When working with System Center Configuration Manager 2007, 2012, or 2012 R2, one of your primary tasks is to ensure that the Configuration Manager Client Agent is successfully installed and running properly. The agent must be running to make client configuration changes, to deploy software, to inventory the system, to process compliance audits, etc.
If you’re like me, you want to be certain that the client agent is always installed on new computers. You can do that by deploying the client agent in one of many methods including:
- SCCM client push
- Group Policy software deployment
- Runonce registry entry on new images
- Part of a Task Sequence
- Baked into a reference image
- PowerShell script
For this article I’m focusing on the Client Push method. It’s built in to SCCM and is relatively painless to setup.
Automatic Client Agent Deployment with Client Push
To have SCCM do the hard work of finding new clients and then deploying the agent to them automatically, two components are required.
First, you must configure SCCM for one or more Discovery Methods. The details of setting that up are the subject of a separate article, but for now you should verify that at least one Active Directory Discovery method, or the Network Discovery method, shows as Enabled. This is shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Plenty of discovery happening here.
The second component is configuring Client Push Installation at the site level. To do this:
Open the System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager console.
Click the Administration node, expand the Site Configuration node, and then click Sites.
Select the site you want to configure for automatic Client Push installations.
On the ribbon, click Settings, click Client Installation Settings, and then click Client Push Installation. This is a bit tricky to find, and is shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. The elusive Client Push Installation option.
This will open the Client Push Installation Properties dialog box as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3. We’re almost home free!
Now all you need to do is click to select Enable automatic site-wide client push installation. Verify that the other settings are correct for your environment, and then click OK.
Note: Never click Apply and then OK immediately after. It’s bad form. OK includes Apply.
That’s all it takes! Now when clients are added to the SCCM database through a Discovery Method, SCCM will send a Client Push to deploy the agent and begin client management.
Enjoy and happy configuring!