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Best Practices for Central and Primary Site Hardware and Software Configuration

Updated: June 1, 2010

Applies To: System Center Configuration Manager 2007, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2

Configuration Manager site servers use extensive amounts of server hard disk, CPU, and memory resources. It is very important to have the right configuration to achieve optimal performance for your individual environment and performance expectations.

The recommended server configuration described in this topic is applicable both for the central site servers as well as the primary site servers used in the previously defined testing scenario configuration of a central site supporting two child sites, with 100,000 clients assigned to each using default client agents and schedules. Subsystem performance can be improved by increasing the hardware specifications defined by the following recommendations. For more information about site and site system capacity planning, see Configuration Manager Site Capacity Planning.

noteNote
The Configuration Manager supported configurations documentation outlines the minimum hardware and software recommended for Configuration Manager site systems and clients. However, the minimum recommendations should not be used for data processing intensive sites. For more information about the minimum supported hardware and software recommended for Configuration Manager, see Configuration Manager Supported Configurations.

Hardware Recommendations

The following table lists the recommended hardware recommendations for Configuration Manager central or primary site servers managing large numbers of assigned clients.

 

Server Resource Specifications

CPU

An eight core CPU configuration, with fastest available CPU speed, is recommended.

Using dual core quad processor computers or quad core dual processor configurations can provide similar performance.

Memory

16 GB recommended.

Disk Array Configuration

For best performance, each logical volume should be implemented as a minimum of two 15,000 RPM hard disks configured in RAID 0. For better reliability and similar performance, four 15,000 RPM hard disks can be configured in RAID 10.

In general, hard disk arrays used for Configuration Manager installations should be configured so that separate volumes are used for each of the following:

Site server computer:

  • Operating System

  • Configuration Manager installation directory

  • Site and site database backup storage

  • Volume Shadow Copy (VSS) storage association for shadow copy temporary storage of the site and site database backup snapshots

noteNote
If the VSS storage association is not configured properly during site backup operations, performance can be severely impacted if the disk drive specified to store the site and site database backup files becomes full. For more information, see Troubleshooting Backup and Recovery Issues.

SQL Server hosting the site database:

  • SQL Server tempdb database

  • SQL Server database logs

  • SQL Server database

Selecting 64-Bit or 32-Bit Hardware for Configuration Manager Installations

The recommended operating system for Configuration Manager installations is Windows Server 2008 (32-bit or 64-bit).

Configuration Manager is a 32-bit application, so performance will not be as great on a 64-bit hardware as a native 64-bit application would provide. To ensure best results, install the 32-bit version of the Operating System even when working with 64-bit capable hardware.

The reduction in performance capabilities when using 64-bit hardware to host Configuration Manager installations (a 32-bit application) is small compared to using 32-bit hardware but should be anticipated before implementing this software and hardware combination.

Enabling Write Caching on Site System Hardware

When a site supports an extremely large number of clients, you should enable write caching on site system hardware RAID controllers. Configuration Manager site performance will be greatly impacted if the RAID controller cache option is set to read only. If RAID controller write caching is not enabled when supporting the maximum number of supported clients, poor site performance might result.

noteNote
In some cases, a battery backup module must be installed and configured for the RAID controller cache memory to be used when write caching is enabled. Consult the server manufacturer’s documentation for data reliability issues with write caching enabled before enabling this option on site system hardware.

See Also

For additional information, see Configuration Manager 2007 Information and Support.
To contact the documentation team, email SMSdocs@microsoft.com.
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