In System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, a boundary is a network location on the intranet that can contain one or more devices that you want to manage. Boundaries can be an IP subnet, Active Directory site name, IPv6 Prefix, or an IP address range, and the hierarchy can include any combination of these boundary types. To use a boundary, you must add the boundary to one or more boundary groups. Boundary groups are collections of boundaries. By using boundary groups, clients on the intranet can find an assigned site and locate content when they have to install software, such as applications, software updates, and operating system images.

When clients are on the Internet, or they are configured as Internet-only clients, they do not use boundary information. These clients cannot use automatic site assignment and always download content from any distribution point in their assigned site when the distribution point is configured to allow client connections from the Internet.

What’s New in Configuration Manager


Each boundary represents a network location in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, and it is available from every site in your hierarchy. A boundary does not enable you to manage clients at the network location. To manage a client, the boundary must be a member of a boundary group.

Configuration Manager does not support the direct entry of a supernet as a boundary. Instead, use the IP address range boundary type. When Active Directory Forest Discovery identifies a supernet that is assigned to an Active Directory site, Configuration Manager converts the supernet into an IP address range boundary. For more information about Active Directory Forest Discovery, see the About Active Directory Forest Discovery section in the Planning for Discovery in Configuration Manager topic.

Boundary Groups

Use boundary groups to manage your network locations. You must assign boundaries to boundary groups before you can use the boundary group. Boundary groups have the following functions:

  • They enable clients to find a primary site for client assignment (automatic site assignment).

  • They can provide clients with a list of available site systems that have content after you associate the distribution point and state migration point site system servers with the boundary group.

To support site assignment, you must configure the boundary group to specify an assigned site for clients to use during automatic site assignment. To support content location, you must specify one or more site systems. You can only specify site systems with the distribution point or state migration point site system role. Both the site assignment and content location configurations are optional for boundary groups.

When you plan for boundary groups, consider creating one set of boundary groups for content location and a second set of boundary groups for automatic site assignment. This separation can help you avoid overlapping boundaries for site assignment. When you have overlapping boundaries and use automatic site assignment, the site to which a client is assigned, might be to is nondeterministic.

The following sections contain information to consider when you configure boundary groups.

Site Assignment

Content Location

Overlapping Boundaries

Network Connection Speed

See Also