My favorite migration feature within System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is Migration Distribution Point upgrade, which is the ability to perform an in-place upgrade of an existing Configuration Manager 2007 Distribution Point to a Configuration Manager 2012 Distribution Point, while also preserving migrated content and converting it into the new content library.  The entire end-to-end process is orchestrated by creating a Migration Distribution Point upgrade job.

But I thought in-place upgrades were not supported? That is true for the most part, but through the migration framework we have enabled the capability to perform this in-place upgrade for Distribution Points only and convert your migrated content.  The Distribution Point can reside on a Secondary Site and/or be a standalone site server. All types of Configuration Manager 2007 Distribution Points are capable of in-place upgrade, including Branch Distribution Points, Server Share Distribution Points, and traditional Distribution Points.  Distribution Points that resides on Primary sites are not eligible to be upgraded.  

How easy is it to create a Migration Distribution Point upgrade job?  First, you have to configure Migration. Basically, this means establishing a link between your top tier Configuration Manager 2012 site and top tier Configuration Manager 2007 site.  A data gathering process runs, collecting information from the Configuration Manager 2007 site, and copies it into the Configuration Manager 2012 site to be later used to create Migration jobs.  Once Migration has been configured, you enable Shared Distribution Points, a one-time action for source sites in the Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy.  Migration is now configured and you can now create migration jobs to migrate objects. Choose a few objects and packages and create a migration job. You are now ready to perform a Migration Distribution Point upgrade job. 

What do you mean the Migration Distribution point job is orchestrated end to end?  Once you create the Migration Distribution Point upgrade job, monitor the status of the job in the Upgrade Distribution Point node of the console.  Configuration Manager 2012 performs the uninstall of the site role through Configuration Manager 2007, then installs the Configuration Manager 2012 Distribution Point, and finally converts all the migrated content.  The only action required is to create the Migration Distribution Point job. 

What special considerations or requirements should we be aware of?  Always check documentation first. The supported configurations for Configuration Manager 2012 Distribution Points are outlined in the documentation, and we only allow the upgrade for supported platforms.  Also be sure to remove the Configuration Manager 2007 agent from the Distribution Point, especially Branch Distribution Points, before creating the Migration Distribution Point upgrade job.  It is not supported to have a Configuration Manager 2012 site role being managed by a Configuration Manager 2007 client.

I have questions, where can I ask them?  For now and until Configuration Manager 2012 becomes generally available, the Microsoft Connect OpenBeta Discussions group is an active forum to post questions and get responses from Product Group members.

How can you learn more?  You can get a more detailed overview and step-by-step instructions on TechNet online library at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg682006.aspx.

Is this really your favorite feature?  Yes, but I also love Package Conversion Manager (PCM) which can be used to convert classic software distributions into the new AppModel. At the end of the day, the hope for migration is to save you time while preserving your investment in Configuration Manager 2007.  This is core to the migration framework within Configuration Manager 2012, try it out. See you all at MMS!

Eric Orman
Program Manager
System Center Configuration Manager