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Identify Your Network and Business Requirements to Plan a Configuration Manager Hierarchy

Updated: February 1, 2012

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

Before you install a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager hierarchy of sites, or a single site, you must understand your network structure, organizational requirements, and the resources that are available to use with Configuration Manager. You can then combine this information with the requirements for Configuration Manager to make decisions about your hierarchy and site designs, and site system server placement.

Use the information in the following sections when you plan your Configuration Manager hierarchy:

Before you design your System Center 2012 Configuration Manager deployment, you must understand the available network infrastructure and your company’s IT organization and requirements.

It is important that you know the structure of your organization because this information can influence how you deploy, use, and support Configuration Manager. It is also useful to know your organization’s long-term plans. Changes such as mergers and acquisitions can have a significant effect on IT infrastructure. External factors that require changes and internal projects (either planned or in progress) can affect how you design and deploy Configuration Manager.

Use the following guidelines to help you collect data about your organization.

 

Considerations Details

Departmental organization

Include the following information:

  • High-level organization charts to help determine the divisional structure of your organization, the design of your Configuration Manager hierarchy, and your method of communicating Configuration Manager implementation updates to different departments

  • Reporting hierarchy

  • Communications methods

  • Service level agreements (SLAs)

IT organization and administrative policies

Consider the following factors:

  • The structure and technical level of local and remote IT divisions, their reporting hierarchies, and local and global IT administrative policies

  • Organizational structure

  • Reporting hierarchy

  • Local administrative policies and SLAs

  • Global IT administrative policies and SLAs

Long-term business direction

Any major business changes planned for the future, such as mergers, acquisitions, major physical moves, or network migrations

To deploy an efficient hierarchy of Configuration Manager sites, and to place individual sites in optimal locations, you must understand the geographic profile of your organization. Many organizations have centrally located headquarters with branch offices located in other regions as remote sites. Organizations that have locations in different cities must consider how to manage resources at those locations. This requires evaluation of the available network bandwidth between locations and an understanding of date and time zone differences that can affect how and when you distribute software to different locations.

Use the following guidelines to collect geographic information.

 

Geographic information Details

Date and time zone information

  • List the time zone for each location, and list any date and time difference between the remote site and headquarters.

  • Time zone.

  • Date and time differences.

Operating systems and international operating system versions

List the operating systems that are in use and their locations.

When you plan your Configuration Manager hierarchy, consider the layout of your Active Directory structure (hierarchical forest arrangement and domain structure) and its physical structure (Active Directory site topology). An Active Directory site typically includes one or more well connected TCP/IP subnets. A well connected TCP/IP subnet has a fast, reliable network connection.

Document your physical Active Directory structure and domain structure before you start the planning phase. Later, when you plan your Configuration Manager deployment, pay attention to the more detailed information of the logical structure, such as the organizational units, because these can help determine how you organize collections, distribute software, and perform queries in Configuration Manager.

Use the following guidelines to collect Active Directory information.

 

Active Directory structure Details

Logical structure

The logical structure of your organization as represented by the following Active Directory components: organizational units, domains, trees, and forests.

Information that you collect about domains and forests must include information about trusted and untrusted domains and forests that contain resources that you will use or manage with Configuration Manager. This includes information about existing domains and trusts across forests.

Physical structure

The physical structure of your organization as represented by the following Active Directory components: Active Directory sites (physical subnets) and domain controllers.

It is important to determine your personnel resource requirements and to assign project roles when you plan your Configuration Manager deployment. To do this, you first must have an understanding of your current IT organization. You require this information during your Configuration Manager planning and deployment phases, and also for post-deployment operational tasks.

Understand the structure of the IT staff in your organization. For example, you might have one central IT group with members in close communication. Or you might have many decentralized groups where communication is not optimal. There might be a central headquarters with IT responsibility, or many separate administrative units with widely varying goals and philosophies.

Use the following guidelines to collect IT organization information.

 

Details

Collect information about your IT organization. Also create an organization chart that maps your IT organization to your geographic profile.

