Does Asset Management or CMDB Solutions support hierarchy and stand-alone replication rules?

Article:HOWTO26021  |  Created: 2010-04-22  |  Updated: 2014-01-14  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/HOWTO26021
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Support for Asset/CMDB Solutions being in a hierarchy or data being sent by stand-alone replication rules depends on which version of the products/Symantec Management Platform is being used.

Symantec Management Platform 7.1 SP2 and 7.5

  • Hierarchy: This is supported with conditions: For this to work, Asset/CMDB must only be on the Parent server and Asset/CMDB cannot be on any Child servers.
  • Stand-alone-replication rules: These are custom and are not supported. While they will work for reporting only if all needed data is forwarded, other features have not been tested outside of the hierarchy and are not guaranteed to work.
     

It may be desired that Asset/CMDB works on a Child server, or if they are already installed to one, to not have the errors and issues that are occurring happen. This is, however, the way that Asset/CMDB were designed to work and this is not able to be altered. To further describe how this works under the hood, the following information provides a technical explanation of why Asset/CMDB do not support being on a Child server or being used with stand-alone replication rules:
 

  • Because of the nature of Asset/CMDB, it is very beneficial to have a single source of information, i.e., the Parent server of a hierarchy. The design is that resources and their data should move up the Hierarchy and Settings, Policies, Security etc., should move down the hierarchy. Asset and Core merging would then be used on one server (the Parent), should the need exist due to duplicates of any kind.
  • Based on this, a management business decision was made to set the data for the products Data Connector, CMDB Solution and Asset Management Solution as well as many others such as Barcode Solution to be Non-Replicable. If any resource is created through one of these solutions they will not be able to be replicated up or down the hierarchy. This promotes much better data consistency and lessons any chances that data could become corrupt, due to changes done by different users/administrators on the various Child and Parent servers.
     

In the past, a customer would set up a parent server with CMS (Client Management Suite, which is the client-facing server that has Core and Inventory Solution, among others, installed) and a child server with AMS (Asset Management Suite, which does not have clients and only has Asset data). This would be done to offload processing to a "secondary" server from the CMS to the AMS, to improve performance on the CMS. However, this is an outmoded way of how Altiris currently works. The last platform this was valid on was the Notification Server 6.0 using inventory forwarding rules. As the Symantec Management Platform 7.1 and higher is no longer designed to enable AMS to be on a child server or use stand-alone replication rules, there's now no valid reason for having an AMS server with a CMS server. Both functions should be on the client-facing server (CMS) only. If the customer is still needing to improve performance on the "main" server, they should look into implementing best practices for Inventory schedules, image deployment, and investigate if task servers (etc.) would benefit the environment, instead of attempting to try to get a CMS to AMS environment to work, as it cannot work like that.

Please Note: Because Asset/CMDB does not support being on a child server or being used with stand-alone replication rules, if the customer has previously set this up and it has worked on some servers but not others, or if it seems to mostly work but some elements such as UI buttons or tasks seem to not work or be enabled, does not indicate that this is working 100%. This is an environment (hierarchy/stand-alone replication rules) that Asset/CMDB are not designed to work with; unexpected issues may occur. As such, Symantec Technical Support is unable to assist the customer in fixing this to work, as there is no method to change this functionality.
 

Symantec Management Platform 7.1 and 7.1 SP1

  • Hierarchy: This is not supported, however, Asset/CMDB must still be on the Parent server only, but not in the hierarchy on any Child servers.
  • Stand-alone replication rules: These are supported. However, these can only forward inventory to the Asset/CMDB server, not from the Asset/CMDB server.


Symantec Management Platform 7.0

  • Hierarchy: This is not supported.
  • Stand-alone replication rules. These are not supported.
  • Warning: Asset/CMDB 7.0 were not designed to be used in a hierarchy, which is not a supported architecture, or with stand-alone replication rules. Attempting to add them as part of one, whether on the Parent or Child server, will result in unexpected issues.
      

Related Information

Each Symantec Management Platform server is capable of handling up to 20,000 active client managed nodes when properly equipped and configured.  If less than 20,000 nodes are being managed, hierarchy should not be implemented. Refer to the following article for more information about server hardware configuration:

Altiris™ IT Management Suite 7.1 SP1 from Symantec™ Planning and Implementation Guide
http://www.symantec.com/business/support/index?page=content&id=DOC3464&key=55274&actp=LIST

Additional hierarchy information can be found here:

Asset Management Suite in Hierarchy | Symantec Connect Community
http://www.symantec.com/connect/articles/asset-management-suite-hierarchy



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