In a Configuration Manager 2007 site hierarchy, each site must be able to communicate with its parent site and all of its child sites. Communication between sites is accomplished by using the Server Message Block (SMB) protocol (TCP/IP port 445) and is independent of the Configuration Manager 2007 site mode (native mode or mixed mode).
For sites to communicate, they must have a connectivity system (LAN protocols, RAS, or SNA Server) installed and configured according to the connectivity system's product documentation on all site servers in the Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy. Then, for each site in the Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchy, you must configure the site-to-site communications by creating and configuring the required senders and addresses to be used with each sender.
When designing the address structure for Configuration Manager 2007 hierarchies, there are two main considerations:
- Network load between sites
- Site-to-site data transfer latency
Network Load Between Sites
Design the site reporting structure to provide planned controls over the amount of network load used between sites to avoid excessive network bandwidth use during normal business hours. This is especially important when configuring site address properties for secondary sites located across a slow link connection or WAN.
It is possible to create more than one address for a specific sender to communicate with the same site. Address properties also allow prioritization of site-to-site communications. For example, you can set one address to a site to throttle low-priority data transfers, and another address to the same site to schedule high-priority site-to-site data transfers at different times of the day.
Software distribution package source file transfers are controlled by site-to-site sender address properties. When distributing software packages to remote distribution points, ensure that you consider the impact on the network bandwidth between sites. To help mitigate network bandwidth used when transferring software distribution package source files between sites, consider using binary differential replication. For more information about binary differential replication, see About Binary Differential Replication.
You can also limit the amount of data sent between sites to a fine level of granularity using pulse mode. Pulse mode allows you to specify the size of the data blocks that are sent, and also to specify a time delay between sending each data block. Pulse mode can be configured in the properties of an address on the Rate Limits tab, and it is useful when you have a very low network bandwidth available between sites.
Site-to-Site Data Transfer Latency
When configuring site address properties for site-to-site communication, sufficient planning must be done to provide for latency in the communication process. If site communications have been throttled or configured to only transfer data after normal business hours, administrators at either the parent site or child site will not be able to view new site configuration or client reporting data until the site-to-site communication has taken place. For example, if the central site administrator has created new collections at the central site, the child sites beneath the central site will not be able to view the new collections until the sites have communicated according to their site sender address property schedule. Conversely, if child site clients have conducted inventory or sent status messages to a child primary site, the central site will not receive the client information until site-to-site communication has taken place successfully.