ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM

Let us understand the details about ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options. The bandwidth management within ConfigMgr is one of my favorite topics. There is a reason behind it. I started my device management career with SMS 2003 (old versions of ConfigMgr). Very early in the career, I initiated an office package distribution to remote DPs in Australia! (of course during business hours). Well, that was the first priority 1 incident that I got involved in, the rest is history.

Let us concentrate on ConfigMgr bandwidth management options from the server-side in the following sections. I have also given one example using 1E products in the following section.

NOTE! – The network QoS-related options are not covered in this post. If QoS is already in place, then you are already in good shape.

Data Compression

This is the first ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management option that I’m going to share in this post is the Data Compression option. Data compression is one of the configurations that can help to reduce the bandwidth usage related to SQL-based replication. This option is turned on by default. This data compression configuration is available between:



  1. Primary and Secondary servers
  2. CAS and Primary Servers

Let’s have a quick look at the configurations:

  • Navigate to \Administration\Overview\Hierarchy Configuration\Database Replication.
  • Select a Database Replication Node.
    • You can see only one node in the below screenshot because I only have a Primary and a Secondary server. You would be able to see more nodes if you have CAS + child primary servers + multiple secondary servers.
  • Click on Parent Database Properties/Child Database properties.
  • Select Database tab.
  • Under the Data Compression section, you have a check box to enable Data compression.
    • Configuration Manager can compress the data that it replicates to other sites using SQL Service Broker.

NOTE! – It’s not recommended to disable the Data Compression option!

ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM

File Replication

The second ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management option is file replication controls. Let’s see what are the options to manage bandwidth between site servers using file replication controls. You can manage the bandwidth usage between:

  1. Primary and Secondary servers
  2. CAS and Primary Servers



Let’s have a look into file-based replication bandwidth control configurations:

Navigate

  • Navigate to \Administration\Overview\Hierarchy Configuration\File Replication.
  • Select the appropriate File Replication node from the list.
    • Make sure you have configured throttling from both directions.
      • Primary to Secondary Server.
      • Secondary to Primary server.
  • Click on the Properties button from the Ribbon menu.
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM

There are two types of bandwidth management controls available for file-based replication.

  • Restrictions based on Type of Data
  • Restrictions based on Data limit

Schedule – Restricts based on Type of Data

Let’s see how to schedule restrictions based on the Type of Data. The schedule restrictions are based on the Types of ConfigMgr Data priorities. Following are the scheduling options based on the Type of Data:

  • Open for All Priorities
  • Allow Medium and High Priority
  • Allow High Priority Only
  • Closed

Configuration details are given below:

  • Click on the Schedule tab and configure the data transfer schedule options.
    • You can control network load during critical time periods by restricting when data can be sent to this destination.
    • Primary to Secondary File Replication.
      • I have configured Scheduled Availability for the selected time period as – Monday to Friday 7 AM to 7 PM.
      • I have configured Allowed traffic for file replication as – Allow high priority only.
        • So low and medium priority file-based replication traffic will be blocked between Monday to Friday 7 AM to 7 PM.
    • Secondary to Primary File replication.
      • I have configured Scheduled Availability for the selected time period as – Monday to Friday 8 AM to 6 PM.
      • I have configured Allowed traffic for file replication as – Closed.
        • So All the file replication-based traffic will be closed between Monday to Friday 8 AM to 6 PM.
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM

Rate Limit

Rate limit restrictions work based on the size of the data limit or maximum data transfer limits. The size limitations are based on the size of the data block and delay between each block. However, the maximum rate of transfer option is based on the % of the bandwidth available between source and destination.



Let’s check more details about the configuration.

  • Select Rate Limit tab
    • To prevent Configuration Manager from consuming all available bandwidth on the connection you can limit the transfer rate used to send data to the destination.
    • The Rate Limit should also be configured from both sides.
      • Primary to secondary
      • Secondary to the primary
  • There are three (3) options available to set rate limits.
    • Unlimited when to this destination (Default option).
    • Pulse Mode – You can set the rate limits using the size of the block and delay between each block.
    • Limited to Specified maximum transfer rates by the hour – This restriction is based on available bandwidth for the selected time period.

NOTE! – I don’t recommend using different methods in Rate Limit configurations. I just showed different configurations just as an example. You might need to consult the network team to make any decisions on rate limit restrictions. Otherwise, default configurations are set as per the best practice.

ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM

Database Replication

The third ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management option I’m going to share is SQL-based database replication controls. The SCCM database replication uses SQL Server to transfer data. It uses a SQL-based replication method to merge changes in its site database with the information from the database at other sites.



