In this post, you will learn one of the exciting ways to handle WaaS Deployment Rings strategy with SCCM. I know the customers using this method to deploy Windows 10 WaaS for their production environment.
NOTE! – Desktop Analytics integration with SCCM will help to automate most of these tasks in the future.
Table of Contents
In recent days we (SCCM Admins) are more focused on designing the deployment rings which predominantly used in Windows as a service: Windows 10 deployment rings.
Windows 10 deployment rings are quite similar to the deployment groups created for version upgrades. In general, Deployment Rings are the method by which devices are separated into a specific timeline. With Windows 10, you construct deployment rings a bit differently in each servicing tool, but the concepts remain the same.
Why SCCM Deployment Rings?
An Idea that may help !!!!
Each deployment ring is expected to reduce the risk of issues resulting from the deployment of the feature updates by gradually deploying the update to the entire organization client estate.
In this blog, I am focusing on reducing the complexity, risk and controlling options and mainly possibility of re-using the segment of rings (Especially Production Ring) not only for Windows 10 update deployments but for large sized applications as well.
Windows 10 WaaS Deployment Rings with SCCM Sign Wave?
Generally, Microsoft Deployment Ring representation is as below which is followed as a best practice and tweaking the ring structure based on the organization needs.
In a way designing non-production rings in an organization may be a bit straight forward and comfortable as you have the set of devices (mostly based on personas/department etc.) already defined.
However, for the production ring which is of a vast audience – Is there a way we can explore more and make it dynamic and automated as a one-time activity???
The production deployment ring strategy is the point where I would like to introduce Sign Wave SCCM Collections. You will see more details about Sign Wave SCCM collection in the following sections.
Sign Wave Use Case
I happened to interact on one of the use case (Green Field Environment ) with specific requirements that to have a dynamic way of designing these SCCM collections which can address below critical elements.
- New Machine inclusions
- One-time activity
- Can be re-used as BAU for application and software update deployments as well (Especially Large Sized apps to control the bandwidth)
- Impact Control
To address this – Came up with Sign wave design for SCCM collections and these collections are to made part of Production Ring.
SCCM Collection Structure
Check out the following example to get more details about SCCM sign wave collection structure.
Assuming there are 1000 machines on-boarded to SCCM and these 1000 machines are from different countries. Let’s say 100 machines from each country for ten (10) countries.
Note: By this logically we will have 10 Wave collections
Sign Wave: This collection structure is similar to the ring approach (generally referred to as Sign wave collections) additionally provides certain advantages.
How to Populate Sign Wave SCCM Collections?
Typically, these hundred (100) machines are expected to be a mixture from all ten (10) countries, and we can explore the possibilities may be using the unique attributes they carry and bring them to the respective collection by making use of queries.
Example: W10 – Coll: Query criteria can be Computers Ending with 1 – Were Name like “%1”. These query criteria will bring the machines satisfying this condition from all ten (10) countries. We can find similar rules and try to build all the Wave collections.
Note: Additionally, we can increase the number of Waves as well to full fill the criteria’s if there are some combinations to be considered.
Benefits of Sign Wave Collection WaaS Deployment Rings
- One-time Activity: All mass / global deployments including software updates can be targeted to these Wave collections. No need to create another set of collections for the mass / global deployments
- Bandwidth Control: Since each Wave collection consists of machines from a different country the machines would receive the deployments accordingly at their local time based on the schedule. This will avoid all machines hitting DP for content and MP for Policy simultaneously from one geographical region itself.
- A deployment scheduled at 10:00 AM Local Time targeted to W10 collection, in this case, the machine from India would receive this deployment when it 10:00 AM in India and similarly the machine from Singapore would receive the deployment when it is 10:00 AM in Singapore. This creates sign wave kind of requests hitting and avoids the simultaneous hits
- Number of Waves (Collections): Additionally, we can increase the number of Waves as well to full fill the criteria’s if there are some combinations to be incorporated.
- New Machine inclusion: New machine getting introduced to the environment will automatically be part of any of the Wave collection depending upon which criteria it satisfies.
- Deployment Numbers: Number of deployments to be created each time are limited.
- Huge Size Deployments: Since the deployments will be in a very controlled manner this would additionally help for the bigger packages being released phase wise.
- Impact Control: If there is any impact identified due to the deployment in the first W10 target at 10:00 AM roll-out, other deployments can be stopped or controlled to avoid further impacts.
Note: This design has strong dependency on Machine naming convention followed.
- Microsoft Documentation on Building deployment rings for Windows 10 updates
- Prepare servicing strategy for Windows 10 updates (WaaS)
- Walkthrough of SCCM Console
- How to Promote Pre-Production SCCM Client to Production
- What is Collection, How to Create SCCM Static Collections
- How to create dynamic SCCM collections?
- Create AD Group Based SCCM Collections