ConfigMgr 2012 R2 Wi-Fi Profiles

One of the new features in ConfigMgr 2012 R2 is the ability to setup Wi-Fi profiles and deploy them to clients. In this post we explore how to set them up and the reasons where you would use them.

The world we manage as administrators is changing all the time. When I visit customers I am now constantly asked about how we manage bring your own device or choose your own device. Roll forward to the release of Windows 8.1 and we have some tools when used in conjunction with Windows Server 2012 R2 which can help. For example, work folders and workplace join are a couple of big features which help as well as the ability to connect to VPN in the background when a work resource is opened by the user.

The ability to manage these clients, including tablets and the Surface RT using Windows InTune through ConfigMgr give us some great tools to be able to manage the large majority of these devices.

Setting Up Wi-Fi Profiles

You will find the node under Compliance settings, then Company Resource Access, this is in the Assets and Compliance workspace. First we are prompted for a name, enter something which you can use to identify the profile along with any others you might create. If you have an existing supported XML configuration file for the profile, tick the box on this screen before clicking next. You can also select the severity of non-compliance machines in your reporting.

wifi-1

The next screen will be familiar to everyone, this is where you can enter the name of the network, the SSID and options on how to connect to the network, enter these as you would in Windows and then click Next.

wifi-2

Next screen is authentication. Most companies use certificates to allow staff to connect to their corporate Wi-Fi networks, the next screen allows for this configuration. Again, setup is just like in the Windows operating system. Enter the settings for your network and click Next.

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On Advanced options we can set information such as the authentication mode and the ability to enable single sign-on. These options are available because we selected certificates as the authentication method.

wifi-4

We can also configure any proxy settings we might need (no screenshot for this screen). We also have the ability to set the supported devices for the profile, this adds more flexibility to our deployment options.

wifi-5

Deploying them is simple. Just like most other objects in ConfigMgr, right click and select Deploy.

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You can deploy Wi-Fi profiles to user collections, also specify alerting settings and the schedule for when the compliance evaluation will be run.

Summary

The ability to deploy Wi-Fi profiles is just the beginning of some of the features available to administrators to help manage your BYOD or CYOD devices.  Stay tuned for some post posts on some of these 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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