System Center Configuration Manager 2007 : Configuration Manager Network Communications (part 4) - Site-to-Site Communications - Tuning Status Message Replication

9/25/2012 9:07:06 PM
Data Priorities

Configuration Manager data is classified by priority:

  • High

  • Medium

  • Low

You can configure the priority of certain data such as status messages, packages, and advertisements. Replication of status messages can consume a large amount of network bandwidth. You should consider this in tuning the Status Message System, discussed in the next section.

Tuning Status Message Replication

Status messages provide one of the primary means of looking at the health of your Configuration Manager infrastructure and identifying any problems that may occur. Nearly all Configuration Manager components generate status messages to report various milestones and events. Configuration Manager clients send status messages to their management point, site systems send status messages to the site server, and child sites can replicate messages to their parent site. You can choose which messages to replicate and the data priority for each type of message sent between sites. Status messages sent up the hierarchy can account for much of the overall site-to-site traffic. This is especially true when child sites have a large number of clients. To limit the impact of status message replication, it is important to tune the Status Message System.

The most important settings for status message replication are the status filter rules. Each status message received by a site passes through the site’s status filter, which evaluates the message to determine whether it matches the criteria of each of its status filter rules. A match invokes the action you specify for the rule. One of the actions you can specify is to replicate the message to the parent site.

You can configure status filter rules in the ConfigMgr console under System Center Configuration Manager -> Site Database -> Site Management -> <Site Code> <Site Name> -> Site Settings -> Status Filter Rules. As shown in Figure 14, two “Replicate all” status filter rules are among the rules enabled by default:

  • Replicate all SMS Client messages at low priority

  • Replicate all other messages at medium priority

Figure 14. The list of status filter rules enabled in the default configuration

The rule to replicate client settings is higher on the list in Figure 15, showing that it has a higher priority and will be processed before the rule to replicate all other messages at medium priority. Messages received from clients will match the first rule and are replicated to the parent site at low priority. All other status messages will be replicated at medium priority. You can modify these rules depending on your requirements. As an example, if local administrators perform all client troubleshooting at a particular site, you may decide not to replicate status messages originating on client systems from that site to its parent site.

Figure 15. Modifying a status filter rule

To stop replicating client messages, perform these steps:

Right-click the rule.

Choose Properties.

Select the Actions tab in the Status Filter Rule Properties page.

Tick the box at the bottom for Do not process lower-priority status filter rules.

By changing the action from Replicate to Parent Site to Do not process lower-priority status filter rules (as shown in Figure 5.15), you can prevent these messages from being processed by the lower-priority rule Replicate all other messages at medium priority. The result is that client messages will be discarded. This prevents using queries and reports at higher-level sites to view client status and deployment results.

Note that the modified rule is still named Replicate all SMS Client messages at low priority, although it no longer actually replicates the messages. To change the name of the rule, you would need to delete or disable the existing rule and create a new rule with the appropriate name. 

You can create new rules to control replication of specific types of messages. To create a new status filter rule, perform the following steps:

Right-click the Status Filter Rules node in the console tree and then select New Status Filter Rule to initiate the New Status Filter Rule Wizard.

Name the rule Replicate Milestones and Informational Messages at Low Priority and check the Message Type and Severity boxes. With the selections shown in Figure 16, the filter will process all messages of type Milestone or with a severity of Informational.

Figure 16. Specifying criteria against which the status message will be evaluated to determine if the new status filter rule will be applied

Choose the action Replicate to Parent Site / Replication Priority: Low, as shown in Figure 17.

Figure 17. Specifying the action(s) that occur when a status message matches the filter criteria

The wizard will display a summary page for the new rule and ask you to confirm your choice. This completes the New Status Filter Rule Wizard.

After completing the wizard, you need to change the priority of the rule so it processes in the correct order. The rule should run after the rule that discards client messages, but before the catchall rule to replicate at medium priority.

Right-click the rule in the list and choose Increment Priority. The list of rules shown in Figure 18 will perform the following replication actions:

  • All client messages will be dropped.

  • Informational and milestone messages will be replicated only during times when the sender address setting allows sending low-priority data.

  • All other messages will be replicated during times when the sender address setting allows sending medium priority data.

Figure 18. The list of status filter rules, including the newly created rule, in the desired order

In addition to individual status messages, each Configuration Manager site maintains status summary data. Status summary data displays the overall status of a system, component or advertisement as OK, Warning, or Critical based on the number and type of messages received. Similar to individual status messages, you can decide whether to replicate status summary data to the parent site and the data priority to assign to the replication. 

Data Compression and Site Planning

Whereas network traffic between sites is compressed, traffic within a site is not compressed. You should consider the advantages of compression, scheduling, and data priorities when deciding whether to place secondary sites at remote locations. You may want to use a secondary site to provide services that otherwise are provided by site systems belonging to the parent site, particularly distribution points. 

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