Monday, October 18, 2010

Creating dynamic collections in ConfigMgr

When designing a new ConfigMgr environment, there is not only a total design needed but also a plan for the collections. I let my decision mostly be based on what functionality is needed, and if Active Directory is leading or not. This because you can create collections on many different ways, and advertisements can only be set on collections. So when you advertise an operating system, application or software update it will be bound to a collection. For OS deployment you can create additional colllections, but what to do with the other ones? The most used way is bound the collections to Active Directory OU's. In that way Active Directory is leading, and it will synchronize objects to ConfigMgr collections. I will explain here what to do, and how to bind them to Active Directory.

After installation of ConfigMgr there are a lot of default collections, but they are not always handy and useful. You can move this default collections to a new one, so there not in sight all the time. Now it's better to create your own collections, so you can decide which devices to put in your collections. There is a query needed for bounding collections to OU's, but first you must create these collections. You can do this manually, or there is also a way for importing them from Active Directory. The tool needed for that is named "SCCM OU Collection creator". This tool can be download here:

With this tool you can create many collections at once, and the good news is it will be automatically bound to Active Directory OU's. Because you want to move these collections afterwards to another location, there is another tool needed, The tool needed for that is named "CollTree for SCCM". This tool can be download here:

This tool is even compatible with SMS2003 collections, and it will become very handy. Okay, now the collections are imported, moved, and there is an query on it. But how to set a manually query on the collections? The command for that is not that difficult. First create a new collection, and open the properties of it. On the tab “Membership rules” create a new SQL query, and choose System Resource & Edit Query Statement, then select the Criteria tab. Choose New Query and fill in the following properties: 

Choose OK after that. Now you must decide how fast collections will be synchronized. Default the collection will be synchronized within 1 day. Because it can be to slow to have the objects in Active Directory synchronized with the collections, you can shorten the schedule to 1 hours, or even 15 minutes. Better is it to choose for the new R3 update, because collections will synchronized must faster then before. I will post that new functionality later. This is all you have to do for having dynamic collections in ConfigMgr.

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