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Backup and Recovery in Configuration Manager

Updated: December 1, 2014

Applies To: System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

Enterprise solutions such as System Center 2012 Configuration Manager must prepare for both backup and recovery operations to avoid loss of critical data. For Configuration Manager sites, this preparation ensures that sites and hierarchies are recovered with the least data loss and in the quickest possible time. Use the sections in this topic to help you back up your Configuration Manager sites and recover a site in the event of site failure or data loss.

SMS Writer Service

The SMS Writer is a service that interacts with the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) during the backup process. The SMS Writer service must be running for the Configuration Manager site back up to successfully complete.

Purpose

SMS Writer registers with the VSS service and binds to its interfaces and events. When VSS broadcasts events, or if it sends specific notifications to the SMS Writer, the SMS Writer responds to the notification and takes the appropriate action. The SMS Writer reads the backup control file (smsbkup.ctl), located in the <ConfigMgr Installation Path>\inboxes\smsbkup.box, and determines the files and data that is to be backed up. The SMS Writer builds metadata, which consists of various components, based on this information as well as specific data from the SMS registry key and subkeys. It sends the metadata to VSS when it is requested. VSS then sends the metadata to the requesting application; Configuration Manager Backup Manager. Backup Manager selects the data that gets backed up and sends this data to the SMS Writer via VSS. The SMS Writer takes the appropriate steps to prepare for the backup. Later, when VSS is ready to take the snapshot, it sends an event, the SMS Writer stops all Configuration Manager services and ensures that the Configuration Manager activities are frozen while the snapshot is created. After the snapshot is complete, the SMS Writer restarts services and activities.

The SMS Writer service is installed automatically. It must be running when the VSS application requests a backup or restore.

Writer ID

The writer ID for the SMS Writer is: 03ba67dd-dc6d-4729-a038-251f7018463b.

Permissions

The SMS Writer service must run under the Local System account.

Volume Shadow Copy Service

The VSS is a set of COM APIs that implements a framework to allow volume backups to be performed while applications on a system continue to write to the volumes. The VSS provides a consistent interface that allows coordination between user applications that update data on disk (the SMS Writer service) and those that back up applications (the Backup Manager service). For more information about VSS, see the Volume Shadow Copy Service topic in the Windows Server TechCenter.

Back up a Configuration Manager Site

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager provides a backup maintenance task that runs on a schedule and backs up the site database, specific registry keys, and specific folders and files. You can create the AfterBackup.bat file to perform post-backup actions automatically after the backup maintenance task runs successfully. The AfterBackup.bat file is most frequently used to archive the backup snapshot to a secure location. However, you can also use the AfterBackup.bat file to copy files to your backup folder and start other supplemental backup tasks. Use the following sections to help you create your Configuration Manager backup strategy.

noteNote
Configuration Manager can recover the site database from the Configuration Manager backup maintenance task or from a site database backup that you perform by using another process. For example, you can restore the site database from a backup that is performed as part of a Microsoft SQL Server maintenance plan. Starting in Configuration Manager SP1, you can restore the site database from a backup that is performed by using System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager (DPM). For more information, see Using Data Protection Manager to Back up Your Site Database.

Backup Maintenance Task

You can automate backup for Configuration Manager sites by scheduling the predefined Backup Site Server maintenance task. You can back up a central administration site and primary site, but there is no backup support for secondary sites or site system servers. When the Configuration Manager backup service runs, it follows the instructions defined in the backup control file (<ConfigMgrInstallationFolder>\Inboxes\Smsbkup.box\Smsbkup.ctl). You can modify the backup control file to change the behavior of the backup service. Site backup status information is written to the Smsbkup.log file. This file is created in the destination folder that you specify in the Backup Site Server maintenance task properties.

Use the following procedure to enable the site backup maintenance task for a site.

To enable the site backup maintenance task
  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Administration.

  2. In the Administration workspace, expand Site Configuration, and then click Sites.

  3. Select the site in which you want to enable the site backup maintenance task.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Settings group, click Site Maintenance Tasks.

  5. Click Backup Site Server and then click Edit.

  6. Select Enable this task, and then click Set Paths to specify the backup destination. You have the following options:

    securitySecurity Note
    To help prevent tampering of the backup files, store the files in a secure location. The most secure backup path is to a local drive so you can set NTFS file system permissions on the folder. Regardless of which option you select, Configuration Manager does not encrypt the backup data that is stored in the backup path.

    • Local drive on site server for site data and database: Specifies that the backup files for the site and site database are stored in the specified path on the local disk drive of the site server. You must create the local folder before the backup task runs.

      securitySecurity Note
      The Local System account on the site server must have Write NTFS file system permissions to the local folder for the site server backup.

      The Local System account on the computer that is running SQL Server must have Write NTFS permissions to the folder for the site database backup.

    • Network path (UNC name) for site data and database: Specifies that the backup files for the site and site database are stored in the specified UNC path. You must create the share before the backup task runs.

      securitySecurity Note
      The computer account of the site server and the computer account of the SQL Server, if SQL Server is installed on another computer, must have Write NTFS and share permissions to the shared network folder.

    • Local drives on site server and SQL Server: Specifies that the backup files for the site are stored in the specified path on the local drive of the site server, and the backup files for the site database are stored in the specified path on the local drive of the site database server. You must create the local folders before the backup task runs.

      securitySecurity Note
      The computer account of the site server must have Write NTFS permissions to the folder that you create on the site server. The computer account of the SQL Server must have Write NTFS permissions to the folder that you create on the site database server. This option is available only when the site database is not installed on the site server.

    noteNote
    The option to browse to the backup destination is only available when you specify the UNC path of the backup destination.

