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Enterprise Mobility + Security


Hello everyone! We typically release only one technical preview each month, but this time we had so many things we wanted to share, we added a second one for June and labeled it 1806.2. Today’s release of update 1806.2 for the Technical Preview Branch of System Center Configuration Manager has three exciting improvements to phased deployments.

Phased deployments allow for a controlled, automated rollout of software across more than one collection. They are designed to decrease the overhead that this kind of rollout requires and eventually decrease the number of collections and deployments that are required to mitigate risk and distribute the network load associated with deployments. This extension of our deployment model is intended first and foremost to make an automated deployment system for Windows and Office upgrades more achievable. In 1806.2 Technical Preview we have added three new important pieces of functionality in this area that we hope will bring phased deployments closer than ever to that goal.

Phased deployment status – Phased deployments now have a native monitoring experience. From the Deployments node in Monitoring, select a phased deployment, and then click Phased Deployment Status from the ribbon.

Phased deployment of applications – Create phased deployments for applications in your environment. Previously phased deployments were only available for task sequences. Support for applications drastically increases the possibilities in terms of how these deployments can be used.

Gradual rollout during phased deployments – During a phased deployment, the rollout in each phase now happens gradually to mitigate the risk of deployment issues and decrease the load on the network caused by the distribution of content to clients. The software deployed will be made available gradually depending on the configuration for each phase. Every client in a phase will have a deadline relative to the time the software is made available to that client. The time window between the available time and deadline is the same for all clients in a phase.

Try it out and let us know what you think about it.

Additional new features in this preview release include:

Modern Management

Management Insights for proactive maintenance – Additional management insights are available in this release to highlight potential configuration issues.

Mobile apps for co-managed devices – Manage mobile apps with Microsoft Intune while continuing to use Configuration Manager to deploy Windows desktop applications.

Microsoft 365 Adoption

Support for new Windows app package formats – Configuration Manager now supports the deployment of new Windows 10 app package (.msix) and app bundle (.msixbundle) formats. The latest Windows Insider Preview builds currently support these new formats.

Streamlined Infrastructure

New boundary group options for optimized P2P behaviors – Boundary groups now include additional settings to give you more control over content distribution in your environment.

Miscellaneous Improvements

Third-party software updates support for custom catalogs – You can now manage custom third-party software update catalogs from the Configuration Manager console.

Compliance 9 – Overall health and compliance (Report) – This report returns the overall client health and compliance data for a specific software update group and collection.

Update 1806.2 for Technical Preview Branch is available in the Configuration Manager Technical Preview console. It has a prerequisite that the latest servicing update for SQL Server 2012 Native Client be installed on the site server. See Known Issues in the Technical Preview for more information.

For new installations please use the 1806 baseline version of Configuration Manager Technical Preview Branch available on TechNet Evaluation Center. Technical Preview Branch releases give you an opportunity to try out new Configuration Manager features in a test environment before they are made generally available.

We would love to hear your thoughts about the latest Technical Preview!  Send us Feedback directly from the console.  You may also use our feedback channels through the Feedback Hub app for product issues, and our UserVoice page for ideas about new features.

Thanks,

The System Center Configuration Manager team

Configuration Manager Resources:

Documentation for System Center Configuration Manager Technical Previews

Try the System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview Branch

Documentation for System Center Configuration Manager

System Center Configuration Manager Forums

System Center Configuration Manager Support