System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager is now available on TechNet/MSDN/MVLS downloads together with the other components of the System Center family.
New features in the R2 version:
Support for Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 as clients and for Operating System Deployment.
The ability to reassign Configuration Manager clients to another primary site in the hierarchy.
Mobile device management integrated with Windows Intune
- Enrollment for devices running Android 4.0 and newer versions using the company portal app which should be available shortly on Google Play. Support for compliance settings, application deployment directly on the device (previously could deploy applications by installing from Google Play), using Android notifications for required actions.
- Enrollment for devices running iOS 6.0 and newer versions using the new version of company portal app which should be available shortly on App store. The company portal app will enable users to change passwords, deploy company applications, enroll, un-enroll and wipe devices.
- Devices can be enrolled as personal-owned or company-owned. This will influence the behavior for software inventory.
- Windows Intune integration for managing Windows 8.1 devices not joined to the company domain.
Remote Connection Profiles – allow users to connect remotely to work computers by initiating the connection from the company portal application. Remote connection settings are configured and deployed to devices via policies using Windows Intune.
Certificate Profiles – allow the deployment of user or device certificates on managed devices running iOS, Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1 and Android. A new site system role, the certificate registration point which integrates with Active Directory Certificate Services and the Network Device Enrollment Service in Windows Server 2012 R2, must be configured in the site. The certificates can then be used for Wi-Fi and VPN connections, or by other applications.
VPN Profiles – allow the automatic deployment of settings for VPN connections to devices running iOS, Windows 8.1, Windows RT and Windows RT 8.1. Settings include certificates for server validation and client authentication provisioned with certificate profiles.
Wi-Fi Profiles – allow for automatic deployment of settings for wireless connections to devices running iOS, Windows 8.1, Windows RT and Android. Settings include certificates for server validation and client authentication provisioned with certificate profiles.
- New deployment type for web applications
- Support for Windows 8.1 app bundle package
- Abbility to configure an application to automatically open a VPN connection when started.
Reporting services – now includes role-based security for reports
Several other changes in site deployment, migration, client deployment, compliance settings, software updates, content management.
As always, before installing System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager:
- Perform a backup of your site(s).
- Read the Supported Configurations document at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg682077.aspx
- If you use System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with no service pack, you must first upgrade your hierarchy to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with SP1, and then you can upgrade to System Center 2012 R2
- Uninstall Windows ADK 8.0 and install Windows ADK 8.1
Please note that you cannot upgrade the operating system in-place in the following scenarios:
- Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2008 R2
- Windows Server 2008 to Windows Server 2012
- Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows Server 2012
In this case you would need to install the new version of the operating system, install SQL Server, install Configuration Manager and perform a site recovery using a site backup that was created by using the Backup Site Server maintenance task on the original Configuration Manager site.
Consider whether you also want to upgrade the database. System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager can be installed on SQL Server 2008 SP2 and above versions.
Upgrade the Configuration Manager site server and the consoles by running the Setup wizard. It is strongly recommended that you test the upgrade procedures in a lab, before performing it in production.
After upgrading the site server, you need to upgrade the Configuration Manager clients, by configuring the automatic client upgrade, or by using any of the supported deployment methods.