IT reporting hierarchy.

IT departmental divisions that produce an overlap in Configuration Manager tasks (for example, a department separate from the Configuration Manager team manages all database servers, including computers that are running Microsoft SQL Server).

Locations where management control or policy issues exist.

Level of technical sophistication and security clearance of IT staff members who are working with Configuration Manager before, during, or after deployment.

Auditing policies.

Service level agreements for departments, end users, and IT groups.

Operating systems in use on the network.

Sensitivity to security risks.

Change control policy.

Use the following guidelines to collect security policy information.

 

Details

Collect information about your organization’s security policies, such as the following:

  • Account password policies

  • Account reuse policies

  • Account rights policies

  • Client and server lockdown policies (restrictions on disks and registry, services that are stopped, whether services use Domain Administrator accounts, and hidden shared folders that are removed)

  • Auditing policies

Separation of or delegation of duties between IT divisions within the enterprise.

The degree to which users must retain control of client devices, and any exceptions to such policies (such as servers, or computers in use by programmers).

Collect information about how security-related issues will be handled and supported, such as the following information:

  • Sensitivity to security risks

  • Importance of ease of administration

  • Special requirements for secure data access and transmission

  • Service level agreements (SLAs) for applying security updates

Identify the client and server operating system languages that devices use that you will manage with Configuration Manager.

By default, the Configuration Manager console and client-facing user interface displays information in English. However, each site can install support for multiple supported languages that can display information in the operating systems language. This information can help you plan for the languages you require at each site to provide your administrative users and end-users with the language support that they require.

It is important that you know the structure of your available networks, the network topology, available bandwidth, the location of servers, and the location of computers that might be installed as Configuration Manager clients. This information can influence your decisions about where and what type of sites your Configuration Manager design requires.

Use the following sections to assist you when you collect data about your organization.

Create high-level diagrams of your network topology that include any available information that is listed in the following table. Later, after you make decisions about your Configuration Manager hierarchy structure and site system hardware requirements, you can determine whether any equipment upgrades or additions are required before you begin your Configuration Manager deployment.

Network diagrams are also helpful for when you create a representative test environment for a test network or pilot project. Ensure that your network diagram is detailed and specific. If your network is large or complex, consider creating a similar but separate diagram for your domain structure and server topology.

Use the following guidelines to collect network topology information.

 

Network topology Details

High-level wide area network (WAN)/LAN architecture

Links, gateways, firewalls, extranets, virtual private networks, and perimeter networks

Network size

Number of servers and clients at each location

Network bandwidth

Link speeds and available bandwidth, including any known bandwidth issues

Network usage and traffic patterns

Categorize the amount of traffic, and identify the times of day when the network usage is heaviest (peak times) and the times that are scheduled for backup and maintenance (nonpeak times)

Network types

Windows and non-Microsoft network operating systems

Network protocols

TCP/IP, IPv4, IPv6, AppleTalk, and so on, and name resolution methods such as DNS and WINS

IP subnet structure

The Internet Protocol (IP) subnets on your network by subnet ID

Active Directory site structure

Active Directory organizational units, site names, trees, and forests

Configuration Manager uses typical network infrastructure, which includes Active Directory Domain Services, DNS, or WINS for name resolution, and Internet Information Services (IIS) for client communications with Configuration Manager site system servers.

Use the following guidelines to assist in gathering server data.

 

Server data Details

Location and function

Document the location and function of the computers that run the core services of your network, such as global catalog servers, domain controllers, DNS and WINS servers, IIS servers, certification authority (CA) servers, computers that run Microsoft SQL Server or Terminal Services, servers running Microsoft Exchange Server, print servers, and file servers.

Naming conventions

Document current naming conventions for products that you use with Configuration Manager, such as computers that run Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server. This helps you establish and document naming conventions for your Configuration Manager hierarchy elements. These elements include sites, site codes, servers, and the objects that are used by or created in the Configuration Manager console.

Because the site code is used to identify each Configuration Manager site, it is important that these are centrally assigned and tracked.

