SCCM Interview Questions and Answers: The Ultimate Guide for 2023 - IQCode

Overview of SCCM: What it is and Common Interview Questions

Microsoft Corporation is a multinational software company that provides software development, manufacturing, and sales of various products including personal computers, software, and electronic devices. One of Microsoft's popular products is the SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager), which is used to manage computer systems running Windows and other operating systems like MacOS, Linux, and mobile platforms.

SCCM is an essential tool for enterprise-level management of software deployments, device updates, and configurations. It is used for patch management, software distribution, network access protection, hardware and software inventories, and more. SCCM is widely adopted in businesses which require effective management of systems and devices.

Given the increasing demand for SCCM professionals, this blog provides valuable information on SCCM and the commonly asked interview questions.

What is SCCM?

SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) is a Microsoft product that enables organizations to manage, deploy, and update software and devices across an enterprise. SCCM is used for endpoint protection, patch management, software distribution, operating system deployment, network access protection, and hardware and software inventories. SCCM allows users to manage computer systems running Windows, macOS, Linux, and Unix, as well as mobile devices running Windows, iOS, and Android.

Initially released as SMS (Systems Management Server) in 1994, SCCM replaced SMS in November 2007. In 2020, SCCM was renamed again as Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager, with Endpoint Configuration Manager 2111 being its latest version.

For those seeking SCCM jobs, it is important to master the essential SCCM features. Here's a list of common SCCM interview questions for freshers:

1. What are the essential SCCM features? Code: There are seven essential features of SCCM, which include software deployment, application monitoring, asset intelligence, client health, configuration settings management, OS deployment, and endpoint protection.

# Example code for the answer

# Define constants for SCCM features
SOFTWARE_DEPLOYMENT = "Software Deployment"
APP_MONITORING = "Application Monitoring"
ASSET_INTELLIGENCE = "Asset Intelligence"
CLIENT_HEALTH = "Client Health"
CONFIGURATION_SETTINGS = "Configuration Settings Management"
OS_DEPLOYMENT = "OS Deployment"
ENDPOINT_PROTECTION = "Endpoint Protection"

# List of essential SCCM features
essential_features = [

print(f"The seven essential features of SCCM are: {essential_features}")

The example code defines constants for each SCCM feature and stores them in a list of essential features. It then prints out the list of SCCM features using f-strings for convenience.

SCCM Architecture Explanation

SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) is a Microsoft management tool used for configuration management, software deployment, and patching. The architecture of SCCM is divided into two main components: the server and the client.

The server component consists of three main parts:

1. Site Server - It is the main server that hosts the SCCM installation. It communicates with other servers and clients in the environment.

2. Site Database - It stores all the information related to SCCM, such as configuration data, inventory data, software update data, and so on.

3. Site System Servers - These are servers that host specific SCCM roles, such as distribution point, management point, and software update point.

The client component includes the SCCM client software that is installed on managed computers within the organization. The client software communicates with the site server to receive configuration settings and software updates.

In summary, the SCCM architecture is designed to provide a powerful and scalable management solution for organizations of all sizes. The server and client components work together to provide a comprehensive management infrastructure that can be expanded and customized to meet the specific needs of any organization.

State the Differences Between Primary and Secondary Sites

The main differences between primary and secondary sites are:

  • A primary site is the main location where data is created, stored, and processed, while a secondary site is a backup location that is used in the event that the primary site becomes unavailable.
  • Primary sites are designed to be highly available, with redundant hardware, power, and network connections, while secondary sites are typically less powerful and have fewer resources.
  • Primary sites are responsible for processing transactions and performing other critical business functions, while secondary sites are focused on data recovery and getting systems back online after an outage.
  • In general, primary sites have faster response times and higher performance than secondary sites, but secondary sites are an essential part of a disaster recovery plan and can help minimize downtime in the event of an outage.

Is it possible for a secondary website to have child sites?

Is it feasible for a secondary website to have subordinate sites?

Is it possible to make a secondary site the primary site?

In terms of website hosting, it is typically not possible to change a secondary site to a primary site. However, you can always migrate your content and settings from the secondary site to a new primary site or change your domain name to point to the secondary site if desired.

SCCM Client Installation Options

In SCCM, there are several methods available for installing the client on managed devices:

  1. Client Push Installation: SCCM automatically pushes the client to the target device without any user interaction.
  2. Manual Installation: The client file is copied to the target device and installed manually by an admin.
  3. GPO Installation: Group Policy can be used to deploy the client to devices in an Active Directory domain.
  4. Software Update Point Installation: SCCM can use the Software Update Point to automatically deploy the client as a software update.
  5. Task Sequence Installation: In a task sequence, the client is installed along with other software and configuration settings.
  6. OS Deployment: The SCCM client can be included in an OS deployment, so that it is automatically installed on new devices.

Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the optimal method depends on the organization's specific requirements and infrastructure.

Understanding SCCM Client Check

SCCM Client Check is a process used to ensure that the System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) client software is correctly installed and functioning on a particular device. This check is typically performed by administrators to ensure that all devices in their network are properly configured with the necessary SCCM client software and that they are communicating correctly with the SCCM server. The SCCM client check helps to identify issues with client devices, such as configuration errors, connectivity issues, or software conflicts, and enables administrators to take appropriate corrective action. Overall, SCCM client check is an essential tool for maintaining a stable and secure SCCM environment.

SMS providers in SCCM

In SCCM, SMS (Short Message Service) providers are used to send text messages to mobile devices. These providers act as gateways between SCCM and the mobile network. They allow SCCM to communicate with mobile devices through the SMS protocol.

SMS providers can be set up in SCCM by configuring a mobile device management point, which is responsible for managing the communication between SCCM and the SMS providers. This management point is installed on a server and requires the use of a SIM card and a mobile data subscription.

Once the mobile device management point is set up and SMS providers are configured, SCCM can send text messages to mobile devices for various purposes, such as:

- Sending software updates or patches - Pushing configuration changes - Sending alerts and notifications

SMS providers play a crucial role in enabling SCCM to manage mobile devices efficiently and effectively.

Role of SCCM Administrator

The SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) Administrator is responsible for managing and deploying software, as well as configuring updates, security, and inventory settings for all devices in an organization's network. The administrator ensures that all systems are up-to-date and secure, and troubleshoots any issues that arise with the SCCM platform. Additionally, they may be responsible for training end-users on how to use SCCM features and addressing any concerns they may have. The SCCM Administrator plays a crucial role in maintaining the functionality and efficiency of an organization's IT environment.

Understanding SCCM Logs

SCCM logs refer to the records generated by Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager. These logs contain valuable information about the installation, configuration, and management of software and hardware systems in an organization. SCCM logs are essential for troubleshooting issues and monitoring system activities within an enterprise. They provide detailed insights into the different stages of a system configuration, including software deployment, compliance management, and inventory management. By analyzing SCCM logs, IT professionals can identify and address issues that may be affecting system performance and user productivity.

Frequently Used Ports in SCCM

Here are some of the ports that are commonly used in SCCM:

    <li>TCP port 80 for HTTP traffic</li>
    <li>TCP port 443 for HTTPS traffic</li>
    <li>TCP port 8530 is used as the default port for WSUS/SUP communication</li>
    <li>TCP port 8531 is an optional port used for WSUS/SUP communication</li>
    <li>TCP port 445 for SMB traffic</li>
    <li>TCP port 2701 for SQL Server</li>
    <li>TCP port 1433 for SQL Server</li>
    <li>UDP port 64001 for clients to communicate with site systems</li>

Boundaries in SCCM

In SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager), boundaries are used to define network locations that contain devices which need to be managed by SCCM. Boundaries help SCCM determine which devices should fall under its management.

These boundaries can be configured based on various criteria such as IP subnets, Active Directory sites, IPv6 Prefixes, IP ranges, and so on. SCCM uses these boundaries to discover and manage devices within its scope. It is also important to note that boundaries don't define security or access control.

A well-defined boundary helps SCCM focus on managing the appropriate devices, and prevents it from scanning irrelevant devices. This ultimately ensures better management of resources and smoother operations.

What is a content library?

A content library is a centralized and organized repository for storing and managing different types of content used in marketing and communication efforts. It can include various types of content such as images, videos, audio files, documents, presentations, and more. A content library helps businesses to ensure consistency in branding and messaging, streamline content creation and distribution processes, and improve the efficiency of content reuse. It is a valuable tool in content marketing and can help teams to collaborate more effectively.

Understanding Inventory in SCCM and its Types

In SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager), Inventory refers to the process of collecting and reporting software and hardware information from devices managed by SCCM. The Inventory data helps SCCM to maintain a comprehensive inventory of devices and software installed on those devices, allowing administrators to manage and troubleshoot them effectively.

There are two types of Inventory in SCCM: Hardware Inventory and Software Inventory.

1. Hardware Inventory: SCCM collects information related to hardware components of devices under its management. Some examples of information collected include CPU, memory, disk drives, and network adapters. This information helps administrators better understand the device's configuration and manage its resources.

