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Example Assignment Scenarios for Configuration Manager: Secondary Sites

Updated: April 1, 2013

Applies To: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2

The scenarios in this topic will help you understand how clients use secondary sites when they are assigned to a site, and their network location falls within the boundaries of a secondary site that is attached to their assigned site. These scenarios build on the assignment scenarios in Example Assignment Scenarios for Configuration Manager: Primary Sites, and use the same fictitious company multi-site deployment of Configuration Manager.

Before reading these scenarios, see About Client Site Assignment in Configuration Manager.

The scenarios covered are the following:

To help explain secondary site concepts, all scenarios that follow assume that advertisements and software update deployments allow installation when a client is connected on a slow boundary, that all boundaries within the sites are configured as fast boundaries, there are no protected distribution points, and that the content required by clients always exists in their assigned site. See Example Roaming Scenarios for Configuration Manager: Complex for example scenarios that cover a combination of these configurations and factors.

Although these scenarios cover site assignment, and for computers that might never move from their location, the behavior of clients in finding secondary sites that are attached to their assigned site is the same as if they are roaming. Therefore, each secondary site scenario is explained in terms of whether clients have global roaming capability, or only regional roaming capability:

  • Global roaming capability refers to the ability of clients to access site information from Active Directory Domain Services. This requires that the Active Directory schema is extended for Configuration Manager 2007, that all sites are publishing to Active Directory Domain Services, and the client belongs to the same forest. For more information, see How to Extend the Active Directory Schema for Configuration Manager.

  • Regional roaming capability refers to the roaming behavior of clients when global roaming is not possible because the Active Directory schema has not been extended for Configuration Manager 2007, or it has been extended but not all sites are publishing to Active Directory Domain Services, or the client doesn't belong to the same forest (for example, is a workgroup client).

Configuration Manager Secondary Site Terminology

These scenarios cover how clients use secondary sites, and proxy management points in secondary sites. Use the following table as a quick definition reference of these terms, and for more information see Understanding Configuration Manager Sites and Determine Whether a Proxy Management Point is Needed at a Secondary Site.

 

Site Terminology Description

Secondary Site

A secondary site that has no Configuration Manager 2007 site database, but is attached to and reports to a primary site.

The secondary site forwards the information it gathers from Configuration Manager 2007 clients, such as computer inventory data and Configuration Manager 2007 system status information, to its parent site.

Proxy Management Point

A site system role which clients can use in place of their default management point when it is installed in a secondary site that is attached to their assigned site. Clients with a network location that falls within the boundaries of a secondary site with a proxy management can use the proxy management point to send inventory data, discovery data, and status messages. This client information is then compressed and sent to the primary site as part of standard site-to-site communication.

Clients also contact their proxy management point for client policy, both policy assignments and policy bodies. Policy bodies can be cached at proxy management points to help conserve bandwidth between the secondary site and its parent site. For more information about policy assignments and policy bodies, see About Client Policy in Configuration Manager.

When a proxy management point is not installed at a secondary site, clients communicate directly with their default management point for policy and content, and all client information is sent uncompressed directly to the primary site.

Clients can also use proxy management points to ask for content, such as software packages to run advertisements, and software updates to install software update deployments.

Hierarchy Used in All Roaming Scenario Examples

The hierarchy has three tiers of primary sites:

  • At the top of the hierarchy is the central site, a primary site in Toronto named TOR.

  • At the second level of primary sites, there are three primary child sites in Houston, London, and Shanghai, named HOU, LON, and SHA respectively.

    • The Houston child primary site has two secondary sites in Seattle and Boston: SEA, BOS.

    • The LON child primary site has one secondary site in Manchester: MAN.

    • The SHA child primary site has no secondary sites.

  • At the third level of primary sites, there are two primary grandchild sites in Sydney and Helsinki, named SYD and HEL respectively.

    • The SYN grandchild primary site has two secondary sites in Melbourne and Brisbane: MEL, BRI.

    • The HEL grandchild primary site has no secondary sites.

This hierarchy is shown in the following illustration.

ConfigMgr Hierarchy Used with Scenarios

Assignment with Secondary Site that Has No Proxy Management Point

The administrator in London (LON) installs the Configuration Manager 2007 client on a computer whose network location falls within the boundaries of its secondary site in Manchester (MAN), and uses auto-site assignment. The secondary site in Manchester has distribution points, but does not have a proxy management point.

This scenario is depicted in the following illustration.

Secondary site and no proxy management point

Global Roaming Capability

When the computer in Manchester installs the Configuration Manager 2007 client and site assignment is triggered, the Configuration Manager client compares its current IP address, IP subnet, and Active Directory site with the list of boundaries defined for each site in Active Directory Domain Services. It finds a match for the Manchester site (MAN) and realizes that this is a secondary site of London. It assigns to London and finds the default management point in London. It then looks for a proxy management point in the Manchester site. There is no proxy management point in Manchester so all policy requests are sent to the default management point in London, and it sends inventory data and status messages to the default management point in London (LON).

However, when it needs software packages or software updates, the default management point returns a list of distribution points in the Manchester site (MAN) so that the client can download content locally.

Regional Roaming Capability

When the computer in Manchester installs the Configuration Manager 2007 client and site assignment is triggered, the Configuration Manager client sends its network location (IP address, IP subnet, and Active Directory site if it has one) to a server locator point. The server locator point looks for a match with the list of boundaries defined for each site. It finds a match for the Manchester site (MAN) and realizes that this is a secondary site of London and sends site information for LON to the client. The client assigns to London and finds the default management point in London. The client then contacts its default management point, which has no proxy management point information to give the client for the Manchester site. All policy requests are sent to the default management point in London (LON), and the client sends inventory data and status messages to the default management point in London (LON).

However, when the client needs software packages or software updates, the default management point in London returns a list of distribution points in the Manchester site (MAN) so that the client can download content locally.

Roaming Behavior Summary

The following table summarizes the client behavior in this scenario.

 

Roaming Capability Communication with Management Points Download Content Locally

Global Roaming

Default Management Point: LON site (found from Active Directory Domain Services)

Yes

Regional Roaming

Default Management Point: LON site (found using the server locator point)

Yes

Assignment with Secondary Site That Has a Proxy Management Point

The administrator in Houston installs the Configuration Manager 2007 client on a computer whose network location falls within the boundaries of its secondary site in Seattle (SEA), and uses auto-site assignment. The secondary site in Seattle has distribution points and a proxy management point.

This scenario is depicted in the following illustration.

Secondary site and proxy management point

Global Roaming Capability

When the computer in Houston installs the Configuration Manager 2007 client, the Configuration Manager client compares its current IP address, IP subnet, and Active Directory site with the list of boundaries defined for each site in Active Directory Domain Services. It finds a match for the Seattle site (SEA) and realizes that this is a secondary site of Houston. The client assigns to Houston (HOU) and finds the default management point in Houston. It then looks for a proxy management point in Active Directory Domain Services for the Seattle site. It finds the proxy management point in Seattle, which it then uses instead of its default management point for most operations.

The client uses this proxy management to request and receive client policy, and send inventory data and status messages.

When the client needs software packages and software updates, it first asks the proxy management point in Seattle for a list of distribution points. If the content does not exist in the Seattle site, the client falls back to asking its default management point in Houston, which returns a list of distributions points from the Houston site (HOU).

Regional Roaming Capability

When the computer in Houston installs the Configuration Manager 2007 client and site assignment is triggered, the Configuration Manager client sends its network location (IP address, IP subnet, and Active Directory site if it has one) to a server locator point. The server locator point looks for a match with the list of boundaries defined for each site. The server locator point finds a match for the Seattle site (SEA) and realizes that this is a secondary site of Houston (HOU). The server locator point sends site information for HOU to the client, and the client assigns to Houston.

The client then finds the default management point in Houston. The client contacts the default management point in Houston, which looks at the client's network location and realizes that it falls within the boundaries of its secondary site in Seattle that has a proxy management point. It instructs the client about the proxy management point in Seattle, which the client then uses instead of its default management point for most operations.

The client uses this proxy management to request and receive client policy, and send inventory data and status messages.

When the client needs software packages and software updates, it first asks the proxy management point in Seattle for a list of distribution points. If the content does not exist in the Seattle site, the client falls back to asking its default management point in Houston, which returns a list of distributions points from the Houston site (HOU).

Roaming Behavior Summary

The following table summarizes the client behavior in this scenario.

