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Appendix I: Predefined Site Maintenance Tasks

Published : September 1, 2004

(Tech review -  Michael Zhuo - 04/14/04 - 04/30 OK no comments )

As your Microsoft® Systems Management Server (SMS) system accomplishes the tasks that you schedule and configure, SMS components continually add data to the site’s database. As the amount of data grows, database performance declines.

Predefined maintenance tasks target the SMS site database and help to maintain its performance. Configure and run these tasks on a regular basis to continually remove orphaned and out-of-date data, which are of no use to you or to the site. Reducing the size of the database by removing unnecessary data improves the performance and the integrity of the database, increasing the efficiency of the site.  

SMS provides the following predefined site maintenance tasks:

  • Back up SMS Site Server

  • Rebuild Indexes

  • Monitor Keys

  • Delete Aged Inventory History

  • Delete Aged Status Messages

  • Delete Aged Discovery Data

  • Delete Aged Collected Files

  • Delete Aged Software Metering Data

  • Delete Aged Software Metering Summary Data

On This Page

Back Up SMS Site Server
Rebuild Indexes
Monitor Keys
Delete Aged Inventory History
Delete Aged Status Messages
Delete Aged Discovery Data
Delete Aged Collected Files
Delete Aged Software Metering Data
Delete Aged Software Metering Summary Data
Summarize Software Metering File Usage Data
Summarize Software Metering Monthly Usage Data
Clear Install Flag  
Delete Inactive Client Discovery Data
Delete Obsolete Client Discovery Data

Back Up SMS Site Server

This SMS predefined maintenance task backs up an SMS site, including the SMS site database, SMS files, registry keys, and system configuration information. Backing up your site is an essential step when preparing the site for recovery in case your site fails. When recovering a failed site, having a comprehensive site backup greatly helps to restore the site to its original state.

Use the Backup SMS Site Server task to back up your site on a regular basis in order to be properly prepared for a recovery operation.

This task is disabled by default.

Rebuild Indexes

This SMS predefined maintenance task reindexes all of the site’s database indexes. An index is a database structure associated with a table that speeds up data retrieval. Because of this, searching indexed columns is much faster than searching non-indexed columns.

SMS uses many indexes to maximize the SMS site database performance. However, the SMS site database indexes are frequently updated to remain synchronized with the data, which is constantly changing. Frequent updates to indexes reduce their efficiency. This reduces the SMS site database performance and efficiency.

Use this task to rebuild all indexes in the SMS site database, which increases the efficiency of the SMS site database indexes and increases site performance.

note.gif  Note
In larger sites, administrators might want to have more control over the reindexing process. In this case, instead of running this task, administrators can set up an equivalent Database Maintenance Plan in the Microsoft SQL Server ™ Enterprise Manager.

This task is enabled by default, and scheduled to run every Sunday, between midnight and 5:00 A.M.

Monitor Keys

This SMS predefined maintenance task monitors primary keys and handles situations in which internal counters (that are used for SMS object IDs) roll over. A primary key is a column or combination of columns that uniquely distinguishes one row from any other row in a table.

Use this task to maintain the integrity of primary keys that are used in the SMS site database.

This task is enabled by default, and scheduled to run every Sunday, between midnight and 5:00 A.M.

Delete Aged Inventory History

This SMS predefined maintenance task deletes historical hardware inventory data from the SMS site database.

If the hardware inventory feature is enabled at the site or at any of its child sites, then SMS is collecting hardware inventory data from clients on a regular basis, and storing that data in the site’s database.

Use this task to delete from the SMS site database all hardware inventory history data older than the number of days specified in the task properties dialog box.

This task is enabled by default, and scheduled to run every Saturday, between midnight and 5:00 A.M, and to delete data that is older than ninety days.

