There are some notable changes in the role of the Distribution Point (DP) in ConfigMgr 2012. The Branch Distribution Point (BDP) has been dropped in ConfigMgr 2012. Instead, there is a single DP role that can be installed on servers (2003 upwards) and workstations (Vista upwards).

Interestingly, the DP role is the only Site system that is supported on both 32 and 64 bit computers; all other Site systems require a 64 bit OS. Distribution of content to remote DPs (i.e. any DP that is not hosted on the Site server) can use scheduling and throttling similar to that defined in our old friend, the Site-to-Site Address, that has survived since the first version of SMS.

By default all content is obtained by clients using HTTP (or HTTPS), which means that any system (including a workstation) hosting a DP needs Internet Information Server (IIS) installed. Although there is the option to establish content for specific Packages on a ‘legacy style’ DP share (this is in fact necessary if you want to use OS deployment Task Sequences that obtain content directly from the DP), the HTTP/S server must always be present. If you currently use NAS devices to host ConfigMgr 2007 DP shares, you are going to need a new strategy for ConfigMgr 2012.

The DP role now incorporates the PXE Service as an optional feature if the DP is hosted on a server OS (Windows Deployment Services (WDS) is still required for PXE booting in ConfigMgr 2012). Talk to 1E about our Nomad Enterprise solution, which not only eliminates the need for any kind of DP in your remote locations but also enables PXE to be served from a workstation. Nomad Enterprise integrates seamlessly with the ConfigMgr 2012 Operating System Deployment (OSD) process, using content stored on local peer workstations to complete a full OS deployment without impacting the WAN.

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Michelle Berninger
Michelle Berninger is a Digital Marketing Manager running the 1E blog and social media. Prior to joining 1E, she worked in the documentary film industry where stories about privacy, cyber security, and the changing digital landscape caught her attention. Michelle lives in Brooklyn and is based out of 1E’s New York City office.