I got a chance to try my hands on the Client Health Check in Configuration Manager 2012. I tried to replicate two scenarios which are pretty common but can actually bring up the number if inactive clients count in an SCCM infrastructure.
1. SMS Agent Host Service is Stopped
2. BITS Service is Disabled
So we tried the first scenario, in which I deliberately stopped the SMS Agent Host Service. This is pretty common, lot of users with Admin rights deliberately Stop the service so that they are not bothered by periodic updates or anything.
Now, since the Client Health Evaluation happens Once a day (unless you specify it while installing SCCM Agent), we initiated the Client Health Evaluation manually by executing CCMEVAL.EXE (located at C:\Windows\CCM\)
I monitored the ccmeval.log (located at C:\Windows\CCM\logs – for x64 OS).
So there we have it, it checked first, if the SMS Agent Host Service existed or not, second it checked the SMS Agent Host Service’s Startup Type and then third, it checked the Status of SMS Agent Host Service. Now in our case the SMS Agent Host Service existed and the startup type was Automatic (Delayed), but the service status was “Stopped”. So Client Agent Health Check, brought the SMS Agent Host Service back to life. It Started the service once again….. it was pretty quick.
Just to try to again, this time, I stopped and disabled the BITS service. Once this was done, I fired the CCMEVAL.EXE again and monitored the log file again.
This time, it checked first, whether BITS Service existed or not, second, the startup type for BITS Service. In our case, the service existed, but it was stopped and disabled. So the client agent was again very helpful and it remediated the BITS service and changed the startup type to “Automatic”.
These are really small things in SCCM 2012 but can help a lot. If you are just curious to know what all things are checked at the evaluation time, you can check the CCMEVAL.XML (located at C:\Windows\CCM), this has all the parameters which are evaluated.
Here is the extract from ccmeval.xml for the various things which are evaluated for SMS Agent Host Service and BITS Service
Also every time the Client Health is evaluated, a report is sent back to the Management Point. You can check the report at C:\Windows\CCM\ccmevalreport.xml
Here is the extract from the report on my machine
I have not got chance to check if it will be able to solve some common issues with WMI, though looking ccmeval.xml, it seems like it does resolve those issues as well.
But during the initial investigation and evaluation of Client Health Check in SCCM 2012, it looks like it can really ease up Administrator’s job. Nice Job Microsoft!!