    ImportantImportant
    The folder name or share name that is used for the backup destination does not support the use of Unicode characters.

  7. Configure an appropriate schedule for the site backup task. As a best practice, consider a backup schedule that is outside active working hours. If you have a hierarchy, consider a schedule that runs at least two times a week to ensure maximum data retention in the event of site failure.

    noteNote
    When you run the Configuration Manager console on the same site server that you are configuring for backup, the Backup Site Server maintenance task uses local time for the schedule. When the Configuration Manager console is run from a computer remote from the site that you are configuring for backup, the Backup Site Server maintenance task uses UTC for the schedule.

  8. Select whether to create an alert if the site backup task fails, click OK, and then click OK. When selected, Configuration Manager creates a critical alert for the backup failure that you can review in the Alerts node in the Monitoring workspace.

 

Verify that the Backup Site Server maintenance task is running successfully after you schedule it, to ensure that you are prepared to recover the site if it fails, and also to help plan for data recovery. Use the following procedure to verify that the site backup maintenance task is completed successfully.

To verify that the Backup Site Server maintenance task is completed successfully
  • Verify that the Site Backup maintenance task is completed successfully by reviewing any of the following:

    • Review the timestamp on the files in the backup destination folder that the Backup Site Server maintenance task created. Verify that the timestamp has been updated with a time that coincides with the time when the Backup Site Server maintenance task was last scheduled to run.

    • In the Component Status node in the Monitoring workspace, review the status messages for SMS_SITE_BACKUP. When site backup is completed successfully, you see message ID 5035, which indicates that the site backup was completed without any errors.

    • When the Backup Site Server maintenance task is configured to create an alert if backup fails, you can check the Alerts node in the Monitoring workspace for backup failures.

    • In <ConfigMgrInstallationFolder>\Logs, review Smsbkup.log for warnings and errors. When site backup is completed successfully, you see Backup completed with a timestamp and message ID STATMSG: ID=5035.

    TipTip
    When the backup maintenance task fails, you can restart the backup task by stopping and restarting the SMS_SITE_BACKUP service.

Using Data Protection Manager to Back up Your Site Database

For System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager only:

Starting in Configuration Manager SP1, you can use System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager (DPM) to back up your site database. You must create a new protection group in DPM for the site database computer. On the Select Group Members page of the Create New Protection Group Wizard, you select the SMS Writer service from the data source list, and then select the site database as an appropriate member. For more information about using DPM to back up your site database, see the Data Protection Manager Documentation Library on TechNet.

ImportantImportant
Configuration Manager does not support DPM backup for a SQL Server cluster that uses a named instance, but does support DPM backup on a SQL Server cluster that uses the default instance of SQL Server.

After you restore the site database, follow the steps in Setup to recover the site. Select the Use a site database that has been manually recovered recovery option to use the site database that you recovered by using Data Protection Manager.

Archiving the Backup Snapshot

The first time the Backup Site Server maintenance task runs, it creates a backup snapshot, which you can use to recover your site server in case of a failure. When the backup task runs again during subsequent cycles, it creates a new backup snapshot that overwrites the previous snapshot. As a result, the site has only a single backup snapshot, and you have no way of retrieving an earlier backup snapshot.

As a best practice, keep multiple archives of the backup snapshot for the following reasons:

  • It is common for backup media to fail, get misplaced, or have only a partial backup stored on it. Recovering a failed stand-alone primary site from an older backup is better than recovering without any backup. For a site server in a hierarchy, the backup must be in the SQL Server change tracking retention period, or the backup is not required.

  • A corruption in the site can go undetected for several backup cycles. You might have to go back several cycles and use the backup snapshot from before the site became corrupted. This applies to a stand-alone primary site and sites in a hierarchy where the backup is in the SQL Server change tracking retention period.

  • The site might have no backup snapshot at all if, for example, the Backup Site Server maintenance task fails. Because the backup task removes the previous backup snapshot before it starts to back up the current data, there will not be a valid backup snapshot.

Using the AfterBackup.bat File

After successfully backing up the site, the Backup Site Server task automatically attempts to run a file that is named AfterBackup.bat. You must manually create the AfterBackup.bat file in <ConfigMgrInstallationFolder>\Inboxes\Smsbkup. If an AfterBackup.bat file exists, and is stored in the correct folder, the file automatically runs after the backup task is completed. The AfterBackup.bat file lets you archive the backup snapshot at the end of every backup operation, and automatically perform other post-backup tasks that are not part of the Backup Site Server maintenance task. The AfterBackup.bat file integrates the archive and the backup operations, thereby ensuring that every new backup snapshot is archived. When the AfterBackup.bat file is not present, the backup task skips it without effect on the backup operation. To verify that the site backup task successfully ran the AfterBackup.bat file, see the Component Status node in the Monitoring workspace and review the status messages for SMS_SITE_BACKUP. When the task successfully started the AfterBackup.bat command file, you see message ID 5040.

TipTip
To create the AfterBackup.bat file to archive your site server backup files, you must use a copy command tool in the batch file such as Robocopy. For example, you could create the AfterBackup.bat file, and on the first line, you could add something similar to: Robocopy E:\ConfigMgr_Backup \\ServerName\ShareName\ConfigMgr_Backup /MIR. For more information about Robocopy, see the Robocopy command-line reference webpage.

Although the intended use of the AfterBackup.bat is to archive backup snapshots, you can create an AfterBackup.bat file to perform additional tasks at the end of every backup operation.

