How to add computers listed in a text file to a device collection

How to add computers listed in a text file to a device collection

How to add computers listed in a text file to a device collectionUsing the new ConfigMgr 2012 PowerShell cmdlets, there are three different ways to add computers to a device collection. Just like in the console, you can add computers via a direct membership rule (Add-CMDeviceCollectionMembershipRule), a query membership rule (Add-CMDeviceCollectionQueryMembershipRule) and also an include collection membership rule (Add-CMDeviceCollectionIncludeMembershipRule). In order to use these cmdlets, the collection already needs to be created. In my previous post on my own blog, How to quickly create Collections using New-CMDeviceCollection, I demonstrated one way of creating device collections based off of a for loop and using each loop as an index number in the collection name.

In this post, since we will be reading a list of computers from a text file, we will use the direct membership rule cmdlet Add-CMDeviceCollectionMembershipRule to add them to the device collection. Using this cmdlet, you can add a device resource object to one or more device collections. Since collection names are unique in CM 12, it is easiest to reference the collection that you want to add objects to using the -CollectionName parameter.  For the device that we are trying to add, the easiest way is to get the resource ID and use the -ResourceId parameter. We can get the resource ID of a device called PC01 using the Get-CMDevice cmdlet.

Disclaimer:
Your use of these example scripts or cmdlets is at your sole risk. This information is provided “as-is”, without any warranty, whether express or implied, of accuracy, completeness, fitness for a particular purpose, title or non-infringement. I shall not be liable for any damages you may sustain by using these examples, whether direct, indirect, special, incidental or consequential. That said, enjoy!

Continue reading at Mike’s personal blog.

Mike Terrill | Systems Management Practice Lead

To explore this issue further, or discuss other industry challenges, contact us at info@1e.com, or join our LinkedIn forum, 1E INSIDEV1EW.

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third party platform support

Third Party Platform Support


third party platform supportWe’re often asked by customers about platform support for the technologies that we work with. People often want to know when we will support the next version of that platform. Right now we’re getting asked about things like:

“Do you support Windows 8.1?” or “When will you support SCCM 2012 R2?”.

The answer is different, depending on the sort of customer you are. There are three main groups of people when it comes to this answer.

1. RTM (Release to Market): If you’re a fairly technically conservative organization and only want to install something that has been fully and officially market launched, with documentation, product sheets etc, we commit to supporting that new platform (such as a new version of Windows) in a RTM release no later than 90 days after the 3rd party RTMs their product.

2. RTS (Release to Support): If you’re really keen to get access to the latest and greatest, then when the product is technically ready (Dev & QA complete), we produce a version that is quietly released, called an RTS (also known as “going gold” in the industry). This will be available prior to the main product RTM release. If you want to get your hands on this, please reach out to 1E Support.

3. Beta: Some people like to get their hands on our software really early on, be playing with it in their lab & feeding back in the test cycle. We’re happy to open our doors to these folks and welcome them in. So if you’d like to be involved – please reach out to support and tell us that you’re happy to participate in a beta program for the product.

We offer these three different levels of platform support, because everyone’s expectations are different. Working with some of the worlds largest organizations has taught us that enterprise software is always more complex than you think – you can’t just do a couple of days test and slap a “certified” logo on it and yet some people like to see it ASAP. We’re offering options for whichever end of the spectrum you are on.

Kind Regards

Geoff Collins | VP Technology

P.S There’s another group called “customer sponsor”, where we work directly with a customer from the inception through to release, showcasing it as we go through the development. Sometimes these are customer funded features, sometimes these are general items, that a customer is really keen to work with us on. We’re always open to conversations – please reach out.

To discuss Platform Support and related issues, contact us at info@1e.com, or join our industry discussion forum on LinkedIn, 1E INSIDEV1EW.

