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Unleash your Azure CSP subscription for Cloud Management Gateway deployments

The cloud management gateway (CMG) provides a simple way to manage Configuration Manager clients on the internet. By deploying the CMG as a cloud service in Microsoft Azure, you can manage traditional clients that roam on the internet ‘without’ additional (on-premise) infrastructure.

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Create & deploy cloud services with an associate Azure subscription.

However, there is a limitation when deploying CMG using Azure CSP subscription.

This capability does not enable support for Azure Cloud Service Providers (CSP). The CMG deployment with Azure Resource Manager continues to use the classic cloud service, which the CSP does not support. For more information, see available Azure services in Azure CSP.

As CSP model is becoming more and more popular as Azure subscription, this scenario is a potential blocker for many customers having a CSP subscription which wants to deploy a CMG. The Microsoft product teams are aware of this situation and I’m sure they will solve this the sooner or later.

Converting your CSP subscription to an eligible Azure subscription is no option here (managed by CSP Partner). Therefore I would like to take you how to deploy a CMG while you’re on a CSP subscription. Yes it’s possible! In this blog I’ll describe what it takes to achieve this. Continue reading “Unleash your Azure CSP subscription for Cloud Management Gateway deployments”

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Troubleshooting Cloud Management Gateway: Quick & effectively /w CMG Connector Analyzer

In Configuration Manager Current Branch 1806, Microsoft introduced the Cloud Management Gateway Connector Analyzer. A highly valued feature which is a great starting point to troubleshoot your Cloud Management Gateway (CMG) in case you ran in to any issues. In short, it’s a more than welcome and helpful feature!

In a nutshell the Cloud Management Gateway Connection Analyzer validates you Cloud Management Gateway deployment on 6 points, namely:

  1. Validates whether CMG is in a ready state;
  2. Validates whether CMG services are running;
  3. Validates whether CMG is using a up to date configuration;
  4. Validates connection state between CMG Connection Point and CMG;
  5. Validates whether site systems are associated with CMG;
  6. Validates whether Management Point is available and/or well configured;

This blog post provides a first aid guidance to troubleshoot you Cloud Management Gateway(s).

Client Authentication Method

The Cloud Management Gateway Connection Analyzer can be found in the Cloud Services section part of the Administration pane. There are two clients authentication options to connect to the Cloud Management Gateway.

  • Azure AD User (this can be a regular Azure AD user);
  • Client certificate (currently use the Certificate File option as the console is by default started in a user context instead of system context);

CMG_sign_in

Once connected successfully with a valid Azure AD Account or Client Certificate we can start the connection analyzer to verify the Cloud Management Gateway is working properly.

Cloud Management Gateway Ready State

By deploying the Cloud Management Gateway as a cloud service in Microsoft Azure, you can manage traditional clients that roam on the internet without additional infrastructure. The cloud services authenticates and forwards Configuration Manager client requests to the CMG connection point. The status of the cloud services has the following statuses:

  • ServiceState 0 – Started
  • ServiceState 3 – UndergoingMaintenance
  • ServiceState 4 – Starting
  • ServiceState 5 – Stopping
  • ServiceState 6 – Stopped
  • ServiceState 7 – ReadyRole

The illustration below indicates the CMG service is in ready state and therefore available.

CMG_ready_state

CMG_cloudmgr.log

The illustration below indicates the CMG service is not in a ready state.

CMG_ready_state_maintenance

To troubleshoot CMG Ready state, use CloudMgr.log.

Cloud Management Gateway Services

The illustration below indicates the CMG service is running.

CMG_service_running

The illustration below indicates the CMG service is not running and therefore not available.

CMG_service_failed

In this case the CMG cloud services might be not running. To troubleshoot CMG services, use CMG-<cloud_service_name>-ProxyService_IN_0-CMGService.log (or CMG-<cloud_service_name>-ProxyService_IN_1-CMGService.log in case of 2 or more VM instances) and SMS_Cloud_ProxyConnector.log.

Cloud Management Gateway Configuration

The illustration below indicates the CMG configuration between on-premise CMG connection point and in CMG in Azure is in sync.

CMG_configuration_in_sync

The illustration below indicates the CMG configuration between on-premise CMG connection point and in CMG in Azure is in sync.

CMG_configuration_not_in_sync

This is an easy one, just makes sure the CMG configuration data is in sync by enforcing “Synchronize configuration” under Cloud Services section part of the Administration pane.

