Content Prestage in Configmgr 2012 is a new/Updated feature from its previous Version Configmgr 2007(Preloading).Content Prestaging is mainly used for the sites which has Slow or costly network connectivity.
When you are creating new site Distribution Point at remote location with Slow connectivity,you cannot distribute the missing packages due to bandwidth constraints.Configmgr 2012 allows you to create Prestage Content means,You can Export the content from One DP (Note: Only DPs under this particular Site could be Primary or Secondary will be listed but not from Other sites) ,copy to Disk,ship it and then import to the newly configured DP.
To know more about how to export content,Import Content using ExtractContent.exe refer TechNet and Kent's blog.
Lets jump into the Issue Now.As usual,configured New DP,copied the exported content (.pkgx) to ship,imported the content to newly Created server and started prestaging the content using ExtractContent.exe.
As I have hundreds of packages to prestage,I created batch script and leave the server for day to complete the process. Next day,I ran query to see how many packages missing on the server ,report show few of them though the prestage is successfully done. I took one random package,do the prestage on the newly configured DP manually using command:extractcontent.exe /P:J:\Compressed_Packages\P0100035.pkgx /F to see its progress.
Monitor J:\SMS_DP$\sms\logs\PrestageContent.log for progress,it says “Sent P0100035.3 package state message to site”.
Immediately look into distmgr.log on the Site server(primary or Secondary where the DP is created attached ),search with package ID ‘P0100035’ ,found below message.
Will reject STA for DP ["Display=\\INSCCM1.eskonr.com\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=P01"]\\INSCCM1.eskonr.com\ as it does not exist in the PkgServers table
Will not process this invalid package status file from remote DP ["Display=\\INSCCM1.eskonr.com\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=P01"]\\INSCCM1.eskonr.com\, delete F:\SCCM\inboxes\distmgr.box\INCOMING\Q01XWOHT.STA
The error says,the prestaged package do not exist in ‘PkgServers’ table thus,site system cannot accept the STA file to process it.this leads me to think about, I have not added any of the imported packages to this DP prior running ExtractContent.exe
and why is it giving error only for few packages ? Question Remains ?
How do I make sure the content is available on the server without utilizing the WAN link ?
Get list of packages (mix of all package types like apps,OSD,Packages,drivers etc) that are having issue with prestaging,use the script to available here to distribute to DP.
On the DP server,do prestage content for missing packages using :extractcontent.exe /P:J:\Compressed_Packages\P0100035.pkgx /F
Monitor distmgr.log on Primary/Secondary ,you will see package being processed processed and content will not send over the WAN as site already received status message(.STA) saying package is already installed.
I have also seen other issues with content prestaging from distmgr.log like ‘Discarding old status update for package P01003BE for distribution point ["Display=\\INSCCM1.eskonr.com\"]MSWNET:["SMS_SITE=P01"]\\INSCCM1.eskonr.com\.’
which means,the prestaging file version(for ex: 10) is older than the version (Ex:11) that exist on the Primary site.For this ,you will have to either export the updated content or let the content transfer via WAN link.
Conclusion: It is good practice to have all the production packages assigned to DP group(DP group contains list of all DPs).So ,If you build New DP,you don’t have to target packages individually instead,you can DP to DP Group.
hope it helps!