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Ealing Equality Council and 1E

Ealing Equality Council and 1E

Ealing Equality Council and 1EAt 1E we don’t just think it’s important to give something back to the local community, we enjoy it too. In fact, 20% of our employees do something charitable on company time at least once a week. One example is Barbara Karayi, Director and Board Member at 1E, who has volunteered as a case worker at a legal advice service in Ealing, west London, for two and a half years.

The Ealing Equality Council offers free legal advice, community advice, and hate crime support to local residents. As a charity it relies on generous donations, which allow it to employ two full-time and two part-time staff, and is supported by a large pool of volunteers throughout the week, and at drop-in clinics every other Saturday. As Ealing lacks a Citizens Advice Bureau, EEC is the area’s premier source of free legal advice to residents.

“An average day – if such a thing exists! – will involve speaking with around 15 clients, either by telephone or face-to-face. Around half of those have issues that can be resolved there and then, the other half will have cases that are a bit more complex, and require repeat visits,” says Barbara.

“I advise on a wide range of issues, such as benefits and welfare, housing issues including evictions and rogue landlords, and some immigration cases. As we don’t turn anyone away, we do come across illegal immigrants, trafficked people and undocumented British people.

“There is a constant flow of information between our volunteers, and we talk a lot, as it is important we communicate effectively with each other to remain informed about changes, client communication, and so on.

“Our work is about levelling the playing field. Our society is skewed against the powerless and the poor. Sadly, we are ever busier due to the closure of other local resources as a result of Government cutbacks, and the lack of availability of affordable rented accommodation.”

In addition to their client facing work, EEC is heavily involved in the debate at a higher policy level, through seminars, policy work, and meeting with officials. Recently, to mark Hate Crime Awareness Week, London’s Deputy Mayor Stephen Greenhalgh, of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, met two EEC clients. The event was a big success, with Borough Commander of Hounslow, deputy leader of the council, and the director of EEC also in attendance.

With its historic roots in promoting racial equality, EEC believe it is vitally important to offer a service which meets the specific needs of different hate crime victims: victims of race hate crime, faith hate crime, homophobic or transphobic attacks, and those targeted because of their  disability, learning disability or mental health issues (a growing national issue of concern). For this reason EEC are partners in the Hounslow Hate Crime Support Service, which aims to provide support to individuals who feel they have been the target of hate crime, and raising awareness and increasing prevention of hate crime within the community.

As well as Barbara, other 1E staff have gotten involved with EEC; for example Andrew French lent his expertise with IT, whilst Kapil Batra and his team helped build the organisation a new website. Further to that, last year 1E was delighted to provide a £10,000 donation.

Ealing Equality Council marks its 50th anniversary this year, and its work has never been more vital, nor appreciated.

Matt Lewis | Digital Marketing Program Manager

To learn more about the Ealing Equality Council, and to speak to them regarding either donations or volunteering time and expertise, visit http://ealingequalitycouncil.org.uk/.

To stay abreast of 1E’s community activity, and life at the company beyond our business activity, join our 1E Community groups on Facebook and LinkedIn, and follow us on Twitter.

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What Constitutes Proof of Entitlement?

What Constitutes Proof of Entitlement?

What Constitutes Proof of Entitlement?Perhaps if we examine a definition of proof of entitlement, then we can further qualify the statement below:

“Proof of entitlement is the necessary evidence a software vendor requires of a client to demonstrate their rights to install and use software.”

Suitably ambiguous for you?! Perhaps so, however if you think of the number of software vendors you deal with, each one will ask for different items depending on the software title in question. Some typical examples of evidence might include:

Software Licenses: The most obvious example, however most software vendors will insist on supporting evidence to demonstrate a sale took place to back up a license document – equally, many purchases of software won’t necessarily come with a gilt-embossed piece of parchment offering unquestioning rights to use.

Contracts: Vital pieces of evidence, not least in drilling down into the finer points of deployment and use. Standard licensing terms and conditions could be superseded by such documents, and so are worthy of secure storage and retrieval within a document management system.