Supplemental Backup Tasks

The Backup Site Server maintenance task provides a backup snapshot for the site server files and site database, but there are other items not backed up that you must consider when you create your backup strategy. Use the following sections to help you complete your Configuration Manager backup strategy.

Back Up Custom Reporting Services Reports

When you have modified predefined or created custom Reporting Services reports, creating a backup for the report server database files is an important part of your backup strategy. The report server backup must include a backup of the source files for reports and models, encryption keys, custom assemblies or extensions, configuration files, custom SQL Server views used in custom reports, custom stored procedures, and so on.

ImportantImportant
When System Center 2012 Configuration Manager is upgraded to a newer version, the predefined reports are overwritten by new reports. If you modify a predefined report, you must back up the report before you install the new version, and then restore the report in Reporting Services.

For more information about backing up your custom reports in Reporting Services, see Backup and Restore Operations for a Reporting Services Installation in the SQL Server 2008 Books Online.

Backup Content Files

The content library in Configuration Manager is the location where all content files are stored for software updates, applications, operating system deployment, and so on. The content library is located on the site server and each distribution point. The Backup Site Server maintenance task does not include a backup for the content library or the package source files. When a site server fails, the information about the content library files is restored to the site database, but you must restore the content library and package source files on the site server.

  • Content library: The content library must be restored before you can redistribute content to distribution points. When you start content redistribution, Configuration Manager copies the files from the content library on the site server to the distribution points. The content library for the site server is in the SCCMContentLib folder, which is typically located on the drive with the most free disk space at the time that the site installed. For more information about the content library, see Introduction to Content Management in Configuration Manager.

  • Package source files: The package source files must be restored before you can update content on distribution points. When you start a content update, Configuration Manager copies new or modified files from the package source to the content library, which in turn copies the files to associated distribution points. You can run the following query in SQL Server to find the package source location for all packages and applications: SELECT * FROM v_Package. You can identify the package source site by looking at the first three characters of the package ID. For example, if the package ID is CEN00001, the site code for the source site is CEN. When you restore the package source files, they must be restored to the same location in which they were before the failure. For more information about updating content, see the Update Content on Distribution Points section in the Operations and Maintenance for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.

Verify that you include both the content library and package source locations in your file system backup for the site server.

Back Up Custom Software Updates

System Center Updates Publisher 2011 is a stand-alone tool that lets you publish custom software updates to Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), synchronize the software updates to Configuration Manager, assess software updates compliance, and deploy the custom software updates to clients. Updates Publisher 2011 uses a local database for its software update repository. When you use Updates Publisher 2011 to manage custom software updates, determine whether you have to include the Updates Publisher 2011 database in your backup plan. For more information about Updates Publisher, see System Center Updates Publisher 2011 in the System Center TechCenter Library.

Use the following procedure to back up the Updates Publisher 2011 database.

To back up the Updates Publisher 2011 database
  1. On the computer that runs Updates Publisher, browse the Updates Publisher 2011 database file (Scupdb.sdf) in %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\System Center Updates Publisher 2011\5.00.1727.0000\. There is a different database file for each user that runs Updates Publisher 2011.

  2. Copy the database file to your backup destination. For example, if your backup destination is E:\ConfigMgr_Backup, you could copy the Updates Publisher 2011 database file to E:\ConfigMgr_Backup\SCUP2011.

    TipTip
    When there is more than one database file on a computer, consider storing the file in a subfolder that indicates the user profile in which the database file is associated. For example, you could have one database file in E:\ConfigMgr_Backup\SCUP2011\User1 and another database file in E:\ConfigMgr_Backup\SCUP2011\User2.

User State Migration Data

You can use Configuration Manager task sequences to capture and restore the user state data in operating system deployment scenarios where you want to retain the user state of the current operating system. The folders that store the user state data are listed in the properties for the state migration point. This user state migration data is not backed up as part of the Site Server Backup maintenance task. As part of your backup plan, you must manually back up the folders that you specify to store the user state migration data. Use the following procedure to determine the folders used to store user state migration data.

To determine the folders used to store user state migration data
  1. In the Configuration Manager console, click Administration.

  2. In the Administration workspace, expand Site Configuration, and then click Servers and Site System Roles.

  3. Select the site system that hosts the state migration role, and then select State migration point in Site System Roles.

  4. On the Site Role tab, in the Properties group, click Properties.

  5. The folders that store the user state migration data are listed in the Folder details section on the General tab.

Recover a Configuration Manager Site

A Configuration Manager site recovery is required whenever a Configuration Manager site fails or data loss occurs in the site database. Repairing and resynchronizing data are the core tasks of a site recovery and are required to prevent interruption of operations. Site recovery is started by running the Configuration Manager Setup Wizard from installation media or by configuring the unattended installation script and then using the Setup command /script option. Your recovery options vary depending on whether you have a backup of the Configuration Manager site database.

ImportantImportant
If you run Configuration Manager Setup from the Start menu on the site server, the Recover a site option is not available. You must run Setup from installation media.

noteNote
After you restore a site database that was configured for database replicas, before you can use the database replicas you must reconfigure each database replica, recreating both the publications and subscriptions.

Determine Your Recovery Options

There are two main areas that you have to consider for Configuration Manager primary site server and central administration site recovery; the site server and the site database. Use the following sections to help you determine the options that you have to select for your recovery scenario.

ImportantImportant
Beginning with Configuration Manager SP1, there are new options to recover a secondary site. For information about secondary site recovery, see the Recover a Secondary Site section.

noteNote
When a previous site recovery failed or when you are trying to recover a site that it is not completely uninstalled, you must select Uninstall a Configuration Manager site from Setup before you have the option to recover the site. If the failed site has child sites, and you have to uninstall the site, you must manually delete the site database from the failed site before you select the Uninstall a Configuration Manager site option or the uninstall process fails.

