Create structure in your MECM (SCCM) console !UPDATED!

The MECM console is the place where you do all of your operational tasks. Deploying windows OS and updates, creating and deploying applications, creating user and device collections, task sequences, running scripts, monitoring and much more.
In order to keep a good overview it is important to create structure within your MECM (SCCM) console, so everyone knows where to find what.
This post will describe a way to structure the MECM console.

The console is divided in Workplaces:

  • Assets and Compliance
  • Software Library
  • Monitoring
  • Administration
  • Community

Lets put it in action

You can create a good structure to keep a good overview and also create a universal workflow for your admin colleagues. Lets create a structure in these workplaces sections:

Assets and Compliance

User Collections

Start by creating 2 root folders:

1. Query Collections
2. Deployment Collections

The Query Collections is the place to put al sorts of user query collections. The Deployment Collections are made for the fact that you can deploy available applications only to Users and not to Devices.

Create the following subfolders in root folder 1. Query Collections:

User-AD Group
User-Custom
User-Organizational Unit


Create the subfolder Application Management in root folder 2. Deployment Collections. Then the subfolders in Application Management:

MacOS
Windows

The MacOS AND Windows subfolders are created because you can also deploy MacOS applications with the tool Parallels MAC Management. If you only deploy Windows applications to certain users you can create the Windows folder only.

Create the following subfolders in the folders MacOS and Windows:

01.Testing
02.Acceptation
03.Production

Within the folders above you can create collections to deploy available applications. In the testing folder collections you deploy applications to test and see if everything of the application works properly. If a key user or key users want to accept the application you can deploy the available application to the collection in the Acceptation folder. After testing and acceptation you can deploy the application to all the users in a collection in the Production folder.

The naming convention of all collections will represent the location of the folders in the console.

Collection name: U-DC-AM-ACC-Notepad++

U = User Collections
DC = Deployment Collections
AM = Application Management
ACC = Acceptation (Testing TST or Production PRD)
Notepad++ = Name of the deployed application, baseline, operating system, etc

Device Collections

Start by creating 2 root folders:

1. Query Collections
2. Deployment Collections

The Query Collections are the place to put al sorts of device query collections. The Deployment Collections are made for the fact that you can deploy required applications only to Devices and not to Users.

Create the following subfolders in root folder 1. Query Collections:

System-AD Group
System-BIOS
System-Custom
System-Model
System-Operating System
System-Organizational Unit
System-State
System-Type

System-AD Group = Here you can create query collections based on Active Directory groups.
System-BIOS = Here you can create query collection based on BIOS versions.
System-Custom = Here you can create custom query collection you made yourself.
System-Model = Here you can create query collections based on Model types of devices.
System-Operating System = Here you can create query collections based on OS versions.
System-Organizational Unit = Here you can create query collections based on OU membership.
System-State = Here you can create query collections based on the system state (pending reboot, etc) .
System-Type = Here you can create query collections based on system type (servers, desktops, laptops)


Create the following subfolders in the folder System-Operating System:

macOS
Windows

If you only gave got Windows Operating systems you can only add Windows off course.


Create the following subfolders in root folder 2. Deployment Collections:

Application Management
Baselines
Device Client Settings
Operating System Deployment
Power Plans
Software Updates

Application Management = Here you can create collections to deploy required applications to devices.
Baselines = Here you can create collections to deploy baselines.
Device Client Settings = Here you can create collections to deploy Client Settings.
Operating System Deployment = Here you van create collections to deploy applications to required.
Power Plans = Here you can create collections with power plans.
Software Updates = Here you can create your collections with Update deployments.

Create the following subfolders in folder Application Management:

MacOS
Windows

If you only manage Windows Operating systems you can only add Windows off course.

Create the following subfolders in the folders MacOS and Windows:

01.Testing
02.Acceptation
03.Production

Within the folders above you can create collections to deploy required applications to devices. In the testing folder collections you deploy applications to test and see if everything of the application works properly. If a key user or key users want to accept the application on lets say student pc you can deploy the required application to the collection in the Acceptation folder. After testing and acceptation you can deploy the required application to all the devices in a collection in the Production folder.

Create the following subfolders in folder Operating System Deployment:

00.Development
01.Testing
02.Acceptation
03.Production


Create the subfolders macOS and Windows in folder Software Updates and in these folders the subfolders:

01.Testing
02.Accepation
02.Production


Within the folders above you can create collections to deploy software updates (windows, office) to devices. In the testing folder collections you deploy software updates to test and see if everything of the update works properly. If a key user or key users want to accept the updates you can deploy the required updates to the collection in the Acceptation folder. After testing and acceptation you can deploy the required updates to all the devices in a collection in the Production folder.

Software Library

Application Management – Applications

Create the folders macOs and Windows.

If you only manage Windows Operating systems you can only add Windows off course.

Create the following subfolders in the folders macOS and Windows:

01.Testing
02.Acceptation
03.Production
04.Retired


Within the folders above you can put applications based on the stage of deployment they are in. In the testing folder you can put applications to test and see if everything works properly. If a key user or key users want to accept the application you can move the application to the Acceptation folder. After testing and acceptation you can move the application to the Production folder. If an application is retired you can move it to the folder Retired.

Application Management – Packages

Create the following folders in Packages:

Client Package
Driver Installers
Firmware
Language Packs
Retired
Scripts
Settings
Tools

Packages are often used in the OSD task sequence to deploy scripts, toolkits, settings, language packs, etc.

Client Package = Here you can place the MECM client packages.
Driver Installers = Here you can place driver installers if needed.
Firmware = Here you can place firmware update tools and firmware versions.
Language Packs = Here you can place the LP packages.
Retired = Here you can place retired packages.
Scripts = Here you can place script packages that you want to use in the OSD.
Settings = Here you can place deployment settings.
Tools = Here you can place tools you want to use in the OSD.

Operating Systems – Operating System Images

Create the folders macOS and Windows and in these folders the subfolders:

Retired
Build and Capture
Original


Retired = Here you can place the images you don’t use anymore.
Build and Capture = Here you can place your B and C image if you have one.
Original = Here you can place an original OS image.

Operating Systems – Task Sequences

Create the following folders:

01.Testing
02.Acceptation
03.Production
04.Retired


Within the folders above you can put TS based on the stage of deployment they are in. In the testing folder you can put TS to test and add new steps and see if everything works properly. If you want to accept something that you added in the TS Acceptation folder lets say an application or setting. After testing and acceptation you can move the TS to the Production folder. If aYS is retired you can move it to the folder Retired.

Powershell script

To create al of the folders and collections above is quite some work. Well luckily there is PowerShell.

I found a great PowerShell script based on a csv file that you can edit if you want to change something. This script also allows you to add a root folder. Could be useful when you have got different departments using the same console.

Special thanks to Mark Allen who created the script.

I modified this script by adding a 4th child directory and the csv so you can use it to create the folders I described in the blog above.

You can download the PowerShell script and CSV from GitHub here.

If the Configuration Manager hierarchy is not shared or divided into organisational units then you can execute the following command in PowerShell.

1.\Folders-MECM-CSV.ps1 -SiteCode %sitecode% -Path %PathToCSVFile%

If you have a shared hierarchy or maintain separation between organisational units then you can add the -CustDirectory parameter to the command line. This will create a top level folder in the root node of each object type and create the sub folders within.

1.\Folders=MECM-CSV.ps1 -SiteCode %sitecode% -Path %PathToCSVFile% -CustDirectory PST



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