Invoices/Receipts/Purchase Orders: Many software vendors will request some evidence of a financial transaction having taken place. Arguments have been made as to the relative value of Purchase Orders vs. Receipts etc.

Certificates of Authenticity (CoA): In the Microsoft world, part of the overall evidence required to demonstrate certain installs of software. In isolation, a CoA is not a license, merely a sticker to verify that an installation of Microsoft software is the genuine article.  However, it is required in support of the license to cover the relevant software installed.  DO NOT peel these off and attempt to keep them in a safe place!

Packaging/Documentation: Depending on the retail channel you go down, you may have boxes, and supporting documentation that you are required to retain AND original media also.

Emails/License Keys: More for auditory purposes, such emails can demonstrate that a license key was emailed from an authorized source.

Will scans do? For the purposes of expediting an audit, possibly so – but have the original documentation to fall back on – software vendors are not duty bound to accept scans; after all you could have been getting creative in a graphics package to generate the scan.

This list is not exhaustive, so check with your supplier/software vendor as to what evidence should be required; Proof of entitlement could even vary within one software vendor’s portfolio if their product set is wide enough.

Rory Canavan | Director, ITAM Services

To discuss any issues surrounding Proof of Entitlement with our experts, email info@1e.com, or visit our LinkedIn forum, 1E INSIDEV1EW. You can also follow us on Twitter @1E_Global.

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Migrating to Windows 7 - Why are large organizations so slow?

Migrating to Windows 7 – Why are large organizations so slow?

Migrating to Windows 7 - Why are large organizations so slow?Why are large organizations so slow at moving to the latest Windows Operating System (OS)? Most did not move to Vista and many are still on Windows XP as the Microsoft deadline to migrate, or face prohibitively expensive custom support agreement, is getting dangerously close. Windows 7 is widely believed to be a significant upgrade over XP and most users have experienced it at home, so why hasn’t IT upgraded the organization to it already?

We, at 1E, believe there are five major factors which prevent IT from staying current in terms of the Operating System, and many other technologies. I discuss each factor in a two-part article series for The Huffington Post, and suggest potential alternatives. Our understanding comes from the work we have done with more than 1500 organizations over the last 15 years, with a good deal of expertise in helping large firms migrating to Windows 7.

The five factors are perceived risk of automation, disruptive additional effort, disproportional cost versus benefit, proliferating complexity, and lack of skills and tools to achieve automation benefits. Click here to read part one, which covers the first three, whilst the final two risks are covered in part two here.

Having spent time talking to some of the largest organizations, there is an overwhelming need for enduring value from investments in IT itself. If this is established as a goal, then the technologies, skills and processes developed for OS migration can be applied to achieve a constant state of readiness; a state in which virtually any change can be implemented across the Windows estate rapidly and with minimal cost. That way the next time the business wants change, IT is not holding it back.

You can keep up with my guest posts for The Huffington Post via my author page.

Sumir Karayi | CEO

You can follow 1E on Twitter @1E_Global, on FacebookGoogle+, and LinkedIn. Why not join our two LinkedIn discussion groups, 1E INSIDEV1EW and 1E Community too?

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software-vendor

Three reasons why a software vendor may come knocking

software-vendorThe principle of cause and effect has been well documented in many walks of life, and so it should come as no surprise that within the realm of software asset management certain triggers can kick-start a flurry of activity within the Ivory Towers of many a software vendor.

So what three drivers can the lowly IT Manager watch out for to get his/her house in order?

Merger/Demerger

Many software vendors will lick their lips at the prospect of a company going through a merger/de-merger.  Typically, because of how IT is perceived as an OPEX (written off) expenditure within business circles, it is not viewed as an asset to be divided appropriately and accounted for.  Additionally, the smaller organisation will be a new legal entity, and so not have rights to the existing agreement of the parent company from which it was spawned

Audited by other Software Vendors

The world of SAM is microscopic when compared to accounting, marketing or any other tranche of business you might care to mention.  So if Vendor A has been knocking at your door and scored a sizeable settlement for an unkempt IT estate, word will get through the auditing community which could kick-start another vendor to come knocking.

