SMS 2003 to System Center Configuration Manager 2007 migration

There are a few different strategies to take into consideration when migrating from Systems Management Server 2003 to SCCM 2007, including the side-by-side and in-place approaches.

Solutions provider takeaway: When planning a migration from Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 to Systems Center Configuration Manager (SSCM) 2007, solutions providers should take the side-by-side or in-place approaches and hierarchy modifications into consideration.

The previous chapter (Chapter 8, "Installing Configuration Manager 2007") discussed installing a new Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) 2007 hierarchy. If you already have an existing Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) deployment, you will almost certainly want to preserve much of the work put into that SMS implementa-tion when you upgrade to ConfigMgr 2007. This chapter presents the options that are available when migrating an existing SMS environment to Configuration Manager. It then explains in detail how to carry out the migration and deal with interoperability issues with a mixed SMS and ConfigMgr environment. The chapter also discusses some specific issues you may encounter during or after migration, and how you might deal with them.

Planning Your Migration from SMS 2003

About the book:
This chapter excerpt on Migrating to System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007 (download PDF) is taken from the book System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Unleashed. This book is an all-inclusive guide to SCCM 2007. You will learn best practices for such tasks as designing, deploying, configuring and securing SCCM 2007 and backing up its components. This book will also guide you through all of the different aspects of SCCM 2007, including patch and compliance management, site maintenance, how to set up the Data Center Manager and configuring asset intelligence.

When planning a migration to Configuration Manager, you should first assess your current environment. Here are the key questions you need to consider when looking at your SMS 2003 environment:

  • Is your environment working well today? You should consider the services you are currently delivering with SMS and the success rate you are achieving.
  • Is your server hardware adequate to support the ConfigMgr deployment you envision, or does the hardware need replacing?
  • Does your hierarchy fit your current network environment?

You should also determine what new features you will support and how they will affect your requirements. Chapter 2, "Configuration Manager 2007 Overview," presents the new capabilities of Configuration Manager 2007.

There are two basic strategies for migrating from an SMS 2003 environment to Configuration Manager 2007:

  • Perform an in-place upgrade on sites running SMS 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP 2) or higher to upgrade directly to Configuration Manager.
  • Carry out a side-by-side migration to replace your existing SMS sites with ConfigMgr sites.

Although an in-place upgrade is simpler than a side-by-side migration, there are circumstances under which you may want to consider the side-by-side approach:

  • Restructuring -- You want to restructure your hierarchy during migration. This is the most compelling reason to choose a side-by-side migration.
  • Mixed environment -- You plan to maintain a mixed environment for an extended period. One reason you may need to do this is to maintain compatibility with older clients not supported under ConfigMgr 2007, such as Windows 98 or Windows NT systems.
  • Hardware upgrades -- You plan to upgrade site server hardware. Although a side-by-side migration is not necessary for hardware upgrades, the extra work of replacing hardware and upgrading to ConfigMgr makes the advantages of an in-place upgrade less compelling.

Choosing your migration strategies is not an all-or-nothing decision. You may find that it makes sense to upgrade some of your sites in place, while replacing other sites in a side-by-side fashion.

NOTE: About Supported Upgrade Paths
You cannot upgrade directly to Configuration Manager 2007 from any version of SMS earlier than SMS 2003 SP 2. If you are running an earlier product version, you must upgrade to SMS 2003 SP 2 or SP 3 before upgrading to ConfigMgr.

About the authors:
Kerrie Meyler is an independent consultant and trainer with more than fifteen years of experience in the IT industry. While in field technical sales at Microsoft, Meyler focused on infrastructure and management and presented at numerous product launches. She has also authored Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 Unleashed.

Greg Ramsey, a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for Systems Management Server, has been working with SMS and desktop deployment since 1998. Ramsey has written numerous articles for myITforum.com, including Removing Drivers From the Driver Store in ConfigMgr Using PowerShell.

Byron Holt is an experienced IT professional and SMS and Configuration Manager engineer and has worked at Microsoft on the Active Directory and Enterprise Manageability support teams. Holt is presently on the security engineering team at McAfee Inc.

You may recall from the hierarchy planning discussion in Chapter 6, "Architecture Design Planning," that a Configuration Manager site cannot report to an SMS 2003 parent site. This restriction means that you must always begin your upgrade with the central site and progress down the hierarchy. If you want to introduce ConfigMgr at a child site before upgrading the central site, you must detach the site from your hierarchy and perform an upgrade or side-by-side migration to create a standalone ConfigMgr site. You can later integrate that site into your hierarchy.

Planning Hierarchy Changes During Migration

Before determining a migration strategy, review your current hierarchy to determine whether you will make any changes to it as you move to a Configuration Manager environment. There are two major reasons you may decide to modify your hierarchy during migration:

  • Business requirements -- You may find that your current SMS hierarchy is no longer optimal to meet the needs of your organization and match the requirements of your environment. It is likely that there have been changes to your business, your network, or your administrative model since you first deployed SMS to your organization. Your migration to Configuration Manager 2007 presents a good opportunity to review and improve upon your current hierarchy design.
  • Product capabilities -- The new features of Configuration Manager provide options and requirements not present in SMS 2003 and earlier versions. As an example, the new branch distribution point server role can replace a secondary site in many scenarios. Similarly, if one of your goals is to support Internet-only clients (a new feature of ConfigMgr 2007), you may decide to add a dedicated site for Internet-based client management (IBCM).

You might start by reviewing the material on hierarchy design in the planning chapters of this book (Chapters 4--6) as well as in the product documentation, asking yourself how you would plan a new implementation from the ground up to meet your goals and fit your environment. You can then compare the hierarchy you would envision to your current model and decide what changes to make.


Migrating to Configuration Manager 2007
  SMS 2003 to System Center Configuration Manager 2007 migration
  SMS 2003 to System Center Configuration Manager 2007 in-place upgrade
  Upgrading to SQL Server 2005 and SC Configuration Manager 2007
  Upgrading SMS 2003 sites to System Center Configuration Manager 2007
  SMS 2003 to SC Configuration Manager 2007 post-upgrade considerations

Printed with permission from Sams Publishing. Copyright 2009. System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007 Unleashed by J Kerrie Meyler, Byron Holt and Greg Ramsey. For more information about this title and other similar books, please visit Sams Publishing.

This was first published in November 2009

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