SolutionBase: Adding a secondary site in SMS 2003

If you're using SMS 2003 to administer hardware over a large area, a single site won't be able to do the job. In that case, you'll need to add a secondary site. In this article, Scott Lowe shows you how to set up and configure a secondary SMS 2003 site.

In previous articles in this series, I've talked about SMS primary and secondary sites, and, in the most recent article, went over, in detail, the installation of an SMS primary server. In this article, I will go over the addition of a secondary server, which can be used to expand your SMS system because of load, geographical, or bandwidth issues, or for whatever reason you might have.

You can add secondary sites to your SMS environment in one of two ways. First, you can handle this task from the central SMS administrative console, or you can re-run the installer from the SMS installation CD on the new server, and choose the secondary site option. I'll go over both methods here.


In order for the addition of the secondary site to work, you need to add the computer account for your primary SMS server to the Administrators account on your intended secondary server. The easiest way to do this is:

  1. From the intended secondary server, right-click My Computer and choose the Manage option.
  2. Under System Tools, expand the Local Users and Groups option and select Groups.
  3. In the right-hand pane, right-click the Administrators group and, from the shortcut menu, choose Add to Group. .
  4. On the resulting page, click the Add button. .
  5. Click the Object Types button and select the box next to the Computer option. This will allow you to add computer objects to the local Administrators group.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Back in the Select Users, Computers, or Groups window, type the name of your primary SMS server.
  8. Click OK.

Install from the new server's console

You can install SMS from the new server's console either locally, or through a remote desktop connection.

For this installation, I'm installing onto a server named SMS3. It's also running Windows Server 2003 R2, but does not have its own database server. The secondary site doesn't need a database server since it will rely on the parent's database server.

For this installation, I will describe all of the screens, but will only provide screenshots where the screen is significantly different than what you saw during the SMS installation in the previous article in this series.

To get started, begin the SMS setup the same way, but on the Setup Option screen (Figure A), choose the Install an SMS secondary site option.

Figure A

Choose the secondary site option this time around.

As before, you will get a license agreement screen. Again, I'm not showing this screen.

This time, on the SMS Site Information screen, shown in Figure B, provide a different site code and site name.

Figure B

Make sure to keep your site codes unique.

For my secondary site, I will also use the Advanced Security option rather than standard security.

Figure C

Choose your security type. Bear in mind that Advanced security is much preferred.

As I did for the primary site, I will install SMS into C:\SMS for my secondary site and will enable the installation of Remote Tools. This time, however, there is no option for the administrative console to be installed since that tool just runs on the parent server.

Figure D

Note that the option to install the administrative console is not available here.

When you install a secondary site, you get a new screen that you did not see at all before. This screen is a place for you to provide information regarding this server's parent site, including the parent site code and parent site server name. Further, you need to tell the SMS installer what kind of network is between the primary site server and this new secondary site server. Your options here are Local Area Network, Asynchronous RAS link, ISDN RAS link, X.25 RAS link and SNA over RAS link.

In Figure E below, I've provided the information required and also indicated that these servers are in the same Active Directory forest. Take note of the warning that indicates that this site will not function until you take action from the parent site server.

Figure E

Provide the necessary information regarding the parent site.

That's it. Now you get a similar summary screen after which SMS is installed into this secondary site server.

Once SMS is completely installed on your new server and it's had time to communicate with the parent server, you can see the new site show up in the parent server admin console as seen in Figure F.

Figure F

Note the site "ST2" now shows up in the console.

Install a secondary site from the SMS admin console

If you'd rather keep things centralized, you can also install a secondary site right from the primary site's admin console. When you add a site in this way, SMS provides you with a wizard that guides you through the process.

To get started, from the SMS primary server, open the SMS console. Expand the Site Hierarchy option and right-click the parent server in the site in which you want to add the new secondary server. From the resulting shortcut menu, select New | Secondary Site. The Create Secondary Site Wizard starts.

On the first page of the wizard, specify the new site code and description for the secondary site as seen in Figure G. If you like, you can also provide a comment about the new site.

Figure G

Keep in mind that all sites in your SMS system must be unique.

