Establishing Topology Objectives

Updated: November 15, 2007

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

One of the most important steps in topology design is establishing appropriate objectives. Some of the key areas that you should address in the design of the RMS topology include:

  • Administrative costs. The site topology must minimize administrative costs. This includes centralizing server management wherever possible, and minimizing the number of servers that are used.

  • Network latency. The latency of the network between the client and server will be noticeable to users as an additional delay when they open e-mail and documents. In general, ensure that latency is less than two seconds for each direction at least 90 percent of the time.

  • Reliability. The network between the client and server should be reliable enough that a single HTTP request and response should have a failure rate, meaning a lost or damaged transaction, of less than 5 percent.

These are only general guidelines; you must establish your own objectives that are based on your organization’s requirements and resources. Establishing objectives is the starting point to determine if a topology meets your needs. There are many factors that affect how objectives are met, including the number of users, license requests, queries, messages, and other RMS-related traffic factors. Additionally, the deployment strategy, including in which domains and forests you plan to deploy RMS, can have a significant impact on the achievement of your topology goals. As you go through the topology design process, you should keep your objectives in mind and determine how each design process will have an impact on your objectives.