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PXE in Branch distribution point RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I have a primary site and some BDP (servers not workstations). To give the ability to clients in BDP to install Windows 7, i was planning to add the PXE role to BDP but I found out this link saying it is not supported.

     http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb680753.aspx
    A PXE service point can be installed on a primary or secondary site. Installing a PXE service point on a site system that is configured as a branch distribution point is not supported.

    It is possible to add the WDS role to my BDP and manually copy the boot image to my BDP ? or is there any workaround ?

    Saturday, March 5, 2011 12:29 AM

Answers

  • It's not that they technically cannot exist together. The problem is with how BDPs acquire content; essentially, BDPs acquire their content just like clients because they are just an extension of the client agent. Thus, they will look for a DP in their site with content. PXE SPs in ConfigMgr are implemented as an extension of the DP infrastructure so that it is easy to get boot images to WDS. There is nothing special about these DPs to prevent clients from trying to get content from them though. Thus, if you have a PXE SP in the same boundaries as as a BDP, the BDP wll try to acquire its content from the PXE DP which won't have it and thus the BDP will site without a way to get content.

    If you play around with your boundaries using single IP address range boundaries, it is possible to get it to work but it is technically not a supported configuration to my knowledge.


    Jason | http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/jsandys | http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/jsandys/default.aspx | Twitter @JasonSandys
    • Proposed as answer by Robinson Zhang Monday, March 7, 2011 6:37 AM
    • Marked as answer by MM76 Monday, March 7, 2011 9:00 PM
    Sunday, March 6, 2011 7:19 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Yes it's possible but you are outside of the product.
    What is your BDP's Operating System ?
    WDS is part of Windows Server. If you're using Windows Server, why don't you setup a Distribution Point and PXE Service Point ?

    Regards


    Jean-Sébastien DUCHÊNE - www.windowstouch.fr - Microsoft Valuable Professional 2010 (MVP) ConfigMgr - Microsoft Student Partner (MSP) 2008/2010, MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician 7/Enterprise Desktop Administrator 7, MCTS Configuration Manager/MDOP
    Saturday, March 5, 2011 2:54 AM
  • My BDP are Windows server 2003 and 2008 R2. Because I have less than 40 users in remote site, so i choose BDP instead of DP. Maybe in future I'll convert them.

    So, because they are server version I can add the PXE role, right ?

    Saturday, March 5, 2011 3:59 AM
  • Hi,

    PXE role can be configured on BDP. we have few sites having BDP which are connected by poor WAN link. Imaging works smoothly locally once packages get replicate.. :)

     

    Regards,

    Sachin

    Saturday, March 5, 2011 9:54 AM
  • I believe that most of the time, people think BDP is a workstation. But it can be a server as well.

    It will be good to have an answer from Microsoft about PXE in Server BDP.


    Revue du Geek | Déployer Windows 7 | Améliorer les performances de Windows 7
    Sunday, March 6, 2011 6:13 PM
  • It's not that they technically cannot exist together. The problem is with how BDPs acquire content; essentially, BDPs acquire their content just like clients because they are just an extension of the client agent. Thus, they will look for a DP in their site with content. PXE SPs in ConfigMgr are implemented as an extension of the DP infrastructure so that it is easy to get boot images to WDS. There is nothing special about these DPs to prevent clients from trying to get content from them though. Thus, if you have a PXE SP in the same boundaries as as a BDP, the BDP wll try to acquire its content from the PXE DP which won't have it and thus the BDP will site without a way to get content.

    If you play around with your boundaries using single IP address range boundaries, it is possible to get it to work but it is technically not a supported configuration to my knowledge.


    Jason | http://myitforum.com/cs2/blogs/jsandys | http://blogs.catapultsystems.com/jsandys/default.aspx | Twitter @JasonSandys
    • Proposed as answer by Robinson Zhang Monday, March 7, 2011 6:37 AM
    • Marked as answer by MM76 Monday, March 7, 2011 9:00 PM
    Sunday, March 6, 2011 7:19 PM
  • I'll try that.
    Monday, March 7, 2011 9:00 PM
  • So if I have a BDP with content on it as all the packages are copied over including the boot images, and I add the PXE role, it will work?

    Basically, I'd like to minimize clients going through the WAN to get to PXE SP, so I wanted to add it to a protected BDP which is where they get content from. If I just have the PXE SP on the standard DP will the computer be able to get to it since its outside of client boundary or are boundaries evaluated at all for PXE location?

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 3:13 PM
  • It can be made to work but I don't think its supported. The problem is that BDPs aquire their content from DPs. PSPs are also DPs and so if they are in the same boundary, the BDP will try to get it's content from the PSP DP which won't have any content and the BDP will fail to get content. Using very granular IP Address range boundaries you can make it work.

    Question though, if you have servers at the remote locations, why are you using BDPs and not secondary sites?


    Jason | http://blog.configmgrftw.com | Twitter @JasonSandys

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 3:56 PM
  • BDP are easier to setup and basically just serve as a package share to my knowledge, but secondary sites are more involved.  What is the benefit as far as WAN traffic to using secondary site vs BDP?

    So I can just leave my PXE SP on my standard DP and then clients in protected boundary for BDP will PXE boot from the service point on the standard and then get content from the branch right?

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 4:03 PM
  • Secondary sites are quite easy to set up also and give the advantage that they collect, schedule, compress, and thottle upward client traffic like inventory and status messages.

    BDPs are actually glorified clients and thus have many weaknesses. In general, the community recommendation is to avoid them like the plague because they tend to break and are difficult to troubleshoot.

    BDPs use BITS to aquire content from another DP whereas secondary sites aquire content directly from the primary server using the sender capabilities (scheduled and throttled).

    Don't confuse PXE booting with content retrieval from DPs -- they are two completely different things.

    "So I can just leave my PXE SP on my standard DP and then clients in protected boundary for BDP will PXE boot from the service point on the standard and then get content from the branch right?"

    Based on this statement and the rest of the thread, that means you'll be PXE booting and transfering the boot image (via TFTP) across the WAN. When PXE booting using WDS and a PSP, the TFTP of the boot image also comes from the PSP, not a DP.


    Jason | http://blog.configmgrftw.com | Twitter @JasonSandys

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 5:04 PM
  • Right, so I'd be downloading the boot image from the PSP, which would be in another subnet as my BDP.  Once the boot image is downloaded from there, then content distribution will begin and continue as normal in the TS, from the BDP which is protected and in the same subnet as my client.  Sound right?
    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 6:45 PM