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System Center 2012 R2 – High Availability: Configuration Manager

System Center 2012 R2 – High Availability: Configuration Manager

To finish this series about how to implement each product of System Center 2012 R2 suite as highly available and how to backup & recover them, in this article we will focus on System Center Configuration Manager.

In order to make your Configuration Manager infrastructure highly available you will have to:

  • Deploy each Configuration Manager site database on a SQL Server failover cluster or highly available virtual machine
  • Deploy a hierarchy of sites, with CAS and multiple primary sites
  • Install multiple instances of the management point, distribution point, state migration point, system health validator point, application catalog web service point, software update point site system roles.
  • Install multiple instances of SMS Provider at each site.

Configuration Manager includes a backup maintenance task that runs on a schedule. It’s available on the Site Maintenance item on the ribbon, which you can open when you select the Sites node in the Administration workspace of the Configuration Manager console. The Configuration Manager Backup Site Server site maintenance task backs up the following:

  • Site database
  • Configuration Manager registry keys
  • Configuration Manager files and folders.

The backup site server scheduled maintenance task does not backup content files for software updates, applications, or operating system deployment. You should back up the SCCMContentLib folder on the Configuration Manager site server, using file backup to backup the content library. You will also need to ensure that you have taken a file backup of package source files.

In order to recover a site server, you can choose one of the following options:

  • Recover the site server using an existing backup. You can leverage this option if you have created a backup using the scheduled maintenance task.
  • Reinstall the site server. Only use this option if you don’t have a backup of the site server. When using this option, ensure that you use the same site code and site database name as the original site server.

It will be necessary to recover the Configuration Manager database if the database becomes corrupted or if the data is otherwise lost. If you are recovering a database in a hierarchy, any changes made to the site database since the backup will be retrieved from the central administration site if you are recovering a primary site database, or from a primary site database if you are recovering the central administration site. If you are recovering the database of a stand-alone primary site, all changes made subsequent to the backup will be lost.
When performing database recovery, you have the following recovery options:

  • Recover the site database using a backup set This option allows you to restore the database using the backup created using the scheduled maintenance task.
  • Use a site database that has been manually recovered You use this option if you use SQL Server Management Studio, DPM, or another tool to back up the Configuration Manager database.
  • Create a new database for this site Use this option if you do not have access to a backup of the Configuration Manager site database. This option is only available if the site is part of a Configuration Manager hierarchy. You cannot use this option to recover the site database of a CAS if no primary sites are present and you can’t use this option to recover the site database of a stand-alone primary site.

After performing site recovery, you will need to perform the following steps:

  • Reenter user account passwords. The final page of the recovery wizard will provide you with information about which accounts require password information. This information is also saved to the file C:\ConfigMgrPostRecoveryActions.html.
  • Reenter sideloading keys. If you have entered sideloading keys for software deployment to Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 devices, you must reenter these keys, as they will be reset during site recovery.
  • Configure SSL for site system roles that use IIS. You will also need to reconfigure IIS to use the appropriate SSL certificate for site system roles after performing recovery.
  • Recover custom reports. If you have custom Configuration Manager reports, you will need to recover these reports after performing site recovery.
  • Recover content files. You will need to recover content files to the same locations as they used on the site server prior to the failure that triggered the recovery process.
  • Update Microsoft Azure management certificates. If your organization uses Microsoft Azure for cloud-based distribution points, you will need to update these management certificates for the newly recovered site server.

If you need to recover a computer that hosts a Configuration Manager secondary site, ensure that you configure the computer with the same name as the original computer that hosted the secondary site. Recovery of a secondary site requires that the primary site server is available. Configuration Manager secondary sites aren’t backed up by scheduled maintenance tasks.