ConfigMgr Boundary Groups revisited

 

System Center Configuration Manager Technical Preview Build 1609 was just released, and one of the most exciting enhancements, as an architect, is the redefinition of how a Boundary Group behaves.

Note that there is a bug with Boundary Groups in 1609, create the Boundary group then go back to it to, to be able to add references without crashing out.

Here’s the preview summary of the feature:

This preview introduces important changes to boundary groups and how they work with distribution points. These changes will help simplify the design of your content infrastructure while giving you more control over how and when clients fall-back to search additional distribution points as content source locations. This includes both on-premises and cloud-based distribution points.

These improvements replace concepts and behaviours you might be familiar with today (like configuring distribution points to be fast or slow) and replaces them with a new model that should be easier to setup and maintain. These changes are also groundwork for future changes that will improve other site system roles you associate to boundary groups.

The details  for this feature are Boundary Group nesting, which can be used to introduce layers that a site can fall back through all the way to the core network, either until there is no service delivered due to restrictions crossing network boundaries (defined by your Boundaries), or a service point is reached such as a DP, MP or SUP. The original “fall-back” option has become the Site Default Boundary Group, which can be populated with a site that will act as the “fall-back” site for anything that needs falling back too. The Site Default Boundary Group can also be disabled, or the functionality can, by not specifying a site as the fall-back Site. There’s a lot more detail in the Preview Notes for Build 1609 which are linked below

Two key things in the UI you’ll notice are within the Boundary Groups property sheet, the lack of a Connection property for the Site system servers, with the notion of Slow and Fast being obsoleted, and a new References tab as shown in the before\after shots below which is to form what are called relationships, neighbouring Boundary Groups that can be fallen back too:

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When adding Relationships you’re given the ability to control the length of delay before falling back to specified Roles, and includes the ability to disable fall-back for any of the three types of bounded Role:

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Here’s what a Relationship looks like once it has been defined in a Boundary Group:

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An info graphic from the Preview Notes showing how fall-back can take place.

BG_Fallack

 

Very nice. The feature offers us a whole lot more control on fall-back to available services, controlling the durations before the fall-back takes place, can see this making a lot of customers very happy for network flow-control.

Check out the Preview Notes here