After installing System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2, the next step in the configuration process is to design your System Center Configuration Manager site hierarchy. You have to go through the entire content of this topic in order to have a more efficient and scalable environment.
Site system roles specify the support operations at each site. Machines that host Configuration Manager sites are named site servers, and machines that host other site system roles are called site system servers. Servers within one site communicate with each other using SMB, HTTP, or HTTPS, depending on the site's configuration. So, review your available network bandwidth before installing a site system server and configure your site system roles. Within each site, you can install site system roles on the site server or you can install site system roles on other site system servers. There is no limit to the number of site system roles on a site system server. The only limitation is that you cannot install a site system role from a different site. Some specific roles are only available to some sites in a hierarchy. In order to install site system roles, you can use the account of the site server or create a Site System Installation account. This account can be a local system account or a domain account. Here is a list of some of the site system roles:
Distribution point: This site system role contains all the source files enabled for download by clients, such as applications, software packages and updates, OS images, and their respective boot images.
Fallback status point: This role provides an alternative location for clients to send messages to during installation when they cannot reach their management point. This role monitors client installation and identifies clients that are unmanaged because they cannot reach their management point.
Asset intelligence synchronization point: This connects to System Center Online in order to download Asset Intelligence catalog information and upload uncategorized titles so that they can be considered for future inclusion in the catalog.
Site administration activities include planning, analysis, installation, management, and monitoring of the System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 site hierarchy. There are three scenarios with respect to site hierarchy, and they are as follows:
Different configurations apply to different parts in the site hierarchy. This means that some site system roles are only available in the central administration site and some are only available at a child primary or a standalone site. When you have a single standalone primary site, you have all of the site system roles at your disposal.
Deploying your first site defines the entire structure of your hierarchy. This primary site supports secondary sites, and it can be extended with a central administration site. You can get more information on how to extend a primary site with a central administration site at the following link:
If you plan to use certificates in your System Center Configuration Manager hierarchy, you need to plan the dependencies for PKI in your infrastructure. You can read more about PKI certificate requirements for System Center Configuration Manager at the following link:
For each site that you install, you have to install and configure site system roles for management. You have to review all the site system roles and see how to deploy them. For example, some roles require only one instance in the hierarchy and some roles require instances in each site. Finally, there are site system roles that can have multiple instances within a site.
If you deploy a central administration site, you can deploy site system roles that are used to monitor the entire hierarchy or roles that provide services for the entire hierarchy, such as the Endpoint Protection point. For primary sites, you need system roles for client communication, such as the software update point and the management point.
After you deploy the first site, you can start configuring settings for hierarchy-wide operations and settings that are site-specific. Both configurations affect how sites operate and how clients function. The following is a list of some of the hierarchy-specific configurations:
Client settings: These settings specify how System Center Configuration Manager clients perform different tasks on the client machine. These tasks can check for new applications, check the hardware and software inventory, and so on.
The summarization of status messages collected from the clients
Site components that control how site system roles work in a site
Monitoring and maintaining the status of the hierarchy is very important. The status can change over time and changes need to be addressed. To keep all the systems in prime condition, you must monitor the hierarchy for problems and take actions in order to prevent problems.
You can perform the monitoring tasks for the hierarchy by using the Monitoring section in the System Center Configuration Manager console and also configure maintenance tasks at each site to help maintain efficiency. System Center Configuration Manager provides built-in tasks that can be used to monitor and maintain the following:
Reports that inform about the failure of tasks and operational status
Receive alerts for current or upcoming problems
Client statuses, which can show which clients are active
View status of endpoint protection clients