Token-based authentication for cloud management gateway

Applies to: Configuration Manager (current branch)

The cloud management gateway (CMG) supports many types of clients, but even with Enhanced HTTP, these clients require a client authentication certificate. This certificate requirement can be challenging to provision on internet-based clients that don't often connect to the internal network, aren't able to join Microsoft Entra ID, and don't have a method to install a PKI-issued certificate.

To overcome these challenges, Configuration Manager extends its device support by issuing its own authentication tokens to devices. To take full advantage of this feature, after you update the site, also update clients to the latest version. The complete scenario isn't functional until the client version is also the latest. If necessary, make sure you promote the new client version to production.

Clients initially register for these tokens using one of the following two methods:

  • Internal network

  • Bulk registration

The Configuration Manager client together with the management point manage this token, so there's no OS version dependency. This feature is available for any supported client OS version.


These methods only support device-centric management scenarios.

Microsoft recommends joining devices to Microsoft Entra ID. Internet-based devices can use Microsoft Entra ID to authenticate with Configuration Manager. It also enables both device and user scenarios whether the device is on the internet or connected to the internal network. For more information, see Install and register the client using Microsoft Entra identity.

Make sure to Enable clients to use a cloud management gateway in the Cloud services group of client settings. Even with a site token, clients can't communicate with a CMG if client settings don't allow it. For more information, see About client settings: Cloud services.

Internal network registration

This method requires the client to first register with the management point on the internal network. Client registration typically happens right after installation. The management point gives the client a unique token that shows it's using a self-signed certificate. When the client roams onto the internet, to communicate with the CMG it pairs its self-signed certificate with the management point-issued token.

The site enables this behavior by default.


With an HTTPS management point, the client needs to first register regardless of internet/intranet management point. The client needs to present a valid PKI-issued certificate, a Microsoft Entra token, or a bulk registration token.

Bulk registration token

If you can't install and register clients on the internal network, create a bulk registration token. Use this token when the client installs on an internet-based device, and registers through the CMG. The bulk registration token has a short-validity period, and isn't stored on the client or the site. It allows the client to generate a unique token, which paired with its self-signed certificate, lets it authenticate with the CMG.


Don't confuse bulk registration tokens with those that Configuration Manager issues to individual clients. The bulk registration token enables the client to initially install and communicate with the site. This initial communication is long enough for the site to issue the client its own, unique client authentication token. The client then uses its authentication token for all communication with the site while it's on the internet. Beyond the initial registration, the client doesn't use or store the bulk registration token.

To create a bulk registration token for use during client installation on internet-based devices, complete the following actions:

  1. Sign in to the top-level site server in the hierarchy with local administrator privileges.

  2. Open a command prompt as an administrator.

  3. Run the tool from the \bin\X64 folder of the Configuration Manager installation directory on the site server: BulkRegistrationTokenTool.exe. Create a new token with the /new parameter. For example, BulkRegistrationTokenTool.exe /new. For more information, see Bulk registration token tool usage.

  4. Copy the token and save it in a secure location.

  5. Install the Configuration Manager client on an internet-based device. Include the client installation parameter: /regtoken. The following example command line includes the other required setup parameters and properties:

