Setting up ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 in the cloud

Here’s a summary of the steps we used to setup System Center Configuration Manager 2012 (SP1) in the cloud for our Dynamic Access Control demonstration for RSA 2013.

  1. Create a new Windows Server 2012 instance with SQL Server (Standard SKU or higher). We’re using the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Be sure to allow approximately 50 GB of disk space just to get through the initial install. Rename the server, if appropriate, and join it to your Active Directory domain.
  2. Once the server is joined, if you renamed it, you’ll need to rename the local SQL Server instance as well. See Rename a Computer that Hosts a Stand-Alone Instance of SQL Server. Don’t forget this; because it will cause ConfigMgr setup to fail, but not until several minutes into the install. Painful.
  3. Logged into your ConfigMgr server as a domain administrator, extend the AD schema. See How to Extend the Active Directory Schema Using ExtADSch.exe.
  4. Configure SQL Server and the SQL Server Agent services to run as Local System. This is not a security best-practice, but is the easiest approach for the lab. Also, don’t forget to grant both Local System and the domain administrators sysadmin access using SQL Server Management Studio.
  5. Run the ConfigMgr pre-requisite checker tool. See Technical Reference for the Prerequisite Checker in Configuration Manager. You have to fix all of the errors it finds, of course, but don’t forget to check the warnings as well. Some of them can actually bite you, such as manually creating a system management node in your AD schema (or giving the ConfigMgr server Full Control to the root System node).
  6. Once ConfigMgr is installed, enable discovery of users and computers. In the administration console, find the \Administration\Overview\Hierarchy Configuration\Discovery Methods\ pane for the default site and turn on the various discovery options.
  7. Enable distribution of the ConfigMgr agent. See How to Install Clients on Windows-Based Computers in Configuration Manager.
  8. Configuring Reporting in Configuration Manager

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