START PLANNING FOR SCCM 2012 NOW

If you are currently using System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007, you may already be thinking about the next version of the product being released in the next few months.  In this article we provide tips regarding what you can do now to start getting ready for SCCM 2012.

Branch Distribution Points are no longer supported in SCCM 2012.  Instead of using a Branch Distribution Point, use the Windows BranchCache feature supported by Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.  The BranchCache feature has been integrated with SCCM 2012 to give you more control on when it gets used.  SCCM 2012 allows you to configure BranchCache settings on the deployment type of an application and on the deployment settings for a package.

Deployment Type for an Application in SCCM 2012

Deployment Settings for a package in SCCM 2012

For information on using BranchCache with SCCM 2007 see the following article:

Configuring SCCM and BranchCache

You no longer need to deploy a secondary site for bandwidth throttling.  Microsoft is moving towards flattening SCCM hierarchies and added the bandwidth throttling feature to a distribution point.  The PXE server role is also now part of a distribution point.  Because secondary sites have to be uninstalled from your SCCM 2007 hierarchy and redeployed to your new SCCM 2012 hierarchy, you may want to consider holding the deployment of a secondary site now and deploy instead a distribution point.  Upgrading an SCCM 2007 distribution point to SCCM 2012 automatically is supported (not for branch distribution points) if that is the only role on the system and has sufficient free disk space.

You can’t automatically migrate collections from SCCM 2007 to SCCM 2012 if they contain both user and system resources.  This also applies to linked collections or subcollections that have resources of a different type.  If you do have collections with mixed type of resources, you may want to start separating them now so they can be migrated to SCCM 2012.

Start setting the source location for your packages to a UNC path instead of a local drive letter.  This is because when the metadata of a package is migrated to SCCM 2012, if the source location is a local drive letter, the drive letter for the source location of packages on the new SCCM 2012 server may be different than the drive letter on the SCCM 2007 server.

If you are using the Reporting Point role (Web-based role) in your SCCM 2007 hierarchy, be aware that this role is no longer present in SCCM 2012.  SCCM 2012 supports only the Reporting Services Point (which relies on SQL Server Reporting Services).  Migrating reports from SCCM 2007 to SCCM 2012 is not supported.  However, if you were using a Reporting Services Point now, you could export the reports to an RDL file and then import them into your new SCCM 2012 hierarchy.  Due to this, you may want to start using the Reporting Services Point now.

The minimum operating system requirement for the SCCM 2012 client is Windows XP SP2 (x64) and SP3 (x86).  If you have any clients using a lower operating system version, you may want to start upgrading them now.  Also, the .Net Framework 4.0 is required for the SCCM 2012 client and will be installed automatically when the client is deployed.  If you want to decrease network traffic during the deployment of the SCCM 2012 client, you may want to start installing the .Net Framework 4.0 on your clients now.

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