Site administration in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager refers to the planning, installation, management, and monitoring of a System Center 2012 Configuration Manager hierarchy of sites. A hierarchy of sites can be described by one of three basic configurations:
- A single stand-alone primary site that has no
- A primary site that has one or more secondary
- A central administration site as the
top-level site that has one or more primary child sites. The
primary sites can each support secondary sites.
Several configurations in Configuration Manager apply to objects at every site in the hierarchy. Other configurations are site-specific and require that you configure each site separately. For example, you can configure most site system roles at a primary site, but some site system roles can only be installed at the top-level site of a hierarchy, which might be a primary site in one hierarchy and a central administration site in another hierarchy. Your available network infrastructure, the network and geographical locations of the resources that you manage, and the management features that you use can influence your hierarchy design and approach to administration.
Use the following sections for more information about planning, configuring, and managing your Configuration Manager site or hierarchy:
- Plan and
Deploy a Hierarchy of Sites
- Deploy Site
Systems at Sites
Hierarchy-Wide and Site-Specific Options
- Monitor and Maintain
Plan and Deploy a Hierarchy of Sites
Before you deploy your first site, review the planning information for Configuration Manager. The type of site that you first deploy can define the structure for your hierarchy. For example, if the first site that you install is a primary site because you do not expect to manage a complex or geographically dispersed environment, your hierarchy is initially limited to a single primary site. This primary site can support secondary sites and in the future can expand by adding a central administration site, when the primary site runs Configuration Manager SP1. However, if you deploy a central administration site as your first site, you have the option to add more primary sites as child sites to the central administration site in the future. This provides you with the flexibility to expand your hierarchy as your company grows and when management requirements change. For more information about sites and hierarchies, see Planning for Sites and Hierarchies in Configuration Manager.
When you plan your hierarchy, consider the external dependencies of Configuration Manager, such as a public key infrastructure (PKI) if you plan to use certificates, or your Active Directory domain structure. Determine whether you manage resources in untrusted forests or resources that are on the Internet, and determine how Configuration Manager will support these scenarios. These factors and other considerations can influence your hierarchy design and site and site system role placement. For more information, see PKI Certificate Requirements for Configuration Manager and Identify Your Network and Business Requirements to Plan a Configuration Manager Hierarchy.
Deploy Site Systems at Sites
In each site that you install, you must install and configure site system roles to support management operations. If you plan to install more than a single primary site, review the site system roles and if you can deploy them at different sites. Some site system roles, which include the Endpoint Protection point, require that you install just one instance in the hierarchy to provide a service to all sites in the hierarchy. Other site system roles, which include the Application Catalog web service point, must be installed at each site where you require them to provide a service to that site. Finally, some site system roles, which include the management point and distribution point, support the installation of multiple instances at a site. Refer to the site system role requirements to help you identify the best locations to place the site system roles at each site. For example:
- For central administration sites, you can
deploy site system roles that are useful for hierarchy-wide
monitoring, such as the reporting services point. You can also
deploy site system roles that provide services to the whole
hierarchy, such as the Endpoint Protection point. Some roles, such
as the software update point, must be installed in the central
administration site, but you can also install them in primary and
secondary sites. In this scenario, the software update point in the
central administration site provides the other software update
points with a central location to synchronize software updates.
- For primary sites, you must have site system
roles for client communication, such as management points and
software update points. Review your network infrastructure and the
locations of computers and users on your network to ensure that you
put these client-facing site systems in the best locations to
optimize network connectivity.
- For secondary sites, you can install a
limited set of site system roles. Additionally, if content
distribution to a remote network location is your main concern, you
might decide to install distribution points from a primary site
instead of installing a secondary site.
For more information about site systems, see Planning for Site Systems in Configuration Manager.
Configure Hierarchy-Wide and Site-Specific Options
After you deploy your first site, you can configure settings that apply across the hierarchy and settings that are specific to individual sites. Regardless of when you configure sites or hierarchy-wide settings, plan to periodically revisit these tasks to adjust configurations to meet changing business requirements. Hierarchy-wide and site-specific configurations affect how sites operate and how client management tasks in each site function.
Some of the hierarchy-wide configurations that you can set include the following:
- Role-based administration, which includes the
- Identify administrative users who manage your
Configuration Manager infrastructure and assign them security
roles, security scopes, and collections to manage their permissions
to objects, and the objects that they can interact with.
- Create custom security roles and security
scopes that you require to help partition security and
administrative user access to different objects.
- Identify administrative users who manage your Configuration Manager infrastructure and assign them security roles, security scopes, and collections to manage their permissions to objects, and the objects that they can interact with.
- Discovery to locate resources that you can
- Boundaries and boundary groups to control
client site assignment, and the site system servers from which
clients can obtain content such as applications or operating system
- Client settings to specify how and when
Configuration Manager clients perform various operations, which
includes when to check for new applications or to submit hardware
or software inventory data to their assigned site.
Some of the site-specific configurations that you can set include the following:
- Communication settings for site system roles
that control how clients communicate with the site system roles at
- Settings to specify how sites summarize
status message details that are collected from clients and site
- Site maintenance tasks and schedules to help
maintain the local Configuration Manager database.
- Site component configurations that control
how site system roles operate in a site.
For more information about how to configure sites and hierarchy-wide settings, see Configure Sites and the Hierarchy in Configuration Manager, and Operations and Maintenance for Site Administration in Configuration Manager.
Monitor and Maintain the Hierarchy
You must monitor and maintain the health of the hierarchy and individual site systems. Over time, conditions in your environment can change. These changes might include network issues that decrease the replication performance between sites, the number of clients that report to a site and that might affect site system role performance, and an increase in the amount of data that is stored in the Configuration Manager database that can decrease data processing and site performance.
To keep your site systems, intersite data replication, and the database healthy, you must monitor your hierarchy for problems and take actions to maintain these systems to prevent critical problems.
You can monitor the health of your hierarchy by using the Monitoring workspace in the Configuration Manager console. Additionally, you can configure site maintenance tasks at each site to help maintain the operational efficiency of the database, and to remove aged data that you no longer require. Periodically review the configurations and operational settings for site system roles to ensure that they continue to provide a service to your clients, and review the frequency and extent of the data that you collect from clients to ensure that you collect only the data that you really require.
Configuration Manager provides built-in functionality that you can use to monitor and maintain your infrastructure. For example, you can do the following:
- Run reports that inform you about the success
or failure of typical Configuration Manager tasks and that
summarize the operational status of your sites and hierarchy.
- View status messages and receive alerts that
can help you identify current or emerging problems, which include
information about application deployments or site and hierarchy
- View the status of clients, which includes
clients that are inactive, and view the status of Endpoint
- Configure more than 30 site maintenance tasks
to help maintain the health of the Configuration Manager
For more information about monitoring, see Monitor Configuration Manager Sites and Hierarchy, and Reporting in Configuration Manager. For more information about site maintenance tasks, see Configure Maintenance Tasks for Configuration Manager Sites.