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Planning and Deployment Frequently Asked Questions




Capacity Planning

Q. How big does my site server need to be? How many clients can my site support? (Added July 30, 2004)
A.There is no single right answer to capacity planning. Every network implementation is unique. The same thing is true of every implementation of SMS. Like many server-based applications, SMS does not perform the same way in every environment. Many hardware factors contribute to the performance of SMS on your server, including processor speed, disk access, and available memory. The configuration of the SMS deployment—the number of SMS component servers and SMS clients you install, and the features you enable—also affects server performance.

The SMS 2003 Capacity Planner Tool is now available on the Microsoft Download site. The Capacity Planner tool performs scenario analysis on your existing and proposed SMS 2003 hierarchy. These suggestions are not intended to be deployed without further review and testing. However, with this information you can implement a test lab or pilot program.

Q. When I configure my sender to use only part of the available bandwidth, how does SMS determine the available bandwidth? How frequently does SMS determine the available bandwidth? (Added October 29, 2004)
A.Assuming that SMS is configured to use 50% of the available bandwidth, the sender will determine how long it takes to send one packet. If it takes one second with bandwidth utilization configured to use 50%, there is a one second delay before the next packet is sent. If SMS is configured to use 25% of the available bandwidth and it takes one second to send the packet, the sender would send one packet and then wait for three seconds to send the next packet. Any SMS packet sent could consume 100% of the available bandwidth, but the delay between the packets ensures that SMS does not use 100% of the bandwidth 100% of the time.



Active Directory and Schema

Q. Does SMS 2003 require Active Directory?
A.No, but there are advantages to using Active Directory® Domain Services with Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003. The advanced security mode of SMS 2003 requires Active Directory and provides easier account management. If you have Active Directory, you can use the Active Directory site boundaries as the SMS site boundaries. Extending the Active Directory schema also provides many benefits, but is not required. For more information, see the question "Do I have to extend my Active Directory schema to use SMS?"

For more information about Active Directory planning, see "Planning to Deploy SMS 2003" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deploymenton Microsoft TechNet.

Q. Do I have to extend my Active Directory schema to use SMS? (Updated December 20, 2004)
A.

No. You need to extend the schema only if:

  • You want to use global roaming for Advanced Clients.
  • You want to use the most secure method available for authenticating management points to Advanced Clients.
  • You want to use automatic key exchange for secure site-to-site communication.
  • You want clients to automatically detect the server locator points and management points without requiring Windows Internet Name Service (WINS). If you do not extend the schema, WINS is required for automatic site assignment, roaming, and selection of a local management point.

Although running SMS 2003 in an Active Directory domain gives you many other benefits, such as advanced security and support for boundaries based on Active Directory sites, schema extension is not required for those features.

For more information about extending your Active Directory schema, see the "Active Directory Schema Modification and Publishing for Systems Management Server 2003" white paper on the Microsoft Download site. For more information about authenticating management points, see "Appendix B: SMS Certificate Infrastructure" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Securityon Microsoft TechNet.

Q.What information is published in Active Directory? (Updated February 27, 2004)
A.

Site boundaries with site code, server locator point server names, and management point server names.

For more information about publishing SMS data in Active Directory, see the "Active Directory Schema Modification and Publishing for Systems Management Server 2003"white paper on the Microsoft Download site.

 

Q. We plan to have multiple independent SMS hierarchies with multiple domains. When my Advanced Clients throughout the forest query Active Directory for automatic site assignment, how do they get assigned to the correct site? (Added February 27, 2004)
A.Advanced Clients receive site assignment based on the boundaries for the site. It is not advisable to share boundaries between two sites. The Advanced Client sends a request for automatic site assignment to a global catalog server. If there is more than one SMS site associated with that boundary, the global catalog could return any site associated with that boundary. Domain membership is irrelevant in this scenario. Each domain maintains its own System Management container in the domain partition and this container is not replicated to other domains in the forest. However, the System Management information is published to the global catalog, making it available to every client in the forest, regardless of domain membership.

For more information about SMS site boundary planning, see "Planning to Deploy SMS 2003" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deploymenton Microsoft TechNet.

Q. When can I extend the Active Directory schema for SMS?
A.You can extend the schema before, during, or after SMS installation. There is no SMS requirement that the schema must be extended.

