Thursday, April 8, 2010

SCOM Gateway Server deployment: Dedicated server or not?

Many times I bump into situations where the above mentioned question arises.

Of course, wouldn’t it be nice to use a dedicated server for any SCOM (R2) Server role? Sure enough, for the RMS and needed MS servers, it goes without saying to use servers which are solely dedicated to that SCOM (R2) Server role. But the SCOM (R2) Gateway Server is something different here.

For starters, the type of server is different. It is more like a ‘super’ SCOM R2 Agent. So dedicated resources aren’t that much needed. Secondly, the placement of that server does not always allow for deployment of a dedicated server. Many times these servers reside on different geographical locations. And of course, budget also plays a significant role here.

But then again, who am I to decide what is best? Therefore I have created a small decision matrix which aides organizations in their decision whether or not to use a dedicated server for the SCOM (R2) Gateway Server role. It has helped me on many occasions to get a tailored answer which really suits the needs/requirements of my customers.

In this matrix I have left out two ‘show stoppers’, which are budget and location. Because when budget does NOT allow to deploy a dedicated server, only an existing server can be used. Still the matrix can useful in order to see whether it has any change to work properly.

The ‘show stopper’ location can be rigid as well. I have been in situations where the deployment of an additional server wasn’t possible: or the VM Host was already loaded to the brim or the company was out of rack space when virtualization was not being used at all.


The matrix explains itself. The score will tell you what to do.

As a rule of thumb: When two or more answers are about using a dedicated server, do so. Otherwise you end up with doing so a couple of months later after having deployed a Gateway Server on an existing server…

Note: the number of SCOM (R2) Agents reporting to the SCOM (R2) Gateway Server is an estimate. Of course, when the existing server is a ‘beast’ (CPU/RAM/NIC/Disk wise) that number can be set higher.

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