Remote Distribution Points in ConfigMgr 2007

This post will be a short follow-up on a previous post about How a client chooses a Distribution Point. In that post I tried to explain how a client picks a (Remote) Distribution Point (DP). In this post I will try to take away some more confusion about Remote DP’s.

Let’s start with when a DP is considered a Remote DP. ConfigMgr looks at this from the clients perspective. If a client is within a Fast Network Boundary, then the DP(‘s) that is in the same Boundary will be marked as a Local DP. All the other DP’s are marked as Remote DP’s. The important part here is that a client has to be within the correct Boundary and that you are the only one who can make that happen. To make sure which DP is used to download, you have to make the DP Protected with that Boundary.

So if a client is on a remote location, doesn’t mean that it connects to the DP on the remote location. As long as you don’t configure a Boundary for the client, the client will see the DP on its own location as a Remote DP.

For more information about protected DP’s: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb892788.aspx

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How to create a Capture Only Task Sequence with ConfigMgr 2007

Some things are a lot easier then you might think. One of these things is creating a Capture Only Task Sequence. As you all know there is the option within ConfigMgr 2007 to create a Build and Capture Task Sequence, well creating a Capture Only Task Sequence is nothing more then taking the Capture part of the default Build and Capture Task Sequence. So I use in my Capture Only Task Sequence the following steps:CaptOnlyTS

  • Join Workgroup (this step is only necessary when the Reference Machine is joined to a domain)
  • Prepare ConfigMgr Client
  • Prepare OS
  • Capture the Reference Machine

The first steps all need to run in Full OS, which means that you can’t start this Task Sequence by booting in WinPE. I just create an Advertisement without a Mandatory Assignment. This makes the box Allow users to run the program independently of assignments ticked, which makes sure that the Advertisement will show in the Run Advertised Programs on the client. You need to make sure that when you want to use this that the Reference Machine is within the Boundaries of your ConfigMgr 2007 environment. Another option in some, maybe most, cases is to create a Capture CD (see Technet for a How To: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb694129.aspx).

Keep in mind that if you want to do this with Windows XP that you need a step Install Deployment Tools to copy the Sysprep Package to the machine. I put that step most of the time at the end of my Build Task Sequence.

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Active Directory Site Boundaries are “static”

Active Directory sites are the easiest way of defining ConfigMgr site boundaries, because they are based on physical segments. BUT besides that, you have to keep in mind that they are also static in two different ways:

  1. All the different subnets have to be manually included and configured in the Active Directory sites.
  2. Once an Active Directory Site Name is selected as an ConfigMgr Site Boundary, ConfigMgr will check on the selected Site Name. Even when you rename the Active Directory site!

For more information about site boundaries: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb633084.aspx

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