Sites and Hierarchies
The following frequently asked questions relate to sites and hierarchies in Configuration Manager 2012.
Are there new Active Directory schema extensions for Configuration Manager 2012?
No. The Active Directory schema extensions for Configuration Manager 2012 are unchanged from those used by Configuration Manager 2007. If you extended the schema for Configuration Manager 2007, you do not need to extend the schema again for Configuration Manager 2012.
Have the site types changed from Configuration Manager 2007?
Configuration Manager 2012 introduces changes to both primary and secondary sites while the central administration site is new site type. The central administration site replaces the primary site referred to as a central site as the top-level site of a multi-primary site hierarchy. This site does not directly manage clients but does coordinate a shared database across your hierarchy, and it is designed to provide centralized reporting and configurations for your entire hierarchy.
Can I join a pre-existing site to another site in Configuration Manager 2012?
No. In Configuration Manager 2012 you cannot change the parent relationship of an active site. You can only add a site as a child of another site at the time you install the new site. Because the database is shared between all sites, joining a site that has already created default objects or that has custom configurations can result in conflicts with similar objects that already exist in the hierarchy.
Why can’t I install a primary site as a child of another primary site like I could in Configuration Manager 2007?
With Configuration Manager 2012, primary sites have changed to support only secondary sites as child sites, and the new central administration site as a parent site. Unlike Configuration Manager 2007, primary sites no longer provide a security or configuration boundary. Because of this, you should only need to install additional primary sites to increase the maximum number of clients your hierarchy can support, or to provide a local point of contact for administration.
Why do I need SQL Server for my secondary site?
In Configuration Manager 2012 secondary sites require either SQL Server, or SQL Server Express to support database replication with their parent primary site.
What is database replication?
Database replication is based upon SQL Server replication and replaces file-based site-to-site data transfers for settings and configurations. This enables common information to be quickly replicated to each Configuration Manager 2012 site in a hierarchy. Database replication configures automatically when you join a new site to an existing hierarchy.
What is Active Directory forest discovery?
Active Directory Forest discovery is a new discovery method in Configuration Manager 2012 that allows you to discover network locations from multiple Active Directory forests. This discovery method can also create boundaries in Configuration Manager for the discovered network locations and you can publish site data to another Active Directory forest to help support clients, sites, and site system servers in those locations.
Can I provide clients with unique client agent configurations without installing additional sites?
Yes. Configuration Manager 2012 applies a hierarchy-wide set of default client settings (formerly called client agent settings) that you can then modify on clients by using custom client settings that you assign to collections. This creates a flexible method of delivering customized client settings to any client in your hierarchy, regardless of the site it is assigned to, or where it is located on your network.
How do I configure my sites for native-mode?
Configuration Manager 2012 has replaced the native mode site configuration in Configuration Manager 2007 with individual site system role configurations that accept client communication over HTTPS or HTTP. Because you can have site system roles that support HTTPS and HTTP in the same site, you have more flexibility in how you introduce PKI to secure the intranet client endpoints within the hierarchy. Clients over the Internet and mobile devices must use HTTPS connections.
Where do I configure the Network Access Account?
Use the following procedure to configure the Network Access Account:
How to configure the Network Access Account for a site
In the Administration workspace, expand Site Operations, click Sites, and then select the site.
On the Settings group, click Configure Site Components, and then click Software Distribution.
Click the Network Access Account tab, configure the account, and then click OK.