Hardware, software, and network information

Document hardware, software, and network information for each server to use as a site system role in your Configuration Manager hierarchy.

For example, document the following information for each server that will be part of your Configuration Manager hierarchy:

  • Processor type and speed

  • Amount of random access memory (RAM)

  • Disk and array controller configuration and characteristics, including size, cache size, and the drive models and types.

  • Platform operating system, version, and language

  • Whether the Windows Cluster service or Windows Network Load Balancing Service is enabled

  • Relevant software applications located on servers, which includes firewall and antivirus software

Where applicable, identify information about devices in your network diagram. This type of information can help you determine whether you must upgrade operating systems before you deploy Configuration Manager, the scope of your client deployment for devices, and which discovery and Configuration Manager client installation methods you will employ.

It is important to gather this information so that you can prepare for interoperability and connectivity issues that might prevent the Configuration Manager client from installing.

For example, suppose that all members of the Contoso Pharmaceuticals sales group use portable computers:

  • Some laptops run Windows XP Professional SP2 (which is not supported as a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager client), and others run Windows 7.

  • Additionally, members of the sales team travel frequently from one location to another and use a custom remote access application to access the sales database located at headquarters.

  • The Contoso Pharmaceuticals marketing group, however, uses desktop computers that run Windows Vista. Although they do not travel, the marketing members have home computers that they use to remotely connect to the corporate network over a virtual private network (VPN).

The information about operating systems, travel, and custom applications can help you prepare to manage the computer operating systems that are in use and plan for operating system upgrades before you deploy Configuration Manager. This information also helps you plan for the deployment of site systems servers for clients on the intranet and on the Internet, and make further plans to manage the custom applications that you use.

Use the following guidelines to help you gather data about the devices to manage.

 

Device considerations Details

Number of devices to manage

Total number of devices in use on your network, and their physical and logical groupings.

IP subnet size

Number and types (operating systems) of devices on each IP subnet, which includes the projected number of managed devices in the next year.

Logon scripts

Whether users use logon scripts, and if those scripts are customized to users or groups. Note the file name and location of each script, and users and groups that are associated with each script.

Security rights

Desktop security rights that are granted to end users.

Operating systems

Windows operating systems (include the language version) in use on each IP subnet, and the locations of any computers running operating systems other than Windows.

Device mobility

Computers that are shared by multiple users, laptops that travel from one location to another, mobile devices, all home-based computers that have remote access to the network, and any other device environments.

Software

A database or spreadsheet of all major applications that are in use in the enterprise, categorized by organizational division or by IP subnet.

Special applications

Divisions or departments that use Windows Terminal Services to run applications, or that use other special applications, such as internally manufactured or obsolete applications.

Connectivity

The types of connectivity that different organizational groups use, which includes remote connection speeds (dependent on the remote access method in use, such as wireless, dial-up, the Internet, or others).

After you collect relevant information about your networks and organization, you can combine this information with Configuration Manager options and requirements to plan a site or hierarchy that makes efficient use of your available resources and also meets your organizational goals.

Use the following sections to help you use this data when you plan a site or hierarchy.

Combine the information about your Active Directory environment with the information in the following table to identify how you can use your existing Active Directory investment with Configuration Manager.

 

Active Directory planning Details

Add your Active Directory sites to Configuration Manager as boundaries

Consider using Active Directory Forest Discovery to first identify Active Directory sites and subnets, and then add them as Configuration Manager boundaries.

For more information, see About Active Directory Forest Discovery.

Extend the Active Directory schema to simplify the management of client communication to sites in Configuration Manager sites

The preferred, but optional, method for clients to find information about Configuration Manager sites and the Configuration Manager services that are available is from Active Directory Domain Services. When you extend the Active Directory schema and enable sites to publish data to Active Directory, clients can automatically discover resources from this trusted source, and make efficient use of the network, based on their current location.

For more information, see Determine Whether to Extend the Active Directory Schema for Configuration Manager.

