Plan the Configuration Manager Site Hierarchy

Applies To: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2

The task of designing your Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 sites and hierarchy is done during the planning phase, before deploying Configuration ManagerĀ 2007 in a production environment. Before beginning the planning phase, you should complete the preplanning phase and preplanning checklists to help identify how many sites you will have and where you will deploy them. After completing the preplanning phase, you can create an appropriate hierarchy design. The design should provide the ability for server hardware to scale up as your organization grows. For more information about the preplanning phase, see Configuration Manager Preplanning Phase.

Designing the Configuration Manager hierarchy involves identifying a central site, primary sites, and if necessary, secondary sites. To do this, you must understand parent-child relationships, how many clients each site will have, and how the sites communicate with each another. By determining the locations of your primary and secondary sites, you are effectively designing the hierarchy itself.

When designing the hierarchy, you should consider how you will link sites together to form the hierarchy reporting structure based on how each site fits into your design scope and objectives. Carefully balancing usage patterns against available hardware resources is critical to a successful hierarchy design.


When planning for primary site installations, you should decide which Microsoft SQL Server you will install the site database on and which computer will host the SMS Provider before beginning Configuration Manager 2007 Setup.

The benefits and required resources that are associated with each Configuration Manager feature, and the effects of those features on the hierarchy design, are complex and can be difficult to understand. The design process requires reviewing the technical and business considerations that can affect the design. Prioritize the business requirements to ensure the hierarchy design and site system placement will meet your business requirement goals.

To design a Configuration Manager hierarchy, complete the following tasks:

  • Determine the type of site (primary or secondary) to deploy in each location based on the number of present (and planned) clients. For more information about determining the type of site to deploy, see Choose Between Primary Sites, Secondary Sites, and Branch Distribution Points.

  • Determine the administrative requirements for each location and whether or not onsite administration will be required. This can help to determine the type of site to deploy.

  • Establish the logical relationships between sites, and determine the hierarchy reporting structure.

  • Determine the network connectivity speeds, and the acceptable amount of Configuration Manager site traffic that will be created, between sites and the types of senders and address properties that will be used to control it.

  • Determine a site naming strategy for planned and future Configuration Manager 2007 sites to ensure each site has a unique site code and future sites can be named according to the site naming strategy. For more information about site naming, see Configuration Manager Site Naming.

  • Define unique boundaries for each Configuration Manager primary and secondary site. For more information about Configuration Manager boundaries, see Choose Configuration Manager Boundaries.

  • Establish the Configuration Manager site systems to be deployed within the sites, and their physical locations, to enable the features required to support your business requirements. For more information about site system planning, see Configuration Manager Site System Planning.

After the Configuration Manager hierarchy has been designed, it should be reviewed in a test lab to ensure it will fit your current and future needs. Identify any risks in the hierarchy design, and make changes to the design or plan how to mitigate them. Making modifications to your hierarchy design during this phase is easier and entails less risk than if you make changes after deploying Configuration Manager sites.

See Also


Configuration Manager Tasks for Planning a Single Site

Other Resources

Configuration Manager Tasks for Planning Multiple Sites

For additional information, see Configuration Manager 2007 Information and Support.
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