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Determine the Client Installation Method to Use for Windows Computers in Configuration Manager

Updated: July 1, 2013

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

You can use different methods to install the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager client software on devices in your enterprise. You can use one or any combination of these methods that suit your requirements.

The following table outlines the advantages and disadvantages of each client installation method to help you determine which will work best in your organization. For information about using each installation method, see How to Install Clients on Windows-Based Computers in Configuration Manager.

 

Client installation method Advantage Disadvantage

Client push installation

  • Can be used to install the client on a single computer, a collection of computers, or to the results from a query.

  • Can be used to automatically install the client on all discovered computers.

  • Automatically uses client installation properties defined on the Client tab in the Client Push Installation Properties dialog box.

  • Can cause high network traffic when pushing to large collections.

  • Can only be used on computers that have been discovered by System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

  • Cannot be used to install clients in a workgroup.

  • A client push installation account must be specified that has administrative rights to the intended client computer.

  • Windows Firewall must be configured on client computers with exceptions so that client push installation can be completed.

  • You cannot cancel client push installation. When you use this client installation method for a site, Configuration Manager tries to install the client on all discovered resources and retries any failures for up to 7 days.

Software update point-based installation

  • Can use your existing software updates infrastructure to manage the client software.

  • Can automatically install the client software on new computers if Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) and Group Policy settings in Active Directory Domain Services are configured correctly.

  • Does not require computers to be discovered before the client can be installed.

  • Computers can read client installation properties that have been published to Active Directory Domain Services.

  • Will reinstall the client software if it is removed.

  • Does not require you to configure and maintain an installation account for the intended client computer r.

  • Requires a functioning software updates infrastructure as a prerequisite.

  • Must use the same server for client installation and software updates, and this server must reside in a primary site.

  • To install new clients, you must configure an Group Policy Object (GDO) in Active Directory Domain Services with the client's active software update point and port.

  • If the Active Directory schema is not extended for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, you must use Group Policy settings to provision computers with client installation properties.

Group Policy installation

  • Does not require computers to be discovered before the client can be installed.

  • Can be used for new client installations or for upgrades.

  • Computers can read client installation properties that have been published to Active Directory Domain Services.

  • Does not require you to configure and maintain an installation account for the intended client computer.

  • Can cause high network traffic if a large number of clients are being installed.

  • If the Active Directory schema is not extended for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, you must use Group Policy settings to add client installation properties to computers in your site.

Logon script installation

  • Does not require computers to be discovered before the client can be installed.

  • Supports using command-line properties for CCMSetup.

  • Can cause high network traffic if a large number of clients are being installed over a short time period.

  • Can take a long time to install on all client computers if users do not frequently log on to the network.

Manual installation

  • Does not require computers to be discovered before the client can be installed.

  • Can be useful for testing purposes.

  • Supports using command-line properties for CCMSetup.

  • No automation, therefore time consuming.

Upgrade installation (application management)

  • Can use System Center 2012 Configuration Manager to upgrade the client to a newer version of the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager client by collection, or to a defined timescale.

  • Supports using command-line properties for CCMSetup.

You cannot upgrade Configuration Manager 2007 clients to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager by using this method. In this scenario, you can deploy the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager client as a package from the Configuration Manager 2007 site, or you can use automatic client upgrade which automatically creates and deploys a package that contains the latest version of the client.

  • Can cause high network traffic when distributing the client to large collections.

  • Can only be used to upgrade the client software on computers that have been discovered and assigned to the site.

Automatic client upgrade

  • Can be used to automatically keep clients in your site at the latest version.

  • Requires minimal administration by the administrative user.

  • Can be used to upgrade Configuration Manager 2007 clients to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. A Configuration Manager 2007 client can assign to a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager site, but cannot perform any actions besides automatic client upgrade.

  • Can only be used to upgrade the client software and cannot be used to install a new client.

  • Not suitable for upgrading many clients simultaneously.

  • Supplements rather than replaces other client installation or upgrade methods.

  • Applies to all clients in the hierarchy that are assigned to a site. Cannot be scoped by collection.

  • Limited scheduling options.

See Also

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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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