How to Install / Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2

In this post we will see the steps on how to setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2. Distribution points play a very important role in the delivery of packages, programs, endpoint protection updates, applications, software updates, and operating system deployment (OSD).

When the site server is installed, it becomes a distribution point by default. However, you might want to assign other site systems as distribution points and remove the DP role from the site server to reduce its resource requirements and improve its performance as well as to load balance the potentially significant network traffic generated by clients downloading package source files.

In Configuration Manager 2007, there were three basic types of distribution points Standard, Server Share and Branch Distribution Points. Starting with Configuration Manager 2012, Microsoft has updated the distribution point role to become one standard distribution point. In this post we will be installing the Distribution Point role on Windows Server 2012 R2 server.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2

Let us know see how to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2. This is really important. Before you install DP role check whether the operating system supports the installation of DP role. For example if you are planning to install DP on Windows 7, distribution points on this operating system version do not support Multicast or PXE.

Click the link to know more about it. When you install a distribution point, you see an option to “Install and configure IIS if required by Configuration Manager“. When you enable this option the Configuration Manager will install and configure IIS if it is not installed. In case you want to install the prerequisites manually then install the below listed IIS prerequisites.

SCCM Distribution Point Role Prerequisites

Remote Differential Compression

IIS Configuration

  • Application Development: ISAPI Extensions
  • Security: Windows Authentication
  • IIS 6 Management Compatibility: IIS 6 Metabase Compatibility, IIS 6 WMI Compatibility.

To support PXE or multicast role on DP, the WDS role is required.  WDS installs and configures automatically when you configure a distribution point to support PXE or Multicast on Windows Server 2012. Also PowerShell 3.0 is required on Windows Server 2012 before you install the distribution point.

Install SCCM Distribution Point

Next, you need to add the SCCM site server computer account to the Local Administrators group on the box where DP role is to be installed. In this example, SCCM is the name of the site server and SCCMDP01 is my DP server where DP role shall be installed. So I add the SCCM site server computer account to the Local Administrators group on SCCMDP01 computer.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2 Snap1

In the console, navigate to Administration -> Overview -> Site Configuration. Right click Sites and click Create Site System Server.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2In the Create Site System Server Wizard, click Browse and select the computer on which DP role is to be installed. Select the Site Code and click Next.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2On the System Role Selection page, select Distribution Point. Click Next.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2

SCCM Distribution Point Settings

On the Distribution Point page, configure the DP settings for your environment. Here is a brief description of each of the setting.

Install and configure IIS if required by Configuration Manager: Enable this setting to install Windows components required for a DP automatically.

Enable and configure BranchCache for this distribution point: Enable this setting to enable and configure BranchCache.

Specify how client computers communicate with the distribution point: Choose HTTP or HTTPS for client communication with the DP.

Allow clients to connect anonymously: Enable this check box only if you need anonymous connections to the DP. The ConfigMgr client uses the Local System account and the Network Access account to connect to the DP.

Click Next.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2SCCM Distribution Point Drive Settings

Specify the drive settings for the distribution point – You can configure up to two disk drives for the content library and two disk drives for the package share.

Drive space reserve (MB) – The value that you configure for this setting determines the amount of free space on a drive before Configuration Manager 2012 chooses a different drive and continues the copy process to that drive. By default the Drive space reserve is 50 MB, in this example I will setting it to 1024 MB.

Content Locations – Specify the content locations for the content library and package share. Configuration Manager 2012 will copy content to the primary content location until the amount of free space reaches the value specified for Drive space reserve (MB). By default the content locations are set to Automatic and the primary content location will be set to the disk drive that has the most disk space at installation and the secondary location assigned the disk drive that has the second most free disk space. When the primary and secondary drives reach the drive space reserve, Configuration Manager will select another available drive with the most free disk space and continue the copy process.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2This option can be configured later. Click Next.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2The PXE option can be enabled and configured later. Click Next.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2This Multicast option can be configured later. Click Next.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2Specify whether to validate the integrity of content files on the distribution point. When you enable content validation on a schedule, Configuration Manager will initiate the process at the scheduled time, and all content on the distribution point is verified. We will not configure this option, click Next.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2To specify the boundary group(s) with the site system, click on Add and choose the boundary group. The distribution point is considered protected for the clients that are within the boundaries associated with the boundary group. Click Next.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2Click Close.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2

Monitoring SCCM Distribution Point Installation

To check the DP status, click on Monitoring and click Distribution Point Configuration Status. Now you will see the list of DP’s, click the DP server and you should see status of server as green.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2After the DP is installed successfully, you can login to the DP server and check for the folders shown in the below screenshot.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2For DP troubleshooting you can see the Distmgr.log file which records content creation, compression, delta replication, and information updates.

