Technical Reference for Site Communications in Configuration Manager


Updated: May 14, 2015

Applies To: System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP2, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager SP1

The following sections provide technical details about site-to-site communications in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

  • Types of Replication in Configuration Manager

    • Database Replication

    • File-Based Replication

Types of Replication in Configuration Manager

System Center 2012 Configuration Manager transfers data between sites by using database replication and file-based replication. Additionally, the data that is replicated is grouped into the following classifications:

  • Global data that replicates by using database replication.

  • Site data that replicates by using database replication.

  • File content that replicates by using file-based replication.

The following table identifies replication methods and data types in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

Replication Type

Data Type


Database replication

Global data

Collections, package metadata, and deployments

Database replication

Site data

Collection membership, hardware inventory, and alerts

File-based replication

File content

Software packages and software updates

Database Replication

Database replication in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager uses Configuration Manager database replication. Configuration Manager database replication uses the SQL Server Service Broker to transfer data between the SQL Server database of different sites in a hierarchy. By default, the SQL Server Service Broker installs with SQL Server, and uses port 4022.

Data, represented as objects, can include different types of information such as configuration settings or client inventory or status information. When a new site installs, a snapshot of the parent sites database is taken by bulk copy (BCP) and transferred by server message blocks (SMB) to the new site where it is inserted by BCP to the local database.

Objects replicated by database replication include the following:

Global Data

Alert rules

Client discovery

Collections rules and count

Configuration Items metadata


Operating system images (boot images and driver packages)

Package metadata

Program metadata

Site control file

Site security objects (security roles and security scopes)

Software updates metadata

System Resource List (site system servers)

Site Data

Alert messages

Asset Intelligence client access license (CAL) tracking data

Client Health data

Client Health history

Collection membership results

Component and Site Status Summarizers

Hardware inventory

Software distribution status details

Software inventory and metering

Software updates site data

Status messages

Status summary data

File-Based Replication

File-based replication in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager transfers data in file format between System Center 2012 Configuration Manager sites. This is accomplished by use of a sender and file replication route that together define how and when a network connection to a parent or child site can be established. In a change from past versions of Configuration Manager, a single type of sender is supported by System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. File-based replication uses the Server Message Block protocol.


Beginning with Configuration Manager SP1, the term address is now file replication route. If you use Configuration Manager with no service pack, replace file replication route with the word address.

Objects replicated by file-based replication include the following:



Package files used by deployments

Sent to primary and secondary sites.

Data from secondary sites

Sent to the primary site (parent) of the secondary site.

Fallback status point state messages

Forwarded to the assigned site when only a single fallback status point is in use.

Discovery data records

Forwarded to the assigned site when not processed at the site where they are generated.