Site Server Recovery Options

You must start Setup from the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager installation media, or a network shared folder that contains the source files, for the Recover a site option to be available. When you run Setup, you have the following recovery options for the failed site server:

  • Recover the site server using an existing backup: Use this option when you have a backup of the Configuration Manager site server that was created on the site server as part of the Backup Site Server maintenance task before the site failure. The site is reinstalled, and the site settings are configured, based on the site that was backed up.

  • Reinstall the site server: Use this option when you do not have a backup of the site server. The site server is reinstalled, and you must specify the site settings, just as you would during an initial installation. You must use the same site code and site database name that you used when the failed site was first installed to successfully recover the site.

noteNote
When Setup detects an existing Configuration Manager site on the server, you can start a site recovery, but the recovery options for the site server are limited. For example, if you run Setup on an existing site server, when you choose recovery, you can recover the site database server, but the option to recover the site server is disabled.

Site Database Recovery Options

When you run Setup, you have the following recovery options for the site database:

  • Recover the site database using a backup set: Use this option when you have a backup of the Configuration Manager site database that was created as part of the Backup Site Server maintenance task run on the site before the site database failure. When you have a hierarchy, the changes that were made to the site database after the last site database backup are retrieved from the central administration site for a primary site, or from a reference primary site for a central administration site. When you recover the site database for a stand-alone primary site, you lose site changes after the last backup.

    When you recover the site database for a site in a hierarchy, the recovery behavior is different for a central administration site and primary site, and when the last backup is inside or outside of the SQL Server change tracking retention period. For more information, see the Site Database Recovery Scenarios section in this topic.

    noteNote
    The recovery fails if you select to restore the site database by using a backup set, but the site database already exists.

  • Create a new database for this site: Use this option when you do not have a backup of the Configuration Manager site database. When you have a hierarchy, a new site database is created, and the data is recovered by using replicated data from the central administration site for a primary site, or a reference primary site for a central administration site. This option is not available when you are recovering a stand-alone primary site or a central administration site that does not have primary sites.

  • Use a site database that has been manually recovered: Use this option when you have already recovered the Configuration Manager site database but have to complete the recovery process. Configuration Manager can recover the site database from the Configuration Manager backup maintenance task or from a site database backup that you perform by using DPM or another process. After you restore the site database by using a method outside Configuration Manager, you must run Setup and select this option to complete the site database recovery. When you have a hierarchy, the changes that were made to the site database after the last site database backup are retrieved from the central administration site for a primary site, or from a reference primary site for a central administration site. When you recover the site database for a stand-alone primary site, you lose site changes after the last backup.

    noteNote
    When you use DPM to back up your site database, use the DPM procedures to restore the site database to a specified location before you continue the restore process in Configuration Manager. For more information about DPM, see the Data Protection Manager Documentation Library on TechNet.

  • Skip database recovery: Use this option when no data loss has occurred on the Configuration Manager site database server. This option is only valid when the site database is on a different computer than the site server that you are recovering.

SQL Server Change Tracking Retention Period

Change tracking is enabled for the site database in SQL Server. Change tracking lets Configuration Manager query for information about the changes that have been made to database tables after a previous point in time. The retention period specifies how long change tracking information is retained. By default, the site database is configured to have a retention period of 5 days. When you recover a site database, the recovery process proceeds differently if your backup is inside or outside the retention period. For example, if your site database server fails, and your last backup is 7 days old, it is outside the retention period.

Process to Reinitialize Site or Global Data

The process to reinitialize site or global data replaces existing data in the site database with data from another site database. For example, when site ABC reinitializes data from site XYZ, the following steps occur:

  • The data is copied from site XYZ to site ABC.

  • The existing data for site XYZ is removed from the site database on site ABC.

  • The copied data from site XYZ is inserted into the site database for site ABC.

Example Scenario 1

The primary site reinitializes the global data from the central administration site: The recovery process removes the existing global data for the primary site in the primary site database and replaces the data with the global data copied from the central administration site.

Example Scenario 2

The central administration site reinitializes the site data from a primary site: The recovery process removes the existing site data for that primary site in the central administration site database and replaces the data with the site data copied from the primary site. The site data for other primary sites is not affected.

Site Database Recovery Scenarios

After a site database is restored from a backup, the Configuration Manager attempts to restore the changes in site and global data after the last database backup. The following table provides the actions that Configuration Manager starts after a site database is restored from backup.

 

  Database backup within change tracking retention period Database backup older than change tracking retention period

Recovered site

Global data

Site data

Global data

Site data

Primary site

The changes in global data after the backup are replicated from the central administration site.

The central administration site reinitializes the site data from the primary site. Changes after the backup are lost, but most data is regenerated by clients that send information to the primary site.

The primary site reinitializes the global data from the central administration site.

The central administration site reinitializes the site data from the primary site. Changes after the backup are lost, but most data is regenerated by clients that send information to the primary site.

Central administration site

The changes in global data after the backup are replicated from all primary sites.

The changes in site data after the backup are replicated from all primary sites.

The central administration site reinitializes the global data from the reference primary site, if you specify it. Then all other primary sites reinitialize the global data from the central administration site. If no reference site is specified, all primary sites reinitialize the global data from the central administration site (the data that was restored from backup).

The central administration site reinitializes the site data from each primary site.

Site Recovery Procedures

Use one of the following procedures to help you recover your site server and site database.

