Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Setting up MS System Center Configuration Manager 2012 in a Test Lab Environment

To keep all of the System Center stuff separate from our network and production, I decided to set up an ESXi lab to do some testing first. Some settings that I list below could be different from your network or situation and may not necessarily apply to best practices. Active Directory is heavily involved with System Center and in some cases, extending the AD Schema can be one of the most important steps. For this test, SCCM and MS SQL will be on the same server.

Test Hardware:
 Lenovo 3269, Intel i5 processor, 16GB's ram, two ssd's

Prep (a couple hours):
  • Install ESXi hypervisor
  • Get vSphere setup, create two datastores, setup two vSwitches - 1 for management (public ip), 1 - for vm's (private ip's)
  • Setup one Domain Controller VM (Server 2008 R2)
  • Setup one System Center VM (Server 2008 R2)
  • Setup four Win7 VM's (clients)

System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Prep Install:

In AD, create some users and place them in a special OU
  • sql.sa (for sql server agent account, domain user recommended)
  • sccm.install (for client push installs, software installs, needs to be local admin on all client computers)
  • sccm.admin (used if you don't want to deal with multiple Windows user profiles on SystemCenter server, however not necessary)

Install MS SQL 2008 R2
**Go with the defaults unless specified below
 SQL Server Agent: payneb\sql.sa or Choose SYSTEM
 SQL Server Analysis Services: choose SYSTEM account
Database Engine Configuration 
  (o) Windows Authentication Mode
  Remove your user account from Administrators, add payneb\sql.sa (add domain admins group if desired)
Analysis Services Configuration
  Add payneb\sql.sa  (add domain admins group if desired)

Install MS SQL 2008 R2 SP1

Install CU4 for SQL

*Only needed if separate servers
Create 2 InBound Firewall Rules on SystemCenter
 Name: “SQL Server Port 1433” TCP, port 1433
 Name: “SQL Broker Service”, TCP, port 4022

Add SystemCenter computer object to local admin group on System Center server

Add sql.sa and sccm.admin users to local administrators group on System Center server

Create the System Management container in AD
  • In ADSI Edit, click on the + and scroll down to CN=System > Right Click on CN=System and choose New, Object
  • Choose Container from the options, click Next and enter System Management as the value
Delegate Permission to the System Management Container
  • Open Active Directory Users and Computers. Click on view, select Advanced Features.
  • Select the System Management Container, and right click it, choose All Tasks and Delegate Control.
  • Click Add. Type in your SCCM server name and click on Check Names. Choose Create a Custom Task to Delegate, click next, make sure This folder, existing objects in this folder and creation of new objects in this folder is selected., click next, select the 3 permissions General, Property-Specific and Creation-deletion of specific child objects are selected then place a check mark in FULL CONTROL
Failure to do the above will mean that the System Management Container in AD will NOT POPULATE with ConfigMgr site info needed by the Clients and you will see many errors in your site status warning you of same.

Extend the Active Directory schema for Configuration Manager
  • Browse to the System Center 2012 iso and copy \Bin\x64\Extadsch.exe to AD server
  • In AD, open up a command prompt, run Extadsch.exe
  • After ran, log file is located on C:\

Add .NET 3.5.1 and WCF Activation and IIS roles on System Center server
    Add Features, Select .NET Framework 3.5.1, also select WCF Activation and when prompted answer Add Required Role Services
    Check these IIS Components
        Common HTTP Features
        Static Content
        Default Document
        Directory Browsing
        HTTP Errors
        HTTP Redirection

        Application Development
        .NET Extensibility
        ISAPI Extensions
        ISAPI Filters
        Health and Diagnostics
        HTTP logging
        Logging tools
        Request Monitor
        Basic Authentication
        Windows Authentication
        URL Authorization
        Request Filtering
        IP and Domain Restrictions

        Static Content Compression

        Management Tools
        IIS Management Console
        IIS Management Scripts and Tools
        Management Service
        IIS 6 Management Compatibilty
        IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility
        IIS 6 WMI Compatibility
        IIS 6 Scripting Tools
        IIS 6 Management Console

Install .NET 4 Full

Add BITS and Remote Differential Compression
  • Add Features, place a selection mark in BITS and Remote Differential Compression (RDC).

Install System Center Configuration Manager 2012

    (o) Install a Configuration Manager primary site
        Download files when prompted. If it fails, try again
    Site and Installation Settings
        Site Code: P01 (Primary 01)
        Site Name: SCCM 2012
        Installation Folder: Data drive (E:)
    Primary Site Install
        (o) install the Primary site as a stand-alone site
    Database Information
        Leave Database Information as defaults
        Instance name - leave blank
    FQDN of server for SMS Provider, leave as default
    Communication Settings
        (o) Configure the communication method on each site system role
    Site System Roles
        [x] Install a management point, stay with default FQDN
        [x] Install a distribution point, stay with default FQDN
    Prerequisite checks
        Ignore SQL memory limit and WSUS warnings
    You can use the CMTrace tool and watch the log - C:\ConfigMgrSetup.log


  1. Hi, nice post. I am interested in your HW config, could you please contact me?