Maintenance windows in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager provide a means by which administrative users can define a time period when various Configuration Manager operations can be carried out on members of a device collection. You can use maintenance windows to help ensure that client configuration changes occur during periods that do not affect the productivity of the organization.
The following Configuration Manager operations support maintenance windows:
- Software deployments
- Software update deployments
- Compliance settings deployment and
- Operating system deployments
- Task sequence deployments
Maintenance windows are configured for a collection with a start date, a start and finish time, and a recurrence pattern. Each maintenance window must have a duration of less than 24 hours. By default, computer restarts caused by a deployment are not allowed outside of a maintenance window, but you can override the default in the settings for each deployment. Maintenance windows affect only the time when the deployment program runs; applications configured to download and run locally can download content outside of the maintenance window.
When a client computer is a member of a device collection that has a maintenance window configured, a deployment program runs only if the maximum allowed run time does not exceed the duration configured for the maintenance window. If the program fails to run, an alert is generated and the deployment is rerun during the next scheduled maintenance window that has available time.