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Configure Database Replicas for Management Points

Updated: April 1, 2014

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

You can configure System Center 2012 Configuration Manager management points in a primary site to use a replica of the site database. Management points at secondary sites do not support database replicas.

At each primary site, you can configure one or more computers that run SQL Server to host a database replica, and more than one management point at that site can use the same database replica. When a management point uses a database replica, that management point requests data from the SQL Server computer that hosts the database replica. Because requests are made to the database replica server and replace direct requests to the site database server, this configuration can help reduce the CPU processing requirements on the site database server when there are large numbers of clients that make frequent requests for client policy.

When you use a database replica, regularly monitor the site database server and each database replica server to ensure that replication occurs between them, and that the performance of the database replica server is sufficient for the site and client performance that you require.

Use the following sections to help you configure and manage database replicas:

Configurations for Using a Database Replica

To use a database replica, all the following configurations are required:

  • SQL Server on the site database server and on the database replica server must have the SQL Server replication installed.

  • The site database must publish the database replica.

  • Each remote SQL Server computer that will host a database replica must subscribe to the published database replica.

  • You must configure each management point that will use the database replica to communicate with the database replica server and database replica.

  • Each SQL Server computer that will host a database replica must have a self-signed certificate for management points to use on remote computers to communicate with the database replica server.

  • You must configure the SQL Server in use for the site database and each database replica to support a Max Text Repl Size of 2 GB. For an example of how to configure this for SQL Server 2012, see Configure the max text repl size Server Configuration Option.

To configure a database replica, you must complete the procedures in the following sections:

Beginning with Configuration Manager SP1, you must also complete the procedure in the following section:

Configuring the Site Database Server to Publish the Database Replica

Use the following procedure as an example of how to configure the site database server on a Windows Server 2008 R2 computer to publish the database replica. If you have a different operating system version, refer to your operating system documentation and adjust the steps in this procedure as necessary.

To configure the site database server
  1. On the site database server, set the SQL Server Agent to automatically start.

  2. On the site database server, create a local user group with the name ConfigMgr_MPReplicaAccess. You must add the computer account for each database replica server that you use at this site to this group to enable those database replica servers to synchronize with the published database replica.

  3. On the site database server, configure a file share with the name ConfigMgr_MPReplica.

  4. Add the following permissions to the ConfigMgr_MPReplica share:

    noteNote
    If the SQL Server Agent uses an account other than the local system account, replace SYSTEM with that account name in the following list.

    • Share Permissions:

      • SYSTEM: Write

      • ConfigMgr_MPReplicaAccess: Read

    • NTFS Permissions:

      • SYSTEM: Full Control

      • ConfigMgr_MPReplicaAccess: Read, Read & execute, List folder contents


  5. Use SQL Server Management Studio to connect to the site database and run the following stored procedure as a query: spCreateMPReplicaPublication

When the stored procedure completes, the site database server is configured to publish the database replica.

Configuring the Database Replica Server

The database replica server is a computer that runs SQL Server and that hosts a replica of the site database for management points to use. On a fixed schedule, the database replica server synchronizes its copy of the database with the database replica that is published by the site database server.

The database replica server must meet the same requirements as the site database server. However, the database replica server can run a different edition or version of SQL Server than the site database server uses. For information about the supported versions of SQL Server, see the Configurations for the SQL Server Site Database section in the Supported Configurations for Configuration Manager topic.

ImportantImportant
The SQL Server Service on the computer that hosts the replica database must run as the System account.

Use the following procedure as an example of how to configure a database replica server on a Windows Server 2008 R2 computer. If you have a different operating system version, refer to your operating system documentation and adjust the steps in this procedure as necessary.

To configure the database replica server
  1. On the database replica server, set the SQL Server Agent to automatic startup.

  2. On the database replica server, use SQL Server Management Studio to connect to the local server, browse to the Replication folder, click Local Subscriptions, and select New Subscriptions to start the New Subscription Wizard:

    1. On the Publication page, in the Publisher list box, select Find SQL Server Publisher, enter the name of the sites database server, and then click Connect.

    2. Select ConfigMgr_MPReplica, and then click Next.

    3. On the Distribution Agent Location page, select Run each agent at its Subscriber (pull subscriptions), and click Next.

    4. On the Subscribers page do one of the following:

      • Select an existing database from the database replica server to use for the database replica, and then click OK.

      • Select New database to create a new database for the database replica. On the New Database page, specify a database name, and then click OK.

