SolutionBase: Deploying SMS 2003

Systems Management Server 2003 gives you a lot of control over your network, but you must properly install it. In this article, Scott Lowe walks you through the process of setting up the primary site for SMS 2003.

SMS 2003 gives you the ability to exercise complete control over the workstation on your network. You can do things with it to control workstations above and beyond that possible with simple group policies and Windows Server 2003. However, SMS 2003 isn't one of those programs you can install and forget. You must properly deploy it first. Here's how.

Author's Note

I have made a few decisions regarding my SMS installation:

  • I'm installing SMS 2003 with Service Pack 1.
  • I will extend the Active Directory schema to support the extended attributes provided for SMS to work better. I will do this manually before I deploy SMS itself, though. That way, for those of you that might have already deployed SMS 2003, you can see exactly how to extend your schema after the fact.
  • I will install SQL Server right on to the same server that runs SMS. In this case, I'm using the Enterprise Edition of SQL Server 2005, which works fine with SMS. For this article, I'm not going to go over a SQL Server 2005 deployment, though. SQL Server is already up and running and using Windows Authentication.
  • I will use the Custom installation type so you can see all of the potential decision points that need to be made.
  • I will use the Advanced security option.
  • Finally, I'll be installing an SMS primary site and, in my next article, a child site.
  • I'm planning on supporting ten SMS clients. Why only 10? I'm installing SMS into my lab, and not into a production environment. You don't need to be exact, but you should try to determine approximately how many SMS clients you will support as well. The SMS installer uses this number to calculate the size of the database and space needed by the log files.

Let's get started.

Active Directory schema extension

While you can extend the Active Directory schema during the SMS installation, in many very companies, the Active Directory schema is closely guarded and can only be extended by certain individuals. Or, maybe you've already started to use SMS 2003, and you did not extend the schema during your initial deployment. Whatever the case, you can do this very easily now.

Insert the SMS 2003 CD into one of your servers. It really doesn't matter which server, as long as you pick one that's a part of your domain. Make sure you log in to the server with a domain account that has the right to extend the schema.

From the \SMSSETUP\BIN\I386 directory on the CD, execute the program extadsch.exe. You don't get any feedback from the program on the screen, but a command window will open up for a second or two. That's it.

How do you know if it worked?

The program writes a log file to C:\ExtADSch.log with all of the details. The file should end with the message "Successfully extended the Active Directory schema."

Now you can proceed with the SMS installation.

SMS installation

When you insert the SMS CD, you get a launch window from which you can launch the SMS 2003 installation, read documentation, or install the Recovery Expert. For this article, click the SMS 2003 option.

Figure A

Choose the SMS 2003 option.

The first part of the SMS setup wizard is the System Configuration screen. Since I'm installing SMS for the first time into my example domain (in this article, named, SMS hasn't detected any other installations. Click Next to move to the next step in the installation.

Figure B

No existing SMS installations were found.

Based on what SMS finds already running on your network, it provides you with the options that are pertinent for your environment, as shown in Figure C. In this case, I can install a primary site, a secondary site, or the administrative tools. Since this is my first SMS server, I'm installing an SMS primary site.

Figure C

I'll go over a secondary site installation later.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm going to perform a custom installation rather than an express installation. The next screen of the installation wizard asks you to make the same decision with the caveat that an express installation is really only adequate for lab testing.

Figure D

Choose the Custom option if you're installing to a production network.

I'm not showing the next screen of the installation wizard, which asks you to read and agree with the product's license agreement.

The next screen is pretty basic as well, and just asks you for your name, company name and product key.

Figure E

Provide registration details for SMS 2003.

If you read my earlier articles on SMS, you know that each SMS site needs a unique site code. For this example, I'm using a site code of "LAB". Would I use this in a product setup? Nope. But, for a large installation, I would carefully plan my site codes in some way that made sense.

I've also provided SMS with a site description as well as identified the domain that houses this site server.

Figure F

Provide a site code for this site server.

The next screen of the installation provides you with the option to extend the Active Directory schema. You'll get this screen even if you've already extended the schema, and it doesn't hurt anything if you accidentally do it again.

Figure G

You can choose to extend the Active Directory schema anytime. If you don't do it here, you can run the extadsch.exe utility after SMS is installed.

In my previous article, Get a handle on network clients using SMS, I also talked about the two different security modes available for SMS 2003--Advanced and Standard. On the next step, you need to choose which mode you want to support. Remember, you can move from standard to advanced security later on, but the reverse is not true. I'm using Advanced security for this installation.

Figure H

Choose your security mode, but do so carefully!

The last decision at the top of the article indicated that I was planning an SMS installation for about ten devices. The SMS installer uses this approximate figure to calculate the size of the SMS database and transaction log device. As such, if you're not positive about how many devices you'll eventually be supporting, figure a little high.

Figure I

How many devices in both the current site and all child sites will ultimately be supported by this server?

By default, SMS is installed into the \SMS directory on your system drive, but can be installed elsewhere if you like. On the next screen of the wizard, click the Browse button to change the installation directory. Further, if you want the ability to remotely control users' desktop computers using SMS, make sure to select the Remote Tools installation option. The SMS product itself and the administrative console are always installed.

Figure J

Choose your installation options and location.

SMS requires the use of a SQL 7.0SP3 or higher database server in order to run. Now, if you were reading carefully early on in this article and you look at the first database selection screen shown in Figure K, you'll notice a discrepancy. I indicated that I am running SQL Server 2005 on my SMS server, but there are only options for SQL 7 and SQL 2000. Never fear. You can use the SQL Server 2000 option with the new version of SQL Server and it works just fine. If you opt to use a remote server as the database server, there are other steps you may need to take:

  • You must manually create the SMS database on the database server.
  • For standard security (SMS), make sure the SMS service account (not described in this article) is a member of the database server's local Administrators group.
  • For advanced security (SMS), make sure the computer account for the SMS site server is in the database server's local Administrators group.

For my sample installation, I've provided the name of the server running SQL and indicated that I plan to use Windows Authentication with this server.

Figure K

Provide your database server options.

For local SQL Server installations, the SMS installer can create the database for you.

Figure L

Do you want the installer to create the database for you?

On the next screen, you need to name your SMS database. The default name is SMS_{site code}, but you can change this to anything you like. I highly recommend keeping the default so you can easily match things up later on.

Figure M

Provide a name for the database to be created by the installer.

The next-to-final database option asks you to decide in what directory you want to create the SMS site database and transaction log. I've accepted the default here, which is C:\SMSDATA.

Figure N

Provide the name of the folder in which you would like to write the SMS site database and transaction log files.

On the next screen are the final database parameters that you need to define. In this case, the SMS installer needs to make sure that SQL Server has enough connections to support its needs. If you use the database for other things, use a larger number in the "Minimum number of SQL Server connections" field. I've accepted the defaults here.

Figure O

Decide how many connections are needed by your SQL server.

Next: the summary! The SMS installer is ready to install the product. On this screen, click the Finish button to complete the task. After you do so, the installer first creates the SMS database, and then installs the product using the parameters you specified during the wizard.

Figure P

The SMS installation summary

And, just to make sure that SMS was really able to work with SQL Server 2005, I fired up the new SQL Server Management Studio. Figure Q shows you the successful result.

Figure Q

The database was, indeed, created.

That's it!

That's it for the primary parent site! In my next article, I will go over the process of installing a secondary site and performing some basic SMS administrative tasks.