Moving the Root Management Server role – the ManagementServerConfigTool Utility

Chapter 12 of System Center Operations Manager 2007 Unleashed discusses ManagementServerConfigTool.exe as a tool to move the RMS component. Because of the unique role the RMS has in an OpsMgr 2007 management group, you always want to have a disaster recovery plan in place, in the event the server hosting the RMS becomes inoperable.

As part of that plan, be sure to backup the RMS encryption key (use SecureStorageBackup.exe, which runs automatically during OpsMgr installation in Service Pack 1), and have a current backup of your Operations database. If you need to transfer the RMS role, the tool that accomplishes this is ManagementServerConfigTool.exe.

In Chapter 12, we discuss the steps using the version of the tool available when the book was being written, which was prior to the current version. Let’s talk a bit about how the tool works and some caveats.

The syntax on page 573, step 8, specifies

ManagementServerConfigTool.exe PromoteRMS /DeleteExistingRMS:true

If you have a clustered RMS, which many large installations have implemented, the /DeleteExistingRMS:true switch deletes the existence of the clustered virtual server from the Operations database. With SP1, it is not possible to create a clustered RMS after your initial management group installation, and this would prevent you from getting back to a clustered RMS later!

As an alternative, run the command without the /DeleteExistingRMS:true switch, so the syntax would be

ManagementServerConfigTool.exe PromoteRMS

This “demotes” the previous RMS to the role of a secondary MS. (If the switch is not specified, the tool by default uses /DeleteExistingRMS:false.)

With a clustered RMS, the RMS cannot be used in a secondary MS role – this is by design. In this scenario, running the Promote option puts the node in a temporary non-operational role, allowing\ it to remain in the database and be available for re-promotion when you are ready to put the clustered RMS back in its original role. In essence, you are demoting rather than deleting!

The tool generates the following warning:

Running this tool can cause irreversible damage to your Operations Manager DB. Please backup your DB before continuing.  Continue the PromoteRMS action? (Y/N)

Hint: PLEASE be sure to have a backup!

If by accident you specified the /DeleteExistingRMS:true switch, stop the SDK service on the recently promoted RMS, restore the DB, then run the UpdateDemotedRMS action on the recently promoted RMS to set it back to a secondary MS role. This makes the clustered RMS the only machine in the RMS role in the Management Group. 

Additional documentation is available at

The corrected syntax for the command is being published in the errata for System Center Operations Manager 2007 Unleashed, at Many thanks to Starr Parker of Microsoft for his help and insight!

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