How Required Software Changes are Deployed at Parkland (Windows)
System Center Configuration Manager is a tool used for managing software installation and updates for Windows computers in the PC domain at Parkland College.
The Configuration Manager (CM) Client application is software installed on computers to allow SCCM to deliver services to our users.
Software Center (part of the CM Client) is a self-service portal for our users. Through Software Center, IT staff can make new applications and updates available, required, or both. To access the Software Center, please see: Installing Applications & Managing Updates on Parkland Computers (Windows)
Software Changes deployed through SCCM may include Windows Updates, new Applications, or updates to existing Applications.
• Software Updates – SCCM includes a tool for deploying Windows Updates (and some 3rd party applications) called Software Update. Updates of this type are shown in the Updates Tab of Software Center on your computer.
• Applications – New Applications and updates to existing Applications are displayed in the Applications Tab of Software Center on your computer.
Software Deployment Types:
• Available – Available deployments will show up in Software Center for you to install, after the designated available time.
• Required – Required deployments are automatically Available, but also have an installation Deadline. If the deadline time is later than the available time, you will have the option to install the deployment yourself from Software Center. After the deadline, your computer will attempt to find a time to install the deployment automatically, usually during a Maintenance Window. This may include rebooting your computer without prior warning to you.
A Maintenance Window is a designated period of time when a computer is able to install Required Software and reboot without permission from the user. At this time, we have scheduled one Maintenance Window for all computers for 3AM-7AM daily. If computers (not including laptops, tablets and other mobile devices) are aware of Required Software Changes, they should wake themselves at 3AM to perform those tasks. Devices that cannot wake themselves, or are not already awake, will require a user to initiate Required Software Changes from Software Center at another time.
NOTE: When Campus Technologies determines that a software change that is required is additionally of a “Critical” or “Emergency” status, the update may be deployed in a way that ensures its installation occurs as quickly as possible. Therefore, the deployment(s) may be configured to install on and reboot computers outside of the normal Maintenance Window(s).
Notes for Employees
SCCM checks for new Windows Updates automatically every day. If any are found, they are automatically deployed using a “ringed” approach in which software changes are deployed to rings, or groups of computers over a period of time. Therefore, there is a possibility that your computer may have Required Software Changes with a deadline occurring any day of the week. This means that your computer could install updates and reboot, unexpectedly overnight on any day of the week. If you would prefer to control when these updates install, you are strongly encouraged to install the updates yourself ahead of the deadline. To accomplish this, please see: Installing Applications & Managing Updates on Parkland Computers (Windows)
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