After playing around a while with Configuration Manager 1701 Technical Preview build I thought it was time to share some info and some nice screenshots.
The biggest new feature without competition is the fact that SCCM clients will now select Software Update point using Boundary Groups just like it would with an MP, DP … This is awesome news as it replaces the random selection a client does today! Right now there are some limitations to it in the Technical Preview, all information about what is included in 1701 Technical Preview can be found here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/sccm/core/get-started/capabilities-in-technical-preview-1701
Software update points and Boundary Groups improvements
A look a the new setting for SUP fallback in the Boundary Groups, it is not fully implemented yet in the Technical Preview.. but it looks nice! New clients will use the SUP assigned to the in the Boundary Group but existing clients will use the one that has been selected randomly until it fails to contact it. Something to keep in mind when implementing it if that is how it will work when it is released.
Hardware inventory now inventories UEFI information
UEFI is extremely important for all new security features in Windows 10 and going forward. In 1701 Hardware Inventory now inventories UEFI information as well. A Dashboard as well that shows Credential Guard, Device Guard state would be great as well. Configuration Item for it works just fine.. but if I could wish.
Improvements in Operating System deployment
There are many small but great updates to the Task Sequence as well, updates to Standalone Media, expiration dates, additional content.
In the task Sequence editor we can now multi select applications and instead of a maximum of 9 applications per step it is now possible to add 99.
All steps in a Task Sequence that reference a package, driver package, application and so on will have it packageID/applicationID shown as well. making it much easier to find and troubleshoot, an example would be the Setup Windows and Configuration Manager step.
Validate device health attestation data via management points
We can now configure our Management Points with a list of On-Premise Device Health attestation points it should use to report device health. Device health attestation is not the most used feature as far as I know but it will be when we get rid of all the “old” hardware that doesn’t support TPM 2.0 for instance.
Host software updates on cloud-based distribution points
A feature that has been requested but is debated as well, as for Microsoft Updates the clients can download the content from Microsoft Update as it will introduce an additional cost for hosting them in the Cloud DP. Something to think about.
The features listed I wrote about here is far from complete, check out the documentation for a complete list.. It is great to follow the development of the product that is being done now, impressive!