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Deploying the Secondary Sites

Configuration Manager 2012 secondary sites are deployed through the console, via a push from a Primary Site Server. All the prerequisites, such as SQL Server 2008 and .NET Framework 4.0, are pushed out with the role remotely. However, this requires two features to be installed to work correctly. Those features are as follows:

  • Remote Differential Compression
  • .NET Framework 3.5

To install these prerequisites using the command line, run PowerShell as an administrator and enter the following commands:

Import-Module ServerManager
Add-WindowsFeature Net-Framework,RDC

In addition, the Primary Site Server Active Directory account (for example, CM3$) is the account performing the remote installation, so it must have local administrator rights to the target secondary site server.

If the Windows Firewall is in use, open ports 1433 and 4022 for SQL Server access.

To deploy a secondary site from a primary site, execute the following steps:

  1. Launch the Configuration Manager console.
  2. Choose the Administration space, expand Site Configuration, and select Sites.
  3. Select the primary site from which to deploy the secondary site, in this example the PAR site.
  4. Right-click on the Primary Site Server (the CM3 server in this example) and select Create Secondary Site.
  5. At the Before You Begin screen, click Next.
  6. In the Site and Installation Settings, enter a site code, Site Server, and site name. In this example, the site code is LON, the server is CM4.companyxyz.com, and the site name is Company XYZ London Site.
  7. Leave the default installation folder and click Next.
  8. Leave the default to copy the installation source files from the parent Site Server (in this case cm3.companyxyz.com) and click Next.
  9. Leave the default to install SQL Server Express on the secondary site server and click Next.
  10. Make sure to check the Install and Configure IIS option, as shown in Figure 3.8, and click Next.
    Figure 3.8

    Figure 3.8 Specify Distribution Point Settings.

  11. Leave the default drive settings and click Next.
  12. Leave the default Content Validation settings and click Next.
  13. Leave the Boundary Groups settings empty and click Next. These will be configured later.
  14. Review the summary and click Next.
  15. Click Close to exit the wizard.

The setup begins from the Primary Site Server. A new Site Server appears in the list of sites with a status of Pending. To see the summary status, right-click on the secondary server and select Show Install Status. This shows the summary status message for the secondary site server install.

Because installation is being done remotely, it can be difficult to ascertain what could’ve gone wrong with the installation. However, the Show Install Status messages are very informative and specific. They show the prerequisite checks being done, the download progress, and the installation progress step-by-step. In the event of a failure of the secondary site installation, these messages can be reviewed for the specific reason for the failure. Once remediated, the secondary site server installation can be retried simply by right-clicking the failed secondary site server and selecting Retry Secondary Site.

Validating the Installation of the Secondary Site

To validate the installation, check the contents of the System Management container in Active Directory. The System Management container can be seen with the Advanced view of Active Directory Users and Computers, or with ADSI Edit. The Site Server object should exist in this container for the Secondary Sites. In this example, the LON secondary site should create an object in the System Management container named SMS-Site-LON of type mSSMSSite. There should also be an object for the Management Point, named SMS-MP-LON-CM4.COMPANYXYZ.COM of type mSSMSManagementPoint. Similarly, the TOK secondary site should create an object in the System Management container named SMS-Site-TOK of type mSSMSSite. There should also be an object for the Management Point, named SMS-MP-TOK-CM5.COMPANYXYZ.COM of type mSSMSManagementPoint. Figure 3.9 shows the Active Directory objects for the sites created.

Figure 3.9

Figure 3.9 The Active Directory SCCM records for Secondary Sites.

To view the component status for the secondary site servers in the Configuration Manager 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.

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.

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