So yeah we been busy Bees this week! Hot on the heels of our iPXE Anywhere release comes a MAJOR revamp and release of our popular (and still FREE) BITS/BranchCache Reporting tools. Well actually one of our customers has promised to pay us in Baked Beans so we’re in profit on this one already! Not kidding either 🙂
What’s New Pussycat?
So this is a fairly major update, as we have now implemented a ‘standalone’ version of the Reporter – which consists of a separate SQL Database and Web Service, and does not required Microsoft Configuration Manager. The principle is the same; BITS events from the Windows Event Log are reported to a 2Pint Web Service and stored in the SQL database. SSRS is still used for the reporting element. The reports however are different to the SCCM reports. Sexier, more sophisticated, and brimming with Uber coolness..I mean we got Dashboards and drill-downs and allsorts!
Also new are VERY some cool tweaks to the Reporter Client. You can now perform some real-time reporting on a client system using the Reporter client .exe, and you can also report a summary of BITS downloads into WMI for reporting via SCCM inventory (or other systems management tools). The new /realtime switch is my favourite, as it tells you straight away if your download is BranchCaching or not – which was a major ask from customers in a recent survey that we ran..see for yourself! Basically Green is good..Red means you ain’t BranchCaching so much. Simple huh?
Equally sexy I think is the /analyze switch which will summarize the BITS Event log for you so that you can see what’s been downloaded and how well it was BranchCached. It’s all about the visibility folks! Use the /probe switch and we even squirt that summary into WMI for ya…awwww.
We also got new options for:
Location Reporting – now reports IP/MAC/Geo Location data by default (if possible).
Report Size Limit – Used to ensure that you are not sending up tons of download reports for tiny files. Default (i.e minimum job size to report is 32k)
..and a whole host of tweaks and enhancements under the hood
But which Version To Use?
The SCCM version of Reporter does, of course only work with MS ConfigMgr 2012 (and above, including CB).
The Standalone Reporter is aimed at installations where SCCM is not used, or where BITS is used for other content download outside of ConfigMgr. There is no reason why you can’t install the Reporter in standalone mode in an SCCM site. It will still report back SCCM downloads, but we do not report certain parameters such as Package/Application ID etc so you would not be able to report on individual SCCM deployments. Up to you! This version will also work for SCCM version prior to 2012 too so if you’re still in the stone age you’re good to go!
To make things simple for you – we’ve created two distinct sets of documentation and install folders. So go and grab a copy now, and Happy BranchCache-ing and reporting.
//The 2Pint Dudes