The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

SCCM SP1 and Itanium – NOT supported

Back in October 2007 when I was doing my original Pilot deployment of SCCM (RTM), I posted on the TechNet forums asking questions about whether putting the site database on a SQL cluster that was running on the Itanium (IA64) architecture was a supported installation scenario. Stan White replied back that both clustered as well as Itanium were supported. After installing, everything was working fine…no problems worth mentioning.

Fast forward seven months. I’m in the midst of my SCCM rebuild. I’m doing so on Server 2008 and SCCM SP1. Everything appeared to be working except that the SMS_SITE_SQL_BACKUP component refused to install on the SQL server. In the sitecomp.log file was the following message (only three lines out of a couple of hundred log entries):

Server’s platform type is X86

Could not get entry point file name from SMS installation map.

Installation failed and will be retried in the next polling cycle

This repeated every 60 minutes, but would never install. The fact that it saw the platform as x86 instead of IA64 was an immediate red flag. After posting this scenario (with complete log files) on the TechNet forum, I waited. And waited. And cross posted. And finally got a response this morning. Turns out that they had to do a bit of research to find the answer. Here is the answer from Jeff Nordrum (one of the Microsoft moderators on the forum):

Sorry for the slow response. We needed to investigate this issue a little more thoroughly before responding. Back in August 2006, we quietly dropped official support for the SQL role on the 64 bit Itanium platform for Configuration Manager 2007. However, ConfigMgr 2007 SQL role still worked on IA64 (including SMS_SITE_SQL_BACKUP). For the development of ConfigMgr 2007 SP1, in order to support Windows 2008 64-bit, new code for SQL Backup was needed. This new code was not implemented on IA64 since it was officially not supported.


We apologize for the lack of clear documentation and the misunderstanding regarding what we support on IA64. We’ll get our online documentation updated as soon as possible. Moving forward, we don’t plan to include support for the SQL role on the IA64 platform for SP1 or any future releases of Configuration Manager.

So…it turns out that when I installed in October 2007, that I was in fact installing on a non-supported setup. It just didn’t come back to bite me until SP1 was released in late May. From what I’ve been told, our Itanium SQL servers are nearing end of life and are needing to be replaced, so this will be some extra motivation for us to make that happen sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I need to find another SQL box so that I can move my SCCM database.

June 17, 2008 - Posted by | ConfigMgr | ,

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