SCCM 1511 Usage Data Levels and Settings

In this post we will be looking at SCCM 1511 usage data levels and settings. Very recently I had published a post on installing SCCM 1511 and in-place upgrade to Configuration Manager 1511. When you upgrade your existing version of Configuration Manager to Configuration Manager version 1511 (System Center Configuration Manager (current branch)), you will find a new feature in this version called “Usage Data”. When you install Configuration Manager 1511, it automatically collects diagnostics and usage data over the internet. This information will be sent to Microsoft to help improve your installation or upgrade experience and improve the quality and security of Microsoft products and services. Along with usage data feature, there is another feature recently introduced by Microsoft called Updates and Servicing. System Center Configuration Manager introduces a new update model that helps keep your Configuration Manager deployment current with the latest updates and features. The advantage of updates and servicing feature is that it replaces the need to install separate service packs, cumulative updates, or Extensions for Microsoft Intune to gain new functionality.

SCCM 1511 Usage Data Levels and Settings

Let’s understand the SCCM 1511 usage data levels now. When you install ConfigMgr 1511, diagnostics and usage data is enabled for each Configuration Manager hierarchy. It consists of SQL Server queries that run on a weekly basis on the top-level site server. The service connection point site system role submits this information when it checks for updates. If the service connection point is in offline mode, the information is transferred by using the service connection tool.

If you are concerned about the data that is being collected by Microsoft, you need not worry as Configuration Manager only collects data from the sites SQL server database, and does not collect data directly from clients or site servers.

So where can we find the Usage Data option ?. Launch your Configuration Manager console, at the top left corner, click on the blue arrow. Select Usage Data option.

SCCM 1511 Usage Data Levels and Settings

On the Usage Data page, there are three levels of diagnostics and usage data – Basic, Enhanced, and Full. By default, this feature is set at the Enhanced level.¬† Let’s see a brief description of each level.

1) Basic – This level includes data about the hierarchy data required for your installation or upgrade like site data (operating system version, mode, and time zone), site role (site #, SSL State), the aggregate number of clients by version, and database performance metrics (CPU count).

2) Enhanced – The Enhanced level is the default level set. This level includes data collected in the Basic level as well as feature-specific data (frequency and duration of use), Configuration Manager client settings (component name, state, and certain settings like polling intervals), and basic information about software updates.

3) Full – The Full level includes all data in Basic and Enhanced. It also includes additional information about Endpoint Protection, update compliance percentages, and software update information. This level can also include advanced diagnostic information like system files and memory snapshots which may include personal information that existed in memory or log files at the time of capture.

If one needs to change the level of data collected in the Usage Data settings in the Configuration Manager console, only the Administrators with a role-based administrative scope that includes the Modify permissions on the Site object class can change it. As per Microsoft, the diagnostic and usage data is retained for one year.

SCCM 1511 Usage Data Levels and Settings

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