2. Software Inventory: SCCM collects information related to software installed on devices. This information includes software version, publisher, and installation path. The data is useful for software license management, software update deployments, and identifying outdated software.

By default, SCCM collects Hardware Inventory data on a regular basis, but the Software Inventory data needs to be enabled and configured. SCCM allows organizations to customize the data collected for both types of inventory to suit their specific requirements.

What is a Content Library?

A content library is a centralized storage space where all types of digital content such as images, videos, and text are stored for easy access and management. It allows businesses to organize, store, and distribute content efficiently for their websites, social media platforms, and other marketing channels. With a content library, organizations can streamline their content creation process and maintain consistency in branding across various marketing channels.

Objects that can be migrated from Configuration Manager 2007 to SCCM 2012

Is it possible to migrate or transfer any objects from Configuration Manager 2007 to SCOM 2012?

Yes, several objects can be migrated, including:

- Collections
- Packages and Programs
- Advertisements
- Task Sequences
- Operating System Images and Upgrade Packages
- Configuration Items and Baselines
- Software Metering Rules
- Software Update Lists, Deployments, and Packages
- Inventory Classes and MOF files

It is important to note that not all objects can be migrated, and some may require additional steps or configuration changes. It is recommended to thoroughly test any migration before implementing it in a production environment.

Understanding Branch Distribution Points (BDP)

BDP, or Branch Distribution Points, are components of Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) that serve as distribution points for content and packages. They are used by SCCM to distribute software, updates, and operating system images to branch locations in an organization's network.

BDPs are placed at remote locations in the network to improve the efficiency of distributing content over low-bandwidth links. By placing a BDP at a branch, content can be distributed locally rather than over a wide area network (WAN), saving valuable bandwidth and reducing the time it takes for content to be delivered.

BDPs can be configured in SCCM through the use of site system roles. They can be set up with specific options, such as bandwidth limitations and schedules. It is important to properly configure BDPs to ensure that content is distributed efficiently and reliably throughout an organization's network.

In summary, BDPs are critical components of SCCM that help distribute content and packages throughout an organization's network in an efficient and reliable manner, improving business productivity and reducing costs associated with network bandwidth.

SCCM Interview Questions for Experienced: WSUS and its Importance

WSUS stands for Windows Server Update Services. It is a Microsoft tool that enables the management of updates for all Microsoft products on a network. It provides a single place for downloading and managing updates and enables administrators to control the distribution of updates on their network.

With WSUS, IT administrators can approve, schedule, and deploy updates automatically to Windows computers on their network. This ensures that all systems on the network are up to date with the latest security fixes, features, and enhancements.

WSUS is important because it provides several benefits, such as:

  • Centralized management of updates
  • Reduction of internet bandwidth usage
  • Control over which updates are installed on the network
  • Improved network security and reliability

In an SCCM environment, WSUS is integrated with SCCM and can be used for managing software updates. SCCM administrators can leverage WSUS to download and manage the updates, and then use SCCM to deploy them to various computers on the network.

Key Differences between WSUS (Windows Server Update Service) and SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager)

WSUS (Windows Server Update Service) and SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) are two Microsoft tools that are commonly used by IT administrators to manage and update Windows machines. Here are the key differences between these two tools:

  • Purpose: WSUS is primarily used for deploying Windows updates, hotfixes, and service packs to Windows machines, while SCCM is a broader tool that can be used for software deployment, configuration management, and endpoint protection, in addition to Windows updates.
  • Scope of Management: WSUS is typically used for managing updates on a smaller scale, such as a single network or domain, while SCCM is more scalable and can be used to manage updates across multiple domains and locations.
  • Deployment: WSUS relies on Group Policy settings to control how updates are deployed to Windows machines, while SCCM uses a more flexible and customizable deployment model that allows for more fine-grained control over how updates are deployed.
  • Reporting: SCCM provides more robust reporting capabilities than WSUS, allowing administrators to see detailed information on software and hardware inventory, compliance, and deployment status.
Overall, both WSUS and SCCM are powerful tools for managing and updating Windows machines, but they differ in their scope, deployment options, and reporting capabilities.

Differences between SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) and Intune

SCCM is an on-premises solution for managing desktops, servers, mobile devices, and applications within an organization. Intune, on the other hand, is a cloud-based device management solution that provides similar device management capabilities, but with additional focus on managing mobile devices and providing security for data accessed on those devices.

SCCM requires a large amount of infrastructure and resources to deploy and maintain, whereas Intune can be deployed quickly and requires little infrastructure. SCCM is generally more suited for larger organizations, while Intune is more suited for small to medium-sized businesses.