Massive Growth, but no increase in software spend

Financial returns via the Inland Revenue/ IRS are matters of public record; a quick comparison of previous year’s returns compared to the latest financial year will determine that if vastly improved profits have not been proportionately matched by IT spend, then perhaps it might be time for an audit.

These are just three flags that an IT Manager can potentially watch out for to prepare for software vendor audits.  In the immortal words of Mr Miyagi, the best way to avoid a punch is “not to be there”.

Rory Canavan | Director, ITAM Services

To discuss any issues mentioned in this article with our experts, email info@1e.com, or visit our LinkedIn forum, 1E INSIDEV1EW.

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University of Warwick Undergraduate Scholarship

1E Launches University of Warwick Undergraduate Scholarship

University of Warwick Undergraduate ScholarshipThe University of Warwick is committed to supporting the brightest students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. By fostering talent from non-traditional backgrounds, Warwick has gained a reputation for delivering high quality education to a richly diverse student population. However, students from non- traditional backgrounds, who are frequently the first generation of their families to go into Higher Education, often need additional support to provide them with the opportunities that will enable them to achieve their true potential.

1E has decided to invest in the future of a Warwick scholar by setting up an undergraduate scholarship. This award will provide vital support to a talented student who would struggle to finance their education otherwise. As part of the University of Warwick Undergraduate scholarship programme, the University will provide additional social, cultural and professional opportunities to ensure a full and rich educational experience.

Professor Christina Hughes, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education at the University of Warwick, said: “We are enormously grateful for the support of 1E and their commitment to students from low income families. It is essential that we continue to provide fair and open access for those wishing to enrich their lives through Higher Education and to do this we need help from our supporters and friends. 1E’s contribution to the University of Warwick Undergraduate scholarship programme will have a sizeable impact on a scholar’s life and future prospects and we are extremely appreciative of their generosity.”

1E’s Founder, Sumir Karayi, is himself an alumnus of the University of Warwick and has remained supportive of the institution since his graduation. He said of the scholarship, “Having been sponsored through Further Education myself, I have personal experience of what an incredible difference this sort of scholarship can make to a young person’s life. Furthermore, through 1E’s long-standing sponsorship of orphans in India, getting them in to education and supporting them right through to places at the University of Delhi, we’ve seen the fantastic opportunities education can offer young people, and we’d delighted to be able to expand on that in the UK through the University of Warwick Undergraduate Scholarship.”

Matt Lewis | Digital Marketing Program Manager

Keep up to date with 1E’s social activities by joining 1E Community, on either Facebook, or LinkedIn, or following us on Twitter @1E_Global.

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Achieving fully automated zero-touch Windows migration

Achieving fully automated zero-touch Windows migration

Achieving fully automated zero-touch Windows migrationWe understand how daunting deploying a new Operating system across an entire corporate estate can be, which is why we have announced a new eBook, “Zero-Touch Windows Migration,” which outlines the smartest, fastest way for IT teams to deliver new Operating Systems and migrate applications.

The eBook comes as Microsoft’s April 2014 End of Support deadline for Windows XP approaches. Companies who haven’t upgraded to Windows 7 or 8.x by this date face significant security risks and other dangers, though many struggle to identify an efficient and cost-effective way to migrate their users. 1E’s Zero Touch Migration enables late-mover organizations to not only complete their migration on time, but also as a Business-As-Usual activity, in the most cost-effective manner.

This eBook provides practical insight into how IT teams can take a zero-touch approach to a Windows migration with minimal user frustration or business disruption. This revolutionary new approach eliminates the vast majority of manual work and costly desk-side visits, while drastically improving speed and user satisfaction.

“Alternative methods for Windows migration involve an army of engineers and tens of thousands of desk-side visits for large enterprise organizations,” said 1E CEO Sumir Karayi. “Zero-Touch Windows Migration draws from lessons learned through our experience of helping many large organizations complete their Windows migrations, on time and to budget.”