For more information about extending your Active Directory schema, see "Active Directory Planning" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deploymenton the Microsoft Download site.

Q. When I extend the Active Directory schema for SMS, does it cause a full or partial replication of the global catalog? (Added February 27, 2004)
A.After the schema is extended, SMS triggers a full replication of the partial attribute set. Replication only occurs between global catalog servers, not between all domain controllers. In Windows 2000 forests, extending the partial attribute set causes a full synchronization of all object attributes stored in the global catalog for all domains in the forest. In a large, multi-domain forest, this synchronization can cause significant network traffic. Between Windows Server 2003 global catalog servers, only the newly added attribute is replicated. Any Windows 2000 servers in the forest continue to get a full synchronization.

For more information about publishing SMS data in Active Directory, see the "Active Directory Schema Modification and Publishing for Systems Management Server 2003" white paper on the Microsoft Download site.

Q.I ran the tool to update the Active Directory schema after install, but how can I tell if the update succeeded or failed? (Updated February 27, 2004)
A.The ExtADSch.log log file in the root of your system drive contains details about what occurred and if the Active Directory update was successful.

For more information about publishing SMS data in Active Directory, see the see the "Active Directory Schema Modification and Publishing for Systems Management Server 2003"white paper on the Microsoft Download site.

Q. I have SMS clients running Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0. Can they use Active Directory sites as their site boundaries? (Added March 31, 2004)
A.No. SMS clients evaluate their own subnet or Active Directory site membership when determining SMS site boundaries. Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 clients do not recognize Active Directory site boundaries. They can only evaluate IP subnet boundaries.

For more information about SMS client deployment, see "Appendix C: Client Deployment Planning" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deploymenton Microsoft TechNet.



Upgrading, Migration, and the Deployment Readiness Wizard

Q.Should I upgrade my SMS 2.0 sites or migrate clients to a new site?
A.In-place upgrades are recommended unless you are upgrading hardware at the same time. For more information about upgrading, see "Upgrading an Existing Installation of SMS 2.0" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deployment on Microsoft TechNet.

Q.Do I have to run DRW on every site that will be upgraded?
A.Yes. There are several command-line options in the Deployment Readiness Wizard (DRW) that include the ability to check all sites in the hierarchy.

For more information about the DRW, see "Appendix H: Upgrading to SMS 2003" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deploymenton Microsoft TechNet.

Q.Why won’t the /testdbupgrade switch for Setup.exe run on my site server?
A.Running Setup with the /testdbupgrade switch is a destructive test. Ensure that you use this option on a copy of your SMS site database only, not on your production SMS site database. The /testdbupgrade switch is valid only when run against a copy of the SMS site database where the SMS provider does not exist.

For more information about preparing to upgrade with the DRW, see "Appendix H: Upgrading to SMS 2003" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deploymenton Microsoft TechNet. For more information about the /testdbupgrade switch, see the SMS 2003 Installation Release Notes.

Q.Will my database grow when I upgrade a primary site from SMS 2.0 to SMS 2003? (Added January 21, 2004)
A.Yes. New tables have been added for software inventory and patch management. Also, software metering information is now stored in the SMS site database instead of a separate software metering database. At a minimum, allow enough disk space for your database to double in size. Allowing enough space to expand to three times the current size should cover the most extreme cases. Note the beginning and ending size of the database when you perform your offline test upgrade prior to performing your production upgrade. If SQL Server cannot expand the SMS site database sufficiently during the upgrade, the upgrade might experience an unrecoverable failure.

For more information about upgrading an existing installation of SMS 2.0, see "Appendix H: Upgrading to SMS 2003" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deploymenton Microsoft TechNet.

Q.I want to upgrade my SMS hierarchy to SMS 2003 SP1. Should I update my clients or my servers first? Which site should I start with? (Added October 29, 2004)
A.Always upgrade SMS from the central site first and then upgrade the child sites. SMS 2003 SP1 Advanced Clients can communicate with a management point that is running SMS 2003 (with no service pack), so it doesn’t matter whether you upgrade your clients or your servers first. Be aware, however, that SMS 2.0 and Legacy Clients running on Windows®2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 cannot upgrade to SMS 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1).

