Late January Microsoft introduced something they called phased deployment in the technical preview 1801 for ConfigMgr and I went through the feature in a blog post here: https://timmyit.com/2018/01/22/configmgr-technical-preview-1801-phased-deployment
2 months later we now have a new ConfigMgr current branch release version 1802 and with that we now have the phased deployment as a pre-release feature in latest version of ConfigMgr Current Branch.
Here’s a blogpost from Miocrosoft talking about some of the new features in this release:
Where they mention this new feature:
- Phased deployments – Phased deployments automate a coordinated, sequenced roll out of software without creating multiple deployments.
Activating Phased deployment
Since this is a pre-release feature you need to specify that you want to activate this feature before you can use it, this can be done either during the upgrade process or from the ConfigMgr console as soon as you have updated to version 1802.
Recommend you also check out this doc about pre-release features from Microsoft
First you need to make sure you have activated the option to use pre-release features, this how you do it:
- Go to “Administration”
- Expand “Site Configuration” and click on “Sites”
- Choose the site you want to configure and click on “Hierarchy Settings”
- Under “General” make sure you have checked the “Consent to use Pre-release features”
Once that’s done you need to activate the Phased deployment feature it self
- Go to Administration
- Expand”Update and servicing” and click on “Features”
- Find the Phased deployment feature and right-click on it and choose “turn on”
- Reopen the ConfigMgr Console
Creating a Phased deployment
Let’s take a quick look at this and head over to a task sequence and in this particular case we will try to do a phased deployment with the “Awesome task sequence” and from there we will right-click on the Task sequence and choose ” Create Phased deployment” (We also have an icon for to do this see picture 2)
A wizard will appear were we need to specify a name and choose our pilot collection and production collection
Once we clicked “Next” we get some options to configure
- Criteria for success of the first phase
- Deployment success percentage – Were we can specify a critera between 0-100 %
- Conditions for beginning the the second phase of deployment after success of the first phase
- Automatically begin this phase after a deferral period in days – Pick how many days after the success of the first phase the production deployment should start. (From my own testing if you choose 0 days it will start within minutes once the the deployment success percentage has been reached)
- Manually begin the second phase deployment – Determine if we want to start it manually or not
- Once the device is targeted, apply the upgrade
- As soon as possible
- Deadline time (relative to the time the device is targeted) – Choose between hours, days, weeks, months
Click “next” and you will get an overview of the different deployment phases, you can reorder them, Add and Edit.
Continue to the end of the wizard and once done you will find the phased deployments
As we can see in the previous pic there’s one Phased deployment and at this time we only have 1 deployment because that deployment haven’t reached the success percentage we configured in the wizard.
You also have a few options on the Phased deployment to either manually move it to the next phase or if you want to suspend the phases by right-clicking on the phased deployment or by selecting it and do it from the bar at the top.
Once the first phase has reached the success percentage we configured and the clients have reported back to ConfigMgr within a few minutes ( Becasue we configured the “Automatically begin this phase after a deferral period in days” to 0, if we would have gone with 1 day deferral it would wait until that time to kick off phase 2 )
There’s a bunch more settings we could have gone through but I will leave at this as for now and probably do a video showcasing it more in depth.
I didn’t touch on troubleshooting in this post but if you want to look at the log files these are the ones that you should look to over at the primary site server.
That’s all for now and until next time, cheers !
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