With the release of System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager Service Pack, Microsoft has brought a lot of new improvements and much needed tweaks for ConfigMgr 2012 R2.

The official Microsoft list of changes can be found here. But i would like to point out my top favorite changes that i found so far:

Operating System Deployment:

  • You can now configure retry options for when a computer unexpectedly restarts during the Install Application or Install Software Updates task sequence steps.

This must be the most practical thing ever. I had tons of problems where a simple network failure made the OSD to fail and i had to manually go back and reset the whole process.

While it doesn’t take much time, it is always better to have process automated and have a retry feature.

OSD New Retry Feature

OSD New Retry Feature

On the same note support for Windows 10 to compatible devices has been added.

Site & Hierarchies

Improvements to automatic client upgrade:

  • You can now exclude servers from automatic client upgrade.

This removes a lot of pain of having servers installing clients at bad timings and potentially causing problems.

Turn-Off Automatic Client Update

Turn-Off Automatic Client Update

Application Management

  • When you revise an application, the new revision now inherits all dependencies from the previous revision.

This was more of a “bug fix” than a new feature since it should have always worked as this, and all new reversions should have inherited dependencies instead of always going in by hand and doing the same work twice.

Preferred Management Points

Preferred management points enable a client to identify and prefer to communicate with a management point that is associated with its current network location (or boundary). When configured, a client attempts to use a preferred management point from its assigned site before using a management point from its assigned site that is not configured as preferred.

To use this option you must enable it for the hierarchy, and configure boundary groups at individual primary sites to include the management points that should be associated with that boundary group’s associated boundaries.

This is done the same way you would assign distribution points and state migration points to a boundary group.

  • Go to Administration
    • Site Configuration
      • Site
  • Click on Hierarchy Settings
  • Click on General Tab
    • select Clients prefer to use management points specified in boundary groups and click Ok.
Preferred Management Points

Preferred Management Points

After you enabled this option in Site Config, you need to go to:

  • Go to Administration
    • Hierarchy Configuration
      • Boundary Groups
  • Create a new boundary group or select an existing one and select Properties
    • Click on Reference tab (Notice that the text has been modified to add Management Points to the list of site system servers)
      • Click Add and select your desired management points just like selecting Preferred Distribution Points.
Preferred Management Points Setup

Preferred Management Points Setup

When preferred management points are configured and a client organizes its list of management points, the client places the preferred management points at the top of its list of Assigned management points (which includes all management points from the client’s assigned site).

This enables the client to try to use a preferred management point before using management points from its assigned site that are not configured as preferred.

 

There are a lot of other new features, especially for in-tune but since i do not have it set-up yet in my organization i am still new to it.

But other changes of note are:

  • New/Updated Default Reports
  • New Filters for Import Driver feature in Task Sequence
  • Deployment Verification
  • Heap of In-tune modifications

 

Follow on Feedly