    5. Click Next to continue.

    6. On the Distribution Agent Security page, click the properties button (.…) in the Subscriber Connection row of the dialog box, and then configure the security settings for the connection.

      TipTip
      The properties button, (….), is in the fourth column of the display box.

      Security settings:

      • Configure the account that runs the Distribution Agent process (the process account):

        • If the SQL Server Agent runs as local system, select Run under the SQL Server Agent service account (This is not a recommended security best practice.)

        • If the SQL Server Agent runs by using a different account, select Run under the following Windows account, and then configure that account. You can specify a Windows account or a SQL Server account.

        ImportantImportant
        You must grant the account that runs the Distribution Agent permissions to the publisher as a pull subscription. For information about configuring these permissions, see Distribution Agent Security in the SQL Server TechNet.Library.

      • For Connect to the Distributor, select By impersonating the process account.

      • For Connect to the Subscriber, select By impersonating the process account.

      After you configure the connection security settings, click OK to save them, and then click Next.

    7. On the Synchronization Schedule page, in the Agent Schedule list box, select Define schedule, and then configure the New Job Schedule. Set the frequency to occur Daily, recur every 5 minute(s), and the duration to have No end date. Click Next to save the schedule, and then click Next again.

    8. On the Wizard Actions page, select the check box for Create the subscriptions(s), and then click Next.

    9. On the Complete the Wizard page, click Finish, and then click Close to complete the Wizard.

  3. Review the synchronization status to validate that the subscription is successful:

    • On the subscriber computer:

      • In SQL Server Management Studio, connect to the database replica server and expand Replication.

      • Expand Local Subscriptions, right-click the subscription to the site database publication, and then select View Synchronization Status.

    • On the publisher computer:

      • In SQL Server Management Studio, connect to the site database computer, right-click the Replication folder, and then select Launch Replication Monitor.

  4. To enable common language runtime (CLR) integration for the database replica, use SQL Server Management Studio to connect to the database replica on the database replica server, and run the following stored procedure as a query: exec sp_configure 'clr enabled', 1; RECONFIGURE WITH OVERRIDE

  5. For each management point that uses a database replica server, add that management points computer account to the local Administrators group on that database replica server.

    TipTip
    This step is not necessary for a management point that runs on the database replica server.

The database replica is now ready for a management point to use.

Configure Management Points to Use the Database Replica

You can configure a management point at a primary site to use a database replica when you install the management point role, or you can reconfigure an existing management point to use a database replica.

Use the following information to configure a management point to use a database replica:

  • To configure a new management point: On the Management Point Database page of the wizard that you use to install the management point, select Use a database replica, and specify the FQDN of the computer that hosts the database replica. Next, for ConfigMgr site database name, specify the database name of the database replica on that computer.

  • To configure a previously installed management point: Open the properties page of the management point, select the Management Point Database tab, select Use a database replica, and then specify the FQDN of the computer that hosts the database replica. Next, for ConfigMgr site database name, specify the database name of the database replica on that computer.

  • For each management point that uses a database replica, you must manually add the computer account of the management point server to the db_datareader role for the database replica.

In addition to configuring the management point to use the database replica server, you must enable Windows Authentication in IIS on the management point:

  1. Open Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.

  2. Select the website used by the management point, and open Authentication.

  3. Set Windows Authentication to Enabled, and then close Internet Information Services (IIS) Manager.

Configure a Self-Signed Certificate for the Database Replica Server

You must create a self-signed certificate on the database replica server and make this certificate available to each management point that will use that database replica server.

The certificate is automatically available to a management point that is installed on the database replica server. However, to make this certificate available to remote management points, you must export the certificate and then add it to the Trusted People certificate store on the remote management point.

Use the following procedures as an example of how to configure the self-signed certificate on the database replica server for a Windows Server 2008 R2 computer. If you have a different operating system version, refer to your operating system documentation and adjust the steps in these procedures as necessary.

To configure a self-signed certificate for the database replica server
  1. On the database replica server, open a PowerShell command prompt with administrative privileges, and then run the following command: set-executionpolicy UnRestricted

  2. Copy the following PowerShell script and save it as a file with the name CreateMPReplicaCert.ps1. Place a copy of this file in the root folder of the system partition of the database replica server.

