What is a Courier Sender?
If you ask this question or if you come across this question yourself the very first thing that comes to your mind is someone who ships your packages to your desired destination at your intended time or at your convenience as quickly as possible. So are you wondering why am I talking about shipping of packages or do you have a thought of Microsoft diversifying into logistics field as a means to increase the revenues? Or maybe is Microsoft developing any application to foray into logistics field? Indeed not. It's all about the Courier Sender Component in one of our most renowned infrastructure management Software "Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007".
But now you have the question "What is a Courier Sender" in SCCM 2007 ?
Before I get to this topic let me detail a scenario that is most often experienced while using ConfigMgr 2007 for deployment/distribution across geographical locations. We have come across situations where an administrator wants to deploy a OSD package to their remote site (office/premises) over a WAN link . The scenario is quite normal and usual and you might look at it as a daily task as long as you have a high speed WAN. But what about a slow WAN link? Imagine a more than 2GB package over a 512k WAN link. We have seen administrators waiting for quite a few days for the entire package to reach the remote site which ultimately leads to delays in implementation and not meeting the deadlines, increasing costs and ultimately causing frustration.
Now II know you might have an answer in the form of a faster WAN link as they're getting cheaper all the time, but getting a faster WAN link would disturb your companies IT budget to a great extent. And which company would appreciate an administrator who talks of increasing the cost even by a penny. So what's the answer to a solution that would save you good amount of money and expedite your process in very less expenditure? That's where we come to the point of a very flexible component called Courier Sender.
Senders, as most ConfigMgr 2007 administrators know, is required for Site to Site Communication. Once you install a Secondary Site you configure a Standard Sender for communication between the Primary and Secondary Site. Similarly there is one more kind of Sender known as Courier Sender in SCCM
Why is it called a "Courier" Sender?
The answer to the question lies in the above scenario and I am sure you might have an idea on what I am talking about. With this sender you have the ability to send the OSD package across sites over Physical Media, Removable disk rather than worrying about sending it over your companies slow WAN link. Great, but what does this term "Courier" imply? Well the answer is simple. If your site is too far or say in a different city it would be convenient for you to package that media or removable disk which has the OSD package (WIM file) and call up your local courier company (one of courier sender) to ship it to the desired location. Once the package has reached the location you can work with the local administrator to import the OSD package to the secondary site saving you days or even weeks of waiting over a slow WAN link.
So now you may have a question what is the procedure and how shall I do it? Please see the attached Word document below that has screen shots of the step by step procedure on configuring and using Courier Sender along with some references to a couple helpful TechNet links.