Supercharge ConfigMgr Q&A

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On Wednesday, May 24th, Kent Agerlund, Microsoft Regional Director & Mobility MVP, Principal Consultant and Partner at CTGlobal and our very own Adrian Todd looked at how to Supercharge ConfigMgr.  Using real-world customer examples, they highlighted how systems management solutions built on ConfigMgr can be enhanced to easily manage the many urgent and relentless challenges faced by IT teams today.

There were some questions raised at the end of the webinar that we answered:

Question: When building questions with Tachyon how are you able to get data back from endpoints to test what you are developing?
Answer: We demonstrated using the Tachyon Instruction Management Studio (TIMS), which is a sandboxed Tachyon Agent and it behaves in the same way as a real Tachyon Agent would when it is deployed.  This gives the developer the ability to interactively develop complete instruction sequences and data formatting options to fully design and test instructions on the fly.

Question: What level of skill do you need to be able to develop an instruction for Tachyon or create a Product Pack?
Answer: Typically a third level admin would be familiar with scripting and using SQL. Anyone familiar with those concepts and those skills would be able to create new instructions for Tachyon. Help is also available through the 1E Community.  We have set up the Tachyon Exchange where the community can find Tachyon Product Packs and share their own Tachyon Instructions with other 1E community members.  This is also a great place to share experiences and ask questions with other community members.

Question: Can PowerShell be used in Tachyon when creating Instructions?
Answer: Yes, we fully support PowerShell scripts.  You can also run a PowerShell.exe from the command line.  We also support Bash, which enables Tachyon to be fully cross-platform and allows it to interact with not only Windows devices, but also UNIX, Linux, MAC etc.

Question: What happens if a client is offline when questions are asked? How is that handled within Tachyon?
Answer: Endpoints that are offline or switched off will check with the Tachyon server when they come back online to see if any still “active” instructions require a response.  This ensures that all devices can catch up with all the active instructions targeted at them. This functionality is called “Catch-up”.

Question: Does “Catch-up” also allow you to look at historic information from that client within Tachyon?
Answer: Yes, the interaction is live at the point when an instruction arrives at the endpoint.  Any questions that you ask that are still “active” will be handled in exactly the same way and that includes accessing historic information.

Question: Can I use Tachyon to help me assess my Windows 10 rollout readiness.
Answer: Yes, we have developed an assessment script that can be executed via Tachyon to help with that. It provides you with a breakdown of the state of the endpoints.  It details things like: Does it support UEFI? Does it support Device Guard etc.? This information is then presented back to the user and can also be used with our CM integration it can be used to create CM Collections based on those categories. This then allows you to work within that group of endpoints to perform specific tasks as part of your Windows 10 rollout.

Question: Is it possible to use Tachyon to investigate what went wrong when trying to roll out new software?
Answer: Tachyon was designed to investigate any type of information on the endpoint. This includes parsing log files to look for specific keywords in an application installation log file. You can then ask a follow on question to perform a further investigation and even run a follow-up action to remediate against the suspected cause of the problem.  An example of how this works is shown here on the Tachyon Exchange.

Question: Can I use the data returned by Tachyon in my own reports or in another format? How can I get at this data?Answer: Tachyon provides the ability to export results from the Tachyon Explorer console. This can then be easily imported into other tools like Excel or Splunk for further analysis.

Question: Will Tachyon help to resolve issues where end users report having problems with an application.
Answer: In ConfigMgr there are a lot of WMI classes that are used for the normal operation of the SCCM client. Tachyon provides the ability to interact with those namespaces and find out where it is stuck.

Question: With everything we have seen today there has been a heavy focus on Microsoft Windows. How would Tachyon help organizations with other types of devices to manage?
Answer: Tachyon’s single Agent is cross-compiled and supports multiple operating systems from Windows XP and above, UNIX, Linux, MAC, Solaris, Android and others.

Question: Do you validate the Tachyon user’s credentials before allowing them to interact with endpoints?
Answer: Yes. We designed Tachyon to make it easier for an administrator to perform an investigation and remediating actions but in a very safe and controlled environment.  With great power comes great responsibility. We mitigate against that risk with what we call “operational safeguards”.  We implement role-based access control and also provide two-factor authentication where this is required. In addition, each instruction is recorded in the Tachyon Audit Log showing every question and action performed.

Question: Is Tachyon seen as a replacement for SCCM?
Answer: Not at all. As Kent Agerlund said, “If you aren’t using SCCM you aren’t managing IT correctly.  ConfigMgr does a fabulous job and it will be here for a very long time.  Tachyon is a very good add-on but it won’t be replacing SCCM.”

Tachyon was designed to complement and enhance SCCM.  It provides a faster way to interact with your IT estate to help you when you need answers quickly.  Gartner calls this approach to IT management as “Bimodal IT”.

In our latest Gartner-1E newsletter, you can register for free access to this Gartner research entitled “How to Achieve Enterprise Agility With a Bimodal Capability”.  Register now to find out how to manage uncertainty better and establish more IT agility.

To rewatch the webinar, head on over to our Resources page.  Also, don’t forget to check out the Tachyon product page.

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