Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 interacts with many servers, client computers, and client devices, using a variety of files, services, and database operations. If any of these complex interactions are disrupted, features will not function as expected. Configuration Manager 2007 includes some mechanisms to monitor site operations and some tools to troubleshoot problems when they arise.
Maintaining Configuration Manager Site Operations
Most site operations are the result of services, files, and the site database working together. For example, when you make a change to a site setting, a service called Hierarchy Manager writes a change to a delta file. The Site Control Manager service takes the changes from delta file to the site control file, which contains all of the site settings. Hierarchy Manager then makes the configuration change in the database. If there are parent or child sites, Site Control Manager interacts with other services to send the site settings up or down the hierarchy. Many of these site processes are documented in the technical flow charts included in the Configuration Manager Documentation Library.
Most of the time, site operations just work and need no intervention. To monitor operations, most services, including client services, generate status messages. Informational and success status messages indicate that the site is performing as expected. Error and Warning status messages indicate that problems exist. The status messages often contain troubleshooting information like possible causes and solutions. You can view status messages in the Configuration Manager console using the Status Message Viewer. You can also run queries for status messages in the database. For more information about status messages, see Using Status Messages for Configuration Manager Troubleshooting.
In addition to generating status messages, Configuration Manager services write more detailed information about every action to log files. You can view the log files with any text editor. Interactive flow charts will be available for many features on the Configuration Manager TechCenter and provide samples of log file entries.
Configuration Manager 2007 also uses state messages, which are different than status messages, to track the current state of some site operations. Unlike status messages, there is no viewer for state messages. All state messages are viewed using reports. More information about using state messages to monitor site operations is included in the features that use state messages.
Routine monitoring operations for the site consist primarily of checking status messages, file backlogs, and key log files. Some database tasks are automated and configurable in the Configuration Manager console. For more information, see Predefined Maintenance Tasks. To facilitate administration, you can use monitoring software like System Center Operations Manager to alert you to conditions that could compromise optimal site operations.
Because Configuration Manager 2007 uses Microsoft SQL Server as the back end database, you might also need to perform routine SQL Server maintenance. It is helpful to have resources in your organization who understands SQL Server administration.
Backup and Recovery
Like any enterprise software, your site should be backed up to provide recoverability in case of unexpected events. Backing up a Configuration Manager 2007 site involves backing up the database, the file system, and the registry all at the same point in time - backing up just one of these elements is not sufficient to restore a working site. Configuration Manager 2007 uses the Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to take small, frequent snapshots of the necessary components, making it easier to restore a failed site. The Site Repair Wizard walks you through the necessary steps to complete the site recovery.