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SCCM ConfigMgr CB How to Install Secondary Site and Design Thoughts

Installing SCCM Current Branch (CB) secondary server is a straight forward task however we can get into some of the issues. Some of the design considerations are very important before taking a decision to introduce a secondary site in SCCM CB infrastructure. I would personally avoid installing secondary unless you have a real need of it. Another fact is Secondary sites cannot be restored, and must be reinstalled. Each primary site supports up to 250 secondary sites and each Secondary sites can handle 15,000 clients. Another important point is you can’t throttle the SQL based replication link between SCCM secondary and primary sites as I explained in the post here (the post talks about SCCM 2012 but still applicable for SCCM CB).  Remember secondary sites still need NET Framework 3.5 SP1 (or later) !! Some other design topics are discussed in the post here.

SCCM_CB_Secondary_Site_Creation_12

To install SCCM CB secondary server, you need to browse through CM console “\Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites“. As you can see in the screen capture below, select the SCCM primary server and click on create Secondary Site.

SCCM_CB_Secondary_Site_Creation_1

Create SCCM CB secondary site Wizard. We can use this wizard to create a ConfigMgr secondary site under the primary site. Also you have to remember that when you install a secondary site it will automatically install the site system roles like DPs and MPs.

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In this screen, you can specify the properties of SCCM secondary like site code, Site Server name, Site Name and installation folder.

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In the page, you have 3 options to get installation source files of SCCM CB secondary site. In this scenario as it’s LAB setup I used the 1st option. However, I would recommend to use the option 3 when your secondary server is at the end of slow bandwidth connection.

1. Copy installation source files over network from parent site server.

2. Use the source files at the following network location.

3. Use the source files at the following location on the secondary site computer.

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I set the default configurations for SQL server settings. For the DP configuration, I selected install and configure IIS if required by ConfigMgr. Rest all other configurations related  to DP is set as default.

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There are two ways to check the status of SCCM CB secondary site installation. 1. ConfigMgrSetup.log in the primary site (not the log file in the remote secondary site). 2. The other way of checking the status of installation is Show Install Status button in SCCM console ribbon.

SCCM_CB_Secondary_Site_Creation_8

The SCCM CB secondary site installation failed in my lab and I retried it and it failed again for the second time. When I checked the log file there an error related to .NET 3.5 SP1. The prerequisite checking was not completed successfully because it was not able to install .NET 3.1 SP1. When you choose to have SCCM install SQL Server Express as part of the secondary site installation, ensure the server meets the requirements to run SQL Server Express.

CWmiRegistry::WmiOpen: Failed to read key SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP\v3.5 on CM02.DWPOC.LOCAL

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The problem with .Net 3.5 SP1 and Server 2012 is an old famous problem. Without the source files of Server 2012 R2, we can’t install .Net 3.5 SP1. When I tried install it without providing alternate path for SXS folder in the source files, it got failed with the following message :- “Do you want to specify an alternate source path? One or more installation selections are missing source files…”. I was able to get the .Net 3.5 Sp1 installed successfully after providing the source files. I also installed BITs and RDC components on the secondary server before retrying the installation.

I did retried the SCCM CB secondary site installation after that it worked very well. In the secondary site installation status you could see all the details and status of the installation.SCCM_CB_Secondary_Site_Creation_10

Once the secondary site is installed successfully, we could see the status of secondary server as active in the console.

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About Author 

Anoop is Microsoft MVP and Veeam Vanguard ! He is a Solution Architect on enterprise client management with more than 13 years of experience (calculation done on the year 2014) in IT. He is Blogger, Speaker and Local User Group Community leader. His main focus is on Device Management technologies like SCCM 2012,Current Branch, Intune. He writes about the technologies like SCCM, SCOM, Windows 10, Azure AD, Microsoft Intune, RMS, Hyper-V etc...

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Posted in: ConfigMgr (SCCM), ConfigMgr CB, SCCM CB