To start a site recovery in the Setup Wizard
  1. Run the Configuration Manager Setup Wizard from installation media or a shared network folder. For example, you can start the Setup wizard by using the Install option when you insert the Configuration Manager DVD. Or, you can open Setup.exe from a shared network folder to start the Setup wizard.

  2. On the Getting Started page, select Recover a site, and then click Next.

  3. Complete the wizard by using the options that are appropriate for your site recovery.

    ImportantImportant
    During the recovery, Setup identifies the SQL Server Service Broker (SSB) port used by the SQL Server. Do not change this port setting during recovery or data replication will not work properly after the recovery completes.

    noteNote
    Starting with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, you can specify any path to use for the Configuration Manager installation in the Setup Wizard. Prior to this, you must specify the same path that was used when the site was originally installed.

To start an unattended site recovery
  1. Prepare the unattended installation script for the options that you require for the site recovery.

  2. Run Configuration Manager Setup by using the command /script option. For example, if you named your setup initialization file ConfigMgrUnattend.ini and saved it in the C:\Temp directory of the computer on which you are running Setup, the command would be as follows: Setup /script C:\temp\ConfigMgrUnattend.ini.

Unattended Site Recovery Script File Keys

To perform an unattended recovery of a Configuration Manager central administration site or primary site, you can create an unattended installation script and use Setup with the /script command option. The script provides the same type of information that the Setup Wizard prompts for, except that there are no default settings. All values must be specified for the setup keys that apply to the type of recovery you are using.

You can run Configuration Manager Setup unattended by using an initialization file with the /script Setup command-line option. Unattended setup is supported for recovery of a Configuration Manager central administration site and primary site. To use the /script setup command-line option, you must create an initialization file and specify the initialization file name after the /script setup command-line option. The name of the file is unimportant as long as it has the .ini file name extension. When you reference the setup initialization file from the command line, you must provide the full path to the file. For example, if your setup initialization file is named setup.ini, and it is stored in the C:\setup folder, your command line would be:

setup /script c:\setup\setup.ini.

securitySecurity Note
You must have Administrator rights to run Setup. When you run Setup with the unattended script, start the Command Prompt in an Administrator context by using Run as administrator.

The script contains section names, key names, and values. Required section key names vary depending on the recovery type that you are scripting. The order of the keys within sections, and the order of sections within the file, is not important. The keys are not case sensitive. When you provide values for keys, the name of the key must be followed by an equals sign (=) and the value for the key.

Use the following sections to help you to create your script for unattended site recovery. The tables list the available setup script keys, their corresponding values, whether they are required, which type of installation they are used for, and a short description for the key.

Recover a Central Administration Site Unattended

Use the following section to recover a central administration site by using an unattended Setup script file.

 

Section Key Name Required Values Description

Identification

Action

Yes

RecoverCCAR

Recovers a central administration site

RecoveryOptions

ServerRecoveryOptions

Yes

1, 2, or 4

1 = Recovery site server and SQL Server.

2 = Recover site server only.

4 = Recover SQL Server only.

Specifies whether Setup will recover the site server, SQL Server, or both. The associated keys are required when you set the following value for the ServerRecoveryOptions setting:

  • Value = 1: You have the option to specify a value for the SiteServerBackupLocation key to recover the site by using a site backup. If you do not specify a value, the site is reinstalled without restoring it from a backup set.

    The BackupLocation key is required when you configure a value of 10 for the DatabaseRecoveryOptions key, which is to restore the site database from backup.

  • Value = 2: You have the option to specify a value for the SiteServerBackupLocation key to recover the site by using a site backup. If you do not specify a value, the site is reinstalled without restoring it from a backup set.

  • Value = 4: The BackupLocation key is required when you configure a value of 10 for the DatabaseRecoveryOptions key, which is to restore the site database from backup.

DatabaseRecoveryOptions

Maybe

10, 20, 40, 80

10 = Restore the site database from backup.

20 = Use a site database that has been manually recovered by using another method.

40 = Create a new database for the site. Use this option when there is no site database backup available. Global and site data is recovered through replication from other sites.

80 = skip database recovery.

Specifies how Setup will recover the site database in SQL Server. This key is required when the ServerRecoveryOptions setting has a value of 1 or 4.

ReferenceSite

Maybe

<ReferenceSiteFQDN>

Specifies the reference primary site that the central administration site uses to recover global data if the database backup is older than the change tracking retention period or when you recover the site without a backup.

When you do not specify a reference site and the backup is older than the change tracking retention period, all primary sites are reinitialized with the restored data from the central administration site.

When you do not specify a reference site and the backup is within the change tracking retention period, only changes since the backup are replicated from primary sites. When there are conflicting changes from different primary sites, the central administration site uses the first one that it receives.

This key is required when the DatabaseRecoveryOptions setting has a value of 40.

SiteServerBackupLocation

No

<PathToSiteServerBackupSet>

Specifies the path to the site server backup set. This key is optional when the ServerRecoveryOptions setting has a value of 1 or 2. Specify a value for the SiteServerBackupLocation key to recover the site by using a site backup. If you do not specify a value, the site is reinstalled without restoring it from a backup set.

BackupLocation

Maybe

<PathToSiteDatabaseBackupSet>

Specifies the path to the site database backup set. The BackupLocation key is required when you configure a value of 1 or 4 for the ServerRecoveryOptions key, and configure a value of 10 for the DatabaseRecoveryOptions key.

Options

ProductID

Yes

xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

Eval

The Configuration Manager installation product key, including the dashes. Enter Eval can install the evaluation version of Configuration Manager.

