The time is fast approaching for Microsoft System Center 2007 Configuration Manager to fall out of support, and with the great new features of ConfigMgr 2012 you may find yourself with the task of designing your ConfigMgr 2012 hierarchy. There are two ways to approach a ConfigMgr 2012 design: either look at the ConfigMgr 2007 environment that has served you well, if you have one, and reproduce the same hierarchy for your new ConfigMgr 2012 design, or start afresh with a new hierarchy. I recommend that whether this is your first adventure in ConfigMgr, or you have been working with the product for many years, you take the opportunity to create an efficient ConfigMgr 2012 environment.
Hopefully I have convinced you to start afresh! In the remainder of this article I will discuss some of the highlights of ConfigMgr 2012 which can help you get the most out of the product whilst not creating an administration nightmare.
ConfigMgr 2012 has increased the number of clients that a Primary site can manage to 100k clients. This should enable you to only require one Primary site and which means there will be no need for a Central Administration Site (CAS). A CAS will be required if you intend to connect and administer multiple Primary sites. The administration of ConfigMgr through security scopes and roles means that greater granularity can be achieved compared with ConfigMgr 2007. This too can add to the design requirements of not using a CAS in your ConfigMgr 2012 hierarchy.
You can also have more than one Management Point per Primary site without the need for a Secondary site. If you have a global network then a Secondary site may be required in locations with high numbers of machines. By only having one Primary site you can remove the need for multiple site codes and the administration overhead of clients changing ConfigMgr sites when they travel can also be removed.
Use the ConfigMgr 2012 design phase to build a reliable and efficient hierarchy and only use a CAS if you really really have to.
Throughout July I’ll be hosting a webinar series on ConfigMgr 2012 migrations. Hope to see you there.