Configuration Manager in Microsoft IT

Real World Experiences from Microsoft IT

ConfigMgr Site Role Hardware used in Microsoft IT

ConfigMgr Site Role Hardware used in Microsoft IT

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I have received queries regarding hardware specification used in Microsoft IT for Configuration Manager site roles, so this post is to share hardware specification used in Microsoft IT for different site roles including both physical and virtual platform. This hardware specification would not be applicable for all ConfigMgr hierarchies due to different business requirement and number of clients managed. I also want to acknowledge my colleague Blair Wright who contributed for these platform standards for meeting our requirement and reviewing them regularly.

For more details on sizing and recommended hardware please refer product documentation - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd547071.aspx

Microsoft IT Configuration Manager Virtualization Technical case study is available on : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff684119.aspx

Central Site Hardware Specification

Details Central Site - SMS Provider Role Central Site - SQL Provider Role
Clients Managed Overall ~280K clients managed with no direct clients reporting to Central site Overall ~280K clients managed with no direct clients reporting to Central site
Machine Type Physical Physical
Computer Model HP ProLiant DL380 G5 HP ProLiant DL580 G5
Operating System Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise  Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with SQL Server 2008 R2
# of Processors 2 4
# of Cores 8 16
Logical Processor Count 8 16
CPU Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5410 @ 2.33GHz, 64 bit
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU  E7330  @ 2.40GHz, 64 bit
System Memory (MB) 16384 32768
Logical Volume SCSI Disk Device and Drive Size (GB) 683
273
136
136

1093
546
546
273
205
136
Drives Details 1. C:\ = OS  Size = 50GB (Simple Disk)
2. Drive D:\ labeled as  D:\ = APPS  Size = 50GB (Simple Disk)
3. Drive E:\ labeled as  E:\ = IIS Size =
25GB (Simple Disk)
4. Drive I:\ labeled as  I:\ = SCCM Size = 300GB (Simple Disk
Drive C:\ label as C:\ = OS (Simple Disk)
Drive D:\ label as D:\ = SQL (Simple Disk)
Drive E:\ label as E:\ = DB Dump (Simple Disk)
Drive F:\ label as F:\ = Trans (Simple Disk)
Drive G:\ label as G:\ = Batch (Simple Disk)
Drive H:\ label as H:\ = Data1 (Simple Disk)
Drive I:\ label as I:\ = Data2 (Simple Disk) +Page file
Drive O:\ label as O:\ = Logs (Simple Disk)
Drive T:\ label as T:\ = Temp DB (Simple Disk)
 
RAID Controller Settings 1. Enable Physical Drive Write Cache State on all controllers (if controller supports this feature)

2. Combine 2 physical
drives as Array A and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB**

3. Combine remaining physical drives as Array B and set fault tolerance as RAID 5, set stripe size to 64KB**

4. 256mb onboard controller memory (minimum) 512+ recommended (if controller supports this feature)

5. Verify Expand Priority is Medium

6. Verify Rebuild Priority is Medium

7. Set Cache Ratio to 50% READ and 50% WRITE
1. Enable Physical Drive Write Cache State on all controllers (if controller supports this feature)

2. Combine 2 physical 146gb drives as Array A/Disk0 and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB** (IMPORTANT NOTE: **Migrating RAID stripe size will break an array. Do not change if data exists on the array.)

3. Combine 6 or more physical 146gb drives as Array B/Disk1 and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB**
4. Combine 10 or more physical 72gb drives as Array C/Disk2 and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB**

5. Combine 10 or more physical 72gb drives as Array D/Disk3 and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB**

6. Combine 4 physical 72gb drives as Array E/Disk4 and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB**
7. 256mb onboard controller memory (minimum) 512+ recommended (if controller supports this feature)

8. Verify Expand Priority is Medium

9. Verify Rebuild Priority is Medium

10. Set Cache Ratio to 50% READ and 50% WRITE

Primary Site Hardware Specification for Large Sites

Details SMS Provider Role SQL Provider Role
Clients Reporting ~100,000  
Machine Type Physical Physical
Computer Model HP ProLiant DL380 G5 HP ProLiant DL580 G5
Operating System Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise  Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise with SQL Server 2008 R2
# of Processors 2 4
# of Cores 8 16
Logical Processor Count 8 16
CPU Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5345  @ 2.33GHz, 64 bit Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E7330  @ 2.40GHz, 64 bit
System Memory (MB) 12288 81920
Logical Volume SCSI Disk Device and Drive Size (GB) 1435
136
136
68
410
341
341
136
136
Drives Details 1. Drive C:\ labeled as  C:\ = OS  Size = 50GB (Simple Disk)
2. Drive D:\ labeled as  D:\ = APPS  Size = 50GB (Simple Disk)
3. Drive E:\ labeled as  E:\ = IIS Size = 25GB (Simple Disk)
4. Drive I:\ labeled as  I:\ = SCCM Size = 300GB (Simple Disk
Drive C:\ label as C:\ = OS (Simple Disk)
Drive D:\ label as D:\ = SQL (Simple Disk)
Drive E:\ label as E:\ = DB Dump (Simple Disk)
Drive F:\ label as F:\ = Trans (Simple Disk)
Drive G:\ label as G:\ = Batch (Simple Disk)
Drive H:\ label as H:\ = Data1 (Simple Disk)
Drive I:\ label as I:\ = Data2 (Simple Disk) +Page file
Drive O:\ label as O:\ = Logs (Simple Disk)
Drive T:\ label as T:\ = Temp DB (Simple Disk)
 
