Importance of the Microsoft Product lifecycle dashboard – Keeping your environment Supported

The following post was contributed by Meriem Jlassi, a PFE working for Microsoft

Introduction

As a Premier Field Engineer (PFE) at Microsoft, I get asked by a lot of customers about whether products are still supported, are they close to end of life or when do I need to plan upgrades. And before the release of the Configuration Manager Product Lifecycle Dashboard it was more of a manual task of checking the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy site and confirming the end of mainstream support or extended support dates, but that still didn’t give you a list of systems in your environment that are reaching end of support.

And maybe you just never knew you still had this version of software in your environment.…

Solution

Beginning with version 1806, you can use the Configuration Manager product lifecycle dashboard to view the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy. The dashboard shows the state of the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy for Microsoft products installed on devices managed with Configuration Manager.

You can now start pro-actively planning for product upgrades because the dashboard displays what needs to be replaced within the next 18 months.

Prerequisites

To see data in the product lifecycle dashboard, the following components are required:

  • Internet Explorer 9 or later must be installed on the computer running the Configuration Manager console.
  • A reporting services point is required for hyperlink functionality in the dashboard.
  • The asset intelligence synchronization point must be configured and synchronized. The dashboard uses the asset intelligence catalog as metadata for product titles. The metadata is compared against inventory data in your hierarchy. For more information, see Configure asset intelligence in Configuration Manager.

Configuration Manager Product Lifecycle Dashboard

Screenshot of the product lifecycle dashboard in the console

How can I tell which computers are running these older versions of SCCM, Windows or SQL Server? I can drill-through to another report by simply clicking on the hyperlinks found in the Number in environment column. Doing this brings me to the, Lifecycle 01A – Computers with a specific software product report.

There are also additional reports that can be utilized to allow customers to export the data out of SCCM:

  • Lifecycle 02A – List of machines with expired products in the organization: View computers that have expired products on them. You can filter this report by product name.
  • Lifecycle 03A – List of expired products found in the organization: View details for products in your environment that have expired lifecycle dates.
  • Lifecycle 04A – General Product Lifecycle overview: View a list of product lifecycles. Filter the list by product name and days to expiration.
  • Lifecycle 05A – Product lifecycle dashboard: Starting in version 1810, this report includes similar information as the in-console dashboard. Select a category to view the count of products in your environment, and the days of support remaining.

So what’s New since its release!!

Added in the latest version of SCCM 1902 is information for installed versions of Office 2003 through Office 2016. Data shows up after the site runs the lifecycle summarization task, which is every 24 hours.

Configuration Manager Product Lifecycle Dashboard – SCCM 1902

Product LifeCycle - Office

 

Some might ask – but what if I don’t have Configuration ManagerNyah-Nyah

That’s where “Azure Monitor logsformerly named Azure Log Analytics” could be used to provide a Dashboard to help with managing supportability of your environment.

Prerequisites:

  • Azure Tenant
  • Azure Subscription
  • Log Analytics Workspace
  • Monitoring Contributor role (at least)
  • Update Management Solution Enabled (no need for Deployment schedule)
  • Microsoft Monitoring Agent:
    • Direct Agent or
    • Log Analytics Integrated with SCOM or
    • Log Analytics Gateway

This will allow you to start using Kusto query language to find products which are end of support based on the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy site  information and create your dashboard based on specific software.

Example Query: Update | where Product contains “Windows Server 2008 R2” | distinct Computer

End of Life Support

Conclusion

The new product lifecycle dashboard will give you an indication of products that are past their end-of-life, products that are nearing end-of-life and also general information about the products that have been inventoried to help you manage the environment in a more proactive way and plan for upgrades.

I would have to say probably a underutilised capability that will help customers maintain an optimal environment.

So if you have Configuration Manager then it’s all ready to go but if you looking at the Azure Log Analytics option then you could start here to get going – https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/azure/azure-monitor/log-query/log-query-overview.

If you are a Microsoft Premier customer you can reach out to your TAMs for delivery options available!!

3 thoughts on “Importance of the Microsoft Product lifecycle dashboard – Keeping your environment Supported

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