System Center 2012 RC–Install experience continued

Yesterday I began the process of evaluation System Center 2012 RC and gave up. Today I decided I was going to try anyway.
As I mentioned before, you need a grand total of 8 machines. I created 8 nearly identical domain joined VMs (in Vmware ESXi of course) – each with 2 CPUs and 4 gigs of ram (thank goodness for Vmware’s memory sharing) and a minimum of 40gigs of disk.
Note: if you attempt to install any of this on an existing server, or an OS instance with stuff on it already it will most certainly fail.

 

Server Preparation – All Servers

Each server is Windows Server 2008 R2 with all the latest updates, IE9; I installed .NET Framework 3.5.1, and .NET Framework 4.0. I generally disable IPv6.
Even though it is not the most secure thing in the world, you might as well just disable the firewall on all of them as well. The documentation is missing the required firewall settings for the target servers (not disabling said firewalls will cause the Unified Installer to be unable to connect)

 

Here are the eight lovely virtual machines all running at once. You will need some serious hardware for this to approach usable – our VM server has two quad core 3ghz Xeons and 32-gigs of ram – so it manages…

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Since I didn’t want to have to deal with the group policy editor 8 times, I added all the computer accounts to a group in AD and created a domain group policy containing the settings from this page: How to Edit the Local Group Policy on the Target Computer
The Group policy should be linked to the OU containing the machines (in my case, the domain level) and the security filtering should contain only the computer group containing our servers.
Here is the group policy settings report, for reference:

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After setting up the policy, RDP into each machine, open an elevated command prompt and run the following:

gpupdate
winrm qc -q
winrm set winrm/config/service/auth @{CredSSP=”True”}
winrm set winrm/config/winrs @{AllowRemoteShellAccess=”True”}
winrm set winrm/config/winrs @{MaxMemoryPerShellMB=”2048″}

UPDATE: Copying and pasting from here probably will not work thanks to HTML formatting. Get the lines after the gpupdate from here: How to Run WinRM Commands on the Target Computer

If you haven’t already disabled the firewall, now would be a good time to do so.

That should be all you need to do on the target machines – the rest of the work happens on the installer PC.

 

Installer Preparation

What a mess… The steps required just to get ready to run the installer are nightmarish at best. I am using the first server – SystemCenter1 – as both the installer and the Orchestrator server. As far as I know, these are the only permitted “shared” components.

First, get the OS config out of the way. Follow the steps here to configure the local group policy settings specific to the installer:
How to Edit the Local Group Policy on the Installer Computer

Next, open an elevated command prompt and run the WinRM commands from here: How to Run WinRM Commands on the Installer Computer

winrm set winrm/config/client/auth @{CredSSP=”True”}
winrm set winrm/config/client @{TrustedHosts=”*”}

Update: Copy the commands from the Microsoft document – html formatting messes things up if you copy/paste from here…

(Note: theoretically you do not need to do both the Group Policy and the WinRM commands, but I don’t trust these docs, so I did both)

If you don’t want to disable the firewall, you can add the firewall rules here: How to Configure the Firewall for the Installer Computer
Make sure the installation machine has the IIS Role. I’m not sure which functionality is required – I just selected most things.

 

The Unified Installer is an independent application that uses the media (which are all downloaded as separate files) for all the other products to push them to your specified servers. It also pushes the necessary prerequisites and server roles to the target machines, but many of these need to be downloaded separate.