RAID Controller Settings 1. Enable Physical Drive Write Cache State on all controllers (if controller supports this feature)

2. Combine 2 physical drives as Array A and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB**

3. Combine remaining physical drives as Array B and set fault tolerance as RAID 5, set stripe size to 64KB**

4. 256mb onboard controller memory (minimum) 512+ recommended (if controller supports this feature)

5. Verify Expand Priority is Medium

6. Verify Rebuild Priority is Medium

7. Set Cache Ratio to 50% READ and 50% WRITE
1. Enable Physical Drive Write Cache State on all controllers (if controller supports this feature)

2. Combine 2 physical 146gb drives as Array A/Disk0 and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB** 
(IMPORTANT NOTE: **Migrating RAID stripe size will break an array. Do not change if data exists on the array.)

3. Combine 6 or more physical 146gb drives as Array B/Disk1 and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB**
4. Combine 10 or more physical 72gb drives as Array C/Disk2 and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB**

5. Combine 10 or more physical 72gb drives as Array D/Disk3 and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB**

6. Combine 4 physical 72gb drives as Array E/Disk4 and set fault tolerance as RAID 1+0, set stripe size to 128KB**

7. 256mb onboard controller memory (minimum) 512+ recommended (if controller supports this feature)

8. Verify Expand Priority is Medium

9. Verify Rebuild Priority is Medium

10. Set Cache Ratio to 50% READ and 50% WRITE

Primary Site Hardware Specification for Medium/Smaller Sites

Details SMS Provider Role SQL Provider Role
Clients Reporting ~60,000 Note: this is shared SQL server
Machine Type Virtual Physical
Computer Model Virtual Machine HP ProLiant DL580 G5
Operating System Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 
# of Processors 1 4
# of Cores 4 24
Logical Processor Count 4 24
CPU Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E7450  @ 2.40GHz, 64 bit
Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E7330 @ 2.40GHz, 64 bit
System Memory (MB) 12288 65536
Logical Volume SCSI Disk Device and Drive Size (GB) 299
75
50
956
683
615
478
410
136
Drives Details 1. Drive C:\ labeled as  C:\ = OS  Size = 50GB (Simple Disk)
2. Drive D:\ labeled as  D:\ = APPS  Size = 50GB (Simple Disk)
3. Drive E:\ labeled as  E:\ = IIS Size = 25GB (Simple Disk)
4. Drive I:\ labeled as  I:\ = SCCM Size = 300GB (Simple Disk
Drive C:\ label as C:\ = OS (Simple Disk)
Drive D:\ label as D:\ = SQL (Simple Disk)
Drive E:\ label as E:\ = DB Dump (Simple Disk)
Drive F:\ label as F:\ = Trans (Simple Disk)
Drive G:\ label as G:\ = Batch (Simple Disk)
Drive H:\ label as H:\ = Data1 (Simple Disk)
Drive I:\ label as I:\ = Data2 (Simple Disk) +Page file
Drive O:\ label as O:\ = Logs (Simple Disk)
Drive T:\ label as T:\ = Temp DB (Simple Disk)
 
RAID Controller Settings Same as above RAID configuration for Larger sites Same as above RAID configuration for Larger sites

Management Point or Software Update Point Hardware Specification

Details Management Point Or Software Update Point
Computer Model Virtual Machine
Operating System Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 
# of Processors 1
# of Cores 4
Logical Processor Count 4
CPU Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU           E7330  @ 2.40GHz, 64 bit
System Memory (MB) 6144
Virtual Disk SCSI Disk Device & Drive Size (GB)
(Set disk as “fixed” and not dynamic)
149
49
Drives Details 1. Drive C:\ labeled as  C:\ = OS  Size = 50GB (Simple Disk)
2. Drive D:\ labeled as  D:\ = APPS  Size = 50GB (Simple Disk)
3. Drive E:\ labeled as  E:\ = IIS Size = 25GB (Simple Disk)
4. Drive I:\ labeled as  I:\ = SCCM Size = 100GB (Simple Disk)
RAID Controller Settings Not Applicable as Virtual

Distribution Point Hardware Specification

Details Distribution Point
Computer Model Virtual Machine
Operating System Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 
# of Processors 1
# of Cores 2
Logical Processor Count 2
CPU Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E7330  @ 2.40GHz, 64 bit
System Memory (MB) 6144
Virtual Disk SCSI Disk Device & Drive Size (GB) 349
49
Drives Details 1. Drive C:\ labeled as  C:\ = O/S  Size = 50GB (Simple Disk)
2. Drive D:\ labeled as  D:\ = APPS  Size = 50GB (Simple Disk)
3. Drive E:\ labeled as  E:\ = IIS Size = 25GB (Simple Disk)
4. Drive P:\ labeled as  P:\ = Package Size = 300GB (Simple Disk)
RAID Controller Settings Not Applicable as Virtual

