Configuration Manager 2012: Hierarchy Wide Bootable Media


Hierarchy wide Bootable or Prestaged media.

One of the most requested features/capabilities around operating system deployment in Configuration Manager 2007 is the ability to have bootable media that is not tied to a specific site. A large portion was restrictions within the Configuration Manger 2007. In Configuration Manager 2012 we have spent time modernizing the infrastructure. The new hierarchy (based on SQL replication), is flatter, shares more data across sites and requires less infrastructure. As part of the hierarchy redesign, we focused on ways to update Bootable media to be dynamic and not require a specific disc per site. Let’s go over some of the details.

How it works today:
  • In ConfigMgr 2007, an admin creates Bootable media. 
  • During the creation, the media is generated with information specific to the site.
  • The computer is booted to media and contacts the default site Management Point for information about Optional and Mandatory Advertisements.
How it works in v.Next:
What needs to be setup:
  • A ConfigMgr 2012 Hierarchy containing:
    • A Central Administration Site
    • Two or more primary sites (No need for hierarchy wide media if there is just one site =)
  • Boundaries defined for the Primary sites
  • Distribute the Boot Image that is needed for the media to one or more Distribution Points
Steps to Create Task Sequence Media:
  • Select Create Task Sequence Media.
  • Select Bootable Media (or Prestaged media)
  • A this point you now have an option for Dynamic Media or Site Based Media. 
    • Dynamic Media gives you the option to use one piece of media for the entire hierarchy. It will redirect the client based on its current location.
    • Site based Media keeps the parity with ConfigMgr 2007. It remains tied to a specific site.
  • When you select Dynamic Media, you now receive fields to select a Management Point. You can specify several Management Points for the media. This gives you a fallback if the first Management Point in the list is not available. When specifying the Management Points, keep in mind all clients using the media will contact the Management Points in the order specified for the initial request. The initial request is only a couple KB.

How does it all work?

  • Client boots to the Bootable Media and the Management point you selected for the media is used for an initial request. 
  • The client send the Management Point a request takes networking information about the client.
  • The Management Point performs a server side look up based on defined boundaries to determine the correct site for the client. 
  • The Management Point returns the default Management Point of the correct site for the client. 
  • The client contacts the default Management Point for the correct site for available or required deployments (formerly Advertisements).
  • The client processes all further communication with the correct site to process its deployments.

John Vintzel
Microsoft Corporation | Program Manager | System Center Configuration Manager | twitter: jvintzel

These postings are provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confer no rights.

EDIT: Updated old references