 

A. Create Folders

Here is the folder structure I used. You will need to create all these folders yourself:

  • c:\SC2012Install
    • AppController
    • ConfigMgr
    • DataProtectionMgr
    • OpsMgr
    • Orchestrator
    • ServiceMgr
    • VmMg
    • UnifiedInstaller
    • Prereq
      • AnalysisMgtObj
      • DotNet
      • ReportViewer
      • SQLCommandLine
      • SqlCU4
      • SQLNativeClient
      • SqlServer
      • SqlSp1
      • WAIK20

 

B. Extract Components

After the folders are created, each of the components needs to be extracted to the appropriate folder. App Controller must be extracted using a command line, and Data Protection Manager is a zip file. The rest are self-extracting archives (including the Unified Installer itself)

  1. Execute command line AppController.Beta.exe /x:C:\SC2012Install\AppController
  2. Run ConfigMgr_2012_RC2_ENU_7703.exe and specify C:\SC2012Install\ConfigMgr
  3. Unzip DPM_EVAL_RC.zip to C:\SC2012Install\DataProtectionMgr
  4. Run SCOM2012RC.exe and specify C:\SC2012Install\OpsMgr
  5. Run System_Center_2012_Orchestrator_RC.EXE and specify C:\SC2012Install\Orchestrator
  6. Run SCSM2012RC.exe and specify C:\SC2012Install\ServiceMgr
  7. Run VMM.EVAL.RC.exe and specify C:\SC2012Install\VmMgr
  8. Run SC2012_UnifiedInstaller_RC.exe and specify C:\SC2012Install\UnifiedInstaller

 

C. Acquire and Extract Prerequisites

You can find the list here: System Requirements for System Center 2012 – Unified Installer
Go to that page and download everything on the list. You will need to move everything (literally) into separate folders, and extract as much as possible. Most of the prereqs just need to be copied into the appropriate folder created in step A, with a couple exceptions:

  • SQL Server CU4 is a hotfix that must be requested, and you will receive a link in an email. I believe you only need the “SQLServer2008R2_SP1_CU4_2633146_10_50_2796_x64” part, but I went ahead and downloaded all 4 pieces. Each piece is in a self-extracting archive file – extract these files into the SqlCU4 prereq folder.
  • The SQL Server trial is self extracting – extract to C:\SC2012Install\Prereq\SqlServer
  • WAIK20 is an iso that will need to be extracted (i.e. using 7-zip or winrar), or mounted (using Virtual CloneDrive or by mounting in your VM) and copied to C:\SC2012Install\Prereq\WAIK20

 

 

D. (optional) Take a snapshot of all servers

The System Center installers have a history of failing after running for an hour or so, in a way that is practically unrecoverable. Being able to quickly wipe the slate clean can be a life saver.

 

That’s it for the prep – it is really just a bunch of downloading, extracting and file jockeying.
Note: If you do not intend to install all of the components, you can probably skip some of the above – the Prerequisite document mentions which pieces are needed by which components.

 

Running the Unified Installer

If you followed the steps above, all of the folders created should contain a file, or the contents of an extracted file. If you have any empty folders, you missed something.

You should probably perform this step with a Domain Admin account – whatever account you are logged in as is the account that must be used for running services and managing other computers.

Luckily, the hard part is over. Run the installer located at C:\SC2012Install\UnifiedInstaller\Microsoft System Center 2012 Unified Installer\setup.exe
After running it, you may not see anything for a minute – be patient…

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Click “Install System Center”

Select which components you would like to install – for this example I selected all of them.

 

 

On the Component Media Locations screen, enter the following paths:

Orchestrator C:\SC2012Install\Orchestrator
Virtual Machine Manager C:\SC2012Install\VmMgr
App Controller C:\SC2012Install\AppController
Operations Manager C:\SC2012Install\OpsMgr
Configuration Manager C:\SC2012Install\ConfigMgr
Service Manager C:\SC2012Install\ServiceMgr\SCSM2012_RC\amd64
Data Protection Manager C:\SC2012Install\DataProtectionMgr\DPM_RC

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When you press next, it checks each folder in some way. If you forgot to extract something, or extracted it a folder too deep, you will need to take care of it before the installer will allow you to continue.

(Note: figuring out the appropriate paths took a bit of trial and error…)

 

Work your way through the terms and conditions.