Hyper-V Role Hosting ConfigMgr Sites Hardware Specifications

Details Hyper-V Server hosting ConfigMgr VMs
Computer Model ProLiant DL580 G5
Machine Type Physical
Operating System Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 Enterprise 
# of Processors 4
# of Cores 16
Logical Processor Count 16
CPU Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E7330  @ 2.40GHz, 64 bit
System Memory (MB) 65536
Logical Volume SCSI Disk Device and Drive Size (GB) 1913
1571
1298
683
546
136
Drive Details 1. On primary Controller: setup first two 146gb drives mirrored as C: and D: (DISK0) - OS and BITS go here
2. Array Controller1  Array A / Disk0  (C: & D:) RAID1 (2x146gb SAS)
a. Drive C:\ labeled as  C:\ = OS  Size = 50GB (Simple Disk)
b. Drive D:\ labeled as  D:\ = Data1-VM  Size = Remaining space on Disk0 (87gb) (Simple Disk) Data
3. RAID 6 remaining 72gb drives (DISK1/ VM1 F:) - vhd files go here
a. Controller1 Array C/Disk2 (F:)  RAID 5  (6-x146gb SAS)
b. Drive F:\ labeled as  F:\ = VM1  Size = 683GB (Simple Disk) Virtual Machines

4. RAID 5 remaining 146gb drives (DISK2/ DATA2 E:) - store page file and library here
a. Controller1 Array B/Disk1 (E:)  RAID 6 (21-x72gb SAS)
b. Drive E:\ labeled as  E:\ = Page file  Size = 130+GB (Simple Disk) +Page file

5. On secondary controller RAID 6 remaining 72gb drives (up to 24 drives) (DISK3/ VM2 G:) - vhd files go here
a. Controller2 Array A/Disk3 (G:)  RAID 6 (21-x72gb SAS)
b. Drive G:\ labeled as  G:\ = VM2  Size = 2048GB (Simple Disk) Virtual Machines

6. If additional drives exist or if 3rd or 4th DAS array exist, then continue as follows:
a. If 146gb drives exist that are available, Stripe as RAID 6 label as VM3 - vhd files go here
b. Controller2 Array B/Disk4 (H:)  RAID 6 (16x146gb SAS)
RAID Controller Settings Same as above RAID configuration for Larger sites

Please share your comments and thoughts for these platform standards and I would be glad to answer any queries.

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Comments
  • Very cool post.  Thanks for sharing Shitanshu.  Would is be possible to get schedules for client agents that MSIT uses to put this into more content rather than client ?

    Regards,

    Saud.

  • Very cool post.  Thanks for sharing Shitanshu.  Would is be possible to get schedules for client agents that MSIT uses to put this into more content rather than client counts?

    Regards,

    Saud.

  • Great post!  What's the rational behind moving the SMS Provider to another server?  Certainly it must improve performance but I'm wondering if you've been able to quatify to what extent.

    Thanks!

  • Is the DB on the cnetral site used for production reporting or have you created a DB copy for reporting purposes?

  • @Saud Al-Mishari, thanks for the comments and my next post will have this details for all client agent settings. I expect to have this posted later today :)

    @Anonymous, Regarding rational for moving SMS provider on different server was primarily due performance issue as in the past we are running into inbox backlogs issue quite often every month which was impacting our SLAs for reporting compliance. The root cause identified was Disk IOs as it was highly utilized if you have SMS provider and SQL on same server in large SMS hierarchy and after moving we have not experienced inbox backlog issue due to performance since we moved almost 2+ yrs. I have post on SMS performance here – blogs.msdn.com/.../configuration-manager-site-performance-analysis-during-jan-2010-out-of-band-release.aspx

    @JohnH, The DB on central site is used for standard reporting as well as we have another DB copy for large SMS data feeds.

  • Great technical insight, thanks a lot!

    I'm curious about whether or not the used Windows Server 2008 R2 version (Enterprise vs. lets say Standard) has any real impact on the performance or manageability?

  • @Christoph Voigt, There is no difference for performance between Enterprise and Standard edition but there is more features difference. Here is complete details for all editions - www.microsoft.com/.../r2-compare-roles.aspx

  • The age old question:  Where to put the Provider?  Am I correct to understand that you had it on the SQL Server prior to moving it to a separate server?  Can you comment on the initial decision?

  • The following post from the Configuration Manager in Microsoft IT blog details the hardware specs for

  • The following post from the Configuration Manager in Microsoft IT blog details the hardware specs for

  • @JohnH, we have provider on SMS site server for our central site but one of the primary site we have provider on SQL server. Yes prior to moving we had provider and SQL on same server and we had performance challenges as explaind in above comment. Also I don't see any gain with provider on SQL server vs. SMS Site server as we had main issues with disk IO when we had site server and SQL on same server.

  • The following post from the Configuration Manager in Microsoft IT blog details the hardware specs for

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