I’ve been doing some investigation into the different situations you use configuration management vs orchestration recently. A tool I’ve been looking into for orchestrating support processes, common tasks and automating fixes is Service Management Automation (SMA). It is essentially Azure Automation for the private cloud and with everything Microsoft these days, Azure Automation/SMA are of course PowerShell based and PowerShell is pretty much the best.
It seems I am terrible at following up on my ideas. I fully intended to start the new year well by keeping up with the blog, exams and personal projects… However, life has a terrible habit of getting in my way… Stupid life… (Definitely not my fault for being lazy.)
I cant complain too hard though, things have been pretty awesome. The new job is going really well and I’m so pleased I decided to grow a pair and make the move. My experience with System Center and PowerShell have immediately come to good use and I am in the process of automating a lot of stuff, which is fantastic and exactly what I wanted to do more of. On top of that, I’m being exposed to components of infrastructure that I’ve never really had the chance to, which is really exciting. The future looks really good right now 🙂
So, the holiday period was good… Catching up with family and eating far too much :P. It flew by far too quickly, which is always the case.
In other news, I’ve decided to move on from my current employer and have taken a role for a leading van hire company. I’ve worked at my current employer for pretty much all of my full time career, so the move is a scary one. At the same time, it’s exciting, and I think, a good move for my personal life as well as my career. The job is as an “Infrastructure Specialist” working primarily on in-house projects. My current job being in consultancy, taking an in-house role is a particularly exciting change for me. The reason being, in consultancy, although it can be nice to meet a variety of companies and deal with the variety of many implementations, I’m looking forward to being heavily involved with a company and their journey with IT.
So I won’t have continuous access to my System Center lab anymore and will need to rebuild elsewhere. For now, I’ve shifted my focus to a new PowerShell tool to make life easier with SCCM. I’m pretty excited about this one as it’s more complex than my last tool, however being more complex, it’s taking me a bit more time to write. Having said that… when I get my lab sorted again, I will continue the lab deployment with VMM series. At some point I really want to learn more Python/Django and I’ve started to use linux alot more so I might mix things up a bit this year.
Anyway, I’ll aim to post next week whether the tool is finished or not, so follow/subscribe for more excitingness!
The last few releases for SCCM have added small minor changes and feature updates, which have been okay but not too major. Microsoft released SCCM 1610 to Current Branch on Friday, 9/12/16 and it looks really exciting. Most significantly from my point of view they seemed to have focused on visualisation in the SCCM console with a new Software Update dashboard. They’ve also brought in an Office 365 client dashboard too to extend Office 365 support.
They have made some small but important changes to the user facing experience, enhancing both the Software Center and notifications.
A lot of these changes have come from listening to User Voice, which is really fantastic to see. Microsoft is working a lot more with the community and giving them what they want in their products :).
I’ll definitely be upgrading my environment next week and exploring some of these new features. Take a look at the other stuff mentioned on their Whats New page. On a side note.. I really do love this new approach to documentation, its so much nicer.
So the last few weeks have been fun… Getting sick myself, dealing with family sickness and a rush of projects before the end of the year have left me with little time to work on personal projects. However, I’ve pulled myself together to work another of my project ideas.
Lately, I’ve focused a lot on PowerShell and Configuration Management tools and I haven’t really given System Center much attention. I’ve started to write a Lab automation tool using PowerShell, but my company uses System Center, so I thought I’d look into the suite, primarily SCVMM, for deploying Lab environments internally.
During a conversation about automation with a colleague, we jokingly mentioned that we should automate sending insults to each other. I thought this would be a fun idea and thought it would be even better if the messenger was the classic hero, MS Clippy.
Next week on the 15th you can watch the Microsoft Tech Summit keynote live from Mexico City. The keynote is at 4pm GMT or 10am CDT and promises to full of information on the way Microsoft are directing their focus and should give us an idea on what to expect in the near future.
Make sure to sign up! – https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/techsummit/livestream.aspx
Keeping WSUS running at it’s best requires more effort than is commonly understood and without proper maintenance you might eventually start seeing nasty errors from the console.
I’ll try to run through a few of the solutions I’ve discovered and how you can use them together to keep things running smoothly. You can also use these processes to keep WSUS managed by ConfigMgr tidy 🙂
With Windows Server 2012 (WSUS 4.0), Microsoft released a PowerShell module with cmdlets for managing and automating tasks. However, quite a few people are still using WSUS 3.0 which shipped with Server 2008 R2 and unfortunately a module was not provided with this edition.