Site Hierarchy Model

In the simplest network LAN environment, you can manage your entire organization as one SMS site. Each LAN should have at least one site and no site should span more than one LAN. With SMS, you can organize your existing WAN network into several SMS sites, each site will have an SMS site server, which is a Windows NT Server computer where SMS has been installed. A site hierarchy defines the relationship of all of the SMS sites in an organization. The topmost site in the hierarchy is known as the central site.

In general, management and configuration data moves down the hierarchy from higher-level sites, and resource and client data move up the hierarchy from lower-level sites. More specifically, a parent site sends management instructions and data intended for client distribution down to its child sites. Child sites report their status (including information about SMS itself and the status of resources and clients being monitored by SMS) up to their parent sites.

Because SMS summarizes and compresses data that it passes among sites, it is more efficient to include a hierarchy of SMS sites if your organization has large networks or networks connected by slow links. After you install a primary site, you can create a hierarchy by adding child sites, each of which can be either a primary or a secondary site. SMS bases site classification on whether the site stores system data.

Primary site A primary site stores system data (for itself and its subsites) in a Microsoft® SQL Server database called the SMS site database. Primary sites have administrative tools that enable you to manage the site and its subsites directly. The SMS Setup program creates each primary site as a stand-alone site. To create a hierarchy, you can attach child primary sites to parent primary sites.
Secondary site A secondary site, which has client computers but lacks an SMS site database and an SMS Administrator console, passes its data to its parent primary site. Secondary sites are useful when you have a remote site that will not have an onsite administrator. You can set up the site in a separate location over a WAN link and administer it from its primary site.

You add a secondary site directly from the primary site that will serve as the parent site. Alternatively, you can install the secondary site from the Systems Management Server 2.0 compact disc at the secondary site server and then specify the parent site during installation. In either case, you must install the parent site before you can install the secondary site. Further, you cannot attach additional sites beneath secondary sites. Because secondary sites cannot administer subsites, a secondary site cannot be a parent site.

Sites are also described by their relationship to other sites in the hierarchy.

Parent site A parent site is a primary site that includes at least one other site beneath it in an SMS hierarchy. Only a primary site can have child sites.
Child site A child site is a site that reports to a site above it in the hierarchy. SMS copies all information collected at a child site to the parent site, which in turn reports all of the accumulated data to its parent site. A primary site can have one or more child sites, but a secondary site cannot have a child site — it can only be a child site.
Central site The central site is the primary site at the top of the hierarchy; it is the one site in a hierarchy that is not a child to any other site. Therefore, the SMS site database at the central site acquires the data of the entire hierarchy. The central SMS site database stores the inventory information for the central site and all its subsites. Lower-level sites always report inventory information up the hierarchy, all the way up to the central site. So, at the central site, you can view all sites and discovered resources in the SMS system.

You can organize your site structure to fit your organization and management requirements. A hierarchy can be flat or quite deep, and you can include few or many sites.

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