For more information about best practices for upgrading to SMS 2003 SP1 client software, see "Planning to Deploy SMS 2003" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deploymenton the Microsoft TechNet Web site.

Q.How do I upgrade from the evaluation copy of SMS 2003? (Added May 31, 2006)
A.It is not possible to upgrade from an evaluation version of SMS 2003 to a licensed version. After the evaluation period, you must uninstall the evaluation software and discontinue its use before installing a licensed version.

To learn more about the evaluation software, see SMS 2003 Evaluation Software.



Secondary Sites

Q.Do I still need to use secondary sites now that SMS 2003 supports clients over WAN links?
A.As a general rule, the support for Advanced Clients has not removed the need for secondary sites in SMS 2003. Any time two physically-distinct and geographically-separate locations are involved, you should consider using separate SMS sites. The Advanced Client does provide additional capabilities for usage and management of wide area network (WAN) links. However, when you have more than a few Advanced Clients at a remote location, it is best to configure a remote SMS site at that location and have the clients use resources at the local site instead of over a WAN link.

For more information about secondary sites, see "Appendix E: Designing Your SMS Sites and Hierarchy" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deploymenton Microsoft TechNet.

Q.Should my secondary site boundaries be listed in both the parent site and the secondary site as roaming boundaries to support Advanced Clients? (Updated July 30, 2004)
A.No. Under no circumstances should you configure any SMS 2003 site with either site or roaming boundaries that are included in another SMS 2003 site. Boundaries must be unique to each site. Secondary site boundaries are passed to, and stored in, the parent site; therefore, Advanced Clients that connect to secondary site boundaries will be properly identified as residing in the secondary site.

For more information about secondary site boundary configuration, see the "Configuration and Operation of Advanced Client Roaming" whitepaper on the Microsoft Download site.



Clustering and Network Load Balancing

Q.Can SMS 2003 be installed in a cluster server? Can I use Windows Network Load Balancing? (Updated May 31, 2005)
A.Windows Cluster service is not supported for any SMS site systems, including the SMS site database server. The "Distribution Point and Windows Cluster Service" section in Chapter 10 of the Systems Management Server 2003 Concepts, Planning, and Deployment Guide is incorrect when it states that SMS supports the creation of a distribution point on a computer that is running Windows 2000 Advanced Server with the Windows Cluster service enabled. The SMS 2003 SP1 Advanced Client can be installed in a clustered environment, but it is not cluster aware. For more information about clustering SMS 2003 clients, see article 892429 in the Microsoft Knowledge Base.

You can use Network Load Balancing for management points and server locator points to meet the capacity needs of your organization. However, a primary site can have only one logical management point (the default management point). That default management point can be either a single computer or multiple computers running in a Network Load Balancing cluster. You can also implement Network Load Balancing for server locator points, although you are not restricted to a single server locator point in a site or a even a site hierarchy.

For more information about Windows Network Load Balancing with SMS 2003, see Chapter 10, "Planning Your SMS Deployment and Configuration" in the Systems Management Server 2003 Concepts, Planning, and Deployment Guide.

Q.Where can I find information about configuring Network Load Balancing? (Added April 30, 2004)
A.Search the Windows 2003 Server Help and Support Center for "Checklist: Enabling and configuring Network Load Balancing."

For information about manually adding the Network Load Balancing cluster entry to WINS, see "Appendix G: Deploying and Configuring SMS Sites" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deployment on Microsoft TechNet.



Distributed File System

Q.Is SMS 2003 compatible with Microsoft Distributed File System (DFS)? If so, can DFS links be used as distribution points? (Updated February 27, 2004)
A.There is limited support for DFS in SMS 2003. Distribution points can be targets of a DFS root, but packages must be deployed to the shared folder on the distribution point, not to the DFS link name. Advanced Clients can use programs that point to <DFS root>\<DFS link>\<executable>. Legacy Clients can only use programs that point to shared folders on distribution points, not to DFS links.



Network Monitor

Q.I installed SMS but I can’t find Network Monitor. Where is it?
A.

Network Monitor is not installed or upgraded as part of SMS 2003 site setup or SMS Administrator console setup.

Install Network Monitor 2.1 by running NetmonSetup.exe from the \NETMON\I386 folder on the SMS 2003 product CD. If you are upgrading from SMS 2.0, then you must first uninstall Network Monitor 2.0 by using Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel.