SCCM also offers more advanced features for managing software deployments, patching, and network access control, whereas Intune focuses more on mobile device management, with particular emphasis on securing data access on mobile devices and enabling mobile application management.

In summary, SCCM and Intune both offer device management capabilities, but with different areas of focus and deployment options. The choice between the two depends on the specific needs and size of the organization.

Importance of Microsoft Intune

Microsoft Intune is a cloud-based endpoint management solution that helps businesses manage their mobile devices and computers. There are several reasons why Intune is important:

1. Security: With Intune, IT administrators can ensure that all devices accessing company data are secure and compliant. They can set policies that enforce password requirements, encryption, and other security measures to protect company data.

2. Device Management: Intune gives IT administrators the ability to manage a wide range of devices - from smartphones and tablets to laptops and desktops. They can deploy software and updates, monitor device health, and troubleshoot issues all from a single console.

3. Cost Savings: Intune can help businesses save money by reducing the time and resources required to manage devices. With Intune, IT administrators can automate many tasks and manage devices remotely, reducing the need for on-site support.

4. Improved Productivity: By ensuring that devices are properly configured and up-to-date, Intune can help employees stay productive and efficient. It can also improve communication and collaboration by providing secure access to company data and applications.

Overall, Intune is an important tool for businesses looking to manage their devices, protect their data, and improve productivity.

Why SCCM uses BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service)?

BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service) is a file transfer technology used by SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) that makes use of idle network bandwidth to transfer files in the background. It facilitates reliable and efficient transfer of large files over unreliable networks.

SCCM uses BITS for the following reasons:

1. Efficient use of network bandwidth - BITS uses idle network bandwidth to transfer files, thereby ensuring that file transfer does not affect network performance during busy hours.

2. Resumes file transfer - In case of network interruptions, BITS can resume file transfers from where it left off. Thus, SCCM can ensure that the transfer of large files is not affected due to network issues.

3. Prioritizes network traffic -BITS supports bandwidth throttling and prioritization of network traffic, which ensures that SCCM file transfers don't consume all the available network bandwidth.

Overall, the use of BITS in SCCM makes file transfer more reliable and efficient, while ensuring that it does not impact the performance of other network applications.

Definition of SUP (Software Update Point)

A SUP, or Software Update Point, is a role in the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) infrastructure. It is used to manage the software updates for computers within the network. The SUP downloads the latest updates from Microsoft and distributes them to the SCCM clients. This helps ensure that all computers remain up-to-date with the latest security and performance patches.

Prerequisites for Software Update Point

To set up a Software Update Point, the following prerequisites are required:

  • System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) must be installed.
  • The server hosting the Software Update Point role must have Internet Information Services (IIS) installed.
  • The server must have Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) installed.
  • The WSUS server must have all the critical updates installed.
  • The server should have a minimum of 8 GB of RAM and 4 CPU cores for optimal performance.
  • The WSUS server must be configured correctly to synchronize updates.

Once all the prerequisites are met, the Software Update Point role can be installed and configured in SCCM.

Explanation of Senders in SCCM and their Types

In SCCM, senders are the components responsible for transmitting content from one site to another. They are classified into the following types:

1. Site Server Sender - This sender type is responsible for transmitting content between Primary site servers.

2. Site System Sender - This sender type is responsible for transmitting content between secondary site servers and site systems.

3. Address Book Sender - This sender type is responsible for replicating address book information throughout the hierarchy.

4. Enrollment Point Sender - This sender type is responsible for transmitting certificate registration requests and responses between enrollment points and the primary site server.

5. State Migration Point Sender - This sender type is responsible for transmitting state migration data between state migration points and the primary site server.

By understanding the types of senders in SCCM, administrators can better manage and troubleshoot content transmission across their environment.

Understanding Site System, Site Server, and Site System Roles

In the context of Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), a Site System is a server or servers that provide specific functionality for SCCM. A Site Server in SCCM is the server that hosts the primary site. Site System Roles in SCCM refer to various SCCM server roles that can be assigned to a site system server to support different site operations.

Some important Site System Roles in SCCM are:

1. Management Point - to manage client communication and inventory data collection. 2. Distribution Point – to store and distribute packages. 3. Software Update Point - to manage updates for Microsoft products. 4. Endpoint Protection Point - to manage endpoint protection policies and malware definitions. 5. State Migration Point - to capture and restore user settings and data during OS deployment. 6. Reporting Services Point - to provide access to SCCM reports. 7. Enrollment Proxy Point - to manage mobile device enrollment. 8. Site System - to support site operations and management.

