How To Expand Your Stand-Alone Primary Site With ConfigMgr 2012 SP1

Article written by Santos Martinez, a US-based Microsoft Premier Field Engineer and resident ConfigNinja.

Image courtesy of Do you want to expand your stand-alone System Center Configuration Manager 2012(a.k.a ConfigMgr) primary site into an hierarchy?

So you get to the point where your company starts expanding or acquiring other companies to join your current IT Infrastructure. To achieve this with ConfigMgr can be challenging since you performed a lot of planning for your existing environment and now you need to expand it. In the past you would have to rebuild your ConfigMgr sites to install a CAS (Central Administration Site) and then a primary site. With the future release of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, this will no longer be needed. Here we are going to outline the steps that are needed for you to accomplish this.

Expanding a Stand Alone Primary Site

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 brings the ability to expand a current stand-alone server into a new hierarchy. You can install a new central administration site as a parent of an existing standalone primary site. This expands your stand-alone site into a larger hierarchy that supports the installation of additional new primary sites. You can expand only one pre-existing primary site into the new hierarchy because the database of the new central administration site is based on the database of your stand-alone primary site. After this new central administration site installs, you cannot join or expand additional preexisting primary sites to this same hierarchy. However, you can install new primary sites as child sites below the central administration site.

Steps to expand a stand-alone primary site:

  1. Build a new server with Windows Server 2008 R2
  2. Install all the pre-requirements for a Site Server
  3. Locate the <ConfigMgrSetupFiles>\splash.hta
  4. When the SP1 Installation Wizard launch click on Install.
  5. Wait till the Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 Setup Wizard launches, then on the Available setup options select Install a Configuration Manager central administration site and click Next.
  6. On the Product Key section enter the information for the product key if you have it available or select install the evaluation of the product if you are testing it, then click Next.
  7. Click on I accept these license terms and then click Next.
  8. Click on I accept the license terms for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Express, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Native Client and Microsoft Silverlight 5 then click Next.
  9. On the Prerequisite download select Download required files to download the redistributables or, if you already downloaded these for Service Pack 1, click on use previously downloaded files and then click Next.
  10. Wait until the setup downloader validates and downloads the redistributables.
  11. On the Server Language Selection, review this section in case you need extra languages. English is selected by default, then click Next.
  12. On the Client Language Selection, review this section in case you need extra languages. English is selected by default, then click Next.
  13. On the Site and Installation Settings enter the Valid Site Code, then enter the site name information and installation folder path, then click Next
  14. Specify whether this will be the first site in a new hierarchy or if this will expand an existing stand-alone primary site into a hierarchy as you can see on Figure 1.1.  In this case we want to expand a stand-alone primary site, click Expand an existing stand-alone primary site into an hierarchy and enter the information of the currently installed stand-alone primary site and click Next.
  15. Validate the database information and click Next.
  16. Validate the SMS Provider Settings and click Next
  17. Click join the customer experience or I don’t want to join the program and then click next.
  18. On the settings summary review your installation parameters and click Next
  19. On the Prerequisites, check validate there are no error messages on the status section. Check if there are any warning or failed messages. If you identify any missing prerequisites you must install these before you proceed. You can then click on run check or click Begin Install if you pass all the prerequisite check. Click Begin Install
  20. The process may takes several minutes depending on the amount of data that your stand-alone primary site have, Click close once you finish.

Figure 1.1 Expand the hierarchy selection during ConfigMgr setup:

Figure 1.1 Expand the hierarchy selection during ConfigMgr setup

Note that the new CAS must have access rights to the stand alone site server and database server so the information can be replicate to the new CAS from the stand alone primary site.

For more information, you can check out Planning to Expand a Stand-Alone Primary Site.

Did you ever have to expand a stand-alone primary site?


Article posted by Frank Battiston, MSPFE Editor