    # Script for creating a self-signed certificate for the local machine and configuring SQL Server to use it.
    
    Param($SQLInstance)
    
    $ConfigMgrCertFriendlyName = "ConfigMgr SQL Server Identification Certificate"
    
    # Get local computer name
    $computerName = "$env:computername"
    
    # Get the sql server name
    #$key="HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS\MP"
    #$value="SQL Server Name"
    #$sqlServerName= (Get-ItemProperty $key).$value
    #$dbValue="Database Name"
    #$sqlInstance_DB_Name= (Get-ItemProperty $key).$dbValue
    
    $sqlServerName = [System.Net.Dns]::GetHostByName("localhost").HostName 
    $sqlInstanceName = "MSSQLSERVER"
    $SQLServiceName = "MSSQLSERVER"
    
    if ($SQLInstance -ne $Null)
    {
        $sqlInstanceName = $SQLInstance
        $SQLServiceName = "MSSQL$" + $SQLInstance
    }
    
    # Delete existing cert if one exists
    function Get-Certificate($storename, $storelocation)
    { 
        $store=new-object System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Store($storename,$storelocation) 
        $store.Open([Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.OpenFlags]::ReadWrite) 
        $store.Certificates 
    } 
    
    $cert = Get-Certificate "My" "LocalMachine" | ?{$_.FriendlyName -eq $ConfigMgrCertFriendlyName} 
    if($cert -is [Object])
    {
        $store = new-object System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Store("My","LocalMachine") 
        $store.Open([Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.OpenFlags]::ReadWrite) 
        $store.Remove($cert)
        $store.Close()
        
        # Remove this cert from Trusted People too...
        $store = new-object System.Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Store("TrustedPeople","LocalMachine") 
        $store.Open([Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.OpenFlags]::ReadWrite) 
        $store.Remove($cert)
        $store.Close()    
    }
    
    # Create the new cert
    $name = new-object -com "X509Enrollment.CX500DistinguishedName.1"
    $name.Encode("CN=" + $sqlServerName, 0)
    
    $key = new-object -com "X509Enrollment.CX509PrivateKey.1"
    $key.ProviderName = "Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider"
    $key.KeySpec = 1
    $key.Length = 1024
    $key.SecurityDescriptor = "D:PAI(A;;0xd01f01ff;;;SY)(A;;0xd01f01ff;;;BA)(A;;0x80120089;;;NS)"
    $key.MachineContext = 1
    $key.Create()
    
    $serverauthoid = new-object -com "X509Enrollment.CObjectId.1"
    $serverauthoid.InitializeFromValue("1.3.6.1.5.5.7.3.1")
    $ekuoids = new-object -com "X509Enrollment.CObjectIds.1"
    $ekuoids.add($serverauthoid)
    $ekuext = new-object -com "X509Enrollment.CX509ExtensionEnhancedKeyUsage.1"
    $ekuext.InitializeEncode($ekuoids)
    
    $cert = new-object -com "X509Enrollment.CX509CertificateRequestCertificate.1"
    $cert.InitializeFromPrivateKey(2, $key, "")
    $cert.Subject = $name
    $cert.Issuer = $cert.Subject
    $cert.NotBefore = get-date
    $cert.NotAfter = $cert.NotBefore.AddDays(3650)
    $cert.X509Extensions.Add($ekuext)
    $cert.Encode()
    
    $enrollment = new-object -com "X509Enrollment.CX509Enrollment.1"
    $enrollment.InitializeFromRequest($cert)
    $enrollment.CertificateFriendlyName = "ConfigMgr SQL Server Identification Certificate"
    $certdata = $enrollment.CreateRequest(0x1)
    $enrollment.InstallResponse(0x2, $certdata, 0x1, "")
    
    # Add this cert to the trusted peoples store
    [Byte[]]$bytes = [System.Convert]::FromBase64String($certdata)
    
    $trustedPeople = new-object System.Security.Cryptography.X509certificates.X509Store "TrustedPeople", "LocalMachine"
    $trustedPeople.Open([Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.OpenFlags]::ReadWrite)
    $trustedPeople.Add([Security.Cryptography.X509Certificates.X509Certificate2]$bytes)
    $trustedPeople.Close()
    
    # Get thumbprint from cert
    $sha = new-object System.Security.Cryptography.SHA1CryptoServiceProvider
    $certHash = $sha.ComputeHash($bytes)
    $certHashCharArray = "";
    $certThumbprint = "";
    
    # Format the bytes into a hexadecimal string
    foreach($byte in $certHash)
    {
        $temp = ($byte | % {"{0:x}" -f $_}) -join ""
        $temp = ($temp | % {"{0,2}" -f $_})
        $certHashCharArray = $certHashCharArray+ $temp;
    }
    $certHashCharArray = $certHashCharArray.Replace(' ', '0');
    
