This is the third and final post in this series on topics surrounding Windows Intune client updates. The first post covered the overall client update process, and the second post detailed the policy settings and end-user notifications. This post is about notifications when Microsoft schedules maintenance to the Windows Intune service, like a major upgrade or the release of a new mandatory update for the Windows Intune client software. We want to make sure that you understand the channels of communication that we use so that you are not surprised when we make service-impacting changes.
Service Status Page
The Windows Intune Service Status Page (status.manage.microsoft.com, also aka.ms/wistatus) will dynamically update when there is any unforeseen change to the availability of the service in any instance, so I hope that you already have one of the links above saved in your web browser Favorites. Another feature of the Service Status Page is Scheduled Maintenance Notification. Most of the time this section will just say, “Currently there is no scheduled maintenance.” However, anytime we schedule service maintenance that requires an outage, the specific date and time of that maintenance will be posted to the Service Status Page approximately two weeks prior to the scheduled event. For example,
The notice board is a feature of the Windows Intune administrator console. When Microsoft publishes notice board alerts, they will appear on the System Overview page, immediately below the title and above the Top Alert Types or System Status sections. For example, see the text posted on the Notice Board in the screenshot example shown below:
If more than one notice board alert is published, then they will appear one after another. You can dismiss the alert by clicking the close icon (x) to the right of the alert title or the alert state will automatically change to dismissed after 45 days.
Notice board alerts are system alerts of the “Notices” category and “Informational” severity, so until dismissed they will also appear in the Alerts workspace. For example, see the Alerts (2) showing up as Informational in the screenshot example shown below:
While a notice board alert may not provide the specific date and time of scheduled maintenance, it will direct you to the Service Status Page where the specifics are published.
If you don’t frequently login to the Windows Intune administrator console such that you’ll see notice board alerts when we publish them, I recommend that you continue reading on how to configure an alert notification rule for these alerts.
Alert Notification Rules
We realize that you’re not constantly logged into the Windows Intune administrator console every day actively monitoring alerts. So we provide the ability to configure alert notification rules to send e-mail notifications based upon alert categories and severities. There are currently five default notification rules; if the defaults don’t meet your business needs, you can create your own.
The Windows Intune Online Help has an article on configuring alert notification rules, including the first important step to add recipients. Once your recipients are properly configured, you can continue to create a new notification rule. Here are the values that you want to use to create a notification rule for notice board alerts:
- Name: Notice Board Alerts (or some other appropriately descriptive title)
- Category: Notices
- Severity: Informational, Warning and Critical
Now when we publish a notice board alert your recipients will receive an e-mail notification. The following is an example of this e-mail:
This concludes this series on topics surrounding Windows Intune client updates. We are continuing to make improvements to the functionality surrounding this topic, and hope that these posts give you a better understanding of why we release client updates, how they function behind the scenes, what policy settings you can deploy to control the behavior of software updates, and how you can receive advanced notification of when we schedule service maintenance, such as the release of a mandatory update. If you have any feedback just let us know!