Manage Cloud Services for Configuration Manager
Updated: May 14, 2015
The information in this topic applies to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 or later, and System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager or later.
Use the information in the following sections to help you manage cloud services that you use with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager:
For information about the Intune connector, see Manage Mobile Devices with Configuration Manager and Microsoft Intune.
When you use cloud-based distribution points, you can monitor the content that you deploy to each distribution point, and you can monitor the cloud service that hosts the distribution point.
You monitor content that you deploy to a cloud-based distribution point the same way as you would deploy content to on-premises distribution points. For general information about how to monitor content, see the Monitor Content section in the Operations and Maintenance for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.
For information about how to monitor specific types of content deployment:
To monitor application deployments, see How to Monitor Applications in Configuration Manager.
To monitor package and program deployments, see How to Monitor Packages and Programs in Configuration Manager.
To monitor the cloud-based distribution point, Configuration Manager periodically checks the Windows Azure service and raises an alert if the service is not active, or if there are subscription or certificate issues. You can also view details about the distribution point in the Cloud Distribution Points node under Cloud Services in the Administration workspace of the Configuration Manager console. From this location, you view high-level information about the distribution point, or select a distribution point, and then edit its Properties. When you edit the properties of a cloud-based distribution point, you can adjust the data thresholds for storage and alerts. You can also manage content as you would for an on-premises distribution point. Finally, for each cloud-based distribution point, you can view, but not edit, the subscription ID, service name, and other related details that are specified when the cloud-based distribution is installed.
Beginning with Configuration Manager SP1, you view details about cloud-based distribution points in the Cloud node under Hierarchy Configurations.
For more information about how to control the cost of using a cloud-based distribution point, including how to set thresholds and alerts, see Controlling the Cost of Cloud-Based Distribution Points.
In Configuration Manager you can specify thresholds for the amount of content that you want to store on the distribution point, and the amount of content that you want clients to transfer from the distribution point. Based on these thresholds, Configuration Manager can raise alerts that warn you when the combined amount of content that you have stored on the distribution point is near the specified storage amount, or when data that clients transfer are close to the thresholds that you defined. The following table provides information about these thresholds.
Client Settings for Cloud
You control access to all cloud-based distribution points in a hierarchy by using Client Settings.
In Client Settings, the category Cloud Settings supports the setting Allow access to cloud distribution points. By default, this setting is set to No. You can enable this setting for both Users and Devices.
Thresholds for data transfers
You can configure thresholds for the amount of data that you want to store on the distribution point, and for the amount of data that clients download from the distribution point.
Thresholds for cloud-based distribution points include the following:
You can specify thresholds for each cloud-based distribution point during the installation of the distribution point, or you can edit the properties of each cloud-based distribution point after it is installed.
You can configure Configuration Manager to raise alerts about data transfers to and from each cloud-based distribution point, based on the data transfer thresholds that you specify. These alerts help you monitor data transfers, and can help you decide when to stop the cloud service to prevent its use, adjust the content that you store on the distribution point, or modify which clients can use cloud-based distribution points.
In an hourly cycle, the primary site that monitors the cloud-based distribution point downloads transaction data from Windows Azure and stores it in the CloudDP-<ServiceName>.log on the site server. Configuration Manager then evaluates this information against the storage and transfer quotas for each cloud-based distribution point. When the transfer of data reaches or exceeds the specified volume for either warning or critical alerts, Configuration Manager generates the appropriate alert.
Stop or start the cloud service on demand
You can use the option to stop a cloud service at any time to prevent clients from using the service continuously. When you stop the cloud service, you immediately prevent clients from downloading additional content from the service. Additionally, you can restart the cloud service to restore access for clients. For example, you might want to stop a cloud service when data thresholds are reached.
When you stop a cloud service, the cloud service does not delete the content from the distribution point and does not prevent the site server from transferring additional content to the cloud-based distribution point.
To stop a cloud service, in the Configuration Manager console, select the distribution point in the Cloud Distribution Points node under Cloud Services, in the Administration workspace. Next, click Stop service to stop the cloud service that runs in Windows Azure.
In addition to the use of data thresholds, client settings, and directly managing the cloud service, peer caching can help reduce the number of data transfers from cloud-based distribution points.
By default, Configuration Manager clients that are configured for Windows BranchCache can transfer content by using cloud-based distribution points. For more information, see the following:
The section Planning for BranchCache Support in the Planning for Content Management in Configuration Manager topic.
The section Support for BranchCache in the Supported Configurations for Configuration Manager topic.
When you use a cloud-based distribution point in your hierarchy, use the following information to help you plan for backup or recovery of the distribution point:
When you use the predefined Backup Site Server maintenance task, Configuration Manager automatically includes the configurations for the cloud-based distribution point.
It is best practice to back up and save a copy of both the management certificate and service certificate in use with a cloud-based distribution point. In the event that you restore the Configuration Manager primary site that manages the cloud-base distribution point to a different computer, you must re-import the certificates before you can continue to use them.
To uninstall a cloud-based distribution point, select the distribution point in the Configuration Manager console, and then select Delete.
When you delete a cloud-based distribution point from a hierarchy, Configuration Manager removes the content from the cloud service in Windows Azure.