“Together with 1E, for example, one organization was able to migrate 80,000 desktops, from Windows XP to Windows 7, in a little over three months, which we believe to be a record.”

The eBook, features hard lessons about large-scale application and OS migrations to enable IT teams to avoid obstacles and pitfalls, and will serve as a regular reference guide for companies looking for a solution to this looming issue.

 Highlights from the Zero-Touch Windows Migration eBook include:

  • The two biggest challenges in any Windows migration
  • The alternative options for overcoming each
  • What a zero-touch solution looks like
  • How to multiply your app and OS migration rate

The eBook is now available for free download at http://www.zerotouchwindows.com/

Su Kent | Corporate Marketing Manager

To discuss any issues surrounding Zero-Touch Windows Migration with our friendly experts, email info@1e.com, or visit our LinkedIn forum, 1E INSIDEV1EW.

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British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF)

BAAF name 1E CEO ‘Adoption Supporter of the Year’

Sumir receives BAAF awardSumir Karayi, the head of a leading IT company 1E, has been named ‘Adoption Supporter of the Year’ in recognition of nearly a decade of tireless fundraising and support to the British Association for Adoption and Fostering (BAAF).

Sumir received the honour at the National Adoption Week awards ceremony, held in London. The celebration formed part of this year’s National Adoption Week (November 4th – 10th), organised each year by BAAF to shine the spotlight on the issues surrounding adoption in the UK.

The award was given to Sumir for his personal commitment to adoption – which goes beyond even that of the corporate support from 1E. Since 2005, Sumir has been incredibly pro-active in encouraging 1E’s staff to get involved with fundraising for BAAF, as well as funding some of BAAF’s research and education programmes through his own means.

Sumir is a passionate believer in philanthropy and charitable giving – and is a man who leads by example. Over the years, he has taken on challenges as diverse as the London Marathon and eating blazing hot chicken wings in the ‘Viper Chilli Challenge’, all in the name of raising vital funds for BAAF.

Alan Wood, BAAF’s Deputy Chief Executive, said “The National Adoption Week Awards are a great opportunity to recognise all the fantastic work being carried out by adoption social workers and their agencies throughout the UK and to thank everyone who supports adoption and BAAF.”

Sumir Karayi said of receiving the award, “My support for this excellent cause is about turning around the negative statistics whereby only two per cent of children in state care go on to further education versus 50 per cent of kids that are in a family. A disproportionate number of those in state care end up in prison so it just makes sense if we can contribute to get children out of state care. It’s been great fun fundraising on behalf of BAAF, but I couldn’t have done so without the support of my wonderful family or colleagues.”

For further information on National Adoption Week, visit www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk.

To learn more about the work of BAAF, visit www.baaf.org.uk.

Matt Lewis | Digital Marketing Program Manager

Keep up to date with 1E’s social and charitable activities by joining 1E Community, on either Facebook, or LinkedIn, or following us on Twitter @1E_Global.


Nomad 2012 v5.2 - What's new in this release?

Nomad 2012 v5.2 – Enhanced Peer Backup Assistant (PBA)

Nomad 2012 v5.2 - What's new in this release?The recent release of Nomad 2012 v5.2 inspired me to update my Peer Backup Assistant (PBA) task sequences. If you’re using Nomad you might like to do the same in order to better understand PBA. And if not let us know and we’ll be pleased to show it to you.

You may know that Peer Backup Assistant does essentially what it says, backing up data to peer clients. That’s especially useful for operating system deployments when you can’t save the USMT data on the disk of the computer that is being built or upgraded and you don’t want to invest in State Migration Points. My favorite v5.2 enhancement is that we’ve expanded PBA by taking advantage of a popular Nomad v5.0 feature: Single Site Download (SSD). If you happen to have a large location with multiple network subnets at the end of a slow WAN link, such as a building in a distant country, SSD can be very handy. Nomad does a single smart download of your ConfigMgr package to the building and then thanks to SSD that copy can be shared amongst the multiple subnets. And the definition of that location (“site”, but not to be confused with a ConfigMgr site) is easily set and thus easily maintained as the building’s network changes over time.