Use Configuration Manager to manage sites that span multiple Active Directory forests

Configurations across forests within a site or between two sites require a full two-way forest trust so that Kerberos can be used for authentication.

You can manage computers that are not members of a trusted Active Directory domain; however, you must implement additional configurations to support these computers.

For more information, see Planning for Communications in Configuration Manager.

Combine the information about your Active Directory structure, your network, and device resources, with the information in the following table to help you plan for discovery, which finds resources for Configuration Manager to manage.

 

Discovery planning Details

Use the Active Directory discovery methods to find computers, users, and groups that you can manage with Configuration Manager

To query Active Directory Domain Services for resources, you must understand your Active Directory container and location structure (local domain, local forest). Also understand how to construct custom lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) or Global Catalog queries so that you can search specific areas of Active Directory Domain Services to conserve network bandwidth for when you run the Active Directory Discovery method.

For more information about which discovery method to use to discover different resources, see the Decide Which Discovery Methods to Use section in the Planning for Discovery in Configuration Manager topic.

Use Network Discovery to discover details of your network topology and computer resources that you can manage with Configuration Manager

To query your network with Network Discovery, understand your DHCP server infrastructure, available SNMP-enabled devices, or Active Directory domains. This information can help you configure a Network Discovery search to conserve network bandwidth for when you run Network Discovery.

For more information about Network Discovery, see the About Network Discovery section in the Planning for Discovery in Configuration Manager topic.

Use Active Directory Forest Discovery to search your local forest, and any additional forests that you configure for Active Directory sites and subnets

Consider using Active Directory Forest Discovery to first identify Active Directory sites and subnets, and then add them as Configuration Manager boundaries.

For more information, see the About Active Directory Forest Discovery section in the Planning for Discovery in Configuration Manager topic.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients use boundary groups during client installation for site assignment, and after installation to locate resources for content deployment. You assign boundaries to boundary groups, and can also assign content servers to boundary groups. Each boundary group can support two distinct configurations; site assignment, and content location.

When you configure two or more boundary groups to include the same boundary, directly or indirectly, they are considered to be overlapping. For example, you might add an IP subnet boundary of 5.5.5.5 directly to a boundary group. Next, you add an Active Directory site that includes that same IP Subnet to a second boundary group. These two boundary groups now overlap because each includes the 5.5.5.5 subnet.

Configuration Manager supports overlapping boundaries for content location. This type of configuration can help to provide additional options for clients when they search for available content. However, Configuration Manager does not support overlapping boundaries for site assignments as the client cannot identify which site to join. For more information, see Planning for Boundaries and Boundary Groups in Configuration Manager.

Combine the information about your network topology, available bandwidth, computer resources, and organization requirements, with the information in the following table to help you plan for boundaries and boundary groups.

 

Options to consider Details

Create separate boundary for site assignment and for content location

Although boundary groups support configurations for site assignment and content location, consider creating a distinct set of boundary groups for each purpose.

  • Configure boundary groups for client site assignment without overlapping boundaries. If you assign a boundary to a boundary group, do not assign it to another boundary group that specifies a different site.

  • You can configure boundary groups for content location with overlapping boundaries. Each boundary that you assign to a boundary group will be associated with each content location server that you associate to the same boundary group. Overlapping boundary configurations for content locations can provide flexibility for clients that request content.

For more information see, Planning for Boundaries and Boundary Groups in Configuration Manager.

Content location

Add specific network locations as boundaries to the boundary group, and then add distribution points that are on fast network connections to those network locations. Clients that are on the specified boundaries receive those servers as content locations during content requests.

noteNote
State migration points are also considered content location servers when you configure boundary groups.

For more information about content location, see Planning for Content Management in Configuration Manager.

Site assignment

Add specific network locations as boundaries to the boundary group and then specify a site to the boundary group. Avoid assigning the same boundary, directly or indirectly, to more than one boundary group that you use for site assignment.

For more information about client site assignment, see How to Assign Clients to a Site in Configuration Manager.