Cloud Management Gateway Connection Point

The CMG connection point is the site system role for communicating with the CMG. By default the CMG connection point establishes TCP-TLS connections (10140-10155) to connect to CMG cloud service in Azure. In case of 2 or more VM instances, the second VM instance uses port 10141, up to the sixteenth on port 10155.

CMG_tcp_connections_established

Make sure <cloud_service_name>.cloudapp.net:10140 is reachable and can be resolved (name resolution) properly. To troubleshoot CMG service health, use CMGService.log and SMS_Cloud_ProxyConnector.log.

The illustration below indicates the CMG configuration point is able to communicate with CMG in Azure.

CMG_connection_point_status

The illustration below indicates the CMG configuration point is not able to communicate with CMG in Azure.

CMG_connection_point_status_not_connected

To troubleshoot CMG services, use SMS_Cloud_ProxyConnector.log.

Site System roles assigned to Cloud Management Gateway

Make sure you have configured the management point and/or software update point site systems linked to your CMG to accept CMG traffic from clients which are on the internet.

CMG_site_system_role_assigned

When there is no site system role assigned (whether management point or software update point) clients on the internet won’t be able to take benefit of the concerning service(s).

CMG_no_site_system_role_assigned

Make sure you’ve assigned at least one management point or more to service clients on the internet.

Management Point Availability & Configuration

The CMG connect point forwards client communications to on-premise site system role(s) (management point(s) and/or software update point(s). In this case the site system roles should be available

CMG_management_point_status

In case you’ve bind a wrong web server certificate to you management point or software update point (IIS) or the certificate isn’t trusted (certificate chain) incoming client communications from CMG cloud service won’t be accepted.

CMG_pki_configuration

In the table below an overview of a few scenarios whereby the management point isn’t available for various reasons.

Error Solution
Failed to get ConfigMgr token with Azure AD token. Status code is ‘503’ and status description is ‘CMGConnector_ServiceUnavailable’. A possible reason for this failure is the CMG connection point failed to forward the message to the management point. The management point returned the following error: ‘ServiceUnavailable’.

Make sure IIS services is running properly.

Failed to get ConfigMgr token with Azure AD token. Status code is ‘500’ and status description is ‘CMGConnector_InternalServerError’. A possible reason for this failure is the CMG connection point failed to forward the message to the management point. Internal server error. For more information, see the management point logs for more details to see why internal server error returns.

Make sure you bind the right web server certificate to IIS or make sure the correct root- and/or intermediate CA is added.

Succeed to get ConfigMgr token with Azure AD token.

Failed to refresh MP location. Status code is ‘401’ and status description is ‘CMGConnector_Unauthorized’

A possible reason for this failure is the CMG connection point failed to forward the message to the management point. The management point returned the following error: ‘Unauthorized’.
Succeed to get ConfigMgr token with Azure AD token.

Failed to refresh MP location. Status code is ‘500’ and status description is ‘CMGService_No_Connector’.

A possible reason for this failure is the CMG service failed to forward the message to the CMG connection point. There is no CMG connection point that is connecting to the CMG service. For more information, see the SMS_CLOUD_PROXYCONNECTOR.log on the CMG connection point.

Make sure firewall or proxies aren’t blocking network traffic. Click here for a complete overview of ports required by CMG.

Cloud Management Gateway Log files

The following table lists the log files that contain information related to the cloud management gateway.

Log name Description Computer with log file
CloudMgr.log Records details about deploying the cloud management gateway service, ongoing service status, and use data associated with the service.

You can configure the logging level be editing the Logging level value in the registry key HKLM\SOFTWARE\ Microsoft\SMS\COMPONENTS\ SMS_CLOUD_ SERVICES_MANAGER

The installdir folder on the primary site server or CAS.
CMGSetup.log1 Records details about the second phase of the cloud management gateway deployment (local deployment in Azure)

You can configure the logging level using the setting Trace level (Information (Default), Verbose, Error) on the Azure portal\Cloud services configuration tab.

The %approot%\logs on your Azure server, or the SMS/Logs folder on the site system server
CMGHttpHandler.log1 Records details about the cloud management gateway http handler binding with Internet Information Services in Azure

You can configure the logging level using the setting Trace level (Information (Default), Verbose, Error) on the Azure portal\Cloud services configuration tab.

The %approot%\logs on your Azure server, or the SMS/Logs folder on the site system server
CMGService.log1 Records details about the cloud management gateway service core component in Azure

You can configure the logging level using the setting Trace level (Information (Default), Verbose, Error) on the Azure portal\Cloud services configuration tab.

