Windows Intune User Provisioning: Having a closer look

At the moment there’re several scenario’s to manage and provisioning users to Windows Intune in order to enable Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) or simply said – managing your mobile devices. As the process of provisioning users to Windows Intune in combination with Configuration Manager 2012 R2 is not always clear I’ll provide you some insights and tips where and how to troubleshoot.

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As mentioned I’ll will focus in this post on a hybrid scenario using Configuration Manager 2012 R2, Windows Intune and on-premise Active Directory where Azure Active Directory Sync (aka DirSync) is used to syncronize on-premise users to Windows Intune (Azure Active Directory).

Process Overview Windows Intune User provisioning

  1. John Doe is created in (on-premise) Active Directory
  2. John Doe is synchronized by Azure Active Directory Sync to (off-premise) Azure Active Directory
  3. John Doe is discovered by Configuration Manager 2012 R2
  4. John Doe is add to Windows Intune collection in Configuration Manager 2012 R2
  5. John Doe is synchronized by Windows Intune Connector
  6. John Doe is enabled Windows Intune user

Continue reading “Windows Intune User Provisioning: Having a closer look”

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Microsoft anounced new update of Windows Intune Services; “Modern mobile devices should be managed from a cloud service”

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Today Microsoft announced new enhancements of Windows Intune Service as per next week. These updates include:

  • Ability for the administrator to configure email profiles, which can automatically configure the device with the appropriate email server information and related policies, as well as the ability to remove the profile along with the email itself via a remote wipe if needed.
  • Support for new configuration settings in iOS 7, including the “Managed open in” capability to protect corporate data by controlling which apps and accounts are used to open documents and attachments, and disabling the fingerprint unlock feature.
  • Ability for the administrator to remotely lock the device if it is lost or stolen, and reset the password if the user forgets it.
  • In addition to our unified deployment mode and integration with System Center Configuration Manager, Windows Intune can now stand alone as a cloud-only MDM solution. This is a big win for organizations that want a cloud-only management solutions to manage both their mobile devices and PC’s.

Continue reading “Microsoft anounced new update of Windows Intune Services; “Modern mobile devices should be managed from a cloud service””

MBSA 2.3 Preview Release is available for download!

MBSA 2.3 Preview has been released on the Client Management Connect site to the ConfigMgr Open Beta community.

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MBSA 2.3 release adds support for Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, and Windows Server 2012 R2. Windows 2000 will no longer be supported with this release. The final release of MBSA 2.3 is expected to be available in Fall 2013.

You can download MBSA 2.3 Preview here.

Windows Intune Product Comparison vs. Mobile Device Management Market Leaders #sysctr #windowsintune

 

With the announcement of Configuration Manager 2012 R2 and Windows Intune (wave E) Microsoft offers a mature Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution which it emphatically (re)positions itself in the market of enterprise device management software. Various publications including Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software (May 2013) shows that Microsoft plays no significant role in the market of enterprise mobile device management software.

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Figure 1Gartners Magic Quadrant for MDM software.

Successors System Center Mobile Device Management 2008 wasn’t that success and was too early with the lack of suitable hardware. With the current version of Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 and Windows Intune (wave D) Microsoft is working on it closing the gap by providing base MDM functionality. But was it good enough to be a serious competitor in the market of enterprise MDM solutions? With the announcement of Configuration Manager 2012 R2 and 4th generation of Windows Intune (wave E) I am convinced this will change!

Goal of this article is to provide a high-level overall product comparison of Microsoft MDM solution based on Configuration Manager 2012 R2/Windows Intune (wave E) versus the current MDM market leaders Airwatch, MobileIron, Citrix and Good Technology. The product comparison is based on the following areas: platform support, infrastructure complexity, features and licensing & pricing.

Continue reading “Windows Intune Product Comparison vs. Mobile Device Management Market Leaders #sysctr #windowsintune”

How to: Create and deploy VHD’s with Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Preview #sysctr

With Windows Server 2012 R2 preview, Windows 8.1 preview, SQL Server 2014 and System Center 2012 R2 preview Microsoft announced at TechEd Europe 2013 big updates of there current server, client and management software and continues there cloud vision.

So on with Configuration Manager 2012 R2 – which includes many new features and product improvements. One of my favorites is creating VHD’s! Running your task sequences directly into a VHD. No need to capture your images – just straight into the system..that’s make sense.

