SCCM ConfigMgr CB How to Install Secondary Site Design Thoughts Configuration Manager Endpoint Manager? Installing SCCM Current Branch (CB) secondary server is a straightforward task; however, we can get into some issues.
Some of the design considerations are very important before introducing a secondary site in the SCCM CB infrastructure. Latest Secondary Site post – SCCM Secondary Server Installation Guide | Step By Step | ConfigMgr HTMD Blog (anoopcnair.com).
I would personally avoid installing secondary unless you have a real need for 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 site can handle 15,000 clients.
How to Install Secondary Site Design
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 is 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.
How to Install Secondary Site Design
To install SCCM CB secondary server, you need to browse through the CM console “\Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites“. In the screen capture below, select the SCCM primary server and click on create Secondary Site.
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.
In this screen, you can specify the properties of SCCM secondary like site code, Site Server name, Site Name, and installation folder.
On the page, you have 3 options to get installation source files of the SCCM CB secondary site. In this scenario, as it’s LAB setup, I used the 1st option. However, I recommend option 3 when your secondary server is at the end of a slow bandwidth connection.
1. Copy installation source files over the network from the 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.
I set the default configurations for SQL server settings. For the DP configuration, I selected to install and configure IIS if required by ConfigMgr. Rest all other configurations related to DP are set as default.
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 installation status is the Show Install Status button in the SCCM console ribbon.
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 was an error related to .NET 3.5 SP1. The prerequisite checking was not completed successfully because it could not 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
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 to install it without providing an alternate path for the 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 retry the SCCM CB secondary site installation. After that, it worked very well. In the secondary site installation status, you can see all the details and status of the installation.
Once the secondary site is installed successfully, we can see the status of the secondary server as active in the console.
Anoop is Microsoft MVP! He is a Solution Architect in enterprise client management with more than 20 years of experience (calculation done in 2021) in IT. He is a blogger, Speaker, and Local User Group HTMD Community leader. His main focus is on Device Management technologies like SCCM 2012, Current Branch, and Intune. E writes about ConfigMgr, Windows 11, Windows 10, Azure AD, Microsoft Intune, Windows 365, AVD, etc…