    # SQL needs the thumbprint in lower case
    foreach($char in $certHashCharArray)
    {
        [System.String]$myString = $char;
        $certThumbprint = $certThumbprint + $myString.ToLower();
    }
    
    # Configure SQL to use this cert
    $path = "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\Instance Names\SQL"
    $subKey = (Get-ItemProperty $path).$sqlInstanceName
    $realPath = "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Microsoft SQL Server\" + $subKey + "\MSSQLServer\SuperSocketNetLib"
    $certKeyName = "Certificate"
    Set-ItemProperty -path $realPath -name $certKeyName -Type string -Value $certThumbprint
    
    # restart sql service
    Restart-Service $SQLServiceName -Force
  3. On the database replica server, run the following command that applies to the configuration of your SQL Server:

    • For a default instance of SQL Server: Right-click the file CreateMPReplicaCert.ps1 and select Run with PowerShell. When the script runs, it creates the self-signed certificate and configures SQL Server to use the certificate.

    • For a named instance of SQL Server: Use PowerShell to run the command %path%\CreateMPReplicaCert.ps1 xxxxxx where xxxxxx is the name of the SQL Server instance.

    • After the script completes, verify that the SQL Server Agent is running. If not, restart the SQL Server Agent.

To configure remote management points to use the self-signed certificate of the database replica server
  1. Perform the following steps on the database replica server to export the server’s self-signed certificate:

    1. Click Start, click Run, and type mmc.exe. In the empty console, click File, and then click Add/Remove Snap-in.

    2. In the Add or Remove Snap-ins dialog box, select Certificates from the list of Available snap-ins, and then click Add.

    3. In the Certificate snap-in dialog box, select Computer account, and then click Next.

    4. In the Select Computer dialog box, ensure that Local computer: (the computer this console is running on) is selected, and then click Finish.

    5. In the Add or Remove Snap-ins dialog box, click OK.

    6. In the console, expand Certificates (Local Computer), expand Personal, and select Certificates.

    7. Right-click the certificate with the friendly name of ConfigMgr SQL Server Identification Certificate, click All Tasks, and then select Export.

    8. Complete the Certificate Export Wizard by using the default options and save the certificate with the .cer file name extension.

  2. Perform the following steps on the management point computer to add the self-signed certificate for the database replica server to the Trusted People certificate store on the management point:

    1. Repeat the preceding steps 1.a through 1.e to configure the Certificate snap-in MMC on the management point computer.

    2. In the console, expand Certificates (Local Computer), expand Trusted People, right-click Certificates, select All Tasks, and then select Import to start the Certificate Import Wizard.

    3. On the File to Import page, select the certificate saved in step 1.h, and then click Next.

    4. On the Certificate Store page, select Place all certificates in the following store, with the Certificate store set to Trusted People, and then click Next.

    5. Click Finish to close the wizard and complete the certificate configuration on the management point.

Configure the SQL Server Service Broker for the Database Replica Server

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

To support client notification with a database replica for a management point, you must configure communication between the site database server and the database replica server for the SQL Server Service Broker. This requires you to configure each database with information about the other database, and to exchange certificates between the two databases for secure communication.

noteNote
Before you can use the following procedure, the database replica server must successfully complete the initial synchronization with the site database server.

The following procedure does not modify the Service Broker port that is configured in SQL Server for the site database server or the database replica server. Instead, this procedure configures each database to communicate with the other database by using the correct Service Broker port.

Use the following procedure to configure the Service Broker for the site database server and the database replica server.

To configure the service broker for a database replica
  1. Use SQL Server Management Studio to connect to database replica server database, and then run the following query to enable the Service Broker on the database replica server: ALTER DATABASE <Replica Database Name> SET ENABLE_BROKER, HONOR_BROKER_PRIORITY ON WITH ROLLBACK IMMEDIATE

  2. Next, on the database replica server, configure the Service Broker for client notification and export the Service Broker certificate. To do this, run a SQL Server stored procedure that configures the Service Broker and exports the certificate as a single action. When you run the stored procedure, you must specify the FQDN of the database replica server, the name of the database replicas database, and specify a location for the export of the certificate file.

    Run the following query to configure the required details on the database replica server, and to export the certificate for the database replica server: EXEC sp_BgbConfigSSBForReplicaDB '<Replica SQL Server FQDN>', '<Replica Database Name>', '<Certificate Backup File Path>'

    noteNote
    When the database replica server is not on the default instance of SQL Server, for this step you must specify the instance name in addition to the replica database name. To do so, replace <Replica Database Name> with <Instance name\Replica Database Name>.

