Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) Dashboard

System Center, in particular Config Manager aka SCCM, is becoming more and more popular with customers and clients at work. People looking to start enhancing and automating tasks such as OS deployment, app distribution, patch management etc as well as those who’ve started down this path, often with Altiris, and are now looking for a more rounded solution, are all asking for/happy to listen to information about SCCM. There’s more info on SCCM as a product here but in this post I specifically want to talk about the Dashboard that’s in beta.

About the Dashboard

System Center Config Manager Dashboard’s aim is to make it even easier for IT administrators to access and digest key information about their network and infrastructure, quickly and effortlessly even when not at the Management Console. The Dashboard lets you:

  • Track OS & App deployments
  • Track Security updates
  • Check the health status of computers
  • Check compliance with IT regulations

all via a customizable web interface. It’s based on Windows Sharepoint Services (WSS) so it’s key features include:

  • Easy access to key information without using the Configuration Manager console  
  • Centralized view of Configuration Manager data sets
  • Data can be viewed in graph, table, or Dundas* gauge formats
  • You can create custom dashboards for different departments, based on site user’s group membership.
  • *I will try and confirm is this is limited to Dundas or whether SAP’s Crystal Xcelsius can be used here too.

    Join the Beta Program

    Sign up to the English only Beta here.

    How it works:

    Here’s a great diagram from the technet site:

    Ff369719.image1(en-us,TechNet.10).jpg

    The Process Flow goes a little something like this:

  • An IT Service Manager requests a new data set.
  • The IT Administrator uses the Dashboard Configuration Web Part to define the new data set.
  • The IT Administrator stores the configuration information for the new data set (the information is saved in the Windows SharePoint Services Content database).
  • The IT Administrator adds a new copy of the Dashboard Viewer Web Part to the default Configuration Manager Dashboard and then modifies the Web part to display the new data set.
  • The IT Service Manager browses to the Configuration Manager Dashboard site.
  • Windows SharePoint Services queries the Configuration Manager site database as specified by the data set configuration.
  • Windows SharePoint Services renders the new data set using the Dashboard Viewer Web Part.
  • The Technet page is here:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff369719.aspx

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