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How to manage SCCM task sequences with EM variables

As we know, the number of SCCM task sequences is increasing. For every operating system specific task sequences are created and split by additional applications or packages. When the Enterprise Manager is concerned, the individual EM versions also play an important role. If you want to have different EM agent versions for each operating system, it is easy to lose track, and the number of SCCM task sequences increases immensely.

The Enterprise Manager can be used to control the whole scenario with one single SCCM task sequence. This article describes how to do this.

First, you must create an SCCM task sequence where all required operating systems and all required EM agents are stored. The following screenshot shows one option for this task sequence.

Basically, this is a normal task sequence with several operating systems, Windows settings and EM agents, which must be added variables to control and manage them accordingly.

For each operating system a so-called task sequence variable is added under Options, which is configured as follows:

This must be repeated for each operating system and the value of the variable must be adjusted, depending on the respective operation system version (e.g., WinSrv2016, WinSrv2012R2 or Win10x64).

If operating system installation should be performed completely automatically (server operating systems are also specified and stored accordingly), you must add further Windows settings. Simply add the product key for the respective operating system version and specify the respective task sequence variable under Options.

If no such automatic installation is desired, one Windows configuration option is sufficient and you must enter the product key manually for each installation.

For the specified EM agents, you must create a functional application (or package) in SCCM for each agent and add them individually to the task sequence (only one application or package for each entry). Now, the next important step is to add the task sequence variable.

Use the name „EMAGENTVERSION“ and assign the value "70" for version 7. Repeat this step for all other EM agents (e.g., 65, 64 or 5). In this example all currently supported EM agent versions have been integrated.

With this step SCCM configuration has been completed and we switch to the Enterprise Manager.

First, you must go to the variables section and create 2 variables:

- WINDOWSVERSION as list variable

The list values are:

Please note that the "value" must be identical with the value that has been stored in the SCCM task sequence as value. You are free to choose any display name for clear identification.

The same must be done for the second variable:

- EMAGENTVERSION as list variable

With the following list values:

Again, it is important that the value is identical with the one in the SCCM task sequence.

Now all variables have been configured in the EM and you can start with the OSD configuration. To do so, create a new OSD configuration and link it to the SCCM task sequence that you have created before.

You must also store the two variables that you have created before. Additional EM roll-out plans can be included into the OSD configuration, as needed. Now OSD configuration is completed and can be assigned variably to the respective machine or machines. The OSD distribution task looks as follows: