Understanding SMS 2003 Management Points

Published : June 8, 2005

Before you begin troubleshooting management points for your SMS sites, you should be familiar with a few key concepts. These concepts are summarized in this document, but are covered in more detail in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Concepts, Planning, and Deployment Guide, and in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Operations Guide. The information presented in this document provides an itemization of the components required for clients to effectively receive instructions from a site server as well as to report data back to the site.

Advanced Clients communicate with SMS sites through management points. To be a management point, the server must have Internet Information Services (IIS) installed, enabled, and correctly configured. Additionally, the following considerations should be taken into account:

  • Every site should have a default management point specified.

  • Management points can be set to use the SMS site database or a replicated copy of the SMS site database.  

  • Management points can be a single physical server or a single virtual server (multiple physical servers) that is accessed via a Network Load Balancing cluster.

The management point is the primary point of contact between Advanced Clients and the SMS site server. An SMS site has only one default management point.  Similar to the relationship between client access points (CAPs) and Legacy Clients, a management point does the following:

  • Provides specific client configuration details (also known as the Advanced Client policy) for the Advanced Client after installation.  

    • Uses the SMS_def.mof file that is stored in the site database to create the appropriate Advanced Client policy for Advanced Clients. Advanced Clients retrieve Advanced Client policies from management points.

    • The Advanced Client stores retrieved policies locally in Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) in the form of instances and classes.

  • Serves as the location where Advanced Client computers check for advertisements.

  • Locates distribution points for Advanced Clients.  Advanced Clients choose a distribution point at random from the list of available distribution points provided by the resident management point when making package source file requests.  

  • Receives inventory, software metering, and status information from Advanced Clients and forwards the information to the SMS site server.

Cc180189.note(en-us,TechNet.10).gif  Note
If the Active Directory schema is not extended for SMS, you must register the management point in WINS.

Each site can only have one default management point at one time. Advanced Clients communicate only with the default management point. If you need additional management points for performance reasons or redundancy, combine multiple management points of one site into a Network Load Balancing cluster and configure the virtual IP address of the cluster as the default management point for that site.

If you configure additional management points but do not combine them into a Network Load Balancing cluster, those additional management points will not be used by the Advanced Clients. There is no automatic failover to additional management points. If the default management point goes offline, the SMS administrator must manually designate a different computer to be the default management point.

If you do not have a default management point, Advanced Clients cannot download policies or report data to the site.

For more information about site configuration, see Appendix E:  Designing Your SMS Sites and Hierarchy, in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Concepts, Planning, and Deployment Guide at the Microsoft Web site http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=19627.