Fallback site assignment

Consider configuring the hierarchy with a fallback site assignment. The fallback site is assigned to a new client computer that automatically discovers its site when that client is on a network boundary that is not associated with any boundary group that is configured for site assignment.

For more information, see the Configure a Fallback Site for Automatic Site Assignment section in the Configuring Settings for Client Management in Configuration Manager topic.

Combine the information about your network topology, available bandwidth, server and computer resources, and organization requirements, with the information in the following table to help you plan where to locate sites and site system roles in your hierarchy and how to manage communications between sites, site systems, and clients.

 

Considerations Details

Consider installing a Configuration Manager site only in a well connected network. Usually well connected networks correspond to geographic locations. For planning purposes, start with the assumption that each well connected network is one Configuration Manager site. Modify this number as you collect more information about your organization.

Identify the number and location of well connected networks that you have in your network.

Within a site, clients expect communication with site system servers to be on a well connected network. When you use a boundary group that is configured for content location, you can manage which distribution points and state migration points a client can access.

For more information, see Planning for Communications in Configuration Manager.

Remote subnets might be too small to justify their own Configuration Manager site.

If you have remote subnets that are too small to justify their own Configuration Manager site, list those IP subnets and their closest well connected network.

From the nearest site, consider placing a distribution point that is enabled for bandwidth control on these subnets to help manage content deployment to clients at those locations.

For more information, see Planning a Content Deployment Migration Strategy in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

In a hierarchy that has multiple primary sites, the central administration site replicates data with each primary site.

Balance the location of the central administration site between a location that benefits the most administrative users, and a location that has a well connected network to your largest primary sites.

Configuration Manager consoles that connect to a primary site cannot see or manage some data from other primary sites.

Database replication occurs regularly between primary sites and the central administration site, and a well connected network can help prevent replication delays of the Configuration Manager database.

For more information about intersite replication, see the Planning for Inter-Site Communications in Configuration Manager section in the Planning for Communications in Configuration Manager topic.

Each Configuration Manager primary site can manage up to 100,000 clients, with up to 400,000 clients in a single hierarchy. However, the practical number of clients that a primary site can manage also depends on the hardware configuration and performance constraints of the site server and site system servers.

Although each primary site supports up to 100,000 clients, site system roles have lower limits. If you configure too few site system servers for critical roles at a site, you can create a performance and communication bottleneck that adversely affects the management of your environment.

For example, management points support up to 25,000 clients. Therefore, in a site with 100,000 clients, you can expect to install at least four management points to provide adequate service to your clients. However, the addition of more management points can provide redundancy and can improve overall client-to-site communications, and compensate for any unexpected performance issues on those management point servers.

For more information about site system server requirements and capacity, see the Site System Requirements section in the Supported Configurations for Configuration Manager topic.

Plan your hierarchy infrastructure by using the fewest number of sites necessary to reduced administrative overhead.

TipTip
In a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager hierarchy, you can reduce the number of sites required to manage the same infrastructure than was required in Configuration Manager 2007.

Configuration Manager can manage multiple instances of the following options at the same site:

noteNote
In previous product versions, the comparable configurations each required a separate site to manage different instances of the option.

Additionally, when you distribute content to network locations that are not well connected and content distribution is your primary network bandwidth concern, you can use the site system role of a distribution point that is enabled for bandwidth control to replace a secondary site.

For more information about how to use distribution points instead of secondary sites, see Planning a Content Deployment Migration Strategy in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

Choose the type of site to use for a given network or geographic location.

Consider the following when you decide the type of site to deploy at a network or geographical location:

  • Primary and central administration sites require an instance of SQL Server, and that instance must be installed on a well connected network.

  • You deploy primary sites to manage clients. Although you can deploy a secondary site to manage the client information from clients at remote locations, the clients must still assign to a primary site. It is from the primary site that clients obtain their policy.

  • Secondary sites extend a primary site to a remote network location. You can deploy a distribution point that is enabled for bandwidth control from the primary site when content deployment to the network location is your primary concern and you are not concerned about the network bandwidth that is used when computers send their client information to the site.