It is important to understand the roles of site systems and site servers in SCCM to effectively deploy and manage the system in an enterprise environment.

Understanding Deployment Share in SCCM

Deployment Share is a feature in Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) that enables the deployment of operating systems, applications, and other software updates to client computers. Deployment shares contain all the necessary files and scripts needed to accomplish software deployments across a network.

When deploying an operating system, SCCM first copies the necessary files from the deployment share to a location on the local computer. SCCM then begins the installation process using those files. This process ensures successful software installation on client computers within the network.

Deployment Share also facilitates creating custom images for operating system deployments. These images can include custom configurations, drivers, and software packages.

Overall, Deployment Share simplifies software deployments and enables IT teams to manage and distribute software with greater ease and scalability.

Understanding SCCM Console

The SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) console is a graphical user interface that allows IT administrators to manage and monitor various aspects of their organization's devices. It provides a centralized console for managing tasks such as deploying software updates, configuring and monitoring endpoints, creating and managing deployment plans and collections, and many other administrative tasks.

With the SCCM console, IT admins can remotely manage computers and servers on their network from a single location. This eliminates the need for physical access to each device, which can be a tedious and time-consuming process for larger organizations.

The SCCM console provides IT admins with a comprehensive view of their organization's endpoints, allowing them to identify issues, deploy software, and perform other management tasks more efficiently and effectively.

Overall, the SCCM console is an essential tool for IT admins who need to manage a large number of devices and endpoints within their organization.

Available Discovery Methods in SCCM

In System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), the following are the different discovery methods available:

  1. Active Directory Forest Discovery: It discovers all the forests, domains, and AD sites in the organization's network.
  2. Active Directory Group Discovery: It discovers the devices that are members of specific AD security groups.
  3. Active Directory System Discovery: It discovers the devices that are members of an Active Directory domain.
  4. Heartbeat Discovery: It keeps track of the devices that are active in the network.
  5. Network Discovery: It discovers devices that are not AD domain members, such as routers and switches.
  6. AD User Discovery: It discovers user accounts from specified AD containers.

These discovery methods help SCCM to keep a record of the devices and users present in the network, which is necessary for efficient management and monitoring of the organization's IT resources.

Cloud Management Dashboard: An Overview

A Cloud Management Dashboard is an online interface that provides IT administrators with a central location to manage all of their cloud resources. It allows them to view, monitor, and control the performance and utilization of their cloud infrastructure. The dashboard offers a visual representation of the cloud environment, making it easier for administrators to identify issues and take appropriate actions.

The dashboard displays various parameters such as disk usage, network traffic, CPU usage, and other metrics that help administrators keep track of the health of their cloud infrastructure. It also provides a feature to create alerts, notifications, and reports on the infrastructure's performance, thus helping administrators implement proactive measures to prevent any potential issues.

In summary, a Cloud Management Dashboard serves as a valuable tool for IT administrators to monitor and manage their cloud infrastructure in real-time, which helps ensure better security, reliability, and overall performance.

Importance of Asset Intelligence and Asset Tracking in SCCM

Asset Intelligence and Asset Tracking are important features in SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) for managing and tracking hardware and software resources in an organization. Here are some of the key importance of these features:

  1. Helps in inventory management: Asset Intelligence and Asset Tracking enable organizations to maintain accurate inventory records of hardware and software assets, making it easier to manage and maintain them.
  2. Facilitates compliance management: SCCM allows organizations to track the license status of software assets, making it easier to ensure compliance with software license policies and avoid costly penalties.
  3. Assists in asset lifecycle management: Asset Intelligence and Asset Tracking provide organizations with the insights needed to make informed decisions about hardware and software upgrades, replacements, and retirements. This helps businesses save money by optimizing asset utilization and avoiding unnecessary expenses.
  4. Improves security management: Asset Intelligence and Asset Tracking help businesses maintain control over their hardware and software assets, ensuring that only authorized devices and software are in use. This helps reduce the risk of security breaches and data loss.

In summary, Asset Intelligence and Asset Tracking are critical components of SCCM that enable organizations to achieve better inventory management, compliance management, asset lifecycle management, and security management.

Definition of Out of Band Management

Out of Band Management refers to the ability to access and manage a computer system or network device through a dedicated management channel. This channel is separate from the main data channel used by the device to communicate with its users.

In other words, out of band management allows IT professionals to remotely manage and troubleshoot network devices, even if the devices are having issues with their regular network connections. The management channel may use a variety of methods, such as dial-up, serial connections, or separate Ethernet ports, to provide access to the device.

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