Feb
15

Who is using the computer?

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With the upcoming ConfigMgr vNext beta approaching I want to give some reflections of the functionality that exist today in ConfigMgr 2007 that will be even more used in ConfigMgr vNext. Starting with the Asset Intelligence top user functionality.

One of the largest issues when implementing an asset management system or helpdesk system is to fetch the information of the computer-to-user mapping. The most common way is to set this manually, but this is hard to maintain correctly in the long run because this kind of information is dynamic. Computers could be borrowed between co-workers or moved between departments without IT is notified. There were an last-logged-on-user inventory entry before (and it’s still present…) but that inventory are based on what specific user was logged on to the computer during the actual inventory execution on the client, and if nobody was logged on at that time the entry was empty. So it wasn’t a trustworthy source getting this information. But with the introduction of Asset Intelligence in ConfigMgr a possible solution for this issue was released that not everyone is aware of exists. In this post I will try to describe this functionality in more detail and how this is enabled.

By evaluating logon and logoff events Asset Intelligence calculates the number of times a user has been logged on to the computer as well as the total amount of time in minutes that the user has been logged on to the computer. All this information gathered with time limit of data within the last 90 days, this is then sent as a part of hardware inventory and made available in reports and for use by external products like asset/helpdesk systems. Below is a short description how you enabled this in your environment:

Enable to audit successfully account logon events on computers

  1. Applying the settings below manually or using an group policy

Enable Asset Intelligence in ConfigMgr console

  1. Open ConfigMgr Console
  2. Expand Site Database – Computer Management
  3. Right-Click Asset Intelligence and Select Enable
  4. Select Enable only…. And check reporting classes SMS_SystemConsoleUsage and SMS_SystemConsoleUser then click OK
  5. Click YES in the warning dialog (The extra resources this takes has not caused any problems from my experience even for very large customers)
  6. Finished

At the next hardware inventory the inventory will be populated with this information. If you haven’t had the policy to audit successfully account logon events enabled for an long time it can take different amount of times dependant on the hardware inventory frequency getting in the information into the inventory. This information is then used by ConfigMgr to populate a row for each computer with the TopUser for the computer based on the total logon count and total time where total time has precedence. This information can also be fetched in reports or queries by accessing the SQL view v_GS_SYSTEM_CONSOLE_USAGE.

The SQL view v_GS_SYSTEM_CONSOLE_USER makes it possible to see all users that has logged on to a specific computer to make a top list of the users based on your own criteria. It’s also possible to get a list of all computers a users has been logged on to the last 90 days.

Some of the ConfigMgr 2007 built-in reports are:

  • Hardware 03A – Primary computer users
  • Hardware 03B – Computers for a specific primary console user
  • Hardware 04A – Shared (multi-user) computers
  • Hardware 05A – Console users on a specific computer

As you can imagine the potential are huge making dynamic solutions based on this.

Comments

  1. Dan says:

    Hi,

    This is very useful. Will the Top User filed be imported over the SCCM Connector in SCSM?

    After following your guidance, will it pupulate the Primary User field on the property sheet of a computer object in SCSM?

    BR.,
    Dan

  2. Jonas Ullman says:

    Hi Dan,

    In the SCSM beta version available today TopUser is not a part of the ConfigMgr Connector import data, but as the product not yet has gone RTM it’s still possible for changes. But in either scenario the data could be imported using an scheduled workflow instead.

    Brg
    Jonas

  3. Patrik Sundqvist says:

    Now that Service Manager has gone RTM we can confirm that the information is collected by Service Manager.

    /Patrik

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