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Manage Cloud Services for Configuration Manager

Updated: October 27, 2014

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

noteNote
The information in this topic applies only to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager.

Use the information in the following sections to help you manage cloud services that you use with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager:

For information about the Windows Intune connector, see How to Manage Mobile Devices by Using Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune.

Monitor Cloud-Based Distribution Points

When you use cloud-based distribution points, you can monitor the content that you deploy to each distribution point, and you can monitor the cloud service that hosts the distribution point.

You monitor content that you deploy to a cloud-based distribution point the same way as you would deploy content to on-premises distribution points. For general information about how to monitor content, see the Monitor Content section in the Operations and Maintenance for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.

For information about how to monitor specific types of content deployment:

To monitor the cloud-based distribution point, Configuration Manager periodically checks the Windows Azure service and raises an alert if the service is not active, or if there are subscription or certificate issues. You can also view details about the distribution point in the Cloud Distribution Points node under Cloud Services in the Administration workspace of the Configuration Manager console. From this location, you view high-level information about the distribution point, or select a distribution point, and then edit its Properties. When you edit the properties of a cloud-based distribution point, you can adjust the data thresholds for storage and alerts. You can also manage content as you would for an on-premises distribution point. Finally, for each cloud-based distribution point, you can view, but not edit, the subscription ID, service name, and other related details that are specified when the cloud-based distribution is installed.

noteNote
With Configuration Manager SP1, you view details about cloud-based distribution points in the Cloud node under Hierarchy Configurations.

For more information about how to control the cost of using a cloud-based distribution point, including how to set thresholds and alerts, see Controlling the Cost of Cloud-Based Distribution Points.

Controlling the Cost of Cloud-Based Distribution Points

In Configuration Manager you can specify thresholds for the amount of content that you want to store on the distribution point, and the amount of content that you want clients to transfer from the distribution point. Based on these thresholds, Configuration Manager can raise alerts that warn you when the combined amount of content that you have stored on the distribution point is near the specified storage amount, or when data that clients transfer are close to the thresholds that you defined. The following table provides information about these thresholds.

 

Option Description

Client Settings for Cloud

You control access to all cloud-based distribution points in a hierarchy by using Client Settings.

In Client Settings, the category Cloud Settings supports the setting Allow access to cloud distribution points. By default, this setting is set to No. You can enable this setting for both Users and Devices.

Thresholds for data transfers

You can configure thresholds for the amount of data that you want to store on the distribution point, and for the amount of data that clients download from the distribution point.

Thresholds for cloud-based distribution points include the following:

  • Storage alert threshold: A storage alert threshold sets an upper limit on the amount of data or content that you want store on the cloud-based distribution point. You can specify Configuration Manager to generate a warning alert when the remaining free space of your storage alert threshold reaches the level that you specify.

  • Transfer alert threshold: A transfer alert threshold helps you to monitor the amount of content that transfers from the distribution point to clients for a 30-day period. The transfer alert threshold monitors the transfer of data for the last 30 days, and can raise a warning alert and a critical alert when transfers reach values that you define.

    ImportantImportant
    Configuration Manager monitors the transfer of data, but does not stop the transfer of data beyond the specified transfer alert threshold.

You can specify thresholds for each cloud-based distribution point during the installation of the distribution point, or you can edit the properties of each cloud-based distribution point after it is installed.

Alerts

You can configure Configuration Manager to raise alerts about data transfers to and from each cloud-based distribution point, based on the data transfer thresholds that you specify. These alerts help you monitor data transfers, and can help you decide when to stop the cloud service to prevent its use, adjust the content that you store on the distribution point, or modify which clients can use cloud-based distribution points.

In an hourly cycle, the primary site that monitors the cloud-based distribution point downloads transaction data from Windows Azure and stores it in the CloudDP-<ServiceName>.log on the site server. Configuration Manager then evaluates this information against the storage and transfer quotas for each cloud-based distribution point. When the transfer of data reaches or exceeds the specified volume for either warning or critical alerts, Configuration Manager generates the appropriate alert.

WarningWarning
Because information about data transfers is downloaded from Windows Azure hourly, that data usage might exceed a warning or critical threshold before Configuration Manager can access the data and raise an alert.

noteNote
Alerts for a cloud-based distribution point depend on usage statistics from Windows Azure, and can take up to 24 hours to become available. For information about Storage Analytics for Windows Azure, including how frequently Windows Azure updates use statistics, see Storage Analytics in the MSDN Library.

Stop or start the cloud service on demand

You can use the option to stop a cloud service at any time to prevent clients from using the service continuously. When you stop the cloud service, you immediately prevent clients from downloading additional content from the service. Additionally, you can restart the cloud service to restore access for clients. For example, you might want to stop a cloud service when data thresholds are reached.

When you stop a cloud service, the cloud service does not delete the content from the distribution point and does not prevent the site server from transferring additional content to the cloud-based distribution point.

To stop a cloud service, in the Configuration Manager console, select the distribution point in the Cloud Distribution Points node under Cloud Services, in the Administration workspace. Next, click Stop service to stop the cloud service that runs in Windows Azure.

noteNote
With Configuration Manager SP1, you manage the cloud service in the Cloud node under Hierarchy Configurations.

In addition to the use of data thresholds, client settings, and directly managing the cloud service, peer caching can help reduce the number of data transfers from cloud-based distribution points.

By default, Configuration Manager clients that are configured for Windows BranchCache can transfer content by using cloud-based distribution points. For more information, see the following:

Backup and Recovery of Cloud-Based Distribution Points

When you use a cloud-based distribution point in your hierarchy, use the following information to help you plan for backup or recovery of the distribution point:

  • When you use the predefined Backup Site Server maintenance task, Configuration Manager automatically includes the configurations for the cloud-based distribution point.

  • It is best practice to back up and save a copy of both the management certificate and service certificate in use with a cloud-based distribution point. In the event that you restore the Configuration Manager primary site that manages the cloud-base distribution point to a different computer, you must re-import the certificates before you can continue to use them.

Uninstalling Cloud-Based Distribution Points

To uninstall a cloud-based distribution point, select the distribution point in the Configuration Manager console, and then select Delete.

When you delete a cloud-based distribution point from a hierarchy, Configuration Manager removes the content from the cloud service in Windows Azure.

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For additional resources, see Information and Support for Configuration Manager.

Tip: Use this query to find online documentation in the TechNet Library for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. For instructions and examples, see Search the Configuration Manager Documentation Library.
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