The Ins and Outs of Data Collection in Configuration Manager 1511

The Ins and Outs of Data Collection in Configuration Manager 1511

A few days ago, we posted up a reader poll to hear what you think about the telemetry delivery services that are baked into the newest version of System Center Configuration Manager. To my amazement, there are those who had no clue that Microsoft had embedded telemetry gathering into ConfigMgr like it has done with Windows 10. Well, and other products. It won’t be long before you can’t use a Microsoft product that doesn’t have telemetry services built in. For ConfigMgr, Microsoft calls it diagnostics and usage data and says the data is used to:

  • Help improve your installation or upgrade experience
  • Improve the quality and security of Microsoft products and services

The numbers in our poll are varied but pretty much along the lines I suspected.

Here’s the stats so far:

You can still participate in the poll here: How do you feel about telemetry delivery services in System Center Configuration Manager 1511?

The data collection is essentially a series of SQL Server queries against the ConfigMgr site database that run on a weekly basis. Data collection is not performed on clients or site servers, though information about those systems are contained in the ConfigMgr site database. Additionally, Microsoft has provided a SQL command (SELECT * FROM TelemetryResults) so you can view what is being transmitted to Microsoft.

ConfigMgr employs three levels of data collection, all which are customizable by the ConfigMgr administrator in the console. These levels are: Basic, Enhanced, and Full. The default is Enhanced. And, while the level can be configured, it cannot be turned off completely. The Basic level is the lowest denominator required. When you install and use ConfigMgr (current branch) you are essentially agreeing to share at least some amount of data with Microsoft. Data is retained at Microsoft for at least one year.

The specific information obtained and transmitted for each level can be found in the Levels of Data Collection section in this online resource: Diagnostics and usage data for System Center Configuration Manager

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