ConfigMgr 1610: What’s New?

First, an update on ConfigMgr servicing. With ConfigMgr 1606, Microsoft released new installation media for ConfigMgr. This media allows you to install ConfigMgr 1606 without having to first install ConfigMgr 2012, then upgrade to 1511, then to 1606. There are also two installation options – Current Branch or LTSB. The only time you should ever pick LTSB is if you do not have Software Assurance from Microsoft. You will also be asked for the expiration date of your Software Assurance contract. Once you install 1606, you can upgrade to 1610.

ConfigMgr 1610 comes with loads of new features. For a complete list, see this Microsoft doc: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/core/plan-design/changes/whats-new-in-version-1610. I will touch on a few of the highlights in this post.

Features from Previous Tech Previews

The task sequence variable and process for doing a conversion from BIOS to UEFI made into this release. To learn about this process, see this blog post: ConfigMgr Tech Preview 1609: Convert BIOS to UEFI – (windowsmanagementexperts.com). Even though this post references a Tech Preview build, the process and variable are the same.

Also, excluding clients from automatic client upgrades and denying a previously approved application request also made it into this build. For details on both of these new features, see this blog post: ConfigMgr 1610: What’s New? – (windowsmanagementexperts.com).

Peer Cache

One of the most exciting features of 1610 is peer caching content. This concept allows for content to be shared amongst clients from their local ccmcache. This means that when client A downloads content for package B, if another client requests that content, it will get it from client A instead from a distribution point.

Note that this is a pre-release feature and must be manually enabled from the Updates and Servicing node in the ConfigMgr console.

This is configured using client settings, specifically Client Cache Settings.

capture

A few more considerations for this:

  • ConfigMgr will automatically configure local firewalls to allow for this traffic. You will have to configure firewalls at the network layer, if required.
  • The ConfigMgr network access account must have full control rights to the ConfigMgr client cache directory on all clients (usually %windir%\ccmcache). You set these permissions from group policy. ConfigMgr also allows you to set multiple network access accounts if you want to use a different account for this.

I would recommend setting up collections specifically for identifying these groups. Create a client settings policy also exclusively for this and deploy it that collection. Also, understand that clients will only get content from other clients within their boundary group.

More documentation on this new feature is available here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/core/plan-design/hierarchy/client-peer-cache.

There are a whole host new features available. Please continue to watch this blog for in-depth posts about some of them.

Disclaimer

All content provided on this blog is for information purposes only. Windows Management Experts, Inc makes no representation as to accuracy or completeness of any information on this site. Windows Management Experts, Inc will not be liable for any errors or omission in this information nor for the availability of this information. It is highly recommended that you consult one of our technical consultants, should you need any further assistance.

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