What's New in Configuration Manager 2007 R3

The following features are new and apply only to Configuration Manager 2007 R3:

·         Power Management. Provides a set of tools to allow the site administrator to configure standard Windows power settings across computers

·         Operating System Deployment Enhancements.  Prestaged Media is a way to integrate with OEM factory imaging in order to leverage imaging at the OEM to speed up new hardware deployments

·         Dynamic Collection Evaluation. Allows you to more rapidly evaluate a collection membership by adding only newly discovered resources.

·         Delta Discovery. Performs an intermediate discovery cycle adding only new resources to the Configuration Manager 2007 database.

·         Collections. Allows you to search for and add resources to the specified collection.

·         Desired Configuration Management. Allows you to easily create collection of compliant or noncompliant computers in desired configuration management.

·         Supported Clients Per Hierarchy: Configuration Manager 2007 R3 supports up to 300,000 clients per hierarchy when using the default settings for all Configuration Manager 2007 features. This increase in supported clients is the result of improvements to the Active Directory synchronization and Collection Evaluation processes.

About Dynamic Collection Evaluation in Configuration Manager 2007 R3

Query-based collections in Configuration Manager 2007 are periodically evaluated, based on a schedule you specify to update their membership from the site database. Even if there are no changes in the collection being evaluated, the entire collection is still processed. The default period between collection evaluations is 1 day. You can decrease this period, but evaluating collections with many members might cause a high load on your site database.

Dynamic collection evaluation in Configuration Manager 2007 R3 allows you to evaluate only resources that have been newly added to a collection. Because this improves the speed at which you can evaluate collections and lessens the processing load on the site database, you can increase the frequency by which you evaluate collections and therefore keep the data shown in the administrator console more up to date.

Important: Dynamic collection evaluation does not replace the existing method of collection evaluation; it only evaluates newly added resources

The following resources can be evaluated by dynamic collection evaluation:

·         Resources that have been initially discovered.

·         Resources that have been provisioned with operating system deployment.

·         Resources that have been scanned for initial hardware inventory.

·         Resources that have been upgraded to a newer version of the Configuration Manager 2007 client.

 

About Delta Discovery in Configuration Manager 2007 R3

Delta Discovery in Configuration Manager 2007 R3 enhances the discovery capabilities of the product by discovering only new or changed resources in Active Directory instead of performing a full discovery cycle. The interval by which delta discovery searches for new resources can be configured by the user to a short interval as discovering new resources only does not affect the performance of the site server as much as a full cycle. Delta discovery can detect the following new resource types:

·         Computer objects

·         User objects

·         Security group objects

·         System group objects

Important: Delta discovery is not a replacement for other Configuration Manager 2007 discovery methods. Because it only finds new or modified resources in Active Directory, it must be used in conjunction with a discovery method that performs a full synchronization with Active Directory

Note: Delta discovery only reads Active Directory attribute changes which are replicated. Non-replicated attributes which are changed such as the memberof attribute are not collected by delta discovery unless a change to a replicated attribute is made at the same time.  Delta discovery is not enabled by default in Configuration Manager 2007 R3. When enabled, it will run, by default every 5 minutes

About Prestaged Media in Configuration Manager 2007 R3

Prestaged media for Configuration Manager 2007 R3 operating system deployment contains bootable media and image files that are copied to the hard drive of a computer. Prestaged media works in conjunction with your existing task sequences to provide a complete operating system deployment. The media can be accessed locally by a task sequence to install a new operating system instead of downloading them across the network. This allows operating system deployment where the computer cannot otherwise be provisioned completely. It can also reduce network traffic when deploying operating systems while still taking advantage of task sequences.

 

Prestaged media is generally copied to the hard drive of a new computer as a part of the computer manufacturing process or at an enterprise staging center before the computer is sent to the end user. The prestaged media consists of a .wim file that can be prestaged on a “bare metal” computer. When the computer boots for the first time after the prestaged media has been loaded, the computer will boot to WinPE and connect to the site management point to check for available task sequences.

 

When creating prestaged media, ensure the boot image you are using has the appropriate network and mass storage drivers need for the system to complete the provisioning process.

 

About Simplified Resource Management

Allows Administrators to search for and add resources to the specified collection using right click tool. 

