Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 WOL Proxy Feature Overview

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 includes a new feature named WOL Proxy. ConfigMgr (or SCCM) has had a wake-on-LAN solution since ConfigMgr 2007 for appropriately flagged deployments. ConfigMgr WOL runs in one of two modes: subnet-directed broadcast or unicast. ConfigMgr customers found that unicast did not work once the clients’ routers had dropped their MAC address (typically after 4 hours). Subnet-directed broadcasts only worked if routers were set to propagate subnet-directed broadcasts, which is normally not the case due to security concerns. Therefore ConfigMgr 2012 WOL was generally found to not be practical in production.

The SP1 ConfigMgr WOL Proxy addresses the unicast weakness by ensuring that at least one client on each subnet has the MAC addresses for all its peers and is ready to send magic packets in response to the unicast packets. It never drops the MAC addresses and therefore should be ready at any time.

WOL Proxy is a good concept but in this version both the community’s and 1E’s observations are that the proxies have several weaknesses for most organizations. Security weaknesses are the most obvious, but amongst other issues the current implementation is also very counter-productive if you have a computer power management strategy in place. We’re pleased to see Microsoft improve their WOL solution for some organizations but we encourage you to consider whether this implementation will work in your environment considering the details in the linked document.

WOL

For organizations that use 1E NightWatchman, or are considering doing so, we also detail how this feature compares with NightWatchman’s Wake-on-LAN (WOL) feature (also known as WakeUp).

Paul Thomsen | Associate Product Manager

To discuss any issues surrounding the SP1 WOL Proxy feature, or 1E’s Wake-on-LAN solution, visit our LinkedIn forum, 1E INSIDEV1EW or email info@1e.com.

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This entry was posted in 1E Products, ConfigMgr, Insidev1ew, NightWatchman, SCCM, Systems Management and tagged by Paul Thomsen. Bookmark the permalink.
Paul Thomsen

About Paul Thomsen

Paul Thomsen is an Associate Product Manager at 1E following two and a half years at the company as a Solutions Engineer working directly with many organizations of all sizes. Prior to that Paul worked at Microsoft for 12 years, eight of which were as a senior ConfigMgr Engineer for the teams serving Microsoft IT (300,000 clients) and others. That included “dogfooding” many versions of ConfigMgr. For his first few years at Microsoft, Paul was a technical writer on the ConfigMgr (SCCM) product team. His career has been primarily IT-focused but has included several years as an application developer. Paul has been active in the ConfigMgr community for over 15 years, including presenting at many conferences, blogging at myITforum.com, writing the SMS column for BackOffice magazine for three years, and contributing to several SMS/ConfigMgr books.

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