Monday, May 5, 2008

Operations Manager 2007 Design Tips from the Field

The following are some tips to consider when designing your Operations Manager 2007 infrastructure. These tips were based on my personal experience which was re-confirmed by several other MVPs who experienced similar, as well as discussions with the Ops Manager product team at Microsoft.

  1. Always setup a minimum of 1 RMS and 1 MS. Do not have agents report directly to the RMS. remember that the RMS functions to distribute configuration information to all MS. Having additional load on to this process is not recommended. Besides, with this, you'll have a failover scenario in place.
  2. 3-node clusters for RMS is not supported
  3. To have a affordable failover strategy for your Operations DB, use SQL Log shipping. Unfortunately, DB Mirroring is an unsupported method.
  4. When dealing with multi-site monitoring (branches), use a Gateway Server instead of a MS. Have MS in close proximity with your SQL Server. Why? Cause whenever MS needs to write data, it establishes a SQL ODBC connectivity. This takes up resources and the data is uncompressed. By using a GWS, data is compressed and the connection to a MS is always connected.
  5. Have a dedicated MS for reporting from a GWS. Do not have other agents reporting to the same MS as a GWS. Reason is that Management Servers divide their processes by number of connections. Let's say that you have 10 servers reporting to the GWS. When the MS receives that connection, it is treated as 1. If you had an additional of 10 servers reporting to that MS, the MS will divide its performance 11 ways. You would then see a significant performance drop for the servers handled by the GWS. If GWS is the only one connected to the MS, it will be given the full 100%.
  6. The RMS consumes CPU and RAM as its core process. So bulk up on these
  7. Use 64-bit for the RMS so that there are opportunities to scale beyond 4GB of RAM
  8. There is a Datawarehouse Grooming tool found in the Resource Kit that will help trim down the size of the Operations DW
  9. Support for SQL 2008 will be around the August 2008 timeframe or SP2. This will be cool cause there will be no dependency on IIS
  10. Each GWS can support up to 800 Agents with the SP1

For more of these tips on hardware sizing, check out my man Satya Vel's blogpost on the Ops Manager Team Blog

The Ops Manager model for System Center Capacity Planner will be out pretty soon.

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