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Implementing the Central Administration Site

The Configuration Manager Central Administration Site is the primary site located at the very top of the Configuration Manager hierarchy. This site is needed if there will be more than one primary site in the hierarchy.

There is a very important implementation difference between the Configuration Manager 2012 Central Administration Site and the central site in previous versions. In previous versions, Primary Site Servers can be installed and later connected to the central site. This is no longer possible in Configuration Manager 2012 and Primary Site Servers must be connected to their Central Administration Site during installation. This means that the Central Administration Site must be installed before any primary sites in the hierarchy.

The net result of these changes is that the Central Administration Site is required and must be the first site implemented if there will be more than one Primary Site Server in the hierarchy, as is the case in the sample Company XYZ architecture.

Verify that all of the hardware and software requirements have been met and that the installation configuration prerequisites have been completed.

Installing the Central Administration Site Server

Before running the Configuration Manager setup, run the prerequisite checker to verify the required components have been successfully installed. The prerequisite checker can be launched from a link on the splash.hta page. The splash.hta page can be found in the root of the Configuration Manager media.

Before starting the installation process, create a folder on the C: drive called “SCCMUpdates” and share this folder. This folder will store the latest prerequisite components downloaded during the installation process. This folder can be reused during subsequent Site Server installations.

To install the XYZ Central Administration Site Server on the CM1 server and establish the Company XYZ hierarchy, complete the following steps:

  1. Launch splash.hta from the Configuration Manager 2012 media.
  2. To run the Prerequisite Checker tool, click on the Assess Server Readiness link in the Tools and Standalone Components section.
  3. Remediate any issues the Prerequisite Checker tool finds and click OK to close the window.
  4. After ensuring all the prerequisites have been met, click the Install link in the splash screen.
  5. At the Before You Begin screen, click Next.
  6. Select the Install Configuration Manager Central Administration Site option and click Next.
  7. Enter a 25-character product key and click Next.
  8. Accept the license terms and click Next.
  9. Accept the license terms for the software that will be downloaded and installed automatically on Site Systems pushed through the hierarchy and click Next.
  10. Enter the location to download prerequisites and updates, in this example the previously created share \\CM1\SCCMUpdates, and click Next.
  11. In the Server Language Selection, leave the default English and click Next.
  12. In the Client Language Selection, leave the default English and click Next.
  13. In the Site and Installation Settings, enter a site code and site name. In this example, the site code is XYZ and the site name is Company XYZ Central Administration Site.
  14. Leave the default installation folder and click Next.
  15. In the Database Information, specify the database server name and instance. Click Next.
  16. In the SMS Provider Settings, leave the default of CM1 and click Next.
  17. In the Customer Experience Improvement Program Configuration, choose the appropriate option and click Next.
  18. In the Settings Summary (shown in Figure 3.4), review the settings and click Next.
    Figure 3.4

    Figure 3.4 The central site installation Settings Summary.

  19. The Prerequisite Checker executes a last-minute check. Verify that all prerequisites have been met or remediate any errors, and then click Begin Install.
  20. The installation completes and should have green status symbols next to each component installation.
  21. Click Close to exit the setup wizard.

Installation is now complete for the Central Administration Site and the console can be launched.

Validating the Installation of the Central Administration Site

To validate the installation, check the contents of the System Management container in Active Directory. The System Management container can be seen by launching Active Directory Users and Computers, selecting the View menu, choosing Advanced Features, and expanding the System folders or with ADSI Edit. The Site Server object should exist in this container for the Central Administration Site. In this example, the XYZ Central Administration Site should create an object in the System Management container named SMS-Site-XYZ of type mSSMSSite. As additional Site Servers in Site System roles are deployed, additional objects are created automatically.

It is important to validate the installation after each role is deployed; this ensures everything is functioning correctly before moving to the next step. It is also important to monitor site status on a continuous basis to ensure the health of the environment. For additional information on automatically monitoring the Configuration Manager hierarchy with Operations Manager, review Chapter 8, “Using Operations Manager 2012 for Monitoring and Alerting.”

In addition, open the Configuration Manager console and review the Site Status component in the System Status container. This console is called Configuration Manager console and is located under the Microsoft System Center 2012\Configuration Manager folder in the Start menu on the Site Server.

To view the Component Status in the ConfigMgr console, do the following:

  1. Launch the Configuration Manager console.
  2. Choose the Monitoring space.
  3. Expand the System Status node.
  4. Select the Site Status node and confirm that all statuses show as OK with green icons.
  5. Select Component Status and confirm that all statuses show as OK with green icons.

The Site Status page shows a high-level summary of the Site System roles and the status. This is useful for seeing an overview of the Site Systems and ensuring that they are healthy. If a role is marked with a red error or a yellow warning icon, the component has received status messages indicating a problem with the component. Right-click the component, select Show Messages - All from the menu and select a viewing period for the messages.

The Component Status page shows all of the components that make up the Configuration Manager infrastructure for this site. The component status is based on status messages that are received from the component. Because the component has to send the Site Server status, and the Site Server has to process the status message, the condition of components can be delayed. This is especially true when looking at the status of child sites within the Central Site console because status messages are sent to parent sites based on the Site Sender configuration.

If a component is marked with a red error or a yellow warning icon, the component has received status messages indicating a problem with the component. Right-click the component, select Show Messages - All from the menu and select a viewing period for the messages.

The delay in status messages is often a source of frustration for administrators starting out with Configuration Manager. For a better, real-time view into site components, check the log files with cmtrace.exe, a Configuration Manager 2012 utility. You can identify the log file for a specific component by right-clicking the component and selecting Start, ConfigMgr Service Manager from the menu. Navigate to the component within the Service Manager, right-click the component from the Actions pane, and then select Logging.

The site component Logging option is shown in Figure 3.5. The SMS Executive logging option has been chosen and shows the name and location of the log file, which is c:\Program Files\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Logs\smsexec.log. The size of the log file, 2 MB, is also shown and can even be adjusted here.

Figure 3.5

Figure 3.5 The component log location.

Now that the top-level Central Administration Site has been deployed successfully, the primary sites and other sites can be deployed in the Configuration Manager 2012 hierarchy.

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