Task Sequences in ConfigMgr 2012 R2

One of the improvements in ConfigMgr 2012 R2 is the introduction of some MDT task sequence steps that are natively in ConfigMgr. In this post I want to take a look at some of these changes.

New Options

The first thing you will notice is that when you load the Create Task Sequence wizard you will see the following additions.

r2ts_wizard

Here you can see the options to “Install an existing image package” and “Install an existing image package to a virtual hard drive”. I am looking forward to investigating especially the second option to see what the capabilities are in this space. The first option in itself doesn’t appear to be much different from the Apply Data Image task sequence step but I will have a look at this in more detail.

Task Sequence Steps

We also have some task sequence steps which are new, some of these come from MDT but one is not.

r2ts_general

The first step here “Run PowerShell Script” is very similar to what we have seen in MDT for a while now, we do have an additional option however to set the execution policy when the step runs. The second one is “Set Dynamic Variables” which at first look could be a very powerful and useful tool.

r2ts_dynvars

As you can see here, this initial screen looks very similar to adding a computer to the MDT database. It works kind of in the same principal I think except we run this in the task sequence. I am looking forward to getting into this feature and testing out it’s capabilities. The final new step we have is “Check Readiness” which users of MDT will see is very familiar.

r2ts_validate

This step is a basic but again powerful tool and is used in a MDT task sequence to validate the machine running the task sequence. Nothing appears new here just a port from MDT into the built-in task sequence steps.

Summary

For the task sequence side this seems to be all in terms of new steps. I only had a quick look and it does look very promising. I will certainly be posting again with some other things I find in different parts of the console and when I get to check out the new features.

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About Martyn

Martyn is one of the Senior Cloud Architects and DevOps Team Leader at one of the worlds leading Cloud Transformation Specialists Inframon. Martyn is responsible for the architecture of some of the largest Azure deployments in EMEA and is a advisor to a many businesses on their strategies. Martyn is a regular speaker at Microsoft events and community events on Azure and DevOps, giving his insight to a growing number of audiences.

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