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Interoperability between Different Versions of Configuration Manager

Updated: October 1, 2014

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

It is supported to install and operate multiple, independent hierarchies of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager on the same network. However, because different hierarchies of Configuration Manager do not interoperate outside of migration, each hierarchy requires configurations to prevent conflicts between them. Additionally, you can make certain configurations to help resources that you manage to interact with the site systems from the correct hierarchy.

The following sections provide information about using different versions of Configuration Manager on the same network:

A System Center 2012 Configuration Manager site or hierarchy cannot interoperate with a Configuration Manager 2007 site or hierarchy. A Configuration Manager 2007 site cannot report to a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager parent site, and you cannot upgrade a Configuration Manager 2007 site to a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager site. Instead of an in-place upgrade, you use System Center 2012 Configuration Manager migration to migrate your Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 objects and data to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. For information about migrating from Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, see Migrating Hierarchies in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

Because you can deploy a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager site or hierarchy side-by-side with a Configuration Manager 2007 site or hierarchy, take action to prevent clients from either version from trying to join a site from the other Configuration Manager version. For example, if your Configuration Manager hierarchies have overlapping boundaries, including the same network locations, you might assign each new client to a specific site instead of using automatic site assignment. For information about automatic site assignment in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, see How to Assign Clients to a Site in Configuration Manager. Additionally, it is not supported to install a client from Configuration Manager 2007 on a computer that hosts a site system role from System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, nor to install a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager client on a computer that hosts a site system role from Configuration Manager 2007.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager supports only System Center 2012 Configuration Manager device and mobile device clients. The following clients and the following Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection are not supported:

  • Any Configuration Manager 2007 or earlier computer client version

  • Any Configuration Manager 2007 or earlier device management client

  • Windows CE Platform Builder device management client (any version)

  • System Center Mobile Device Manager VPN connection

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients can be assigned to only one site. When automatic site assignment is used to assign clients to a site during client installation, and more than one boundary group includes the same boundary, and the boundary groups have different assigned sites, the actual site assignment of a client cannot be predicted.

If boundaries overlap across multiple System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and Configuration Manager 2007 site hierarchies, clients might not get assigned to the correct site hierarchy or might not get assigned to a site at all.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager clients check the version of the Configuration Manager site before they complete site assignment and cannot assign to a Configuration Manager 2007 site if boundaries overlap. However, Configuration Manager 2007 clients do not check for the site version and can incorrectly be assigned to a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager site.

To prevent Configuration Manager 2007 clients from unintentionally being assigned to a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager site when the two hierarchies have overlapping boundaries, configure Configuration Manager 2007 client installation parameters to assign clients to a specific site.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager requires that each site in a hierarchy be of the same service pack level. However, while you are actively upgrading a hierarchy to a new service pack (including an upgrade to System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager), different sites in the hierarchy upgrade at different times. Therefore, to support the upgrade process, Configuration Manager supports limited interactions between different service pack versions in a single hierarchy.

When different sites in a single hierarchy use different service pack versions, some Configuration Manager functionality is not available. This can affect how you manage Configuration Manager objects in the Configuration Manager console, and what functionality is available to clients. Typically, functionality from the newer version of Configuration Manager is not accessible at sites or to clients that run a lower service pack version.

The following sections list the objects and functionality that are affected when you have sites in a hierarchy with different service pack versions, and provide details about the limitations for those objects.

 

Object Details

Endpoint Protection and anti-malware policies

The following are limitations for using Endpoint Protection and anti-malware policies in a hierarchy with sites that use different service pack versions:

  • Anti-malware polices that you create when you use a Configuration Manager console that connects to a Configuration Manager SP1 site apply only to clients that run Configuration Manager SP1. Clients that run Configuration Manager with no service pack do not receive these new policies until they upgrade to SP1.

  • Anti-malware policies that are created on a site that runs Configuration Manager SP1 cannot be viewed on a Configuration Manager console that connects to a Configuration Manager site with no service pack unless the user who runs the console is associated with the All security scope. If the user is not associated with this security scope, grant the user the necessary security scope or manage anti-malware policies from the central administration site until all sites in the hierarchy update to Configuration Manager SP1.

  • To initiate a malware scan on a Configuration Manager SP1 client, you must use a Configuration Manager console that connects to a Configuration Manager SP1 site.

  • You cannot add new alerts for Endpoint Protection until all sites in the hierarchy have been upgraded to Configuration Manager SP1.

New deployment types in Configuration Manager SP1

Due to the global data replication, new deployment types that are available with Configuration Manager cannot be created nor used until all sites in the hierarchy run Configuration Manager SP1.

These deployment types include the following:

  • Mac OS X

  • Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) 5

  • Windows app package

  • Windows app package (in the Windows Store)

  • Windows Phone 8

  • Windows Phone 8 deep link

  • iOS (all)

  • Android (all)

For information about deployment types, see How to Create Deployment Types in Configuration Manager.

