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Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 new features ^
While most “service pack” updates tend to be focused on bug fixes, this one is more in line with new features and capabilities, as well as plenty of bug fixes. Among the most significant changes in Service Pack 1 are:
- The ability to “expand” an existing standalone Primary Site by joining it to a CAS
- Enhanced Support for Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, including UEFI
- Support for SQL Server 2012
- Support for PowerShell v3 management automation
- New Client Wake-Up Proxy Feature
- Expanded Client support for OSX, Linux, and UNIX operating systems
There’s more, but these are the most talked about changes so far
Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 - Additional operating systems
Preparing for Service Pack 1 ^
There are two basic paths you can take to upgrading to Service Pack 1: You can just run the Configuration Manager SP1 Setup, and resolve the prerequisite checker errors and warnings, one by one. This will work, but it can be rather tedious and time consuming. Or you can take a few minutes to prepare in advance and save yourself a lot of frustration and time. This article series will take the latter of these two paths.
To make your upgrade process as smooth as possible, I recommend downloading as many of the required prerequisites as possible. Below is a list of what you will need in order to do this. One interesting change from past versions of SMS and Configuration Manager is that the Service Pack is provided as part of a slipstreamed installation, rather than a separate installation file. Basically, it will look almost identical to the RTM installation source, with the exception of a few new folders and updated files.
The basic ingredients to prepare with are as follows:
- Configuration Manager 2012 with Service Pack 1:
- DVD media, or ISO file (If you have an ISO, you can either extract it to a folder, or, if your Site Server is running within a virtual environment, you can “mount” the ISO as a removable drive)
- Assessment and Deployment Kit (“ADK”) for Windows 8
- Hotfixes for WSUS 3.0 SP2:
- Updates for SQL Server 2008 R2:
Create a folder structure to save these downloaded files somewhere easy to access from within your lab environment. Later, you can copy this structure to your production environment. Some of these updates are provided as self-extracting executable files, such as CU6 for SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1, which can be extracted ahead of time if desired. I usually extract everything so I can run them in sequence using a script, but that’s just one benefit.
Example pre-staging folder structure
The screen shot below is just one example of a directory structure you could use to prepare with. I’ve created a “SC2012” root level folder on a non-system drive. Beneath that, I have a CM2012_SP1 folder, where I’ve extracted the ISO of the Configuration Manager 2012 installation media which has Service Pack 1 included. Next I created a folder named CM2012_Updates for storing the downloaded updates for Configuration Manager 2012 SP1. Lastly, I have a folder named “Prereqs” for storing things like ADK, SQL Server updates and WSUS 3.0 updates, each in its own sub-folder as well.
Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 -Pre-Staging Folder Structure
IMPORTANT: Whatever you do, please do NOT run these updates before reading the rest of this article. Be patient.
Verifying the current state
RTM build of Configuration Manager 2012 is 7711
The RTM build of Configuration Manager 2012 is 7711. You can verify this by opening the management console, going to Administration / Site Configuration / Sites, click on the Site, and the summary information shown just beneath will include the “Build Number”. The build number will be incremented by Service Pack 1 to 7804, as we will verify later in Parts 2 and 3 later on. The Client version deployed by the RTM site should be 5.00.7711.0000. We will cover upgrading Clients in the Part 3 of this series. This is just information to help you verify what versions you have and what you should have when you’re finished with your Site upgrade.
Backing up the Site Server
The first step you want to take is to back up your current site server configuration. Because this article is really about Service Pack 1, and not about Site Maintenance, I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about proper Site Server backup procedures here. Basically, if you don’t already have the Site Server Backup task enabled, navigate into Administration / Site Configuration / Sites / and right-click on the Site Name to select “Site Maintenance” from the pop-up menu.
The first option on the Site Maintenance menu is “Backup Site Server”. If Enabled is “No”, either click the “Edit” button at the bottom of the form, or double-click on the “Backup Site Server” entry. Either action will open the “Backup Site Server Properties” form.
Backup Site Server Properties
Check the “Enable this task” option, and then click the “Set Paths…” button to specify the location where backup files will be stored. You can specify a local drive mapping, or a UNC path, whichever suits your needs.
Set Backup Path
Since I’m working in a lab environment, I chose a folder on my E: drive, which wouldn’t make sense in a production environment since that’s the same drive where my Configuration Manager 2012 site is installed. If one path were to fail, most likely both would fail.
After specifying the Destination, click OK. Then you can configure the scheduling options to suit your needs. You can also enable Alerts for backup task failures by checking the option at the bottom left of the main form: “Enable alerts for backup task failures”.
TIP: You can also force the backup to run by starting the “SMS_SITE_BACKUP” service. Just be sure you do that before you begin the upgrade process.
Keep in mind that the Configuration Manager Site Server Backup task does not back up “everything” you would need to restore a failed site configuration from scratch. Some things which are not backed up by this task are SSRS custom reports, Application content and Software Updates repositories. For more information about configuring a comprehensive site backup plan click here.
Cleaning house and getting ready
This is probably the single most important step of all: Investigate and resolve errors and warnings that exist within your Site hierarchy. Whether issues reside within the SQL Server environment or within Configuration Manager, track them down and document them so you can resolve them more quickly.
Install any pending critical Windows operating system, application and driver updates on the Site Server. After installing the updates, restart the server and verify everything is functioning properly. Check the Windows event logs and double-check that all of the critical applications are working properly. You might then want to do another system backup before continuing.
You can the Prerequisite Checker anytime without causing any harm or making any changes to your Site Server. There are two ways to run the checker: From the main Configuration Manager w/SP1 installation form, or by navigating into the installation media folder structure to launch the file “\smssetup\bin\x64\prereqchk.exe”.
Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 - Prerequisite Check
The “Failed” status entries for USMT, Windows Deployment Tools, and Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE), are all related to having WAIK installed. You will need to uninstall WAIK and install the ADK for Windows 8 to resolve these later on (I’ll discuss this in Part 2).
The “Warning” for WSUS, within my lab environment, is related to not having two (2) hotfixes installed. I will discuss those in Part 2 as well.
The “Warning” for SQL Server process memory allocation, within my lab environment, is related to not having allocated 8 GB of memory to the server. This can be ignored for lab and testing environments, as long as it isn’t causing any noticeable or significant problems. In a production environment however, it might be something to consider.
Download SP1 Updates
As with the Prerequisite Checker, you can launch the Updates Downloader utility from the main installation form, or by launching the file from “\SMSSETUP\bin\x64\setupdl.exe”. Just specify the folder location to store the updates, and let it run. Later, when you do the actual upgrade, you can refer to the same folder and install the updates during the installation process, which runs much faster than if it has to download them first. This is identical to how the RTM installation work so it shouldn’t be a surprise.
Configuration Manager Setup Downloader
SQL Server readiness
Even though it’s required that you have the appropriate service pack and cumulative update pack installed for SQL Server (relative to the version of SQL Server you have installed), the Service Pack 1 readiness checker will verify them again. Just be sure you have them installed. For example, for SQL Server 2008 R2, you need to have Service Pack 1 and Cumulative Update 6. The readiness checker will also verify that your SQL Server instance is configured to use “SQL_Latin1_General_CP1_CI_AS” collation.
Additional resources ^
Even though this article is focused on preparation, I thought it worth including some links help you better prepare for conditions which may exist in your environment which are unique or not explicitly discussed herein.
- Release Notes for CM 2012 SP1
- How to upgrade System Center Configuration Manager 2012 to Service Pack 1
- Planning to Upgrade System Center Configuration Manager 2012
- 64-bit Client Fails to Install” (KB2801987)
- Supported Configurations for CM2012 SP1
If you are using the Forefront / Endpoint Protection features in Configuration Manager 2012, you might want to read up on updated Endpoint Protection scanning exclusions for Service Pack 1
Coming up next ^
In the next article of this series, we will go into upgrading a Primary Site Server.