 

About Power Management in Configuration Manager 2007 R3

The Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3 power management feature provides a set of tools and resources that can help apply power settings to client computers in the enterprise and monitor the power usage of computers. Click the associated link in the following section for detailed information about planning, configuring, managing, monitoring and troubleshooting power management.

Overview of Power Management

Power Management in Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3 addresses the need that many organizations have to monitor and reduce the power consumption of their computers. The feature leverages the power management features built in to Windows to apply relevant and consistent settings to computers in the organization. Different power settings can be applied during and outside of working hours. For example, it might be acceptable to apply a more restrictive power plan during non-peak hours. In cases where computers must always remain switched on, you can prevent power management settings from being applied.

There are three major components to power management in Configuration Manager 2007 R3:

1.       Monitoring and Planning: Power Management extends the hardware inventory of Configuration Manager 2007 to collect information about computer usage and power settings for computers in the site. A number of reports are provided to allow you to analyze this data and determine optimal power management settings for computers.

2.       Enforcement: Power management allows you to create power plans which can be applied to collections of computers in your site. These power plans configure Windows power management settings on computers. You can use the built in Windows power plans, Balanced, High Performance and Power Saver or you can configure your own custom power plans. Different power plans can be configured for peak and non-peak working hours.

3.       Compliance: After applying power plans to computers in your organization, you can run reports to validate that power settings were correctly applied and to calculate power savings across collections of computers.

About Reports for Power Management

Power management in Configuration Manager 2007 R3 contains a number of reports to help you to analyze power consumption and computer power settings in your organization. These reports require SQL Reporting Services which was introduced in Configuration Manager 2007 R2.

Power Management Plan Settings for Power Management

Power plans in Configuration Manager 2007 R3 contain Windows power management settings which can be configured and applied to collections of computers in your Configuration Manager 2007 R3 site.

Important: Depending on the version of Windows you are using, some settings might not be configurable on the destination client computer. For more information about the settings supported by your version of Windows, see your Windows documentation

Prerequisites for Power Management

Power management in Configuration Manager 2007 R3 has both external dependencies and dependencies within the product.

 Configuration Manager 2007 Dependencies

The following table describes the dependencies within Configuration Manager 2007 for using power management.

Dependency

More Information

The site server must be running Configuration Manager 2007 R3.

Power management requires Configuration Manager 2007 R3.

Client computers in your site must be running the Configuration Manager 2007 R3 client software.

For information about upgrading the Configuration Manager 2007 client software, see Planning and Deploying Clients for Configuration Manager 2007.

The Configuration Manager 2007 hardware inventory client agent must be enabled for the site in which you are using power management.

Power management in Configuration Manager 2007 R3 uses information collected by hardware inventory. To use power management, you must first enable hardware inventory for the site.

The site must be enabled for power management.

Before you can use power management in Configuration Manager 2007 R3, you must enable the power management client agent.

SQL Reporting Services integration must be installed and configured.

The provided reports for power management require SQL Reporting Services to run. SQL reporting services integration was introduced in Configuration Manager 2007 R2 and is also included with Configuration Manager 2007 R3. For information about installing and configuring SQL Reporting Services, see SQL Reporting Services in Configuration Manager 2007 R2.

Dependencies External to Configuration Manager 2007

The following table describes the dependencies within Configuration Manager 2007 for using power management.

Dependency

More Information

The site must have access to an installation of Microsoft SQL Reporting Services.

Power management in Configuration Manager 2007 R3 uses SQL Reporting Services to display reports. SQL reporting services must be installed and configured for Configuration Manager 2007 before you can display these reports. For more information, see SQL Reporting Services in Configuration Manager 2007 R2.

How to Enable or Disable the Power Management Client Agent

Enabling the power management client agent in Configuration Manager 2007 R3 makes it possible for client computers in this site to apply power management plans configured in the Configuration Manager console.

The power management client agent is not enabled by default when you install Configuration Manager 2007 R3.

Important: The power management feature in Configuration Manager 2007 R3 uses data from hardware inventory on client computers to work, therefore, enabling the power management client agent will also enable the hardware inventory client agent on computers in your site. If you disable the hardware inventory client agent for your site, the power management client agent will also be disabled.  Disabling the power management client agent prevents computers in your site from applying power plans created in the Configuration Manager console.