About User Device Affinity
I’ve been playing around with UDA with ConfigMgr 2012 Beta 1. Here are some random and scattered thoughts and details on this feature as it currently stands:
UDA is a critical feature of CM2012. Traditionally we have shied away from app deployment to users. In 2012 this all changes. At the moment the licensing models for the applications are too complex to embrace per-user deployment, the deployment process is too complex, and too latent, and the troubleshooting of user-based deployment is also too complex. In CM 2012, this is no longer the case.
UDA defines a relationship between a user and a device. Microsoft say that we (the admins) can now think “user” rather than “machine”. We have the concept of a Primary User for a device (can be ennumerated from Top Console User, admin set in the console or user set in the agent or the software catalog(ue). I can also import a list of users+devices and set the primary user during OSD…).
A device can have one or more primary users and a user can have one or more primary devices.
UDA allows us to make intelligent decisions about software provision. For example:
Install the MSI or App-V version of Microsoft Office when the device is a primary device of the user targeted; install the Terminal Server version if the device is not a primary device
Only install the App-V version of Microsoft Visio if the device is a primary device of the targeted user, otherwise don’t install
This eliminates the current problem of users leaving software everywhere they log in. Quite how we license Visio for this scenario, I’m less sure???
This solution also eliminates the need for the logon event, a current per-user deployment bottleneck as the machine can be pre-determined and does not require the user to be logged on.
UDA is a paradigm-shift for us SMS & SCCM admins, and about time too! Machine Groups are no more!