  • Configuration Manager consoles can only connect to a primary site or the central administration site.

For more information about site type options, see the About Site Types in Configuration Manager section in the Planning for Sites and Hierarchies in Configuration Manager topic.

As a security best practice, use a public key infrastructure (PKI) to deploy and manage the certificates that are required for communication in Configuration Manager.

If you use a PKI, document how the certificates will be configured, deployed, and managed for site systems that require them, client computers, and mobile devices.

For more information about the certificate requirements in Configuration Manager, see the Planning for Certificates (Self-Signed and PKI) section in the Planning for Security in Configuration Manager topic.

Prepare Active Directory Domain Services to support client communications, or configure alternatives, which includes DNS or WINS.

For information to help you decide whether to extend the Active Directory schema to support Configuration Manager, see Determine Whether to Extend the Active Directory Schema for Configuration Manager.

For information about client communication, see the Planning for Client Communication in Configuration Manager section in the Planning for Communications in Configuration Manager topic.

Depending on the hardware configuration of your site system servers, the numbers of clients that will use each site system server and the security requirements for your organization, you might decide that one server can perform one or more site system roles. It is also possible that you will have to separate specific site system roles, such as those that use Internet Information Services (IIS) to communicate with Configuration Manager clients, from other site system roles such as the site database server.

The following sections contain lists of typical planning considerations and questions for you to review when you plan for site systems that are typically used in Configuration Manager. Your organization might require additional considerations.

The database server stores information from clients and the configurations that you use to manage your environment. Each site uses database replication to share the information in its database with other sites in the hierarchy.

You can install a database server on the site server or on another server that is on a well connected network location. This site system role requires Microsoft SQL Server, and when you have multiple sites in a hierarchy, the database at each site must use the same SQL Server database collation to enable the data to replicate between them.

Use the following planning considerations to help you plan for database servers.

 

Planning considerations Details

Is this a central administration site, a primary site, or secondary site?

Central administration sites and primary sites must have access to a full installation of SQL Server to host the site database. Secondary sites can use a full installation of SQL Server, or SQL Server Express.

For more information, see the Planning for Database Servers in Configuration Manager section in the Planning for Site Systems in Configuration Manager topic.

Are you planning to locate the Configuration Manager site database on the site server?

You can install the site database on an instance of SQL Server on the site server or on another server. If you install the site database by using an instance of SQL Server on another server, or move it to another instance of SQL Server after site installation, Configuration Manager supports moving the site database back to the site server at a later time.

noteNote
Secondary sites do not support SQL Server on another server.

For more information, see the Planning for Database Servers in Configuration Manager section in the Planning for Site Systems in Configuration Manager topic.

Decide whether to install more than a single SMS Provider at a site.

A site server uses the SMS Provider to communicate with the site database. Configuration Manager supports installing multiple instances of the SMS Provider, but only one SMS Provider instance can be installed on each computer. Each SMS Provider can be installed on the site server, another server running SQL Server, or on another server.

Multiple instances of the SMS Provider are supported at central administration sites and primary sites.

noteNote
Secondary sites do not support installation of the SMS Provider on another computer.

For more information, see the Planning for the SMS Provider in Configuration Manager section in the Planning for Site Systems in Configuration Manager topic.

For a hierarchy, do you have servers that run SQL Server with compatible configurations that will be available for each planned site?

Each server running SQL Server that you use as a database server must meet specific configurations. For example, because sites replicate data directly with other sites, the SQL Server collation of each database server must match that of each other site in the hierarchy.

For more information, see the SQL Server Configurations for Database Servers section in the Planning for Site Systems in Configuration Manager topic.

You can install one or more distribution points at each primary and secondary site.

 

Planning considerations Details

Will you deploy content to clients at this site?

Consider the number and size of the applications and packages that you expect to store on the distribution points at this site. This will help you understand the disk space requirements that you require for distribution point servers.