SiteCode

Yes

<SiteCode>

Three alpha-numeric characters that uniquely identifies the site in your hierarchy. You must specify the site code that was used by the site before the failure. For more information about site code restrictions, see the Configuration Manager Site Naming section in the Install Sites and Create a Hierarchy for Configuration Manager topic.

SiteName

Yes

<SiteName>

Description for this site.

SMSInstallDir

Yes

<ConfigMgrInstallationPath>

Specifies the installation folder for the Configuration Manager program files.

noteNote
Starting in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, you can specify any path for the Configuration Manager installation. Prior to this, you must specify the same path that was used prior to the site failure.

SDKServer

Yes

<FQDN of SMS Provider>

Specifies the FQDN for the server that will host the SMS Provider. You must specify the server that hosted the SMS Provider before the failure.

You can configure additional SMS Providers for the site after the initial installation. For more information about the SMS Provider, see the Site System Roles in Configuration Manager section in the Planning for Site Systems in Configuration Manager topic.

PrerequisiteComp

Yes

0 or 1

0 = download

1 = already downloaded

Specifies whether Setup prerequisite files have already been downloaded. For example, if you use a value of 0, Setup will download the files.

PrerequisitePath

Yes

<PathToSetupPrerequisiteFiles>

Specifies the path to the Setup prerequisite files. Depending on the PrerequisiteComp value, Setup uses this path to store downloaded files or to locate previously downloaded files.

AdminConsole

Maybe

0 or 1

0 = do not install

1 = install

Specifies whether to install the Configuration Manager console. This key is required except when the ServerRecoveryOptions setting has a value of 4.

JoinCEIP

Yes

0 or 1

0 = do not join

1 = join

Specifies whether to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program.

SQLConfigOptions

SQLServerName

Yes

<SQLServerName>

The name of the server, or clustered instance name, running SQL Server that will host the site database. You must specify the same server that hosted the site database before the failure.

DatabaseName

Yes

<SiteDatabaseName>

or

<InstanceName>\<SiteDatabaseName>

The name of the SQL Server database to create or use to install the central administration site database. You must specify the same database name that was used before the failure.

ImportantImportant
You must specify the instance name and site database name if you do not use the default instance.

SQLSSBPort

No

<SSBPortNumber>

Specify the SQL Server Service Broker (SSB) port used by SQL Server. Typically, SSB is configured to use TCP port 4022, but other ports are supported. You must specify the same SSB port that was used before the failure.

Recover a Primary Site Unattended

Use the following section to recover a primary site by using an unattended Setup script file.

 

Section Key Name Required Values Description

Identification

Action

Yes

RecoverPrimarySite

Recovers a primary site

RecoveryOptions

ServerRecoveryOptions

Yes

1, 2, or 4

1 = Recovery site server and SQL Server.

2 = Recover site server only.

4 = Recover SQL Server only.

Specifies whether Setup will recover the site server, SQL Server, or both. The associated keys are required when you set the following value for the ServerRecoveryOptions setting:

  • Value = 1: You have the option to specify a value for the SiteServerBackupLocation key to recover the site by using a site backup. If you do not specify a value, the site is reinstalled without restoring it from a backup set.

    The BackupLocation key is required when you configure a value of 10 for the DatabaseRecoveryOptions key, which is to restore the site database from backup.

  • Value = 2: You have the option to specify a value for the SiteServerBackupLocation key to recover the site by using a site backup. If you do not specify a value, the site is reinstalled without restoring it from a backup set.

  • Value = 4: The BackupLocation key is required when you configure a value of 10 for the DatabaseRecoveryOptions key, which is to restore the site database from backup.

DatabaseRecoveryOptions

Maybe

10, 20, 40, 80

10 = Restore the site database from backup.

20 = Use a site database that has been manually recovered by using another method.

40 = Create a new database for the site. Use this option when there is no site database backup available.

80 = skip database recovery.

Specifies how Setup will recover the site database in SQL Server. This key is required when the ServerRecoveryOptions setting has a value of 1 or 4.

SiteServerBackupLocation

No

<PathToSiteServerBackupSet>

Specifies the path to the site server backup set. This key is optional when the ServerRecoveryOptions setting has a value of 1 or 2. Specify a value for the SiteServerBackupLocation key to recover the site by using a site backup. If you do not specify a value, the site is reinstalled without restoring it from a backup set.

BackupLocation

Maybe

<PathToSiteDatabaseBackupSet>

Specifies the path to the site database backup set. The BackupLocation key is required when you configure a value of 1 or 4 for the ServerRecoveryOptions key, and configure a value of 10 for the DatabaseRecoveryOptions key.

Options

ProductID

Yes

xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx-xxxxx

Eval

The Configuration Manager installation product key, including the dashes. Enter Eval can install the evaluation version of Configuration Manager.

SiteCode

Yes

<SiteCode>

Three alpha-numeric characters that uniquely identifies the site in your hierarchy. You must specify the site code that was used by the site before the failure. For more information about site code restrictions, see the Configuration Manager Site Naming section in the Install Sites and Create a Hierarchy for Configuration Manager topic.

SiteName

Yes

<SiteName>

Description for this site.

SMSInstallDir

Yes

<ConfigMgrInstallationPath>

Specifies the installation folder for the Configuration Manager program files.

noteNote
Starting in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, you can specify any path for the Configuration Manager installation. Prior to this, you must specify the same path that was used prior to the site failure.

SDKServer

Yes

<FQDN of SMS Provider>

Specifies the FQDN for the server that will host the SMS Provider. You must specify the server that hosted the SMS Provider before the failure.

