SCCM and BranchCache

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Configuring BranchCache on the SCCM Distribution Point

  • On the Distribution Point properties, enable “Allow clients to transfer content from this distribution point using BITS, HTTP, and HTTPS”
  • In Server Manager
    • install the BranchCache Feature
    • configure the Windows Firewall to ensure content can be requested
      • [TODO]

Configuring BranchCache on the SCCM Clients.  A domain Group Policy is best, but a local Group Policy as well as a few NETSH commands will work.

  • From a policy
    • Computer Configuration \ Policies \ Administrative Templates \
      • Enable Turn on BranchCache
      • Enable Set BranchCache Distributed Cache mode
      • Enable Configure BranchCache for network files = ?? milliseconds (default is 80, I suggest 20)
      • (optional) Enable Set percentage of disk space used for client computer cache (default is 5%)
    • Computer Configuration \ Policies \ Windows Settings \ Windows firewall with Advanced Security \ Windows Firewall with Advanced Security \ Inbound Rules
      • Enable BranchCache Content Retrieval (HTTP-In)
      • Enable BranchCache Peer Discovery (WSD-In)
    • Computer Configuration \ Policies \ Windows Settings \ Windows firewall with Advanced Security \ Windows Firewall with Advanced Security \ Outbound Rules
      • Enable BranchCache Content Retrieval (HTTP-Out)
      • Enable BranchCache Peer Discovery (WSD-Out)
  • From the command line
  • ?????

How to tell if it is working

  • Start Performance Monitor
  • Add monitor elements (probably from a remote computer)
  • Add BranchCache (specifically
    • BITS: Bytes from cache
    • BITS: Bytes from server
    • Discovery: Attempted discoveries
    • Discovery: Successful discoveries
    • Retrieval: Bytes from cache
    • Retrieval: Bytes from server
    • Retrieval: Bytes served (show how much this computer is providing to other peers)
  • Monitor these counters
  • Deploy something NEW from SCCM ensuring that “download from distribution point” is enabled in order to force BITS.  You could also manually transfer data via BITSAdmin.exe
  • Run this locally to see some good basic configuration and utilization info
  • Calcuate Savings percentage = Retrieval: Bytes from cache / (Retrieval: Bytes from cache + Retrieval: Bytes from server)
  • Calculate Bytes Saved = Hypothetical Server Bytes Without Caching – Client Cache Miss Bytes – Server Cache Miss Bytes – Hash Bytes

Requires:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 7 Enterprise or Ultimate
  • BITS 4.0

References

October 4, 2012

Posted In: ConfigMgr 2007, ConfigMgr 2012

SCCM Unused Packages

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This is a t-sql query to help find Packages which you are no longer using so they can be properly organized/categorized/deleted.

Thanks to John Nelson (Number 2) and Christjan Schumann for doing the heavy lifting.  I only put the two puzzle pieces together.

References:

September 20, 2012

Posted In: ConfigMgr 2007, ConfigMgr 2012, T-SQL

Remove SCCM 2007 Child Primary Site

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Thanks to Tom Popov for a nice set of instructions (instead of Microsoft’s spaghetti @ http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb632662.aspx).

http://tompopov.blogspot.com/2011/08/remove-sccm-child-primary-connection.html

CEN – Central Site
PRI – Child Primary Site
SEC – Secondary Site

Here is the procedure how to remove PRI SCCM Child Primary Site from its CEN SCCM Parent Site.

  1. from CEN Central Site via SCCM console
    1. delete PRI child site address
  2. from CEN Central Server execute Preinst.exe which is located in C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Configuration Manager\bin\i386\00000409 folder
    1. Preinst.exe /dump -> shows SCCM sites in SCCM Parent Central Site. The target is to remove PRI Child Primary Site.
    2. Preinst.exe /deljob PRI-> Delete jobs for PRI site
    3. Preinst.exe /delSITE PRI CEN -> Delete PRI site
    4. Preinst.exe /deljob PRI -> Execute again to delete any job in meantime
    5. Preinst.exe /dump -> Executing again shows that PRI Child Primary Site has been removed from SCCM Parent site.
  3. from PRI Primary Site via SCCM console remove settings from Report to parent site to Central site

Finally you can see that all locked out items have been removed. All Software deployments packages, Advertisements, OS deployment packages, and Task Sequences have been inherited form SCCM Parent site into SCCM Child Site and can be modified.

September 20, 2012

Posted In: ConfigMgr 2007

Installing SCCM 2012 Secondary Site using A Pre-Installed SQL Express 2008 R2 Instance

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This is a very helpful article on pre-installing SQL Express on a SCCM 2012 Secondary server so you can customize the install to fit your needs.

http://blog.tyang.org/2012/04/09/installing-sccm-2012-rtm-secondary-site-using-a-pre-installed-sql-express-2008-r2-instance/

Even after all of the tweaking noted in the article I still had issues.
I ran into these errors logged in \\CM12-Primary\%systemDrive%\ConfigMgrSetup.log

However, even after enabling TCP/IP and setting the port to 1433 I still could not connect.

  • I then validated that SQL Browser was running, but didn’t help.
  • I used netstat -a to validate that TCP 1433 was listening and UDP 1434 shows as *:*.
  • I could connect to SQL locally using SQL Server Management Studio and SQLCMD, but I could not remotely UNTIL I added the port to the connection string (CM12-Secondary\CONFIGMGRSEC,1433).

It turns out that I didn’t set an exclusion in my SCCM Servers Firewall GPO for SQL Browser (UDP 1434). After adding the exclusion and running GPUpdate all is well.

August 16, 2012

Posted In: ConfigMgr 2012, Trackback