Announcement: Configuration Manager Documentation Library Update for April 2012

Announcement: Configuration Manager Documentation Library Update for April 2012

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The Documentation Library for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and the Configuration Manager 2007 Documentation Library have been updated on the web and the latest content has Updated: April 1, 2012 at the top of the topic.

For those of you who visited us at MMS in Las Vegas last week, thank you for your feedback about the documentation, filling in our surveys, and piloting our new quizzes to test your knowledge on System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.  Based on your feedback, we will incorporate a few changes to the quizzes and hope to make them available to everybody soon.  When they are available, we’ll announce them on this blog.

We value customer feedback and try to incorporate it when possible.  Although we can’t promise to make the docs perfect for everybody, we are committed to continual improvement.  So, keep that feedback coming, and feel free to contact us about anything related to the documentation by using our usual address of SMSDocs@Microsoft.com

 

What's New in the Documentation Library for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, April 2012

The following information lists the topics that contain significant changes since the March 2012 update.

Supported Configurations for Configuration Manager

- Updated for the following updates and clarifications:

  • The supported version of SQL Server from SQL Server 2008 R2 with SP1 and Cumulative Update 4 to SQL Server 2008 R2 with SP1 and Cumulative Update 6.
  • For out of band management, added support for Intel AMT version 6.0 and version 6.1.
  • Clarified that DirectAccess is supported for clients only and is not supported for communication between sites or between site system servers within a site.
  • Removed the third example scenario of a disjointed namespace (supported) to avoid confusion with the configuration for site systems that have a NetBIOS name that does not match the first label of the domain FQDN (unsupported).

Determine Whether to Extend the Active Directory Schema for Configuration Manager

- Updated to clarify that Configuration Manager schema extensions can include objects and classes that are brought forward from previous versions but not used by System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.  For example, this includes the class cn=MS-SMS-Server-Locator-Point, even though the server locator point is no longer used.

Planning for Sites and Hierarchies

- Updated to remove the bullet about fault tolerance being a reason to install a primary site.  Instead, see the high availability options in Planning for High Availability with Configuration Manager.

Planning for Site Systems in Configuration Manager

- Updated to clarify that although a primary site can have more than one fallback status point, clients can be assigned to only one, which happens during client installation.

Planning for Communications in Configuration Manager

- Updated for the information that the Application Catalog web service point, like the out of band service point, must reside in the same Active Directory forest as the site server. Other site system roles can be installed in other forests.

Install Sites and Create a Hierarchy

- Updated the /TESTDBUPGRADE option in the Using Command-Line Options with Setup section to clarify that this switch is not supported on a production database. 

Install Sites and Create a Hierarchy for Configuration Manager

- Updated to change the ClientUsePKICertificate (incorrect) Key Name to ClientsUsePKICertificate (correct) in the Configuration Manager Unattended Setup section.

Manage Site and Hierarchy Configurations

- Updated the Modify the Site Database Configuration section to clarify that Configuration Manager does not support changing the port for SQL Server after the site is installed.  Although you can change the SQL Server Service Broker (SSB) port after the site is installed by running Setup on the site server and selecting Perform site maintenance or reset this site, the SQL Server TCP port can be configured only when you install a site.

In addition, we added a new section, Configure Custom Locations for the Site Database Files. This section provides information about how use non-default file locations for your site database.

Finally, in the Modify the Site Database Configuration section we added an important callout about uninstalling database replicas before you move the site database.

Technical Reference for Ports Used in Configuration Manager

- Updated to clarify that Configuration Manager does not support dynamic ports for SQL Server.  Because SQL Server named instances by default use dynamic ports for connections to the database engine, when you use a named instance, you must manually configure the static port that you want to use for intrasite communication.

Planning for Migration Jobs in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

- Updated to clarify that when a collection migrates, Configuration Manager also migrates collection settings that include maintenance windows and collection variables, but cannot migrate collection settings for AMT client provisioning.

Planning for Content Deployment During Migration to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

- Updated the Distribution Point Upgrade section to clarify the package migration behavior during a distribution point upgrade.

Prerequisites for Client Deployment in Configuration Manager

- Updated to clarify that although most operating systems now include BITS, some operating systems, such as Windows Server 2003 R2 SP2, do not. Unlike Configuration Manager 2007, client deployment in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager does not include BITS, so if you install the client on an operating system that does not already have BITS installed, you must first install it, for example, manually or by using Group Policy. 

In addition, the distribution point is added as an optional but recommend site system role for client deployment.  In System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, computers try to download the client source files from a local distribution point before falling back to a management point.

Best Practices for Client Deployment in Configuration Manager

- Updated for the new best practice to install additional client languages on the site before you deploy clients on computers and mobile devices.  If you install the languages after clients are deployed you must reinstall the client on computers before they can use the additional languages, and wipe and re-enroll mobile devices.

How to Assign Clients to a Site in Configuration Manager

- Updated to clarify the assignment behavior for a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager client when it is assigned to a Configuration Manager 2007 site, either by using automatic site assignment (you have overlapping boundaries) or direct site assignment (a misconfiguration).

Prerequisites for Out of Band Management in Configuration Manager

- Updated the external dependency table to include a link for the supported AMT versions that are listed in the Out of Band Management section in the Supported Configurations for Configuration Manager topic.

Frequently Asked Questions for Configuration Manager

Updated for the new entry:

  • Can I migrate maintenance windows?

Information and Support for Configuration Manager

- Although the information and date in this topic has not changed this month, the links have been updated for the new System Center 2012 Configuration Manager forums, and the new TechCenter website. These links are also included in our updated automatic response when you email SMSDocs@Microsoft.com.