The %approot%\logs on your Azure server, or the SMS/Logs folder on the site system server
SMS_Cloud_

ProxyConnector.log

Records details about setting up connections between the cloud management gateway service and the cloud management gateway connection point. Site system server

1 These are local Configuration Manager log files that cloud service manager sync from Azure storage every five minutes. The cloud management gateway pushes logs to Azure storage every five minutes. So the maximum delay is 10 minutes. Verbose switches affect both local and remote logs. The actual file names include the service name and role instance identifier. For example, CMG-ServiceName-RoleInstanceID-CMGSetup.log

  • For troubleshooting deployments, use CloudMgr.log and CMGSetup.log
  • For troubleshooting service health, use CMGService.log and SMS_Cloud_ProxyConnector.log.
  • For troubleshooting client traffic, use CMGHttpHandler.log, CMGService.log, and SMS_Cloud_ProxyConnector.log.

Sources

Please find below the resources I’ve used to writeup this blog post.

Microsoft, Plan for the cloud management gateway in Configuration Manager

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/core/clients/manage/cmg/plan-cloud-management-gateway

Microsoft, Log files in System Center Configuration Manager

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/core/plan-design/hierarchy/log-files#cloud-management-gateway

Further I want to pay attentions of a great blog post series of how to set up your Cloud Manage Gateway by fellow MVP Zeng Yinghua

SCConfigMgr, How to setup Co-Management

http://www.scconfigmgr.com/2017/11/23/how-to-setup-co-management-part-1/

Troubleshooting Microsoft (Windows) Intune Extensions

Most of you are problably aware of Microsoft (Windows) Intune extensions and using them briefly without any issue(s). New extensions becomes automatically available through the Microsoft Intune connector and new updates are merged or installed to introduce new features taking benefits of the Microsoft Intune cloud services platform.

So far so good…but if you’ve bad luck extensions comes partly down or becomes not available at all to your Configuration Manager instance! Unfortunately there is no way to force a trigger of the tenant discovery process and thus the installation of Microsoft Intune extensions. In normal circumstances it will take up to 24 hours after registering your Intune subscription untill the Intune extensions comes down to your Configuration Manager instance. This pitty if you would speed up the process of installing new deployments or you’re in a disaster recovery scenario. Hereby some guidelines for troubleshooting Microsoft Intune extensions, logs locations(s), Certificate Thumbprint ID, SQL query and validating the connectivity with Microsoft Intune.

Continue reading “Troubleshooting Microsoft (Windows) Intune Extensions”

Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Hotfix introduces instant Remote Wipe and Retirement of Mobile Devices

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Exciting times upfront of Configuration Manager & Microsoft Intune! After announcement of renaming Windows Intune to Microsoft Intune and expected new functionalities in Q4 Microsoft released this week an imported hotfix for Configuration Manager 2012 R2. In short this hotfix allows you to remote wipe or retire your mobile devices almost instanlty with out any delay…how cool is that! Continue reading “Configuration Manager 2012 R2 Hotfix introduces instant Remote Wipe and Retirement of Mobile Devices”

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”

A closer look at Windows Intune Extensions…what’s in it for me?

In a nut shell: Windows Intune Extensions are new features which will be delivered by your Windows Intune Cloud Services (Windows Intune Connector) into your Configuration Manager site.

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proces of installing Windows Intune Extensions

What are Windows Intune Extentions?

With extensions you are able to introduce new capabilities through Windows Intune are available from within the Configuration Manager console. Configuration Manager administrators can enable individual extensions to gain access to these new capabilities without waiting for the next service pack or major product release to introduce that functionality. Continue reading “A closer look at Windows Intune Extensions…what’s in it for me?”

CU3 for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 is released #SysCtr

Just before the release of System Center 2012 R2 which is expected half of October, Microsoft releases CU3 for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1. This update adds support for Windows 8.1-based client computers in Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1. Windows 8.1 is added to the supported platform list for the following features:

  • Software distribution
  • Software update management
  • Compliance Settings

In addition to support for Windows 8.1 and Windows server 2012 R2 this cumulative update provides fixes for the following components:

  • Operating System Deployment (OSD)
  • Windows PowerShell
  • Software Distribution
  • Windows Intune
  • Endpoint Protection
  • Reporting
  • Software Updates

For detailed information see KB article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2882125

The cumulative updated can be downloaded here.

As mentioned it might worth considering to skip the installation of CU3 since R2 will be released October 18th 2013.