For more information about using Network Monitor, see "Appendix F: Capacity Planning for SMS Component Servers" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deployment on Microsoft TechNet.



WINS

Q.Is WINS or NetBIOS still necessary with SMS 2003? (Updated May 31, 2006)
A.

NetBIOS must be enabled on all SMS clients and site systems. In addition, you must configure your SMS clients and servers to use Windows Internet Name Service (WINS) if any of the following is true:

  • SMS is running in standard security mode.
  • You have SMS 2.0 child sites in your hierarchy.
  • Some SMS clients are running the Legacy Client.
  • The Active Directory schema has not been extended for SMS.
  • SMS data is not publishing to Active Directory.
  • Your SMS hierarchy is distributed across multiple Active Directory forests or includes workgroup clients.

SMS 2003 does not require WINS when all the following are true, although NetBIOS must still be enabled on all SMS clients and site systems:

  • SMS is running in advanced security mode.
  • You have no SMS 2.0 child sites in your hierarchy.
  • All SMS clients are running the Advanced Client.
  • The Active Directory schema has been extended for SMS.
  • SMS is publishing identity data to Active Directory.
  • Your SMS hierarchy and clients are all within a single Active Directory forest.

When SMS 2003 is not using WINS, server locator points and management points are located through Active Directory. DNS is used for name resolution, although SMS only uses the short computer name rather than fully qualified domain names (FQDNs). This means that in multiple domain environments, SMS clients must be configured with a DNS search suffix if they need to resolve SMS server names outside their local domain.

For more information about WINS, see "Appendix E: Designing Your SMS Sites and Hierarchy" in Deployment on Microsoft TechNet.

Q.Which site systems require entries in WINS and what entries do they require? (Added February 27, 2004)
A.Management points are automatically registered in WINS with the entry MP_sitecode and 1A as the ending character. One server locator point can be registered as SMS_SLP with 1A as the ending character. Registering more than one server locator point requires extending the Active Directory schema.

For information about manually adding a server locator point in WINS, see "Appendix G: Deploying and Configuring SMS Sites" in Scenarios and Procedures for Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003: Planning and Deploymenton Microsoft TechNet.



Troubleshooting

Q.Why do I get error 4913 about how SMS cannot create an object in Active Directory? (Updated January 21, 2004)
A.There are two error messages you might get related to publishing in Active Directory. Hierarchy manager generates error 4913 if it cannot publish SMS site information to Active Directory. Site component manager also generates error 4913 if it cannot publish information about management points to Active Directory. You will get these error messages even if you do not have Active Directory or never attempted to extend your schema. To correct this error, either disable publishing on the Advanced tab in the site properties, or extend the schema and grant SMS full control to the Systems Management container in Active Directory.

For more information about publishing SMS data in Active Directory, see the see the "Active Directory Schema Modification and Publishing for Systems Management Server 2003"white paper on the Microsoft Download site.

Q.Why can't SMS write data to Active Directory? (Updated April 30, 2004)
A.

SMS does not publish objects correctly in Active Directory if the Active Directory schema has not been extended for SMS, or if SMS does not have sufficient permissions. If you are using standard security, the SMS Service Account must have full control to the System Management container. If you are using advanced security, the SMS site server computer account must have full control to the System Management container. After the Active Directory is extended, the following two options can enable SMS to publish in Active Directory:

  • Manually create the System Management container in the Active Directory System container by using the ADSIEdit.msc tool. ADSIEdit is included in the Windows Support Tools folder on the Windows product CD. Grant the appropriate account full control permissions to the System Management container and All Child objects for all SMS sites in the domain.
  • Use Active Directory Users and Computers to grant the appropriate account full control permissions to the System Management container and All Child objects for all SMS sites in the domain.

After the appropriate account has full control, it will grant permissions to the management points so the management points can publish their own information to Active Directory. You do not need to manually grant management points permissions to publish to Active Directory.

For more information about extending the Active Directory schema and publishing SMS data in Active Directory, see , see the see the "Active Directory Schema Modification and Publishing for Systems Management Server 2003"white paper on the Microsoft Download site.


For More Information

Did you find this information useful? Send your suggestions and comments about the FAQ to   smsdocs@microsoft.com.