 

What's New in the Configuration Manager 2007 Documentation Library for April 2012

The following information lists the topics that contain significant changes since the February 2012 update.

About Configuration Manager Client Installation Properties

- Updated to clarify the /noservice CCMSetup option and that if SMSSITECODE is not specified, this client.msi property defaults to AUTO (automatic site assignment).

Renewing or Changing the Site Server Signing Certificate

- Based on customer feedback, updated to clarify that this topic contains planning information if you will renew or change the site server signing certificate. Links are now provided for how to request the site server signing certificate and information for how to configure it in Configuration Manager.

 

 

-- The Configuration Manager Writing Team

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights.

 

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  • As we’ve mentioned previously on this blog, we are planning to release a single downloadable Help file for the Documentation Library for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. This will provide an offline solution that you can also convert to PDF. We were hoping to have this ready by now but we’re waiting on a few, but important details to add to the docs.

    When it is available, we’ll blog it here and tweet it (go.microsoft.com/.../p).  

    In the meantime, you might want to try the Print/Export Multiple Topics feature that is available in the TechNet Lightweight Library.  For more information, see technet.microsoft.com/.../help(lightweight) and for additional helpful information, see thirdblogfromthesun.com/.../export-then-print-multiple-library-topics-beta  This is currently restricted to 100 topics at a time, so you can’t download all the topics in the library at once.  However, all our guides except the Assets and Compliance guide are under 100 topics, which means that you can fairly conveniently download the doc library by guide if you want to use this feature.  For example, you could save a PDF version of the Site Administration guide.

    We are also looking at other ways to provide a downloadable solution for the docs and will also announce any updates by using our blog.

  • Hello SCCM Team,

    You really do need to test and support SCCM 2012 with domains that do not have a matching NetBIOS name.  This has not been a hard and fast recommendation for domain deployment over the past decade (I've seen only one article make reference to it as a "recommendation" , without specifying any consequences).  

    As an EA customer currently deploying SCCM in this exact scenario, I'm expecting that MS will support me should we have issues down the line.

    Phil

  • Wow I think the fact that the client deployment in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager does not include BITS will catch out a few people, especially since the documentation puts this point under the 'Dependencies External to Configuration Manager and Automatically Downloaded During Installation' section....

  • Based on the following excerpts from the ConfigMgr 2012 Documentation Library, there appears to be a discrepancy regarding a primary site's support for up to 100,000 clients when SQL server is installed on the site server. The first section implies that a remote SQL server instance is needed for up to 100,000 clients. The second section implies that a local SQL server instance will support up to 100,000 clients. Can someone please clarify?

    Supported Configurations for Configuration Manager >> Site and Site System Role Scalability:

    Primary Site:

    When you use SQL Server that is installed on the same computer as the site server, the primary site can support up to 50,000 clients. When you use SQL Server that is installed on a computer that is remote from the site server, the primary site can support up to 100,000 clients.

    Planning for Hardware Configurations for Configuration Manager >> Site Servers >> Site Details:

    Stand-alone primary site

     Up to 100,000 clients

     SQL Server is installed on the site server computer

  • Hi Frank - thanks for letting us know about this discrepancy about the number of supported clients for when the SQL Server is installed on the site server or not.  We're investigating this and will update you (and the docs) when we have clarification from the product group.

  • Carol - Thanks for your reply. I anxiously await the product group's response. I'm currently planning a stand-alone primary site architecture and definitive clarification about this perceived discrepancy may necessitate a different design decision regarding SQL server placement. Any idea about an ETA for the product group's answer?

    It would also be helpful if the docs included further clarification about the assumptions that were made regarding the coexistence of site system roles in the context of the provided hardware sizing guidelines. For instance, was it assumed that the site server and site database server would be the only roles running on the "suggested minimum configuration" for the stand-alone primary site design? If not, which additional site system roles (some? all?) could reasonably coexist and still be in alignment with the provided site server hardware sizing guidelines? I'm aware that each site system role has its own client count sizing limit that would warrant a remote instance beyond that limit. However, up to those limits, is it feasible to combine site system roles on a stand-alone primary site server?

  • Frank - the answer is that the Supported Configurations topic will be updated to match the Planning for Hardware Configurations topic.

    The update in the Supported Configurations topic will look like this, with the 2nd bullet point for the primary site entry now like this:  

    * A stand-alone primary site always supports up to 100,000 clients.

    * A child primary site that uses SQL Server installed on the same computer as the site server can support up to 50,000 clients. When you use SQL Server that is installed on a computer that is remote from the site server, the child primary site can support up to 100,000 clients.

  • Carol - Thanks for your follow up. Any insights about my additional questions related to the coexistence of site system roles in the context of the provided hardware sizing guidelines?

  • Frank - Supported Configurations is now updated on TechNet.  In addition to reconciling the supported number of clients, it also removes the limitation of matching NetBIOS name that Phil mentions.  I'm happy to report that after additional testing by the product group, we were able to remove this documented limitation that was causing a concern for customers.  You can read more about this from this forum thread: social.technet.microsoft.com/.../45ef5e7a-ee1d-48ab-a7e9-574b3bef3965  

    I'm still investigating your second question - not forgotten!

  • Carol - Thank you and everyone else involved in making my requested documentation changes a reality. Any updates about your investigation of my second question?

  • Frank - We're still working on clarifications for your second question. When I have an update, I'll reply here in addition to updating the docs with any additional information we have from the product group.

  • Carol - Thanks for following up with me. I'll stay tuned for further updates.

  • Carol - Has any progress been made regarding clarification about my second question?