    ccmsetup.exe /mp:https://CONTOSO.CLOUDAPP.NET/CCM_Proxy_MutualAuth/72186325152220500 CCMHOSTNAME=CONTOSO.CLOUDAPP.NET/CCM_Proxy_MutualAuth/72186325152220500 SMSSiteCode=ABC /regtoken:eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJSUzI1NiIsIng1dCI6Ik9Tbzh2Tmd5VldRUjlDYVh5T2lacHFlMDlXNCJ9.eyJTQ0NNVG9rZW5DYXRlZ29yeSI6IlN7Q01QcmVBdXRoVG9rZW4iLCJBdXRob3JpdHkiOiJTQ0NNIiwiTGljZW5zZSI6IlNDQ00iLCJUeXBlIjoiQnVsa1JlZ2lzdHJhdGlvbiIsIlRlbmFudElkIjoiQ0RDQzVFOTEtMEFERi00QTI0LTgyRDAtMTk2NjY3RjFDMDgxIiwiVW5pcXVlSWQiOiJkYjU5MWUzMy1wNmZkLTRjNWItODJmMy1iZjY3M2U1YmQwYTIiLCJpc3MiOiJ1cm46c2NjbTpvYXV0aDI6Y2RjYzVlOTEtMGFkZi00YTI0LTgyZDAtMTk2NjY3ZjFjMDgxIiwiYXVkIjoidXJuOnNjY206c2VydmljZSIsImV4cCI6MTU4MDQxNbUwNSwibmJmIjoxNTgwMTU2MzA1fQ.ZUJkxCX6lxHUZhMH_WhYXFm_tbXenEdpgnbIqI1h8hYIJw7xDk3wv625SCfNfsqxhAwRwJByfkXdVGgIpAcFshzArXUVPPvmiUGaxlbB83etUTQjrLIk-gvQQZiE5NSgJ63LCp5KtqFCZe8vlZxnOloErFIrebjFikxqAgwOO4i5ukJdl3KQ07YPRhwpuXmwxRf1vsiawXBvTMhy40SOeZ3mAyCRypQpQNa7NM3adCBwUtYKwHqiX3r1jQU0y57LvU_brBfLUL6JUpk3ri-LSpwPFarRXzZPJUu4-mQFIgrMmKCYbFk3AaEvvrJienfWSvFYLpIYA7lg-6EVYRcCAA


    For more information on this command line, see Install and register the client using Microsoft Entra identity. This process is similar, just doesn't use the Microsoft Entra properties.

To verify, review the following log file for a similar entry:

Rotating internet management point, new management point [1] is: https://CONTOSO.CLOUDAPP.NET/CCM_Proxy_MutualAuth/72186325152220500 (0) with capabilities: <Capabilities SchemaVersion ="1.0"><Property Name="SSL" Version="1" /></Capabilities>

To troubleshoot installation, review %WinDir%\ccmsetup\logs\ccmsetup.log on the client. After installation, review %WinDir%\ccm\logs\ClientIDManagerStartup.log.

On the server, review the following logs:

  • CMG logs
  • Management point
    • CCM_STS.log
    • MP_RegistrationManager.log
    • ClientAuth.log

Bulk registration token tool usage

The BulkRegistrationTokenTool.exe tool is in the \bin\X64 folder of the Configuration Manager installation directory on the site server. Sign in to the site server, and run it as an administrator. It supports the following command-line parameters:

  • /?
  • /new
  • /lifetime


Display this usage information.

Example: BulkRegistrationTokenTool.exe /?


Create a new bulk registration token.

Example: BulkRegistrationTokenTool.exe /new

The tool displays the following information:

  • A GUID that the site uses to track issued tokens
  • The token validity period, which is three days by default.
  • The bulk registration token.

The token isn't stored on the client or the site. Make sure to copy the token from the command prompt, and store in a secure location.


Use with /new parameter to specify the token validity period of the token. Specify an integer value in minutes. The default value is 4,320 (three days). The maximum value is 10,080 (seven days).

Example: BulkRegistrationTokenTool.exe /lifetime 4320

Bulk registration token management

You can see previously created bulk registration tokens and their lifetimes in the Configuration Manager console and block their usage if necessary. The site database doesn't, however, store bulk registration tokens.

Review a bulk registration token

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Administration workspace.

  2. Expand Security, and select the Certificates node. The console lists all site-related certificates and bulk registration tokens in the details pane.

  3. Select the bulk registration token to review.

You can filter or sort on the Type column. Identify specific bulk registration tokens based on their GUID. When you create a bulk registration token, the tool displays the GUID.

Block a bulk registration token

  1. In the Configuration Manager console, go to the Administration workspace.

  2. Expand Security, select the Certificates node, and select the bulk registration token to block.

  3. On the Home tab of the ribbon bar or the right-click context menu, select Block. To unblock previously blocked bulk registration tokens, select the Unblock action.

Token renewal

The client renews its unique, Configuration Manager-issued token once a month, and it's valid for 90 days. A client doesn't need to connect to the internal network to renew its token. As long as the token is still valid, connecting to the site using a CMG is sufficient. If the token isn't renewed within 90 days, the client must directly connect to a management point on an internal network to receive a new token.

You can't renew a bulk registration token. Once a bulk registration token expires, generate a new one for internet-based device registration using a CMG.

See also