Service a server group

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)

Important

Pre-release features are features that are in the Current Branch for early testing in a production environment. These features are fully supported but are still in active development and might receive changes until they move out of the pre-release category. You must turn on this feature for it to be available. For more information, see Use pre-release features from updates.

Starting in System Center Configuration Manager version 1606, you can configure server group settings for a collection to define how many, what percentage, or in what order computers in the collection will install software updates. You can also configure pre-deployment and post-deployment PowerShell scripts to run custom actions.

When you deploy software updates to a collection that has server group settings configured, Configuration Manager determines how many computers in the collection can install the software updates at any given time and makes the same number of deployment locks available. Only computers that get a deployment lock will start software update installation. When a deployment lock is available, a computer gets the deployment lock, installs the software updates, and then releases the deployment lock when software updates installation successfully completes. Then, the deployment lock becomes available for other computers. If a computer is unable to release a deployment lock, you can manually release all server group deployment locks for the collection.

Important

All of the computers in the collection must be assigned to the same site.

To create a collection for a server group

The server group settings are configured in the properties for a device collection. To service a server group, all members in the collection must be assigned to the same site. Use the following steps to create a collection and configure the server group settings:

  1. Create a device collection that contains the computers in the server group.

  2. In the Assets and Compliance workspace, click Device Collections, right-click the collection that contains the computers in the server group, and then click Properties.

  3. On the General tab, select All devices are part of the same server group, and then click Settings.

  4. On the Server Group Settings page, specify one of the following settings:

    • Allow a percentage of machines to be updated at the same time: Specifies that only a certain percentage of clients are updated at any one time. If, for example, the collection has 10 clients, and the collection is configured to update 30% of clients at the same time, then only 3 clients will install software updates at any given time.

    • Allow a number of machines to be updated at the same time: Specifies that only a certain number of clients are updated at any one time.

    • Specify the maintenance sequence: Specifies that the clients in the collection will be updated one at a time in the sequence that you configure. A client will only install software updates after the client that is ahead of it in the list has finished installing its software updates.

  5. Specify whether to use a pre-deployment (node drain) script or post-deployment (node resume) script.

    Warning

    Custom scripts are not signed by Microsoft. It is your responsibility to maintain the integrity of these scripts.

    Tip

    The following are examples that you can use in testing for pre-deployment and post-deployment scripts that write the current time to a text file:

    Pre-deployment

    #Start

    $a = Get-Date

    Write-Output "Universal Time: " + $a.ToUniversalTime() |

    Out-File C:\temp\start.txt

    Post-deployment

    #End

    $a = Get-Date

    Write-Output "Universal Time: " + $a.ToUniversalTime() |

    Out-File C:\temp\end.txt

Deploy software updates to the server group and monitor status

You deploy software updates to the server group collection by using the typical deployment process. After you deploy the software updates, you can monitor the software update deployment in the Configuration Manager console.

  1. Deploy software updates to the server group collection.

  2. Monitor the software update deployment. In addition to the standard monitoring views for software updates deployment, the Waiting for lock state is displayed when a client is waiting for its turn to install the software updates. You can review the UpdatesDeployment.log file for more information.

Clear the deployment locks for computers in a server group

When a computer fails to release a deployment lock, you can manually release all server group deployment locks for the collection. Clear locks only when a deployment is stuck updating computers in the collection and there are computers that are still not compliant.

  1. In the Assets and Compliance workspace, click Device Collections, and click the collection to clear deployment locks.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Deployment group, click Clear Server Group Deployment Locks. When clients have failed to install the software updates and are preventing other clients from installing their software updates, the deployment locks can be manually cleared.