Sneak Peek – Client Status Reporting in Configuration Manager 2007 R2

Recently, I’ve been working on the documentation set for a great new feature in the upcoming Configuration Manager 2007 R2, client status reporting.

What’s client status reporting, you might ask? Those of you who’ve been around since SMS 2003 days might remember the SMS 2003 client health monitoring tool which gave you the ability to identify a number of site system and client problems on your site. This was a great tool, but had some disadvantages such as:

·        The tool stored its data in a separate database adding administrative overhead for the site administrator.

·        Client health reports could not be displayed in the SMS console; the tool used Microsoft Excel and Internet Explorer to display reports.

Client status reporting is an evolution of this tool designed to integrate with Configuration Manager 2007 R2 and provides a number of improvements over existing methods of diagnosing client status:

·        Identifies clients that are online, but are not requesting policy

·        Generates trending reports, showing client status over a period of time

·        Provides standard Configuration Manager reports to examine the status of clients

·        Identifies clients that are online, but are experiencing problems with one or more client components

·        Identifies clients that are online, but do not have up to date discovery or inventory information

·        Identifies offline clients

·        Identifies obsolete clients

Another advantage of this tool is that it’s not dependant on Configuration Manager site systems. If an inbox on the site server is backlogged, this will not affect client status reporting.

The feature uses a number of sources from which to analyze client status. Client status reporting retrieves discovery, inventory and heartbeat data from the site database together with policy request log file information from management points. This data is compared to user defined client activity periods. If the client has been active during this period, it is classed as ‘active’ and no further action is taken. If the client has not been active during this period, it is classed as ‘inactive’. Further testing can then be optionally performed on inactive clients to discover the problem.

Client status reporting is a reporting tool only; it is unable to repair problems with your clients and cannot always give you the exact reason why a problem occurred. However, we think that you are going to find client status reporting to be a great tool to broaden your knowledge of what’s happening with client computers at your site. This information should ultimately help you to achieve greater client coverage - and hence more successful software rollouts.

Beta documentation for this tool has already been written and we’re working very hard to produce a great set of documentation for the final release. Search for the topic ‘Tasks for Client Status Reporting in Configuration Manager R2’ in the beta documentation library for help getting started.

You can register for the Configuration Manager SP1 and R2 betas at the following URL:

 Rob Stack

This post is provided AS IS and confers no warranties

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