For enterprises with a large number of Windows computers to oversee, a systems management tool like Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (or SCCM, as it’s commonly known) is a natural fit. From a single location, IT administrators can conveniently manage the deployment and security of devices and applications across the enterprise network. So while they save time, they also introduce a standardization that helps ensure data and applications remain protected.
If you’re an enterprise that’s thinking about investing in SCCM — or perhaps already has — it’s critical to understand what it takes to both initiate and maintain a healthy infrastructure. This is, of course, easier said than done, in light of the complex intricacies of the software. That’s why we wanted to dedicate this post to sharing some best practices for SCCM infrastructure design.
3 Ways to Establish a Healthy SCCM Infrastructure Design — And Keep It That Way
1. Remediate Performance Issues in a Test Environment
When application performance issues are discovered after SCCM is deployed, the impact is felt by IT personnel and end-users alike. While IT administrators rush to address and resolve these problems, some end-users inevitably experience downtime that hinders their productivity.
These frustrations speak to the importance of testing space. Before the initial deployment of SCCM or subsequent upgrades, enterprises should establish a pre-production environment that mimics the production environment where they can verify the performance of the system and its applications before the new system (or new system version) is live. This will iron out any kinks on the front end, and in turn, help create a healthier SCCM infrastructure design once in use.
2. Take a Proactive Approach to Managing Client Health
Client health issues can come in a variety of forms, from clients dropping off the console to old data filtering through the SCCM system. While the former creates a dynamic where enterprises are concerned over security and controls, the latter ultimately clutters the SCCM infrastructure with client information that is of no use to enterprises. In either case, the environment’s health is negatively impacted — and needs to be restored.
Before SCCM is deployed, enterprises should conduct a client health assessment and troubleshoot any issues that have an adverse effect on compliance. This checklist includes:
✓ Ensure there are no obsolete objects in the active directory, so obsolete objects aren’t imported into your SCCM
✓ Ensure your networking team has a full list of IP addresses and IP ranges, so it’s easier to configure boundaries in your SCCM
✓ Create a compliance item list that defines what it means to be compliant in your organization, so you can develop compliance items and deploy standardized baselines once your SCCM is built
While the SCCM infrastructure improves, IT administrators avoid the burden of having to resolve future support issues.
3. Make Training Your Staff on SCCM a Top Priority
SCCM is a tool that’s designed to streamline day-to-day operations. But when there’s confusion over how to utilize its features, locate valuable information and resolve issues, IT personnel can find themselves with more questions than answers. This feeds into a scenario where the SCCM environment can suffer because there’s no clear direction for IT teams to move in.
For an SCCM infrastructure to remain healthy over time, IT staff must be adequately trained on how to use the software management tool. This ensures that when there are app performance or client health issues, they can be the ones to identify the problem and resolve it. Initial training should be paired with comprehensive documentation (preferably with visual aids) to help them move forward with ease.
At TecSetGo, we offer a comprehensive list of IT enterprise management services — one that includes SCCM infrastructure design. Leveraging the best practices shared above, we set up, configure and install your SCCM infrastructure, ensuring that performance needs are met, client health is maintained and that your staff is properly trained for the future. Learn more about our SCCM infrastructure services.