In this blog, I will be discussing on how to configure Pull Distribution Point on SCCM. By setting up Pull distribution point comes up with lots of benefits.

What is Pull Distribution Point?

When we distribute the content to all DP’s from SCCM console (without configuring Pull DP), content is pushed from Source location to all distribution points. Even if the link is slow, all DP’s will solely rely on source location to get the package replicated.

With setting up Pull Distribution Point correctly, we can utilize slow link distribution points to get the content from nearest DP, hence avoiding the content to be downloaded source. The Server DP which we want to configure as Pull DP must specify one or more Source Distribution point. Those Source distribution points will be providing the content to Pull DP.

Benefit of Pull Distribution Point

Once Pull DP is configured, we are going to have few benefits:

  • Pull-distribution points help reducing the load on Site Server.
  • Transferring the content becomes faster as we have offloaded the process of transferring the content, and this has been taken care by source distribution points
  • Pull-distribution point supports all existing distribution points configurations:
    • Multicast and PXE configurations
    • Content validation
    • On-demand content distribution
    • HTTP or HTTPS communications from clients
    • The same certificate options as other distribution points
    • Manage individually or as a member of a distribution point group

Configure Pull-distribution point

In this example, I will be using SCCM01 as Source distribution point and DP01 as Pull-distribution point.

Launch SCCM Console, navigate to \Administration\Overview\Distribution Points. Under right Pane, select DP01, in the ribbon select Properties.

Pull DP 01

This will open DP01 properties with General tab, click on tab Pull Distribution Point. Check the box Enable this distribution point to pull content from other distribution points. Once select, click on Add to show list of available distribution points, select SCCM01 and click OK to return to previous page.

Pull DP 02

Click on OK on Pull Distribution Point tab to initiate the configuration changes.

Pull DP 03

Configure Pull-distribution point limit settings

Navigate to \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites, under right pane, select the existing site, from home ribbon select Configure Site Components and then select Software Distribution to open Software Distribution Component Properties. Select tab Pull Distribution Point to see all existing settings. One of the important settings are:

Retry settings
               Number of retries set to 30
               Delay before retrying (minutes) set to 20

Pull DP 04

With this setting, Pull-DP will retry 30 times every 20 mins incase content is not available on source DP. But this will never download from source content.

Monitor installation through logs

Launch distmgr.log on site server, you will see activity happening once we enable Pull-distribution point. We can see DP01 has been configured as Pull DP.

ConfigurePullDP - DP01.MANBAN.COM
NAL Path ["Display=\\DP01.MANBAN.COM\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=MAN"]\\DP01.MANBAN.COM\ is a Pull DP
Installing PullDP, check \\DP01.MANBAN.COM\SMS_DP$\sms\logs\smsdpprov.log and \\DP01.MANBAN.COM\SMS_DP$\sms\logs\pulldp_install.log
PullDP ["Display=\\DP01.MANBAN.COM\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=MAN"]\\DP01.MANBAN.COM\ is marked Installed
Pull DP 05

Further, launch pulldp_install.log on Pull distribution point which will be located under c:\SMS_DP$\sms\logs.

Pull DP 06

Verify if content is coming from source DP

Lets distribute the content of one of the packages. I distributed package ID MAN00034.

When checking distmgr.log, we can see DP01 is marked as PULLDP. This will create Package transfer job, and rest of package transfer can be verified through PkgXferMgr.log.

Package Server ["Display=\\DP01.MANBAN.COM\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=MAN"]\\DP01.MANBAN.COM\ is a PullDP.
Created package transfer job to send package MAN00034 to distribution point ["Display=\\DP01.MANBAN.COM\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=MAN"]\\DP01.MANBAN.COM\.

Launch PkgXferMgr.log, we can see that package MAN00034 is using PULLDP to fetch the content with attempt count 1/30 as we are using Number of retries as 30 in Pull distribution point properties.

Pull DP 07

Limitations of Pull-distribution point

  • Pull-distribution point can’t be used as cloud distribution point.
  • Pull-distribution point can’t be configured on site server.
  • Don’t use the option Enable this distribution point for prestaged content on Pull-distribution point as prestage content configuration will override pull-distribution point configuration.
  • Schedule or rate limit configurations are ignored on Pull-distribution point.

Important links

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/mem/configmgr/core/plan-design/hierarchy/use-a-pull-distribution-point
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/mem/configmgr/core/servers/deploy/configure/install-and-configure-distribution-points#bkmk_config-pull