Prepare to deploy System Center Configuration Manager 2016

Although System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2016 is relatively easy to deploy, there is an entire laundry list of things that you have to do before you can begin the deployment process. In this article, I want to talk about some of the required prep work so that things will go smoothly when you install System Center Configuration Manager. I’m not going to go so far as walking you through the Setup wizard, because the Setup Wizard is fairly intuitive. I do, however, want to show you how to configure your SCCM server so as to avoid errors during Setup

SQL Server considerations

Like other System Center 2016 products, System Center Configuration Manager 2016 requires the use of a SQL Server database. You have to exercise care when choosing a version of SQL Server, because not all of the versions that are supported for use with SCCM 2016 can be used for every purpose. For example, SQL Server 2016 SP1, 2016, 2014 SP2, 2014 SP1, 2012 SP3, and 2008 R2 SP3 can support a Central Administration site, a primary site, or a secondary site. Additionally, SQL Server 2016 Express SP1, 2016 Express, 2014 Express SP2, 2014 Express sp1, and 2012 Express SP3 are supported, but only for use within a secondary site.

Similarly, there are other restrictions that can come into play. For example, although SQL Server 2008 R2 SP3 is technically supported for use with System Center Configuration Manager 2016, it is only supported if you use a build prior to 1702. Because of these and other restrictions, I recommend checking the documentation before settling on a version of SQL Server.

The SQL Server instance that you deploy must adhere to the 64-bit architecture, and it must use Windows Server authentication. The only SQL Server feature that is required for a basic deployment is the Database Engine service.

Generally speaking, the SQL Server does not require any special configuration, but there are three points to keep in mind.

  1. If you perform what Microsoft defines as a typical installation, in which SCCM is configured as a standalone primary site, then SQL Server will need to be installed locally on the server.
  2. SQL Server must be configured to use a domain account as its service account.
  3. You will need to enable the TCP protocol within SQL Server.

Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit

System Center Configuration Manager has a number of different prerequisite components. One such component is the Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK). The most important thing that you need to know about the ADK is that it is version specific. As such, you will need to install the Windows 10 version. You can download the ADK from Microsoft.

The Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit is made up of a number of different components, and Setup lets you choose which ones you want to install. The options that are made available to you will vary depending on the version of the ADK that you are installing. In most cases however, you should install all of the available features except for the Application Compatibility Tools, Volume Activation Management Tool, and Media eXperience Analyzer. If SQL Server is listed among the available features, then you will not need it, because you already have a SQL Server that is being used by SCCM. You can see the feature selection screen in the figure below:

System Center Configuration Manager

Windows Server roles and features

The next thing that you will need to do is to install several Windows Server roles and features. You should start by installing Internet Information Server (IIS) onto your System Center Configuration Manager server. You can accomplish this by using the Server Manager to add the Web Server (IIS) role. As you install IIS, you will need to install the following accompanying role services (in addition to any that are installed by default):

  • Common HTTP Features \ Default Document
  • Common HTTP Features \ Static Content
  • Application Development \ ASP.NET 3.5
  • Application Development \ .NET Extensibility 3.5
  • Application Development \ ASP.NET 4.6
  • Application Development \ .NET Extensibility 4.6
  • Application Development \ ISAPI Extensions
  • Security \ Windows Authentication
  • IIS 6 Management Compatibility \ IIS Management Console
  • IIS 6 Management Compatibility \ IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility
  • IIS 6 Management Compatibility \ IIS 6 WMI Compatibility
  • IIS 6 Management Compatibility \ IIS Management Scripts and Tools

You can see some of these role services in the figure below:

System Center Configuration Manager

In addition, you will need to install the following features and their sub-features:

  • .NET Framework 3.5
  • .NET Framework 4.6
  • Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
  • Remote Differential Compression

You can see some of these features displayed in the figure below.

System Center Configuration Manager

Finally, you will need to install the Windows Server Update Services role.

Prepare the Active Directory

Before you will be able to install SCCM, you are going to need to do a bit of prep work on the Active Directory. Specifically, you will need to create a system management container, and you will need to extend the Active Directory schema.

To create the required container, go to your domain controller, open Server Manager, and choose the ADSI Edit command from the tools menu. When ADSI Edit opens, right click on the ADSI Edit container, and choose the Connect To command from the shortcut menu, and then follow the prompts to connect to the default naming context.

Now, navigate through the console tree to ADSI Edit | Default Naming Context | | CN=System. Right click on the CN=System container, and choose the New | Object commands from the shortcut menu, as shown in the figure below.

System Center Configuration Manager

When prompted, set the object class to Container. Next, enter System Management as the object’s value. Click Next, followed by Finish.

The next thing that you will have to do is grant your SCCM server (or to be more technically precise, the site server) permission to use the container. To do so, open the Active Directory Users and Computers console, go to the View menu, click on Advanced Features, expand the | System container, and then right click on System Management and then choose the Delegate Control option. This will launch the Delegation of Control Wizard.

Follow the wizard’s prompts to add your SCCM server’s computer account to the wizard. Upon doing so, the wizard will display a screen asking what task you want to delegate. Choose the option to Create a custom task, and then click Next. On the following screen, choose the This Folder, Existing Objects in this Folder, and Creation of New Objects in this Folder option, and click Next. Now, grant all permissions to the computer account, as shown in the figure below. Click Next, followed by Finish to complete the process.

System Center Configuration Manager

The other thing that you are going to have to do to prepare the Active Directory is to extend the Active Directory schema. To do so, insert your SCCM installation media into your domain controller, and then navigate to \SMSSETUP\BIN\X64. Next, hold down your shift key and right click on the Extadsch.exe file, and select the Copy as Path command from the shortcut menu. The Copy as Path command will not exist if you do not hold down the shift key. Now, open an administrative Command Prompt window, paste the clipboard contents, and press Enter. The Active Directory will now be extended, as shown in the figure below.

System Center Configuration Manager

At this point, your environment should be fully prepared for you to deploy SCCM. When you do eventually install SCCM, however, Setup will perform a readiness check that will make sure that all of the required configuration items are in place.

Photo credit: Pixabay

About The Author

1 thought on “Prepare to deploy System Center Configuration Manager 2016”

  1. Everything is OK about to create a system management container under CN=System. However, if a company decides to create a System Management container under a custom path, for example:
    OU=System Management,OU=Server, DC=Domain,DC=info, When I run the wizard to install Configuration Manager, Will it possible to install it on custom path?

    I hope someone could help me…

    Best Regards from Mexico

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