App-V virtual environments

You cannot configure, nor use App-V virtual environments until all sites in the hierarchy run Configuration Manager SP1.

For more information about App-V virtual environments, see the Using App-V Virtual Applications with Configuration Manager section in the Introduction to Application Management in Configuration Manager topic.

Boot images for operating system deployment

The default boot images are automatically updated to Windows ADK-based boot images, which use Windows PE 4, when the top-level site is upgraded to Configuration Manager SP1. Use these boot images only for deployments to clients at Configuration Manager SP1 sites. For more information, see Planning for Operating System Deployment Interoperability.

Client to down-level management point communications

A Configuration Manager client that communicates with a management point from a site that runs a lower service pack version than the client can only use functionality that the down-level version of Configuration Manager supports. For example, if you deploy content from a Configuration Manager SP1 site to a Configuration Manager SP1 client that communicates with a management point that is installed at a secondary site that has not yet upgraded to SP1, that client cannot use new functionality from SP1. This includes receiving new deployment types that are available in SP1, or receiving a cloud-based distribution point as a content location.

Client to up-level Application Catalog website point

Configuration Manager clients require Microsoft Silverlight 5 to use an Application Catalog website point from a Configuration Manager SP1 site. When a computer that runs the Configuration Manager client with no service pack and that does not have Silverlight 5 installed connects to an Application Catalog website point from a Configuration Manager SP1 site, the client is prompted to install Silverlight 5.

Client to down-level Application Catalog website point

When a computer that runs the Configuration Manager SP1 client connects to an Application Catalog website point from a Configuration Manager site with no service pack, the end user can view the application list, but cannot request or install applications. Additionally, the end user cannot configure the setting I regularly use this computer to do my work on the My Devices tab.

 

Object Details

Network access account

When you use a Configuration Manager console connected to a System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager central administration site to view the network access account details, the console does not display details for accounts that are configured at primary sites that run Configuration Manager SP1. After the site upgrades to System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, the account details will be visible in the console.

Beginning with System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager you can create multiple network access accounts for use at each primary site. To accommodate this change, Configuration Manager stores the information about the accounts in a new location in the site database than was used by previous versions of Configuration Manager. Configuration Manager SP1 clients that talk to a System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager site only use the first Network Access Account from the list of available accounts at that site.

Boot images for operating system deployment

The default boot images are automatically updated to Windows ADK 8.1-based boot images, which use Windows PE 4, when the top-level site is upgraded to System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager. Use these boot images only for deployments to clients at System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager sites. For more information, see Planning for Operating System Deployment Interoperability.

New task sequence steps

When you create a task sequence that contains any task sequence steps introduced in System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager (Check Readiness, Run PowerShell Script, or Set Dynamic Variables), you might encounter the following issues:

  • An error occurs when you try to edit the task sequence from a site running a previous version of Configuration Manager.

  • The task sequence will not run on a computer that runs a previous version of the Configuration Manager client.

Client to down-level management point communications

A Configuration Manager client that communicates with a management point from a site that runs a lower service pack version than the client can only use functionality that the down-level version of Configuration Manager supports. For example, if you deploy content from a System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager site to a System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager client that communicates with a management point that is installed at a secondary site that has not yet upgraded to System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, that client cannot use new functionality from System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager.

VPN, Wi-Fi and Certificate profiles do not replicate to primary sites

After you update a central administration site from Configuration Manager SP1 to System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, VPN, Wi-Fi and Certificate Profiles might not replicate to child primary sites that have not yet upgraded to System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager. After you upgrade the child primary sites, normal replication resumes.

The following table contains information about the use of the Configuration Manager console in an environment that has a mix of Configuration Manager versions.

 

Interoperability environment More information

An environment with both Configuration Manager 2007 and System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

To manage a Configuration Manager site, both the console and the site the console connects to must run the same version of Configuration Manager. For example, you cannot use a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager console to manage a Configuration Manager 2007 site, or vice versa.

It is supported to install both the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager console and the Configuration Manager 2007 console on the same computer. You can use this configuration to manage sites or hierarchies of each product from a single computer.

An environment with multiple versions of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager does not support using a console from one version of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager to connect to a site that runs a different version of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. For example, you cannot use console from Configuration Manager with SP1 to directly connect to a site that runs System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager. To connect a console, both the site and the console that connects to the site must be of the same version.

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager does not support installing more than a single Configuration Manager console on a computer. To use multiple consoles that are specific to different versions of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, you must install the different consoles on separate computers.

During the process of upgrading sites in a hierarchy, you can connect a console to a site and view information about other sites in that hierarchy, even when those sites run a different version of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. However, in this scenario some features that are available in the latest product version are not available in the console until all sites in the hierarchy upgrade to the latest product version.

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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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