 

On the Prerequisite Media Locations screen, enter the following:

.Net Framework 4 C:\SC2012Install\Prereq\DotNet
Report Viewer C:\SC2012Install\Prereq\ReportViewer
SQL Server 2008 R2 C:\SC2012Install\Prereq\SqlServer
SQL Server 2008 R2 Native Client C:\SC2012Install\Prereq\SQLNativeClient
WAIK C:\SC2012Install\Prereq\WAIK20
SQL Server 2008 R2 Analysis Mgt Objects C:\SC2012Install\Prereq\AnalysisMgtObj
SQL Server 2008 R2 Command Line Utils C:\SC2012Install\Prereq\SQLCommandLine
SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 C:\SC2012Install\Prereq\SqlSp1
SQL Server 2008 R2 SP1 CU4 C:\SC2012Install\Prereq\SqlCU4

 

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In the installation paths, do not change the defaults – the release notes mention several issues with non-default paths.

 

Now, specify the servers! I just went in numerical order.

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When you click next, it will verify connectivity to all the servers. If you get a message to check a server, it is probably because the firewall is still on.

 

The next screen – Service Accounts – you must use the account you are currently logged in as (per release notes). No exceptions.

 

Confirm some things, then… Click Install.

Note: The deployment progress bar times out after two hours. Some installations may exceed the default time-out period. In these cases, your installation might still be running in the background. You can confirm that by checking the local system installation logs.

After the initial deployment of Orchestrator, it performs the other installs in parallel. It’s actually kind of impressive.

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Those logs paths can be found here: Log Files in System Center 2012 – Unified Installer

 

And in my case, the installer completed without error the first time. I just about fell out of my chair. (I did not monitor to see how long the install took)

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Next Steps

 

Unfortunately the next steps document is completely useless – all the links are broken: Microsoft System Center 2012 – Unified Installer Next Steps

But you can pretty much figure out where to go in the System Center 2012 documentation tree for each Component to get started.

I would recommend checking the release notes for each component, as they have been getting updated periodically since the RC was released:

Release Notes for System Center 2012 – Unified Installer

 

Good luck!

9 thoughts on “System Center 2012 RC–Install experience continued

  1. Hello Jason,

    I am asking about SC2012 and during the unified installer process. I am experiencing an error–> ” Server Validation Failure… Could not determine Operating System on “server name” Attempted to perform an Unauthorized operation. I am on the step before you enter the user name and pass. I already added the WinRM steps and MMC GPEDIT steps as well firewall is disabled.

    • Hey Tony,

      I’m guessing you are at the screen where you supply all the server names. Here a couple thought on what could cause it:
      1. I’m pretty sure you must be using a domain, and all the machines must be member servers. I could see this happening in a workgroup.
      2. The user account you are using to run the Universal Installer must be a local admin on all the machines (I used a domain admin account for simplicity).
      3. I’m pretty sure the target servers need to be either Windows 7 or Server 2008 R2.
      4. If you have multiple target servers, try specifying them one at a time to see if all the servers are affected, or just one (you may have to go back and remove some components)

      I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to check the installer log, and event logs on the installation machine as well as the target machine(s) for more clues…

      Good luck!

  2. Well i changed the server that is causing this to the correct domain where the other servers are in and i’ll get back to you on result.

  3. Hello Jason,

    Well that worked and it looks like your CMD line fails.
    winrm set winrm/config/service/auth @{CredSSP=”True”}
    winrm set winrm/config/winrs @{AllowRemoteShellAccess=”True”}
    winrm set winrm/config/winrs @{MaxMemoryPerShellMB=”2048″}

    Here is error–> C:\>winrm set winrm/config/client/auth @{CredSSP=”True”
    Syntax Error: input must be of the form {KEY=”VALUE”[;KEY="VALUE"]}

  4. Worked like charm. Setup took a while, made me thankful for Group Policy, Esxi Hosts and Cloning!

    Thanks for the guide!!

  5. Thanks Jason!! This post was very helpful in getting the install going after battling with it for awhile.
    Keep up the good work!!!!! Thanks again.

  6. Pingback: System Center 2012 “Cloud in Your Pocket”; More Lies Ahead | VCritical

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