Screen two, Figure H, of the wizard asks you to provide the domain and server name for the new secondary server, as well as for the directory into which you want to install SMS on the secondary server.

Figure H

Specify the domain name and server name for your new secondary site server.

Since, somehow, you need to install SMS on the new server, the wizard provides you with an option of using a local CD or copying the files over the network from the parent server. You can see this in Figure I. For this example, I'm going to let the wizard copy the files.

Figure I

Choose the method by which you want to install SMS on the secondary server.

As you do with a local installation, you need to choose a security mode for your secondary site server. You'll do this on the screen shown in Figure J. I've explained the differences in security mode in previous articles in this series. I'm using the Advanced option for this server.

Figure J

Choose a security mode for your new secondary server.

To create the new secondary site, SMS needs to communicate with the server. On the next step of the wizard, Figure K, you have the option of selecting an existing address to the new server, or of creating a new one. Since my lab server does not yet have any addresses defined, I will choose the Yes Create A New Address option.

Figure K

Create a new address to connect to the new server.

The next screen asks you to define the new address to connect to the secondary server. Since I'm going over a direct network connection, I'll use the Standard Sender Address option and indicate that my server name is "SMS3", as you can see in Figure L below. If you want to specify a user account to connect to the new server, you can. However, since I already configured the primary server computer account to be a member of the local administrators group on the new server, I will leave this field blank.

Figure L

Provide the address type and destination server name.

Likewise, the new SMS secondary server needs to be able to communicate with the parent. Provide the parent details here, on the screen shown in Figure M.

Figure M

Provide details for the connection back to the parent site.

The last screen of the wizard provides you with a summary of your selections. Click Finish to begin the installation.

To tell if the installation was successful, open the file C:\SMSSETUP.LOG (on the new secondary server) and look at the bottom of the file. You should see lines similar to:

<01-08-2006 17:58:11> Started Site Component Manager

<01-08-2006 17:58:11> Done with service installation

<01-08-2006 17:58:13> SMS Setup completed successfully!

You can also look back at the SMS console, and you will see the new secondary site sitting just below the primary site in the hierarchy. It should look similar to Figure N.

Figure N

The new site is ready and waiting for work.

Troubleshooting tips

If you run into a situation in which the secondary site either never shows up in the SMS manager, or just stays in a Pending state, and you have enabled secure key exchange between sites (on the Advanced tab in the site properties for your parent server), you may need to manually transfer encryption keys between your sites using these instructions.

Manually transfer encryption keys from parent to child

Now, you have to manually transfer encryption keys on the parent site server to the child. To do this, from the command line on the parent servers, do the following:

  1. C: (or whatever drive you installed SMS to)
  2. cd \SMS\bin\i386\0000040. (409 is the language code for English)
  3. Type "preinst /KEYFORCHILD", which generates the following output:

C:\SMS\bin\i386\00000409>preinst /KEYFORCHILD

Successfully created the CT5 file C:\LAB.CT5.

Now, copy this file to the SMS\Inboxes\ folder on the child site server.

Manually transfer encryption keys from child to parent

At this point, you now have to manually transfer the installer-generated encryption keys from the secondary site server to the parent. To do this, from the command line on the second, do the following:

  1. C: (or whatever drive you installed SMS to)
  2. cd \SMS\bin\i386\0000040. (00000409 is the language code for English)
  3. Type "preinst /KEYFORPARENT", which generates the following output:

C:\SMS\bin\i386\00000409>preinst /KEYFORPARENT

Successfully created the CT4 file C:\ST2.CT4.

Be careful of reserved names for site codes

Suppose you've created a new site named 'CON' and are having trouble with it. The reason for this is that you've used a Windows reserved name for your SMS site code. The list of reserved name is fairly short and includes:

  • CON
  • PRN
  • AUX
  • NUL

The reason that these site codes are reserved is pretty simple. In some places, SMS creates folders using the site code. Since these names are reserved names in Windows and are used for other specific tasks, SMS can't create the site folder.

Two down!

Hopefully, this and the previous article have helped you figure out your SMS installation and get your system up and running. In the next, and final, article in this series, I will detail some of the common administrative tasks that you can accomplish with SMS 2003.