I decided that I wanted to give Microsoft SCCM (Systems Center Configuration Manager) 2012 a go. Three days later I almost have my install complete. A couple of hurdles I had to jump over…

1. You have to extend the Active Directory Schema – Which is not a job for the feint of heart, luckily they make it quite easy.

2. IIS is required and it needs a lot of configuration.

3. SQL Server 2008 R2 – 2012 can be used but it requires a full standard license.

4. The server you are installing on needs at least 12 GB of free, usable RAM. My test box has 16 GB total so that was pushing it a bit.

5. Make sure no failover clustering components are installed.

6. WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) must be installed and working correctly.

7. NET Framework 3.5 needs to be installed as well as Visual Studio.

SQL Server 2012 also required a lot of tinkering, and getting permissions straight for services like BITS to work was also a headache. Luckily Microsoft at least has written a lot of documentation and an excellent pre-requisite check program that has to have all green lights before you can install.

Basically, if you are setting up a new environment you need to purchase about 3 or 4 additional Microsoft licenses to get a working install of SCCM. You also need to be comfortable with setting up and configuring Visual Studio, SQL Server (and not just express, as I found out their free version isn’t sufficient for a primary SCCM site), configuring a domain, in-depth permissions configuration, and more…

It has been a climb to say the least but my install is finally running. With this much machinery under the hood I am hoping the feature-set really makes it worth it. I am particularly interested in seeing what kind of flexibility this will add for hyper-v deployments.


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