You can configure additional SMS Providers for the site after the initial installation. For more information about the SMS Provider, see the Site System Roles in Configuration Manager section in the Planning for Site Systems in Configuration Manager topic.

PrerequisiteComp

Yes

0 or 1

0 = download

1 = already downloaded

Specifies whether Setup prerequisite files have already been downloaded. For example, if you use a value of 0, Setup will download the files.

PrerequisitePath

Yes

<PathToSetupPrerequisiteFiles>

Specifies the path to the Setup prerequisite files. Depending on the PrerequisiteComp value, Setup uses this path to store downloaded files or to locate previously downloaded files.

AdminConsole

Maybe

0 or 1

0 = do not install

1 = install

Specifies whether to install the Configuration Manager console. This key is required except when the ServerRecoveryOptions setting has a value of 4.

JoinCEIP

Yes

0 or 1

0 = do not join

1 = join

Specifies whether to join the Customer Experience Improvement Program.

SQLConfigOptions

SQLServerName

Yes

<SQLServerName>

The name of the server, or clustered instance name, running SQL Server that will host the site database. You must specify the same server that hosted the site database before the failure.

DatabaseName

Yes

<SiteDatabaseName>

or

<InstanceName>\<SiteDatabaseName>

The name of the SQL Server database to create or use to install the central administration site database. You must specify the same database name that was used before the failure.

ImportantImportant
You must specify the instance name and site database name if you do not use the default instance.

SQLSSBPort

No

<SSBPortNumber>

Specify the SQL Server Service Broker (SSB) port used by SQL Server. Typically, SSB is configured to use TCP port 4022, but other ports are supported. You must specify the same SSB port that was used before the failure.

HierarchyExpansionOption

CCARSiteServer

Maybe

<SiteCodeForCentralAdministrationSite>

Specifies the central administration site that a primary site will attach to when it joins the Configuration Manager hierarchy. This setting is required if the primary site was attached to a central administration site before the failure. You must specify the site code that was used for the central administration site before the failure.

CASRetryInterval

No

<Interval>

Specifies the retry interval (in minutes) to attempt a connection to the central administration site after the connection fails. For example, if the connection to the central administration site fails, the primary site waits the number of minutes that you specify for CASRetryInterval, and then re-attempts the connection.

WaitForCASTimeout

No

<Timeout>

Specifies the maximum timeout value (in minutes) for a primary site to connect to the central administration site. For example, if a primary site fails to connect to a central administration site, the primary site retries the connection to the central administration site based on the CASRetryInterval until the WaitForCASTimeout period is reached. You can specify a value of 0 to 100.

Post-Recovery Tasks

After you recover your site, there are several post-recovery tasks that you must consider before your site recovery is completed. Use the following sections to help you complete your site recovery process.

Re-Enter User Account Passwords

After a site server recovery, passwords for the user accounts specified for the site must be re-entered because they are reset during the site recovery. The accounts are listed on the Finished page of the Setup Wizard after site recovery is completed and saved to C:\ConfigMgrPostRecoveryActions.html on the recovered site server.

To re-enter user account passwords after site recovery
  1. Open the Configuration Manager console and connect to the recovered site.

  2. In the Configuration Manager console, click Administration.

  3. In the Administration workspace, expand Security, and then click Accounts.

  4. For each account in which you have to re-enter the password, do the following:

    1. Select the account from the list of accounts that were identified after site recovery. You can find this list in C:\ConfigMgrPostRecoveryActions.html on the recovered site server.

    2. On the Home tab, in the Properties group, click Properties to open the account properties.

    3. On the General tab, click Set, and then re-enter the passwords for the account.

    4. Click Verify, select the appropriate data source for the selected user account, and then click Test connection to verify that the user account can connect to the data source.

    5. Click OK to save the password changes, and then click OK.

Re-Enter Sideloading Keys

For System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager only:

After a site server recovery, you must re-enter Windows sideloading keys specified for the site because they are reset during site recovery. After you re-enter the sideloading keys, the count in the Activations used column for Windows sideloading keys is reset in the Configuration Manager console. For example, let’s say before the site failure you have a Total activations count set to 100 and Activations used is at 90 for the number of the keys that have been used by devices. After the site recovery, the Total activations column still displays 100, but the Activations used column incorrectly displays 0. However, after 10 new devices use a sideloading key, there will be no remaining sideloading keys, and the next device will fail to apply a sideloading key. For more information about sideloading keys, see the Obtain Certificates or Keys to Meet Prerequisites per Platform section in the How to Manage Mobile Devices by Using Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune topic.

Configure SSL for Site System Roles that Use IIS

When you recover site systems that run IIS and that were configured for HTTPS before the failure, you must reconfigure IIS to use the web server certificate. For more information, see “Configuring IIS to Use the Web Server Certificate” in the Deploying the Web Server Certificate for Site Systems that Run IIS section in the Step-by-Step Example Deployment of the PKI Certificates for Configuration Manager: Windows Server 2008 Certification Authority topic.

Reinstall Hotfixes in the Recovered Site Server

After a site recovery, you must reinstall any hotfixes that were applied to the site server. A list of the previously installed hotfixes are listed on the Finished page of the Setup Wizard after site recovery and saved to C:\ConfigMgrPostRecoveryActions.html on the recovered site server.

Recover Custom Reports on the Computer Running Reporting Services

When you have created custom Reporting Services reports, and Reporting Services fails, you can recover the reports when you have backed up the report server. For more information about restoring your custom reports in Reporting Services, see Backup and Restore Operations for a Reporting Services Installation in the SQL Server 2008 Books Online.

