Baselines are used to define the configuration of a product or system established at a specific point in time, capturing both structure and details. Configuration baselines in Configuration Manager 2007 contain a defined set of required configurations that are evaluated for compliance as a group.

Configuration baselines contain one or more configuration items with associated rules, and they are assigned to computers through collections, together with a compliance evaluation schedule.

Although you can assign configuration baselines to a collection that contains users, the configuration baselines will be evaluated only by computers in the collection, and not by users in the collection.

You can create your own configuration baselines with the Configuration Manager console, and you can import configuration baselines from the following sources:

When configuration baselines are imported, unless they were originally created in the same Configuration Manager site, you will not be able to directly modify them in the Configuration Manager console. If you need to refine the configuration items to meet your business requirements, the recommended path is as follows:

  1. Create child configuration items with your custom values.

  2. Duplicate the configuration baseline.

  3. Edit the duplicated baseline, and replace the configuration items with your edited child configuration items.

Configuration Baseline Rules

Configuration baselines rules are used to specify how the configuration items included in the configuration baseline are to be assessed for compliance on client computers. They are used to define your required compliance.

There are fixed types of configuration baseline rules that cannot be changed in Configuration Manager. Configuration items can be added to the following configuration baseline rules:

  • One of the following operating system configuration items must be present and properly configured.

  • These applications and general configuration items are required and must be properly configured.

  • If these optional application configuration items are detected, they must be properly configured.

  • These software updates must be present.

  • These application configuration items must not be present.

  • These configuration baselines must also be validated.

Configuration Baseline Assignment

Before client computers can assess their compliance with configuration baselines in Configuration Manager, the configuration baseline must be assigned to them through collections of computers.

The assignment consists of the following properties:

  • The configuration baseline itself

  • Which collection to target for compliance evaluation, and whether it includes any defined sub-collections

  • The compliance evaluation schedule, which is initially configured with the default compliance evaluation schedule but can be changed for each assignment

Configuration baseline assignments are optional properties for a configuration baseline. A single configuration baseline can be assigned to multiple collections by defining multiple configuration baseline assignments.

Dependent Configuration Baseline

One of the configuration baseline rules is to include another configuration baseline. This nesting capability provides a layered method of defining a base configuration baseline for a wide range of computers and then refining this base configuration with additional configuration baselines that have more specific configurations for computers with similar roles.

Dependent baselines are also used when you want to combine your own business requirements with those of an imported configuration baseline (such as best practices from a Configuration Pack) that cannot be directly edited. When the original configuration baseline is modified and a new version is available, you can import the later version without having to create a new configuration baseline.

Dependent configuration baselines are displayed in the Configuration Manager console as a property of a configuration baseline.

Duplicate Configuration Baseline

A duplicate configuration baseline in Configuration Manager is an exact copy of an existing configuration baseline that does not retain any relationship to the original.

Creating a duplicate configuration baseline might be appropriate if you wanted to create a number of similar but unrelated configuration baselines and you had one configuration baseline that you use as a template. Another scenario is if you needed to redefine the configuration baseline rules or configuration items in an imported configuration baseline.

See Also