    After you export the certificate from the database replica server, place a copy of the certificate on the primary sites database server.

  3. Use SQL Server Management Studio to connect to the primary site database. After you connect to the primary sites database, run a query to import the certificate and specify the Service Broker port that is in use on the database replica server, the FQDN of the database replica server, and name of the database replicas database. This configures the primary sites database to use the Service Broker to communicate to the database of the database replica server.

    Run the following query to import the certificate from the database replica server and specify the required details: EXEC sp_BgbConfigSSBForRemoteService 'REPLICA', '<SQL Service Broker Port>', '<Certificate File Path>', '<Replica SQL Server FQDN>', '<Replica Database Name>'

    noteNote
    When the database replica server is not on the default instance of SQL Server, for this step you must specify the instance name in addition to the replica database name. To do so, replace <Replica Database Name> with <Instance name\Replica Database Name>.

  4. Next, on the site database server, run the following command to export the certificate for the site database server: EXEC sp_BgbCreateAndBackupSQLCert '<Certificate Backup File Path>'

    After you export the certificate from the site database server, place a copy of the certificate on the database replica server.

  5. Use SQL Server Management Studio to connect to the database replica server database. After you connect to the database replica server database, run a query to import the certificate and specify the site code of the primary site and the Service Broker port that is in use on the site database server. This configures the database replica server to use the Service Broker to communicate to the database of the primary site.

    Run the following query to import the certificate from the site database server: EXEC sp_BgbConfigSSBForRemoteService '<Site Code>', '<SQL Service Broker Port>', '<Certificate File Path>'

A few minutes after you complete the configuration of the site database and the database replica database, the notification manager at the primary site sets up the Service Broker conversation for client notification from the primary site database to the database replica.

Operations for Using Database Replicas

When you use a database replica at a site, use the information in the following sections to supplement the process of uninstalling a database replica, uninstalling a site that uses a database replica, or moving the site database to a new installation of SQL Server. When you use information in the following sections to delete publications, use the guidance for deleting transactional replication for the version of SQL Server that you use for the database replica. For example, if you use SQL Server 2008 R2, see How to: Delete a Publication (Replication Transact-SQL Programming).

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.

Uninstalling a Database Replica

When you use a database replica for a management point, you might need to uninstall the database replica for a period of time, and then reconfigure it for use. For example, you must remove database replicas before you upgrade a Configuration Manager site to a new service pack. After the site upgrade completes, you can restore the database replica for use.

Use the following steps to uninstall a database replica.

  1. In the Administration workspace of the Configuration Manager console, expand Site Configuration, then select Servers and Site System Roles, and then in the details pane select the site system server that hosts the management point that uses the database replica you will uninstall.

  2. In the Site System Roles pane, right click Management point and select Properties.

  3. On the Management Point Database tab, select Use the site database to configure the management point to use the site database instead of the database replica. Then, click OK to save the configuration.

  4. Next, Use SQL Server Management Studio to perform the following tasks:

    • Delete the publication for the database replica from the site server database.

    • Delete the subscription for the database replica from the database replica server.

    • Delete the replica database from the database replica server.

    • Disable publishing and distribution on the site database server. To disable publishing and distribution, right-click the Replication folder and then click Disable Publishing and Distribution.

  5. After you delete the publication, subscription, the replica database, and disable publishing on the site database server, the database replica is uninstalled.

Uninstalling the Site Server

Before you uninstall a site that publishes a database replica, use the following steps to clean up the publication and any subscriptions.

  1. Use SQL Server Management Studio to delete the database replica publication from the site server database.

  2. Use SQL Server Management Studio to delete the database replica subscription from each remote SQL Server that hosts a database replica for this site.

  3. Uninstall the site.

Moving the Site Server Database

When you move the site database to a new computer, use the following steps:

  1. Use SQL Server Management Studio to delete the publication for the database replica from the site server database.

  2. Use SQL Server Management Studio to delete the subscription for the database replica from each database replica server for this site.

  3. Move the database to the new SQL Server computer. For more information, see the Modify the Site Database Configuration section in the Manage Site and Hierarchy Configurations topic.

  4. Recreate the publication for the database replica on the site database server. For more information, see Configuring the Site Database Server to Publish the Database Replica.

  5. Recreate the subscriptions for the database replica on each database replica server. For more information, see Configuring the Database Replica Server.

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