Revealed highlights of ConfigMgr vNext


As you probably already know a new version of ConfigMgr are scheduled to be released next year. Microsoft is calling it ConfigMgr vNext but my guess is that the RTM name will be ConfigMgr 2011. In this post I want to share information and my views on some of the new functionality and changes in ConfigMgr vNext that has been revealed by Microsoft. ConfigMgr vNext TAP nomination is open and you can find the nomination survey here. Rumors say that beta program should start in the end of March. I’m really excited that a new version is coming; it’s a special event for a system management techie that only occurs every five years and experience say that it only gets better if you look at the history of SMS/ConfigMgr products.


Microsoft is aiming for ConfigMgr vNext hierarchy designs to be less complex and easier to maintain, and their solution is to introduce a new site server Central Administration Server (or CAS), it will be the central point of administration and will not be able to manage any clients. Additionally changes of the site server’s relations will be huge. Primary site servers will no longer have the ability to have Parent/Child relation to each other, instead secondary site servers will. This is the exact opposite to how it’s working today. Role based delegation is introduced that enables easier and more granular delegation of tasks.


Today’s Inbox replication will be replaced by native SQL replication. As it is today all replicated information is processed on every site server it passes causing excessive unnecessary workload on the site servers. By changing to SQL replication hopefully the site servers will have more resources for more important operations. Another new feature is the ability to bandwidth throttle distribution points, today if data transfer between the site server and distribution point is unmanaged. This feature will really enable you to use non-dedicated servers on branch offices as distribution points without setting up them as secondary servers.

Software Management

Here you have been working the last six years convincing customers to move from user to computer based distribution because of licensing, and now Microsoft is starting to talk about User Centric distribution. Don’t be alarmed it’s not as drastic as you think, it’s almost genius. A new object will be introduced “Application”. The Application object will be advertised to the user and can contain rules how to react when the user moves between platforms and clients. For example a rule could say that the application should only be installed on clients where the user is inventoried by ConfigMgr as the TopUser of the computer. If then the user temporary is logging on to a colleagues computer the application will not be installed there. Rules could also be defined for different software installation when moving between different platforms like mobile and Desktop Services. I will describe this new object in much more detail´s in later posts.


ConfigMgr vNext will deliver a Self-Service Portal. The user will be able to enter a portal and install available applications instantly. The application object mentioned earlier will contain the application details that will be shown in the portal as well have multi-language support for the application details. It will also be basic approver functionality for application that has a high cost. But in reality this should be connected to Service Manager and I hope that Patrik will show how this could be done in a later post as soon as the first ConfigMgr vNext beta is released.

This was a sum up of what’s coming on the ConfigMgr horizon. As soon as I get my hands on the beta I promise to give you some more reflections.


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