Best Practices for Collections in Configuration Manager


Updated: May 14, 2015

Applies To: System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1

Use the following best practices for collections in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

Do not use incremental updates for a large number of collections

When you enable the Use incremental updates for this collection option, this configuration might cause evaluation delays when you enable it for many collections. The threshold is about 200 collections in your hierarchy. The exact number depends on the following factors:

  • The total number of collections

  • The frequency of new resources being added and changed in the hierarchy

  • The number of clients in your hierarchy

  • The complexity of collection membership rules in your hierarchy

Do not modify the built-in collections and instead, copy and then modify the pasted collection (Configuration Manager with no service pack)

If a default collection (such as All Desktop and Server Clients) does not meet your business requirements, do not modify the collection. Instead, copy and paste the collection, and then modify the new collection. This practice helps to troubleshoot collection queries and safeguards against the possibility that future upgrades might overwrite and change the built-in collections.

In Configuration Manager SP1, the built-in collections are read-only and cannot be modified.

Make sure that maintenance windows are large enough to deploy critical software updates

You can configure maintenance windows for device collections to restrict the times that Configuration Manager can install software on these devices. If you configure the maintenance window to be too small, the client might not be able to install critical software updates, which leaves the client vulnerable to the attack that is mitigated by the software update.