Delete Aged Status Messages

This SMS predefined maintenance task deletes aged status messages. SMS generates status messages for all its activities at a fairly rapid rate. The number of status messages that are stored in the site’s database, and how long they are kept in the site’s database, depends on how you configured the site status system. The Delete Aged Status Messages task checks status filter rules to determine which messages need to be deleted. A large number of status messages impacts the site’s database performance and uses a significant amount of disk space.

Use this task to delete aged status messages that are no longer needed from the SMS site database and from the site’s hard disk.

note.gif  Note
Status messages are essential when monitoring SMS sites, especially when diagnosing problems at the site. Do not delete warning or error status messages until you have reviewed them, and you are sure that they are no longer needed.

This task is enabled by default and scheduled to run every day, between midnight and 5:00 A.M. Every time the task runs, it checks the settings in the Actions tab of status filter rules to determine which messages have expired. By default, status messages are kept for seven days.

For more information about configuring the status system, see Chapter 14, “Using the SMS Status System,” in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Operations Guide.

Delete Aged Discovery Data

This SMS predefined maintenance task deletes aged discovery data of resources. If client discovery methods are enabled at the site or at any of its child sites, then SMS is collecting discovery data from resources and is storing that data in the site’s database.

Use this task to delete from the SMS site database all data associated with resources that are no longer considered part of the SMS hierarchy. This task identifies resources that have not reported any discovery data in more than the number of days specified in the task properties dialog box. The task deletes from the SMS site database all data (including hardware inventory, software inventory, and software metering data) referencing that resource, deleting the resource from the site.

The Delete Aged Discovery Data task is similar to the Delete Inactive Client Discovery Data task, with the following exceptions:

  • It operates on all resources. The Delete Inactive Client Discovery Data task operates only on resources that are SMS clients.

  • It checks for the existence of records from any discovery method. The Delete Inactive Client Discovery Data task checks for the existence of only Heartbeat Discovery records.

This task is enabled by default and scheduled to run every Saturday between midnight and 5:00 A.M., and to delete data older than 90 days.

Delete Aged Collected Files

This SMS predefined maintenance task deletes aged collected files and orphaned software inventory records. If software inventory is enabled at the site or at any of its child sites, then SMS is collecting software inventory data and possibly files (if configured to do so) from clients on a regular basis. SMS stores software inventory data and information about the collected files in the site’s database, and stores the collected files on the site server’s hard disk (by default, up to five instances of each collected file).

When files and products are no longer inventoried, their respective records remain in the SMS site database, but they are orphaned. Software inventory records no longer reference them.

Use this task to remove orphaned software inventory records, and to delete collected files that are older than the number of days specified in the task properties dialog box. The task deletes the aged collected files from the site server disk, and removes from the SMS site database references to these files.

This task is enabled by default and scheduled to run every Saturday between midnight and 5:00 A.M. and to delete data older than 90 days.

note.gif  Note
Any aged collected files or orphaned software inventory records that are referenced by software metering data are not removed.

Delete Aged Software Metering Data

This SMS predefined maintenance task deletes software metering data from the SMS site database.

If the software metering feature is enabled in your site, then SMS is metering software on client computers, and is storing large amounts of software metering data in the site’s database. Use this task to remove aged software metering data, and to conserve space in the SMS site database.

For more information about software metering maintenance tasks, see Chapter 8, “Software Metering,” in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Operations Guide.

Delete Aged Software Metering Summary Data

This SMS predefined maintenance task deletes software metering data from the SMS site database.

If the software metering feature is enabled in your site, then SMS is metering software on client computers, and is storing large amounts of software metering data in the site database. Use this task to remove aged software metering data, and to conserve space in the SMS site database.

For more information about software metering maintenance tasks, see Chapter 8, “Software Metering,” in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Operations Guide.

Summarize Software Metering File Usage Data

This SMS predefined maintenance task summarizes software metering data in the SMS site database.

If the software metering feature is enabled in your site, then SMS is metering software on client computers, and is storing large amounts of software metering data in the site’s database. Use this task and other software metering maintenance tasks to summarize software metering data, and to conserve space in the SMS site database.

