and bamn done.
Click below to start your free download and just remember the “Source” folder MUST be in the same directory as the application.   
 
 
USMT Local Utility Version: 2.0.0.1

SCCM Admin Helper App

With works comes more projects.  Mostly ones I think up my self.  I created the SCCM Admin Helper App.  As we had a delima at my organization.  How can we allow our Analyst access to utilize SCCM but not worry about training costs and compromising the integrity of the environment .

Well, I went to the drawing board.  In my brainstorms to come up with a solution that would not take up to much time.  Well what I released was a VB.Net application that utilizes the SCCM databases and HTA scripts with VBScript to run WMI operations to update collections.

The problem with the application it takes some coding skills to configuring the application to your specific environment.  I have released the project file.

I will not be making any updates to this application, as it was nice to have but I am currently in the works on making this application a PowerShell .Net Forms Application.  It will be easily configurable for different SCCM environments.  Relying on WMI data to run the app’s tasks.

Application / Security Requirements

  • This application relies on Windows Integrated Login.
  • Remote DCOM Access to your Primary Sites
  • Read access on the primary sites’ DB’s advertisement view.
  • .Net Framework 4 Client Profile
  • SCCM Security Rights:
    • Collection: Read and modify membership rights.
    • Site: Read

You will need to configure the following in the project:

  • Radio buttons for each primary site.
  • The forms that read SQL you will need to configure the connection string in the form VB code.
  • In the HTA scripts you need to configure the SCCM site name, site code, and in the re-image ones the collection ID you have configured for OSD.
  • In the collection removal form you need to configure the values for the site’s NetBIOS name and site code.

Here are some screen shoots of the working application we use in our organization.

This is used by 40 plus help desk analysts in my organization.  It has been a life savor for my partner and me.  The best part was, I added a setup package built that and then sequenced it.  Then distributed it through App-V.  Sometimes if change is needed you have to force it on people. That saved us about a 100 emails a week.

If you need any help let me know and I will try to respond as fast as I can.

Download Zip File
SCCM Admin Helper v1.0.0.1

Hope you enjoy!

SCCM Admin Tools

I have created a new tool, SCCM Admin Tools, using the new SAPIEN PowerShell Studio 2012.This tool will become more robust, but for right now all you can do is remotely start / stop / or check status of the SMSEXECUTIVE and WDSServer services on your SCCM sites.

You will be able to save the settings for the site server’s name and site code.  You will want to use your central site if you have one.  Or the top most primary.

Here are some screenshots:

 

You can download the executable from here.  Get in touch with me if you have any other suggestions. Once I get the application to a certain goal I will release the source files.

SCCM Admin Tools v1.3.2.1