System Center 2012 Service Manager RC Installation Experience

I’m just rebuilding my lab with Royal TS V2 (which is awesome, btw. ) and thought, why not blogging about the Service Manager installation experience. I’ve blogged before about theOperations Manager and Orchestrator setup experience, so it’s kind of tradition to do that for the Service Manager (aka SCSM) as well.


First let’s “unbox” SCSM and see what’s inside the package:

  • SQL Server
    SQL server is not really part of SCSM but you need an existing installation of SQL server or you need to provide a dedicated SQL server for your SCSM installation. SCSM stores the “inventory/CMDB” data as well as the data warehouse data in SQL server. Be sure you have configured your SQL server to use the correct collation:
  • Service Manager management server 
    This component is main component to run service manager. It’s the middle-tier between your SCSM console and the database and it’s also responsible to execute workflows. This component is installed first. Setup will also create the databases.
  • Service Manager data warehouse management server 
    This component takes care of all workflows and data processing routines necessary to build and maintain the data warehouse. The setup will create all necessary databases for the DW data.
  • Service Manager console 
    This is the SCSM UI, which is optional and will be installed on the Service Manager management server or can be installed separately on workstations.
  • Service Manager web portal 
    Also optional. The web portal is now completely SharePoint based and is probably subject for a dedicated blog post.

“Special” Requirements, Oddities and Side Effects

Installation and operations of Service Manager is a bit “unconventional”. Pretty much every System Center product can be installed and operated on a single server (i.e. OS installation). Of course, this is not recommended for production but in LAB or test environments you aim for low cost and a low footprint.

From the list of components above, the SCSM management server and the SCSM data warehouse management server are both needed in order to run SCSM but they cannot be installed on the same OS. You need two instances (either virtual or physical) to install those components.

Note: For production environments it’s highly recommended to properly spread out those components to multiple servers to ensure your environment is prepared to scale appropriately:

Also note that there are several “manual” steps you may need to execute after installation, depending on your reporting setup and your data warehouse needs. I always suggest to read carefully the deployment guide and make sure to prepare yourself sufficiently before you go ahead and install SCSM!

Another thing worth mentioning is, that you cannot install a SCOM agent on a SCSM management server. Monitoring of SCSM components are only supported in an agentless way. As of today, even a server where only the SCSM portal web server components are installed, the SCOM agent installation will be blocked. If you install first the SCOM agent and then the SCSM portal web server components, setup will finish without any issues. It’s not clear yet if this is a supported scenario. I hope we get a clear answer from Microsoft by the time RTM is published.

Setup Part 1: Service Manager management server

My first (virtual) machine is a Windows 2008R2 server, fully patched with .NET 3.5 SP1 installed. My database machine is a separate machine running only SQL 2008 R2.
After running setup.exe, click on “Service Manager management server”:

We’re installing the 180 days eval. The product key can be entered afterwards when you got the license key and when you’ve upgraded RC to RTM.

… select the installation location:

The Prerequisite checker complains that I haven’t installed a couple of SQL 2008 components. The good news is, there are links to quickly download and install the missing stuff, the bad news: The links are all for SQL 2008 and I have to start over again with the setup after installation of the missing prerequisites:

Note: Since I’m using SQL 2008 R2 I went to this page: and downloaded the prerequisites for SQL 2008R2 components from there.
Ok, after installing those things, the prerequisite checker looks much better:

Next screen: Service Manager database

I’m using the (US English) default collation and I get an “unsupported” message. I will go ahead with my installation because for my lab environment I will only use English in Service Manager. If you have multi-language requirements or want to use SCSM with a non-English language, please check the collation link and make sure your SQL server is configured properly.

The management group name needs to be unique. Don’t use the same name you’ve used for any of your SCOM environments and do not use any special characters in the management group name. In the past, you ran into issues when you used dashes (-) or other characters in the name. I’m not sure if all the issues are resolved now but I tend to keep the name ASCII chars only to avoid any issues in the first place.

I’m also using the Domain Admins group in the dialog. Again, this is a lab environment and a non-production installation. In production you shouldn’t do that and use appropriate accounts and groups.
After configuring the management group name and specifying a domain group for the admins we’re asked to provide account details for the service accounts:

… and:

That’s it. The next two screens are “Customer Experience Program” and the summary page before the installation begins. Installation may take a while and when it’s finished you should see something like that:

After closing the setup wizard, I strongly recommend the encryption key in a safe place in case of a disaster recovery.

Setup Part 2: Service Manager data warehouse management server

As mentioned before, you need to install a second component on a different server (physical or virtual) in order to complete the SCSM setup. Like my first (virtual) machine, this one is again a Windows 2008R2 server, fully patched with .NET 3.5 SP1 installed.
Let’s start the setup.exe on the second server and select Service Manager data warehouse management server:

As before, accept the license agreement:

and specify the install location:

Remember that one?

Installing the prerequisites, like we did on the first server:

The next page is all about configuring the DW database and as before we are again warned about the collation settings:

Configure all three database settings and click on next:

The next steps allows you to create additional “data marts” for Operations Manager and Configuration Manager. After setup is completed you can pull in data (register the System Center DW to Operations Manager and Configuration Manager):

Now we’ve configured all our databases (quite a lot) to create, so let’s move on:

As you can read the warning on the page, a dedicated management group will be created for the DW. This means you need to provide a unique name for the management group.
Now we’re asked to configure the reporting (SSRS) instance:

The last checkbox reminds us that we need to do some manual stuff. Execute the steps as described here and you should be good.

Now the service accounts for the Service Manager service (see above) and the reporting account:

After you’ve specified the accounts, we need to setup an OLAP cube and the analysis service account:

That’s it. The next two screens are “Customer Experience Program” and the summary page before the installation begins. Installation may take a while and when it’s finished you should see something like that:

After you’ve finished both installations, you need to complete the data warehouse registration(s):

Registering with the Service Manager Data Warehouse

I had to restart the Service Manager console in order to get the Data Warehouse section.

You may also register the SCSM DW to Operations Manager and Configuration Manager:

That’s it from the installation perspective. I will probably post another blog post covering the web console part.

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