How to Setup Distribution Point in SCCM 2012 R2

28 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Prajwal,

    Post is very good but i have to found one mistake

    (Install and configure IIS if required by Configuration Manager: Enable this setting to install Windows components required for a DP automatically.

    Install and configure IIS if required by Configuration Manager Required this Enable and configure BranchCache for this Distribution Point): Enable this setting to enable and configure BranchCache.)
    Please check & correct .
    Blog is very good.

    • HI, I have SCCM 2012 R2 site and i have small office connected through MPLS/VPN so i want to setup local distribution point to deploy software locally not moving data over vpn/mpls so DP is right step or is their any other options avaiable

  2. Very good and helpful guide Prajwal. One question I have, you may be able to help, should boundary groups be created and in place before creating the DP?

  3. which will be your recommendation in order to transfer all the packages and app to the new DP? how will you transfer? prestaged content?

      • yes. Currently we have 1 primary site and 50 secondary sites ( we will reach 480 secondary on 2 primary sites) y we have some networking issues (low bandwith) so, the first thing we do is to populate the content on the secondarys through the prestaged content, Some of them remain in pending. So, we have to remove, and re add until we get the OK.

  4. Hi sir, I am Managing a Secondary site, recently one of my DP is down due to hardware failure.. now I want to install new DP… can I do it from secondary site or it can be done on primary site only..??

  5. Just as a side note you need to open the following firewall ports as well for it to work.

    SMB 445 TCP
    RPC Endpoint Mapper 135 UDP and TCP
    RPC dynamic TCP

    • It says that the computer communicates with the distribution point via HTTP or HTTPS, Don’t you have to open port 80 or 443 then?

  6. Can you please help me to fix this error which i am getting while installing a new DP. previously i had the DP on the same Sever.”
    Failed to install DP files on the remote DP. Error code = 15″ i have the HDD NTFS formatted as i said DP was installed previously on this server.

  7. Hi Prajwal,

    we are in a process of decommissioning one of the DP, we have installed DP role in new server and is success.

    what are the other possible ways of copying the content from old DP to new DP?

    As of now, we have added new DP in a existing DP group. is there any faster way?

    Thanks in advance

  8. Hi Prajwal,
    If I am only going to use this remote DP to install Windows and 3rd party updates I do not have to configure the DP with PXE or Multicast would I? Also I noted in part of this discussion that ports SMB 445 TCP, RPC Endpoint Mapper 135 UDP and TCP, RPC dynamic TCP needed to be opened. Can you verify that this is true.

    Mark

  9. Hi Prajwal, I have a question for you.
    I have one primary SCCM 1706 server in our headquarter and branch DP installed on windows 10 workstation at branch offices.
    Branch workstations use local DP to download application and packages but I’m not sure they use it for downloading windows and office updates too.
    I watch the wuahandler.log on workstations and it seems that they download software updates from primary server instead of local as you can see in following log row:

    Existing WUA Managed server was already set (http://primaryserver.contoso.com:8530),
    (I change name server for privacy but this is the primary SCCM server where is installed WSUS)

    I want branch office download all software updates from local DP and not from Primary server.
    This can help us to reduce branch offices bandwidth usage.
    How can I do to make it real?
    Can you help me?
    Thank You so much.
    Luca

    • Hi Luca,

      In order for the clients to pull content from the local DP, you would need to install the Software Update Point role and WSUS. Once this is done, you can either point it out to the Internet or make it a downlevel SUP of your primary.

      Once this is configured (and assuming your Boundaries are configured correctly), the clients should pull the updates from the local DP/SUP

      Thanks
      Nick

      • Actually this is not quite correct
        You don’t need Wsus and Sup on the DP – (well at least I don’t.)
        I deploy updates as packages from the main site with Wsus and Sup Roles to the many DPs we have scattered across the globe and the clients readily pull their Updates from the DPs as packages.
        Maybe I’m doing something wrong.

        • Point taken Kristoffer, Luca this sounds like it could be to do with Boundary config then in that case. Kirstoffer is correct in that if you create a SUG of the required updates, and then download this as a Software Update Package, this should then be deployed out to your local DP for the clients to consume instead of coming back over the WAN to your primary site server.

          Is the subnet range setup within Boundaries? and if so, what Site System and Boundary Group is it pointing at? By the sounds of it you just want it point towards the local DP and not the primary site server.

          If this is configured correctly then there’s know reason why it wouldn’t consume the content on the LAN rather than come back across the WAN.

          Nick

  10. In our site we have 2 subnet , we are using SCCM 1710 and have one DP for one subnet . We are not deploy OS through PXE on some PCs because they belong to other subnet which is not added here in SCCM. Someone suggested to create a new boundary and DP. When we tried same but while creating DP when we browse our and enter FQDN of our SCCM server it says it already exist because we already have one distribution point for one subnet?

    Please help us on this , any suggestion or help would be appreciated.

    Thanks

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