Quick provider overview
Nothing new in this post per se but I wanted to get something up and I recently became aware that this is not a fully understood area of the product.
When you install an Admin console it has basic information as coded by the developers, combines that with the name or your primary site server, and BAM! The world of SCCM opens up for you as all the power and secrets of the ConfigMgr database are delivered to your fingertips. How does that happen?
The System Center Configuration Manager administration console takes the name of the site server you typed in and connects out to WMI on that specified server. The developers coded it to specifically look for the \root\sms namespace and then check for instances of the SMS_ProviderLocation class. This is how it goes from a generically aware tool to a company specific installation awareness. Your actual ConfigMgr provider could be anywhere with any site code, and you could have multiple providers. The SMS_ProviderLocation will point to a specific server and the specific site code of your specific install, in the form of a WMI path like \\<Server>\root\sms\site_<XYZ>. In that namespace on that server is all the stuff that reveals your unique ConfigMgr environment to you.