On October 18th 2013, Microsoft will embark on one of its largest "General Availability" deployments.  With every major launch, IT professionals must ready themselves to understand possible compatibility issues that could arise when new software is released.  To help address some of this guesswork, we at CANITPRO.NET have been able to source information to address the Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 compatibility capabilities surrounding System Center Configuration Manager. We feel this information is prudent as it will insure your current management system is not compromised once new R2/8.1 software is deployed.  As always, please test all scenarios in lab before deploying on production hardware.  Should you not currently have a lab setup, follow this Step-By-Step to do so:

Step-By-Step: Building Your Own Lab on Windows Server 2012 

Support is being made available for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 in both System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, including both Service Pack 1 and R2.  Support will also be made available in Configuration Manager 2007 with SP2, including Configuration Manager 2007 R2 and Configuration Manager 2007 R3. Any updates required to support Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 will be made available within the same timeframe as System Center 2012 R2 release. Further information in regards to compatibility type are as follows:

 

System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager:

Site server and site system support will be added for the following operating systems:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

Client support will be added for the following operating systems:

  • Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

 
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1:

The following operating systems will be added to the client support matrix with the release of Cumulative Update 3 for Service Pack 1:

  • Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

Note: Computers with these operating systems will also be able to serve as a distribution point.

All site server roles - including site systems, site servers, SMS Providers, and management points - can be deployed to servers with the following operating system editions:

  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

Note: Limited operating system deployment support for Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 will be provided with the release of Cumulative Update 3 for Service Pack 1. The Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 8.1 is not supported with Service Pack 1; however, all of the standard capture and deployment methods (PXE, boot media, standalone-media, etc.) will be supported with the use of an imported Windows PE 5.0 boot image.  Image maintenance actions, such as applying software updates to an OS image or boot image management that require the new Windows ADK will not be supported. Those actions will need to be performed offline on a computer that has the Windows ADK for Windows 8.1 installed. Additional documentation will be provided on the manual steps required to perform these actions.


Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 2

As with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1, the following operating systems will be added to the client support matrix in Configuration Manager 2007 with SP2, including Configuration Manager 2007 R2 and Configuration Manager 2007 R3:

  • Windows 8.1 Pro
  • Windows 8.1 Enterprise
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter

Note: Though these will be fully supported as clients, there is no plan to add support for deploying these as operating systems by using the Configuration Manager 2007 operating system deployment feature. Also, no site servers or site systems will be supported on any version of Windows Server 2012 R2.

To further your understand as to what is being made available, be sure to check out Microsoft Virtual Academy and review the following modules: