Installing SCCM 2012 R2 Prerequisites

Before you can install Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, certain prerequisites need to be met. These prerequisites relate to Active Directory, installation of SQL Server, installation of roles and features on the server you are installing SCCM 2012 R2, and installation of additional required software. In this blog post we will go through each prerequisite, to get a better understanding of why that prerequisite is required. If you just want to quickly get SCCM 2012 R2 up and running, please check the SCCM 2012 R2 Quickstart Installation Guide.


1. Active Directory


All site systems must be members of an AD domain. You must use a domain user account that is a local administrator on the site server for the installation. You can extend the AD forest schema to support the publishing of Configuration Manager site information. Although the schema extension is optional, there are many benefits to extending the schema, such as enabling ConfigMgr clients to query AD Domain Services to locate site resources. ConfigMgr site information will be published in a container called System Management, which must be a sub container of the System container.

The Active Directory schema extensions are unchanged from ConfigMgr 2007, so if you extended the schema with ConfigMgr 2007 schema extensions, it is not necessary to extend the schema for ConfigMgr 2012.


1.1 Create the System Management Container


The System Management container is not automatically created when the schema is extended, therefore you must create this container for each domain that includes a ConfigMgr primary site server or secondary site server that publishes site information to AD Domain Services.

1.1.1 Log on as an account that has the Create All Child Objects permission on the System container in AD Domain Services
1.1.2 Start the ADSI Edit snap-in, then right click ADSI Edit and select Connect to…
1.1.3 Keep the default settings, click OK

1.1.4 Browse to the System Container, right-click it → New → Object

1.1.5 In the Create Object dialog box, select Container, and then click Next

1.1.6 In the Value box, type System Management, and then click Next

1.1.7 Click Finish


1.2 Set security permissions on the System Managment Container


All site servers that will publish site information to the System Management container will need full control permissions on the System Management container and all of its child objects. Ideally you should create a group which contains the computer accounts of your site servers, and use it for this purpose.

1.2.1 Start the Active Directory Users and Computers snap-in
1.2.2 Click View → Advanced Features

1.2.3 Select the System Management container, right-click → Delegate Control

1.2.4 Click Next on the first page of the Wizard
1.2.5 Click Add
1.2.6 In the Select Users, Computers or Groups dialog box, select the computer account of your site server, then click ok

1.2.7 Click Next

1.2.8 Select Create custom task to delegate, then click Next

1.2.9 Keep the default setting, click Next

1.2.10 Check all Permission boxes, click Next, then click Finish

1.2.11 Below is a screenshot of the information published by a newly installed stand-alone Primary site server


1.3 Extend the Schema


Extending the schema is an irreversible action and must be done by a user who is a member of the Schema Admins Group or who has been delegated sufficient permissions to modify the schema. You can extend the schema by using the extadsch.exe utility, which can be found on the ConfigMgr installation media.

ExtADSch.exe creates the log file extadsch.log, located in the root of the %systemdrive%, which lists all schema modifications it has made and the status of the operation. Following the list of attributes and classes that have been created, the log should contain the entry Successfully extended the Active Directory schema.

For disaster recovery purposes it can be beneficial to create a backup of the schema master domain controller’s system state, before you run the extadsch.exe utility.

1.3.1 Copy the extadsch.exe file located in the SMSSETUP\BIN\X64 folder on the ConfigMgr installation media to (for example) c:\temp on the schema master domain controller

1.3.2 Ensure that you are logged on to the schema master domain controller with an account that is a member of the Schema Admins security group.

1.3.3 Run extadsch.exe to add the new classes and attributes to the Active Directory schema.

1.3.4 Verify that the schema extension was successful by reviewing the extadsch.log located in the root of the system drive


2. SQL Server


All site types in SCCM 2012 R2 require a SQL server instance where the site database can be stored.  Each site database can be installed on either the default instance or a named instance. You can choose to install SQL server and Configuration Manager on the same host, or on different hosts. If  you choose to install SQL server on a remote host, the instance can be installed in a failover cluster.

The following versions are supported by SCCM 2012 R2 SP1 (without having to install any CUs on the SQL Server),

SQL Server 2008R2 – SP2, SP3
SQL Server 2012 – SP1, SP2
SQL Server 2014 – No service pack

For a complete list of which versions of SQL Server are supported by the different Configuration Manager versions, click here. In a hierarchy with multiple sites, each site can use a different version of SQL Server to host the site database so long as that version of SQL Server is supported by SCCM 2012 R2.


Depending on whether you decide to co-locate SQL server with the site server or install it on a remote host, different limitations will apply to the number of clients your hierarchy can support. A primary site with the SQL database on the site server can support up to 50 000 clients. A primary site with a dedicated SQL database server can support up to 100 000 clients. The site database at the CAS site can support a hierarchy with up to 50 000 clients using SQL Server Standard Edition and up to 400 000 clients using SQL Server Enterprise Edition.

2.1 Install SQL Server

You can install SQL server as outlined in this blog post.


2.2 Configure memory limit on SQL Server


SQL Server is by default configured to consume all available RAM. For standalone SQL Servers this configuration works well, because RAM is more efficient than disk memory. When co-locating SQL Server with the Site Server, however, setting a maximum amount of RAM for SQL consumption and thereby reserving the rest for ConfigMgr, the operating system, and other applications is an optimal configuration.

2.2.1 Open SQL Server Management Studio console. Provide credentials for a Database Engine Services Administrator, choose the correct server, and click connect.

2.2.2 Right-click server → properties

2.2.3 Choose the Memory page, then set Minimum and Maximum memory to 8192 (this of course entails that you have that much memory available to allocate to SQL Server)

If you don’t perform step 2.2.3, you will receive the following two warnings before installation of SCCM 2012 R2,


2.3 Configure Firewall for SQL Server


You will need to open the following two ports,

TCP 1433 – It applies to routine connections to the default installation of the Database Engine, or a named instance that is the only instance running on the computer.

TCP 4022 – This the default port for the SQL Server Service Broker. ConfigMgr uses the SQL Server Service Broker for replication between sites.

2.4 SQL Server Security Rights

The user account that performs the installation of SCCM 2012 R2, must have the sysadmin role on the SQL instance where the SCCM 2012 R2 database will be stored.


3. Roles and Features


The following roles and features must be installed onto the Site Server prior to installation of a stand-alone Primary site.


3.1 Features


Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
BITS is a component of IIS that manages file transfers in an advanced manner. When the ConfigMgr client requests files from BITS, BITS handles the transfer asynchronously, freeing the ConfigMgr client to move on to other tasks. BITS continuously monitors the available bandwidth during the transfer and throttles the transfer as required. Keep in mind, BITS only monitors the local NIC, it does not monitor the bandwidth of the network.

BITS also automatically resumes file transfers after disconnecting from the network or restarting the computer. BITS is required for distribution points.

Remote Differential Compression
Computes and transfers the differences between two objects over a network using minimal bandwidth. Site servers and distribution points require Remote Differential Compression to generate package signatures and perform signature comparison.

Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5.1
A prerequisite for installing Sql Server 2008R2/2012.

Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (for Windows Server 2008 R2)
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 (for Windows Server 20012/2012 R2)
Required by the Configuration Manager Console.


3.2 Roles


Web Server (IIS).
Several site system roles require IIS, following IIS role services must be installed

Common HTTP Features

Default Document
Directory Browsing
HTTP Errors
Static Content
HTTP Redirection

Health and Diagnostics

HTTP logging
Logging tools
Request Monitor


Static Content Compression


Request Filtering
Basic Authentication
IP and Domain Restrictions
URL Authorization
Windows Authentication

Application Development

.NET Extensibility 3.5
.NET Extensibility 4.5
ISAPI Extensions
ISAPI Filters

Management Tools

IIS Management Console

IIS 6 Management Compatibility
IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility
IIS 6 Management Console
IIS 6 Scripting Tools
IIS 6 WMI Compatibility

IIS Management Scripts and Tools
Management Service


3.3 Install Roles and features


3.3.1 Start the Add Roles and Features Wizard in Server Manager
3.3.2 Select Web Server (IIS), click Add Features when prompted to add features that are required for Web Server IIS. Click Next

3.3.3 On the Select Features page, select .Net Framework 3.5 (all sub-features), BITS and Remote Differential Compression. .Net Framework 4.5 should already be installed by default. Click Add Features when prompted to add features that are required by BITS. Then, click Next

3.3.4 Add the IIS role services mentioned in point 3.2
3.3.5 Finish adding the roles and features by clicking Install on the Confirmation page.


4. Windows Assessment and Deployment Kit (Windows ADK) for Windows 8.1


You will need to install the following features of Windows ADK for Windows 8.1,

Deployment Tools
Tools to customize and manage Windows images and to automate installation.

User State Migration Tool (USMT)
Used for migrating user data and settings from one system to another. Utilized by the State Migration Point site system role.

Windows Preinstallation Environment (WinPE)
WinPE is a mini-OS based on Windows 8.1, it includes support for networking, WMI, VBScript, batch files, and database access. You can also (optionally) add PowerShell support. The advantage of WinPE is that it’s much smaller than the full version of the OS, loads from a read-only disk, and runs in a RAM disk. This makes WinPE suitable for booting from a DVD, or over the network using PXE. WinPE is used as a boot environment during operating system deployment, ensuring the currently installed OS will not interfere with the deployment process.


4.1 Install Windows ADK for Windows 8.1


4.1.1 Start the installation by running adksetup.exe
4.1.2 Specify the location where you want to install Windows ADK, click Next
4.1.3 Decide whether you want to join CEIP or not, click Next
4.1.4 Accept the license Agreement
4.1.5 Select Deployment Tools, Windows PE and USMT. Click Install

4.1.6 Once the installation procedure finishes, click Close


5. Security Rights


The site server’s computer account must have administrative rights on the SQL Server, the site server and management point computers.