What version of Configuration Manager do I need, and in what order?

Hey everyone, coming back from TechEd USA, a few of us were discussing some topics that came up, and a common thread was what version of ConfigMgr is needed for what?  So, we thought we would list out the order and min requirements at a product level.  There are other pre-reqs at the support, service, or component level that will also be verified at each product level installation in the setup phase.  So areas like OS level, patch level, hotfix presence, SQL versions etc will still be checked.  Those aren't covered in this post. image

We often get asked what shipped when?  The ship order looks like this from a calendar view:

  • System Center Configuration Manager 2007 RTM
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3

But what version do you need?  Well, the most current available version of ConfigMgr to all licensed customers is Service Pack 2.  If your organization has Software Assurance (SA), your most current version (available)  is ConfigMgr SP2 R2.

If you want to install a certain version of the product what is the order?  Like many areas, the answer can be ‘it depends’.  But, the logical start is to deploy SP2.  The other area where organizations have told us they need clarification is with the ‘R’ releases.  For example:

  • if an organization wants to run R2, R2 will only install on top of Service Pack 1 (there was a full version of SP1 (slipstreamed) released, so a ground up install of SP1 could be done say on Server 2008)
  • If an organization want to install Service Pack 2, SP2 requires SP1 (not R2) (there was also a full version of SP2 released, so a ground up install of SP2 could be done say on Server 2008 R2)
  • If an organization wants to install the current beta of R3, that requires SP2 (not R2)
  • CORRECTION R2 does roll up into R3, although these are separate installs
  • R3 does not require R2 to be present

One thing to also make clear is if an organization wants to deploy a certain OS as a managed client, or as a site infrastructure host, the following applies:

  • Windows 7 as a managed client requires ConfigMgr SP2
  • Windows Server 2008 either as a managed client or a host for a site role required Service Pack 1
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 either as a managed client or a host for a site role requires Service Pack 2

Some recommendations for organizations looking at or using Configuration Manager 2007 products today:

  • If you are running SMS 2003, its time to migrate.  That product ended Mainstream support Jan 11, 2010
  • If you are running the RTM version of Configuration Manager 2007, that level of product is now out of mainstream support as of July 2009
  • If you are running Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, that level of product will go out of Mainstream support at the end of calendar 2010.
  • If you are doing a net new deployment, the recommendation is ConfigMgr SP2, on Windows Server 2008 or ‘08 R2.
  • If you are at a current level like SP2 now, its time to check out the very cool new features in the R3 beta – like Power Management.

Thank you

me15Jeff Wettlaufer
Sr Technical Product Manager
System Center, Management and Security Division
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