Somewhere between the physical and the virtual
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Hi guys, in this post we continue our theme with ‘what we heard you asking us at TechEd USA 2010’. As we mentioned in a post earlier this week, we have been talking here in Redmond about the trends of questions posed to us at TechEd by you. Some were mentioned a few times so we felt they would best be served by a blog post. The first of these was yesterday’s post entitled “What version of Configuration Manager do I need, and in what order?”
In this post we want to clarify what Power Management capabilities are included in ConfigMgr, as many of you mentioned you thought there was overlap with Intel vPro, Wake on LAN, and the R3 Power Management features. In addition, there is a new feature of Windows 7 called the Windows Wake Timer, that is supported in the ConfigMgr console. So, let’s break these down with some explanations.
Intel vPro Intel vPro technology has been around for a few years, and is a collection of technologies built within the Intel vPro chipset family of Processors, System Boards and network cards. Combined, these provide a platform for hardware based management scenario support that includes ‘Power Control’. This vPro technology was first integrated with ConfigMgr 2007 Sp1, which at the time was vPro chipset versions 3.2.1. This first introduction of support focused on LAN based connections. As a console extension, vPro could be used when configured, activated and discovered by ConfigMgr managed systems to provide some pretty cool scenarios. For example, Power Control (Power Up /Down) for 1:1 or 1:many (collection) systems. Within the Power Control, this integration also allowed for Reboot management, and in a Power Up activity, reboots could be directed as normal boots, boot to safe mode, boot to BIOS, or Boot to PXE. In addition, this Power Control could reboot a system remotely to an ISO file for Help Desk scenarios.
This support was extended in ConfigMgr 2007 SP2 to pick up support for vPro chipset versions 4 and 5. This also extended support from LAN to 802.x (wireless) connections. Very cool. Last year at MMS we used this support to wake up 20 laptops in the keynote audience and migrate the systems from XP to Windows 7. That was a fun demo, but doing it live in front of 4000 was a little wild.
So, vPro IS a Power Control capability, but as we hope this clarifies, it is not a Power Management toolset by broader industry definitions. What that means is, we do not deploy Power Management monitoring, policy enforcement, or reporting capabilities with our System Center integration. It is more of an activity based capability that a Help Desk may adopt, and a very good one at that. For more information, check out the Intel vPro Expert Zone, tell Matty over there we sent ya……….great guys.
Wake on LAN WoL is a topic of popularity as organizations try and do more and more lights out management. That means, using the time zones to reduce user interruption and take advantage of off hours to support systems, remediate Help Desk tickets and of course, take care of IT Administration duties (like patch) outside of regular off hours. WoL has some pretty standard challenges across the industry, and its usually based in security. For example, to truly support WoL, organizations need to allow for network WoL packets to travel the network, across switches, subnets and networks. That type of broadcast traffic is typically blocked at network segment (switch ) levels. That has impacted WoL adoption. Why is it blocked and considered a bad idea? Denial of Service network attacks typically take advantage of it. So, the security teams get a little twitchy.
ConfigMgr supports WoL. Within things like Software Updates, as well as Software packages, WoL can be enabled at a package or update level, so when deployment happens, WoL packets make sure the target systems are lit up to receive and install the payload. Very cool. Again, this is not Power Management, as all this is doing is attempting to reach out and wake up systems for maintenance or targeting. For more information on the Wake on LAN support in ConfigMgr, check out this link in our TechNet documentation.
Windows Client Windows 7 has made significant effort in the area of Environmental engineering. Idle Power and Background Activity, Device support, Timers and alarms, and support for Power Policy are just a few. From a System Center perspective, the Wake Timer is now incorporated into policy control for Power Management. This is probably one of the coolest features new to Windows 7. The Windows Wake Timer allows a local policy to be set on the client to literally ‘wake up’ check for activity, and go back to sleep. This is a major step forward for organizations who want to employ Power Management policies, but want to be able to perform out of hours management. This feature solves any network WoL challenges or limitations by completely removing the need to provide support for Wake on LAN infrastructure or capabilities. This feature alone will provide every organization who adopts Windows 7 a WoL solution. Absolutely brilliant.
Configuration Manager 2007 R3 Currently in Public Beta, the R3 release of ConfigMgr will deliver Power Management. This capability is explained in 3 areas:
Through all of this ConfigMgr 2007 R3 will help organizations reduce their power consumption. This alone will save the business money by lowering the cost of power for the organization. In addition, some parts of the world like in North America are introducing Power Management incentives. These incentives are in the form of rebate programs offered by power grid companies in the form of credits to a company if they can prove they are providing power policy management to their systems. So, in addition to just reducing power bills, ConfigMgr R3 may be able to help you qualify for additional rebates from your local supplier (this will vary worldwide).
Summary There are many different things one can consider with respect to power management. There are also differences between power control, power activities and power management. Hopefully we have provided you some clarifications about what System Center Configuration Manager provides, to help you in your planning. We also have several partners in the Power Management space. Adaptiva, 1e and Verdium also provide capabilities that provide additional features should you require those.
Here are some resources for you:
Jeff Wettlaufer Sr Technical Product Manager System Center, Management and Security Division
To install the R3 of SCCM 2007 is necessary to have Windows 2008 Active Directory? I am asking this question beacause my domain is Windows 2003 Native Mode.
Jeff here -
this link covers pre reqs for installaiton.
This link covers some AD tips. Technically we dont need AD present to manage clients. There are some featuers that do need AD, such as discovery. The R3 docs are not complete yet as we have not shipped, (we are soon), but this should be the same as
SP2 RTM levels. I pulled this quote from our online docs
Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 does not introduce changes to Active Directory schema extension requirements, and it is not necessary to re-extend the Active Directory schema for Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 if it has already been extended for Configuration
For ConfigMgr 2007 RTM, yuo appear good to go. This is found
here. Quoted below.
All Configuration Manager 2007 site systems must be members of a Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, or Windows Server 2008 Active Directory domain.
Configuration Manager 2007 Active Directory schema extensions provide many benefits for Configuration Manager 2007 sites, but they are not required for all Configuration Manager 2007 features. For more information about Active Directory schema extension
Decide If You Should Extend the Active Directory Schema.
If you have extended your Active Directory schema for Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003, you should update your schema extensions for Configuration Manager 2007. Updating the Active Directory schema for Configuration Manager 2007 can be performed
before or after upgrading to Configuration Manager and will not interfere with existing SMS 2003 site or client functionality. For more information about extending the Active Directory schema for Configuration Manager 2007, see
How to Extend the Active Directory Schema for Configuration Manager.