Before starting…

In order to create VHD’s with Configuration Manager 2012 R2 take care of the following:

  • Hyper-V – You have to makes sure your console is installed on a machine where Hyper-V role is enabled, otherwise the option remains greyed-out in your console.
  • VMM 2012 SP1/R2 console – Virtual Machine Manager console is required in order to upload VHD’s into VMM.
  • Disk space – Make sure you have enough space on your machine where you are running the VHD creation process. A temp VHD will be created to your temp directory (C:\Users\<user-ID\AppData\Local\Temp).
  • Windows ADK 8.1Required for the creating and maintaining WIM-, ISO- and VHD files.

Lets get started…

  • Just start the Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Preview console and browse to the Operating Systems pane.

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  • In preparation of creating a VHD we create first a new Task Sequence based on the new template ‘Install an existing image package to a virtual hard drive’

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  • Provide the usual suspects like name, description, boot image as you used to be with a normal Task Sequence

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  • When finished the Task Sequence we can proceed with the Create Virtual Hard Drive Wizard (only enabled when Hyper-V role is installed on the machine where you are running the Configuration Manager 2012 R2 console).

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  • Now we select the Task Sequence which we created previously which contains a Boot Image (x64), Windows 8 OS image and the Configuration Manager 2012 Client Package. This Task Sequence can be configured with all the requirements/needs for your image.

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  • When finished the wizard the process of creating a VHD based on your create Task Sequence has started.

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  • To have a closer look of the VHD creation process use the DeployToVHd.log which is depending where you installed the console – by default located at ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Configuration Manager\AdminConsole\AdminUILog’

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    • In general a boot media (iso) is created followed by creating a temp VHD. Then a VM is created attached with the temp VHD and boot media.

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    • When the VM’s comes online the usual Task Sequence process is executed.

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    • When finished the Task Sequence process the machine is prepped and will be switched of after 5 minutes (shutdown -s -t 300), so be patient Smile

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    • At this stage our VHD is ready and will be copied to a destination file share which is previously defined in the task sequence.

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    • The created VHD including a default installation of Windows 8 is now available in the console. Equal to Offline Servicing of WIM files the VHD can be serviced offline as well. which is pretty awesome!

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    • Additional to Offline Servicing VHD’s can be uploaded straight to Virtual Machine Manager in order to used VHD for provisioning VM machines based on the VHD created by Configuration Manager 2012 R2

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    Note! Integration between Configuration Manager 2012 R2 preview and Virtual Machine Manager 2012 SP1 nor R2 preview seems not to be working at this stage.

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    Conclusion…

    Creating VHD’s is a great feature which is more than welcome addition to Configuration Manager 2012 R2. It improves the desktop imaging process for IT-pros. No more capture steps just straight into the VHD. A improvement point is the lack of support for VHDX, but that is just a matter of time I guess.

    Someone dropped a quote on Twitter this week: ‘With flexibility comes complexity” …well this is an exception to the rule Winking smile

    SneakPreview: “Microsoft is closing the gap for enterprise Mobile Device Management”. Product comparison shortly available…

    Soon you can expect a product comparison of Microsoft Enterprise Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution based on the recent announced System Center 2012 Configuration Manager R2 and the 5th generation of Windows Intune (wave E).

    Recently Gartner published the Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management where Microsoft was missing as enterprise Mobile Device Management vendor. That makes me wondering why? Whether justified or not is subordinate! What matters is what Microsoft offers right now with Unified Mobile Device Management (UDM). That was the trigger…

    Herewith a short impression …

    With the announcement of Configuration Manager 2012 R2 and Windows Intune (wave E) Microsoft offers a mature Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution which it emphatically (re)positions itself in the market of enterprise device management software. Various publications including Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Mobile Device Management Software (May 2013) shows that Microsoft plays no significant role in the market of enterprise mobile device management software.

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    Figure 1Gartners Magic Quadrant for MDM software.

    Continue reading “SneakPreview: “Microsoft is closing the gap for enterprise Mobile Device Management”. Product comparison shortly available…”

    Microsoft releases next generation enterprise IT solutions for hybrid Cloud

    At TechEd North America 2013, Microsoft Corp. introduced a portfolio of new solutions to help businesses thrive in the era of cloud computing and connected devices. In the keynote address, Server & Tools Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson and fellow executives showcased how new offerings across client, datacenter infrastructure, public cloud and application development help deliver the most comprehensive, connected enterprise platform.

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    “The products and services introduced today illustrate how Microsoft is the company that businesses can bet on as they embrace cloud computing, deliver critical applications, and empower employee productivity in new and exciting ways,” Anderson said. “Only Microsoft connects the dots for the enterprise from ‘client to cloud.’”

    Continue reading “Microsoft releases next generation enterprise IT solutions for hybrid Cloud”