Q

Manage 25 servers over a 100M bits/sec port

I belong to a particular unit and we use ATM technology. The backbone is fiber. All our servers are connected on 100 Mbps ATM ports. All PCs are 10Mbps switched on LAN. Servers are currently located in my dept. itself.

My division is connected to another division that is about a kilometer away via the same fiber link.

What would be the problems that we would face if we were to shift all our servers numbering around 25 to this new location and yet manage the same from my dept.?

I also require some numerical data with regards to network bandwidth, etc. if we were to access these servers from their new location.
Thank You
Melwyn
The network overhead you would incur for management of 25 servers over a 100 Mbps port should be miniscule. Proper systems management will require reception of alarms, e.g, SNMP traps, from each managed box as well as polling each system to collect time-series data. Time-series data is essential for proactive management, capacity planning and SLA documentation.

Alarms are transient and occur only at a problem time, meaning the overhead will negligible. Polling, on the other hand, can induce a modest network load, but 25 systems is a relatively small number of managed systems for a properly designed poller. Efficient polling should introduce something in the neighborhood of 1 kilobyte per polled element, and a decent sized server might have 20 elements (the sum of CPUs, disks, ports, etc.) If you poll at 5-minute intervals, this doesn?t add up to too much network overhead.

As you look at management solutions, please pay close attention to the quality of the data collection mechanism and the volume of data collected on a regular basis. Some vendors design their solutions for extremely deep, single-system management and sacrifice scale where others opt for appropriate, but light monitoring that maintains scalability. Naturally, this is of greater concern with your situation of managing over the fiber link.

This was first published in September 2002
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