 

Roaming Capability Communication with Management Points Download Content Locally

Global Roaming

Default Management Point: HOU site (found from Active Directory Domain Services)

Proxy Management Point: SEA site (found from Active Directory Domain Services)

Yes

Regional Roaming

Default Management Point: HOU site (found using the server locator point)

Proxy Management Point: SEA site (found from the default management point)

Yes

Similar Assignment Behavior

The same assignment behavior would be seen in the following scenarios, on the assumption that all secondary sites except Manchester had a proxy management point:

  • Client is assigned to Houston (HOU) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Boston (BOS)

  • Client is assigned to Sydney (SYD) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Melbourne (MEL)

  • Client is assigned to Sydney (SYD) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Brisbane (BRI)

Client Moves between Secondary Sites that Are Attached to the Client's Assigned Site

The administrator in Houston installs the Configuration Manager 2007 client on a laptop computer whose network location falls within the boundaries of its secondary site in Seattle (SEA), and uses auto-site assignment. The secondary site in Seattle has distribution points and a proxy management point. A week later, the user who owns the laptop travels to Boston, which is also a secondary site (BOS) that is attached to its assigned site.

This scenario is depicted in the following illustration.

Moves between secondary sites attached to assigned

Global Roaming Capability

The computer in Houston is already installed and assigned to the Houston site (HOU), and using the proxy management point in Seattle (SEA).

The laptop moves to Boston and when it connects to the network in Boston, the Configuration Manager client checks for its default management point in its assigned site. It compares its current network location with the list of boundaries defined for each site in Active Directory Domain Services. It finds a match for the Boston site (BOS) and realizes that this is a secondary site of Houston. It keeps its default management point in Houston but looks for a proxy management point in Active Directory Domain Services for the Boston site. It finds the proxy management point in Boston, which it then uses instead of its default management point for most operations.

The client uses the proxy management in Boston to request and receive client policy, and send inventory data and status messages.

When the client needs software packages and software updates, it first asks the proxy management point in Boston for a list of distribution points. If the content does not exist in the Boston site, the client falls back to asking its default management point in Houston, which returns a list of distributions points from the Houston site (HOU).

When the laptop returns to Seattle, it performs the same service location request from Active Directory Domain Services, with the result that its default management point remains in Houston, but its proxy management point then changes back to the proxy management point in Seattle.

Regional Roaming Capability

The computer in Houston is already installed and assigned to the Houston site (HOU), and using the proxy management point in Seattle (SEA).

The laptop moves to Boston and when it connects to the network in Boston, the Configuration Manager client checks for its default management point in its assigned site. It keeps its default management point in Houston. The client contacts the default management point in Houston, which looks at the client's network location and realizes that it falls within the boundaries its secondary site in Boston that has a proxy management point. It instructs the client about the proxy management point in Boston, which the client then uses instead of its default management point for most operations.

The client uses the proxy management in Boston to request and receive client policy, and send inventory data and status messages.

When the client needs software packages and software updates, it first asks the proxy management point in Boston for a list of distribution points. If the content does not exist in the Boston site, the client falls back to asking its default management point in Houston, which returns a list of distributions points from the Houston site (HOU).

When the laptop returns to Seattle, it performs the same service location request for its default management point, with the result that its default management point remains in Houston, but its proxy management point then changes back to the proxy management point in Seattle.

Secondary Site Behavior Summary

The following table summarizes the client behavior in this scenario.

 

Roaming Capability Communication with Management Points Download Content Locally

Global Roaming

Default Management Point: HOU site (found from Active Directory Domain Services)

Proxy Management Points: SEA and BOS sites (found from Active Directory Domain Services)

Yes

Regional Roaming

Default Management Point: HOU site (found from the server locator point)

Proxy Management Points: SEA and BOS sites (found from the default management point)

Yes

Similar Assignment Behavior

The same assignment behavior would be seen in the following scenarios, on the assumption that all secondary sites except Manchester had a proxy management point:

  • On assignment, client is assigned to Houston (HOU) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Boston (BOS), but the client subsequently moves to the Seattle site (SEA)

  • On assignment, client is assigned to Sydney (SYD) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Melbourne (MEL), but the client subsequently moves to the Brisbane site (BRI)

  • On assignment, client is assigned to Sydney (SYD) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Brisbane (BRI), but the client subsequently moves to the Melbourne site (MEL)

Assignment with Secondary Site that Isn't Attached to the Client's Assigned Site

The administrator in Sydney installs the Configuration Manager 2007 client on a computer using the wrong Group Policy object, which results in assigning the computer to the Houston site (HOU), instead of the Sydney site (SYD).

The client's network location falls within the boundaries of the secondary site, Melbourne (MEL), which has a proxy management server.

This scenario is depicted in the following illustration.

Secondary site not attached to assigned site

Global Roaming Capability

When the computer in Melbourne installs the Configuration Manager 2007 client, the Configuration Manager client identifies its assigned site (HOU) in Active Directory Domain Services. The client assigns to Houston and compares its IP address, IP subnet and Active Directory site with the list of boundaries defined for the hierarchy. The client identifies that its network location falls within the boundaries of the secondary site in Melbourne. There is a proxy management point in Melbourne which the client can use, but Melbourne is a secondary site that is not attached to its assigned site. In this scenario, the proxy management point can be used for content location requests only.

The client uses the default management point in Houston for client policy, and to send inventory data and status messages. It uses the proxy management point in Melbourne to ask for the nearest distribution points when it needs software packages and software updates. The proxy management point in Melbourne returns a list of distribution points from the Melbourne site (MEL).

Regional Roaming Capability

When the computer in Melbourne installs the Configuration Manager 2007 client, the Configuration Manager client confirms its assigned site (HOU) using the server locator point. The client assigns to Houston and finds the default management point in Houston. The management point in Houston identifies that the client's network location falls outside the boundaries of its assigned site and any secondary site that it owns. Because Melbourne is a secondary site that is not attached to its assigned site, the client behaves as if roaming.

The client uses the default management point in Houston for requesting and receiving client policy, and to send inventory data and status messages. It also asks the management point in Houston for the nearest distribution points when it needs software packages and software updates, and the management point in Houston returns distribution points from the Melbourne site (MEL).

Roaming Behavior Summary

The following table summarizes the client behavior in this scenario.

 

Roaming Capability Communication with Management Points Download Content Locally

Global Roaming

Default Management Point: HOU site (found from Active Directory Domain Services)

Proxy Management Point: MEL site (found from Active Directory Domain Services)

Yes

Regional Roaming

Default Management Point: HOU site (found from the server locator point)

Proxy Management Point: None

Yes

Assignment Solutions

Although this scenario works in that the client is assigned and can download content locally, it creates unnecessary WAN traffic between sites because the client's default management point is not local, and the client with global roaming capability cannot take full advantage of the proxy management in the secondary site, while the client with regional roaming capability cannot use the proxy management point in the secondary site:

  • Although the client is located in Melbourne, it regularly contacts its default management point in Houston for client policy, and to send it inventory data and status messages. It cannot use the proxy management point in Melbourne for these operations.

  • Although the client is located in Melbourne, only a client with globally roaming capabilities can ask the proxy management point in Melbourne for software packages and software updates..

To prevent the unnecessary WAN traffic, reassign the client to the Sydney site.

Similar Assignment Behavior

The same assignment behavior would be seen if the client's network location fell within the boundaries of a secondary site that was not attached to the client's assigned site:

  • Client is assigned to Houston (HOU) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Brisbane (BRI)

  • Client is assigned to London (LON) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Seattle (SEA)

  • Client is assigned to London (LON) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Boston (BOS)

  • Client is assigned to London (LON) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Melbourne (MEL)

  • Client is assigned to London (LON) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Brisbane (BRI)

  • Client is assigned to Shanghai (SHA) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Seattle (SEA)

  • Client is assigned to Shanghai (SHA) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Boston (BOS)

  • Client is assigned to Shanghai (SHA) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Manchester (MAN)

  • Client is assigned to Shanghai (SHA) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Melbourne (MEL)

  • Client is assigned to Shanghai (SHA) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Brisbane (BRI)

  • Client is assigned to Toronto (TOR) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Seattle (SEA)

  • Client is assigned to Toronto (TOR) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Boston (BOS)

  • Client is assigned to Toronto (TOR) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Manchester (MAN)

  • Client is assigned to Toronto (TOR) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Melbourne (MEL)

  • Client is assigned to Toronto (TOR) and its network location resides within the boundaries of the secondary site in Brisbane (BRI)

See Also

For additional information, see Configuration Manager 2007 Information and Support.
To contact the documentation team, email SMSdocs@microsoft.com.
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