With v5.2 we can now use the functionality underlying SSD with PBA. So when your OSD task sequence backs up the computer’s state and user data to the peers, those peers can be on multiple subnets. You just specify the maximum and minimum number of peers you want the USMT data to go to. If you specify more than are on the current subnet, the other subnets will be contacted. You don’t even have to worry about adding delay to your task sequence because the first peer to back up your data is actually the one that pushes the extra copies to other peers, so  your OSD task sequence can continue while this is happening.

I should also note that while PBA could backup to two peers prior to 5.2, you can now back up to as many as seven peers. That should be enough redundancy for anyone!

So what were my task sequence updates? When I’m testing I try to keep things as simple as possible so that I can focus on the functionality I’m working on. With PBA that means I had one task sequence to do the backup and another to do the restore. Of course I’m already using SSD in my main lab. So when I upgraded my Nomad clients to v5.2 I set a flag to let them use the single site functionality with PBA and I just added one step to my backup task sequence to backup to multiple clients. Here’s how I did it:

  1. Install the Nomad 5.2 tools on your ConfigMgr site server
  2. Install the Nomad 5.2 console extension on your ConfigMgr consoles
  3. Upgrade the clients to 5.2 with the SSPBAEnabled=1 flag set so that PBA with single site is enabled
    1. This step can also be used to enable single site and PBA on the clients if they aren’t already
  4. Create a task sequence to do a Nomad PBA backup. That’s done using the ConfigMgr task sequence editor to add these steps:
    1. Provision Nomad PBA Data Store
    2. Capture User State (USMT)
    3. Close Nomad PBA Data Store
    4. Data Store High Availability
      1. This is the new step for v5.2
      2. In this step you can specify the minimum count of backups (beyond the original one), the maximum desired (up to 6), and how many backups should be done while the task sequence waits (synchronously – the rest will be done while the task sequence continues)
      3. If I want 3 synchronous backups then the minimum count of backups must be 3 or more
      4. If the synchronous backups can’t be done then the task sequence will stop, leaving the machine as is. So that should be your ‘must have’ count of backups. The asynchronous backups are bonus backups, just in case
  5. Restore task sequence details
    1. Set a Task Sequence Variable – PBACOMPUTERNAME to %ComputerName%
    2. Locate Existing Nomad PBA Data Store
    3. Restore User State (USMT)
    4. Release Nomad PBA Data Store
  6. Reset task sequence details, for redoing the tests

See the Nomad documentation for complete details, as always. But as you can see there were just two simple changes for me to make, given that I had Nomad, PBA, and SSD working in my lab already. Even if you don’t have those, getting this working is not hard.

With those settings in place I was able to backup data from all variety of clients to as many or as few peers as I like, including on multiple subnets. Backing up to multiple clients synchronously takes a little extra time but in fact most of the backup time is USMT processing, which has to happen anyway. And with the async option the backups don’t have to delay the OS build task sequence. Restoring the data was the same as before but now there were multiple peers to choose from, sometimes on other subnets, in case any should happen to be unavailable.

One thing that I did find important was that when I tested a backup I should then do the restore, which is what you’ll do in production. Repeating a bunch of backups in a row without restoring (or at least resetting) could cause a problem, and isn’t a real-world process.

Enjoy!

Oh, and you might notice that this new version is v5.2 while the previous version was v5.0. So what happened to v5.1? v5.1 was a minor release between our quarterly release cycles and so we released it on a limited basis to those customers that needed its specific updates.

Paul Thomsen | Associate Product Manager

To discuss the PBA or the v5.2 update to Nomad 2012 with our product team, please join our LinkedIn forum, 1E INSIDEV1EW, or email us at info@1e.com.

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