For more information about software metering maintenance tasks, see Chapter 8, “Software Metering,” in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Operations Guide.

Summarize Software Metering Monthly Usage Data

This SMS predefined maintenance task summarizes software metering data in the SMS site database.

If the software metering feature is enabled in your site, then SMS is metering software on client computers, and is storing large amounts of software metering data in the site’s database. Use this task and other software metering maintenance tasks to summarize software metering data, and to conserve space in the SMS site database.

For more information about software metering maintenance tasks, see Chapter 8, “Software Metering,” in the Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Operations Guide.

Clear Install Flag  

When clients are installed, they are flagged by SMS with an installed status. Clients maintain their installed status even after they are uninstalled, thus preventing them from being reinstalled by the Client Push Installation method.

Use the Clear Install Flag task to flag uninstalled clients as uninstalled, thus allowing them to be reinstalled by the Client Push Installation method. If the Client Push Installation method is the only installation method enabled in the site, then you must enable this task to allow reinstallation of clients.

The task examines all clients in the database, and for each client, it checks whether the following two conditions are met:

  • The client has not been recently discovered by the Heartbeat Discovery method, and not by the Microsoft Windows NT® Logon Discovery (SMS 2.0).

  • The client is flagged as installed (such as when a client was previously installed, and then uninstalled.)

The task flags every client that meets both conditions with an uninstalled status. This allows the Client Push Installation method to reinstall these clients.

By default, this task is disabled. When enabling this task, set the rediscovery period to be longer then the Heartbeat Discovery interval to ensure that the task switches the client status only for clients that have been uninstalled.

important.gif  Important
If heartbeat discovery is disabled, running this task is useless. It cannot identify clients with the inappropriate installation status. If you disable heartbeat discovery, then disable this task.

Records which are flagged with an uninstalled status by this task, are no longer identified as client records and therefore they will not be deleted by the Delete Inactive Client Discovery Data task, if it is enabled. Those records will however be deleted by the Delete Aged Discovery task, if it is enabled.

Delete Inactive Client Discovery Data

In an organization that uses Active Directory® directory services, computer accounts often remain in Active Directory even after the computers are removed from the organization.

If the site is using Active Directory Discovery to discover systems in Active Directory, and obsolete computer accounts have not been deleted from Active Directory, those accounts continue to be rediscovered. This prevents the discovery records from ever aging out, although the computers are no longer physically present in the organization.

Use the Delete Inactive Client Discovery Data task to delete clients’ aged discovery records even if the respective clients are rediscovered by Active Directory Discovery.

The Delete Inactive Client Discovery Data task is similar to the Delete Aged Discovery Data task, with the following exceptions:

  • It operates only on resources that are SMS clients. The Delete Aged Discovery Data task operates on all resources.

  • It checks for the existence of only Heartbeat Discovery records. The Delete Aged Discovery task checks for the existence of records from any discovery method.

This task removes only client records, therefore you should not use it with the Clear Install Flag task.

In addition to using this task, it is recommended that the Active Directory administrators in your organization ensure that Active Directory is updated when computers are removed from the organization.

When enabling this task, you should configure the schedule to run at an interval greater than the Heartbeat Discovery schedule. This allows clients that are active, to send a heartbeat discovery record so they are not deleted by this task.

This task is disabled by default.

Delete Obsolete Client Discovery Data

This SMS predefined maintenance task deletes clients' obsolete records. Data Discovery Manager tags records in the Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) site database as obsolete, by setting the Obsolete bit to 1.

A record that is marked obsolete, typically was superseded by a newer record for the same client. The newer record becomes the client's current record, and the older record becomes obsolete and is no longer needed. Clients' obsolete records usually result from a computer image being restored.

When you enable this task, you should configure the schedule to run at an interval greater than the Heartbeat Discovery schedule. This allows clients to send Discovery Data Records (DDRs) so that Data Discovery Manager sets the Obsolete bit correctly.

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