Windows Servicing Plans vs Task Sequences

On Twitter I asked the following to David James (Director of Engineering, ConfigMgr, Microsoft) and Johan Arwidmark (CTO @ TrueSec):

For example, I have 3 device collections in SCCM that I call:
“Windows 10 Feature Updates – Test”
“Windows 10 Feature Updates – Pre-Production”
“Windows 10 Feature Updates – Production”

With ADRs, that’s quite simple. Just add the deployment to the Software Update Group in SCCM and you’re done. But I was wondering if that is supported in the Servicing Plan scenario too, as with a Servicing Plan you define the amount of days it will take after a build release, before SCCM will deploy the feature update to the collection.

Option 1: Multiple Servicing Plans, one Software Update Group (Automated)

Rob York (Program Manager for Configuration Manager at Microsoft) joined the discussion and he pointed out that you can create multiple Servicing Plans and select an existing update package. Once the update package has been downloaded, it will not be re-downloaded. Proof is in the image below.

Option 2: One Servicing Plan, multiple deployments (Manual)

Chris Roberts pointed out that you can also use the console to quickly deploy the Servicing Plan to a new collection. Using this method, you have more control over the timing when a feature update gets pushed to a new device collection.

That escalated quickly…

If you open the first tweet of this blog post, you see we had some interesting discussions about when to use a Servicing Plan and a Task Sequence. Johan is not a big fan of the Servicing Plan model:

While David James explains what we will see with 1810:

Nick Wiley has a valid point here:

There are some more great tweets in there!

Conclusion

According to me, Windows Servicing gives the best user experience, is easy/quick to setup and is the next step towards Windows as a Service. If you need perform various tasks before or directly after the upgrade, Task Sequences are still required.

Let me know what you prefer: Task Sequences or Windows Servicing in the comments section.

Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Windows Servicing Plans vs Task Sequences

  1. Hi JP,

    After testing a lot and comparing both upgrade techniques “servicing plan vs upgrade TS” I slighlty prefer to use an upgrade TS. The main reason is that a servicing plan breaks the customization from the initial build. With a TS you have much more control to define and configure customizations based on specific requirements from the customer. For instance, in our initial deployment we have a lot customizations and post deployment tasks, they will be broken by a servicing plan and rework afterwards consumes too much of our precious time 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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