During a OS deployment you don’t want to deploy all your packages and software to every workstation. You can deploy the software after a full OS deployment, but you can also deploy packages during the OSD using collection variables. Now it is possible to deploy packages only if a specific machine is a member of a collection. This collection can be query based, for example OU membership or Active Directory security group, or it can be static (direct membership).
In this example I’ve created a realy simple deployment, Adobe Reader 11.0. I’ve two virtual machines, SCWIN81-01 and SCWIN81-02. Both machines are members of the collection “Deploy – Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64”, where the task sequence is deployed on. Machine SCWIN81-01 is also member of the collection “Install – Adobe Reader 11.0”. This collection has a limited collection of “Deploy – Windows 8.1 Enterprise x64”. Both machines are deployed on the same time, the only difference is that machine SCWIN81-01 has Adobe Reader 11.0 installed and machine SCWIN81-02 not. Why……based on the collection variable during the OSD 🙂
1.) First create the collections
2.) Make the specific machines members of the right collections (query based or direct membership)
3.) Open the properties of the collection “Install – Adobe Reader 11.0” and navigate to the “Collection Variables” tab
4.) Add one or more variables with some values. In this example the variable is “APP-AdobeReader” with the value “Yes”
5.) Open the task sequence and add a package installation step
6.) Add the package with the program and navigate to the “Options” tab
7.) Select “Add Condition” and select “Task Sequence Variable”
8.) Enter the collection variable you’ve created earlier with the same value. In my example:
Task Sequences Variable APP-AdobeReader equals “Yes”
9.) Select “Apply” and close the task sequence.
10.) Start the OSD on both machines and wait until the installation is done!
11.) Watch the differences between both machines, if everything is okay, one machine has Adobe Reader installed and the other not.
This is an extremely powerfull thing within ConfigMgr, and really helpfull is some scenario’s. For example VDI golden image deployments or hybrid environments with laptops/desktops or multiple organizations using one ConfigMgr environment. One main reason could be consolidation in task sequences. If you want, there should be only one task sequence for all you different deployments. This is why I’m loving collection varaibles! 🙂