For more information see, Planning for Content Management in Configuration Manager.

How many clients will access the distribution points at this site?

Plan for sufficient distribution points to service the number of clients that request content at the site.

For more information, see the Determine the Distribution Point Infrastructure section in the Planning for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.

Will you use distribution point groups to streamline the administration of content deployments?

Identify how you plan to group your distribution points.

For more information, see the Plan for Distribution Point Groups section in the Planning for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.

Do your distribution point servers have all the prerequisites installed?

For example, distribution points require Remote Differential Compression and Internet Information Services (IIS).

For more information about the prerequisites for distribution points, see the Distribution Point Configurations section in the Planning for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.

Do you have distribution points in sites that are located on network locations that are not well connected?

If so, configure those distribution points for network bandwidth control.

For more information, see the Network Bandwidth Considerations for Distribution Points section in the Planning for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.

A management point is the primary point of contact between Configuration Manager clients and the site server. A primary or secondary site can have multiple management points for clients on the intranet, and primary sites can support multiple Internet-based management points for mobile devices and client computers that are on the Internet. Use the following planning considerations to help you plan for management points.

 

Planning considerations Details

Consider the maximum number of clients that you will manage at this site.

If there will be more than 25,000 clients at a site, you must install more than one management point. Even when you have fewer than 25,000 clients, consider installing additional management points for redundancy and to compensate for less than optimal hardware or server operating conditions.

For more information, see the Site System Requirements section in the Supported Configurations for Configuration Manager topic.

Consider how often the clients that are assigned to this site will retrieve new policy information.

Clients download client policy on a schedule that you configure as a client setting. Consider the frequency of this download when you plan for the number of management points to deploy at each site.

For more information, see How to Manage Clients in Configuration Manager.

If you will collect hardware or software inventory from clients at this site, consider the inventory configurations and schedules.

Clients collect and send inventory data to a management point on a schedule that you configure as a client setting. Consider the information about the frequency of these actions and the data you will collect from clients when you plan for the number of management points to deploy at each site.

For more information, see How to Configure Hardware Inventory in Configuration Manager.

If you will use software metering for clients at this site, consider the schedule for sending the metering data.

Clients collect and send metering data to a management point on a schedule that you configure as a client setting. Consider the frequency of this schedule when you plan the number of management points to deploy at each site.

For more information, see Planning for Software Metering in Configuration Manager.

A reporting services point is a site server that hosts a site's Reporting website. A reporting point obtains report information from the database server of its Configuration Manager site.

 

Planning consideration Details

Will this site require a reporting services point?

You can install a reporting services point at a central administration site or a primary site. However, only the reporting services point at the top-level site of your hierarchy can provide reports with information from all sites in your hierarchy.

For more information, see Introduction to Reporting in Configuration Manager.

A software update point is a site system server you install on a site system that already has Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) installed on it.

The central administration site and all primary child sites must have an active software update point to deploy software updates. You must determine on which sites to install an Internet-based software update point, when to configure the active software update point as a Windows network load balancing (NLB) cluster, and when to create an active software update point at a secondary site.

 

Planning considerations Details

What is the maximum number of clients you will manage at this site?

Each software update point can support up to 25,000 clients. If there are more than 25,000 client computers assigned to the site, consider creating a Network Load Balancing (NLB) cluster for a group of WSUS servers, and then use the NLB cluster as the active software update point on the site.

For more information, see Planning for Software Updates in Configuration Manager.

Is a supported version of WSUS installed on an existing site system? What is the computer name of the site system?

A supported version of WSUS must be installed on the site system computer before you add the software update point site role to the site system.

For information about supported WSUS configurations, see Prerequisites for Software Updates in Configuration Manager.

Does this site support clients that are on the Internet?

The Internet-based software update point accepts communication from devices on the Internet. You can only create the Internet-based software update point when the active software update point is not configured to accept communication from devices on the Internet.

For more information, see the Determine the Software Update Point Infrastructure section in the Planning for Software Updates in Configuration Manager topic.

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