Recover Content Files

The site database contains information about where the content files are stored on the site server, but the content files are not backed up or restored as part of the backup and recovery process. To fully recover content files, you must restore the content library and package source files to the original location. There are several methods for recovering your content files, but the easiest method is to restore the files from a file system backup of the site server.

If you do not have a file system backup for the package source files, you have to manually copy or download them as you did originally when you first created the package. You can run the following query in SQL Server to find the package source location for all packages and applications: SELECT * FROM v_Package. You can identify the package source site by looking at the first three characters of the package ID. For example, if the package ID is CEN00001, the site code for the source site is CEN. When you restore the package source files, they must be restored to the same location in which they were before the failure.

If you do not have a file system backup that contains the content library, you have the following restore options:

Recover Custom Software Updates on the Computer Running Updates Publisher

When you have included Updates Publisher 2011 database files in your backup plan, you can recover the databases in case of a failure on the computer on which Updates Publisher 2011 runs. For more information about Updates Publisher, see System Center Updates Publisher 2011 in the System Center TechCenter Library.

Use the following procedure to restore the Updates Publisher 2011 database.

To restore the Updates Publisher 2011 database
  1. Reinstall Updates Publisher 2011 on the recovered computer.

  2. Copy the database file (Scupdb.sdf) from your backup destination to %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\System Center Updates Publisher 2011\5.00.1727.0000\ on the computer that runs Updates Publisher 2011.

  3. When more than one user runs Updates Publisher 2011 on the computer, you must copy each database file to the appropriate user profile location.

User State Migration Data

As part of the state migration point site system properties, you specify the folders that store user state migration data. After you recover a server with a folder that stores user state migration data, you must manually restore the user state migration data on the server to the same folders that stored the data prior to the failure.

Update Certificates Used for Cloud-Based Distribution Points

For System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager only:

Configuration Manager requires a management certificate that it uses for site server to cloud-based distribution point communication. After a site recovery, you must update the certificates for cloud-based distribution points. For more information, see the About Subscriptions and Certificates for Distribution Points for Windows Azure section in the Planning for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.

Reprovision Previously Provisioned Intel AMT-Based Computers

After you have recovered the site, perform the following configuration steps:

  1. Request the AMT provisioning certificate again and select it in the out of band service point properties.

  2. Reconfigure the passwords for the following accounts in the out of band management component properties:

    • The MEBx Account

    • The AMT Provisioning Removal Account

    • The AMT Provisioning and Discovery Accounts

For more information about how to perform these steps, see How to Provision and Configure AMT-Based Computers in Configuration Manager.

Then use the following procedure to reprovision Intel AMT-based computers that were previously provisioned.

To reprovision Intel AMT-based computers
  1. Ensure that you have configured the AMT Provisioning Removal Account in the out of band management component properties.

  2. Remove AMT provisioning information from the Intel AMT-based computers:

    • Do not select Disable automatic provisioning.

    • Select Use AMT Provisioning Removal Account.

    For more information about how to remove AMT provisioning information, see How to Remove AMT Information.

  3. Monitor the AMT status for these computers:

    • Not Provisioned: These computers are ready to be reprovisioned by Configuration Manager.

    • Detected: These computers cannot be reprovisioned by Configuration Manager. If Configuration Manager cannot remove the AMT provisioning information, you must manually remove this information by configuring the BIOS extensions on the computer.

      noteNote
      The AMT Provisioning Removal Account cannot remove provisioning information if the audit trail is enabled and unlocked, or if the account that is configured for the AMT Provisioning Removal Account is not an AMT User Account on that computer.

  4. Ensure that the Enable provisioning for AMT-based computers check box is selected on the Out of Band Management tab in the collection properties.

  5. Confirm that the AMT status changes to Provisioned. You can also run the View the Computers with out of band management controllers report to confirm the AMT provisioning status.

Recover a Secondary Site

For System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager only:

Configuration Manager does not support the backup of the database at a secondary site, but does support recovery by reinstalling the secondary site. Secondary site recovery is required when a Configuration Manager secondary site fails. You can recover a secondary site by using the Recover Secondary Site action from the Sites node in the Configuration Manager console. Unlike recovery for a central administration site or primary site, recovery for a secondary site does not use a backup file and instead reinstalls the secondary site files on the failed secondary site computer. Then, the secondary site data is reinitialized with data from the parent primary site. During the recovery process, Configuration Manager verifies if the content library exists on the secondary site computer and that the appropriate content is available. The secondary site will use the existing content library, if it contains the appropriate content. Otherwise, to recover the content library of a recovered secondary site requires you to redistribute or prestage the content to that recovered site. For more information, see Operations and Maintenance for Content Management in Configuration Manager. When you have a distribution point that is not on the secondary site, you are not required to reinstall the distribution point during a recovery of the secondary site. After the secondary site recovery, the site automatically synchronizes with the distribution point.

You can verify the status of the secondary site recovery, by using the Show Install Status action from the Sites node in the Configuration Manager console.

ImportantImportant
You must use a computer with the same configuration as the failed computer, such as its FQDN, to successfully recover the secondary site. The computer must also meet all secondary site prerequisites and have appropriate security rights configured. Also, use the same installation path that was used for the failed site.

ImportantImportant
During a secondary site recovery, Configuration Manager does not install SQL Server Express if it is not installed on the computer. Therefore, before you recover a secondary site, you must manually install SQL Server Express or SQL Server. You must use the same version of SQL Server and the same instance of SQL Server that you used for the secondary site database before the failure.

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