You can control the database replication bandwidth between:

  1. CAS and Primary Servers

The file replication throttling options are available between primary and secondary servers & CAS and primary servers. However, you don’t have throttling options for SQL-based replication between the primary server and secondary servers.

You can use database replication schedule options to control bandwidth between primary servers and CAS. The database replication scheduling options are based on the type of data. That means the control is available only for database replication when the primary site replicates using the following types of data:

  • Status messages
  • Software Inventory & Metering
  • Metering data
  • Hardware Inventory

NOTE! – Database replication links from secondary sites don’t support schedules for site data. You can’t schedule the transfer of global data.

You can configure bandwidth control when database replication sends site data across this replication link to the parent site. The database replication uses the SQL Server Broker.

Let’s see how to configure:

  • Navigate to \Administration\Overview\Hierarchy Configuration\Database Replication.
  • Select a Database Replication Node.
    • You can see only one in the below screenshot because I have only a Primary and a Secondary server. You can see more nodes if you have CAS + child primary servers + multiple secondary servers.
  • Click on Link Properties.
  • Click the Schedule button.
    • Now you can configure when database replication sends site data across this replication link to the parent site.
      • Scheduled Availability for the selected time period as – (for example) Monday to Friday 8 AM to 6 PM.
        • So database replication will happen only for the selected site data components (from the below-mentioned list of data types) and Global Data between Monday to Friday 8 AM to 6 PM.
      • You can select any of the following data type(s) restrictions underneath the availability.
        • All site data
          • Hardware inventory
          • Software inventory and software metering
          • Status Messages
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM

NOTE! – The default settings are good. I don’t recommend changing it unless you have a specific scenario or business requirement.

DP Bandwidth Control

There are also ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management options available for the remote distribution points site systems. Well, this option is not available if you have a DP role on secondary and primary servers. Because you can control the bandwidth using the File Replication option in those scenarios.

The DP bandwidth control options are available only when you are editing the properties of previously installed DP. Configure a schedule that restricts when SCCM can transfer data to the DP. You can restrict data by priority or close the connection for selected time periods.

The DP bandwidth control options are given below. The DP bandwidth control options are similar to File Replication scheduling and rate limit options explained in the above section.

  • Schedule
    • Restricts based on Type of Data
  • Rate Limit
    • Based on available bandwidth
    • Based on block size and delay between each block

Now, let’s see how to configure this:

  • Navigate to \Administration\Overview\Distribution Points.
  • Right-click on the Remote Site System DP record.
  • Select Properties
  • You can check the above section where I have explained how to configure the File Replication schedule and rate limit options.
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM

Additional Options

Another set of ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management settings that can help you with DP bandwidth management:

  • Enable and Configure BranchCache for this Distribution Point
  • Adjust the download speed to use the unused network bandwidth (Windows LEDBAT)
  • Enable this distribution point for prestaged content

You can Configure these details from from following location:

  • \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Servers and Site System Roles
  • Distribution Point Properties
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM

Pull DP Bandwidth Control

The Pull DPs are getting content from the DPs using BITS (Background Intelligent Transfer Service). So the bandwidth control options for pull DPs can be configured using IIS server configurations.

You can follow the generic IIS options to control the bandwidth between DP and Pull DP. I have explained the topic in the following blog post (even though that post for DP to client bandwidth control) VPN Bandwidth Control Via BITs Throttling For SCCM DP | Client How To Manage Devices (anoopcnair.com).

BITs Throttling for SCCM DP - IIS Configuration
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM

Sender Bandwidth Options for Site Servers

There are other bandwidth control options by limiting the concurrent sender threads configurations. A Configuration Manager site can send data concurrently to multiple sites. You can set limits for concurrent sendings and can specify retry settings.

Let’s check how to configure sender bandwidth options?

  • Navigate to \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites
  • Select the site server you want to control the maximum concurrent settings
  • Right-Click and Open the site server properties.
  • Click on Sender and configure the settings accordingly
  • Maximum Concurrent Sendings
    • All Sites – 5 is the default value. You can reduce it to control the data transfer.
    • Per Site – 3 is the default value. You can reduce it to control the data transfer.

NOTE! – The default settings are good. I don’t recommend changing it unless you have a specific scenario or business requirement to change it.

ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM

Sender Bandwidth Options for DPs

There are Sender Bandwidth Options for DPs by limiting the concurrent sender threads configurations. You can use the following configuration for bandwidth control by configuring the packages that can be distributed concurrently to multiple distribution points. You can configure limits for concurrent distribution and retry settings.



Let’s check how to configure sender bandwidth options?

  • Navigate to \Administration\Overview\Site Configuration\Sites
  • Select the site you want to control the maximum Concurrent Distribution Settings
  • Click on Configure Site Components
  • Select Software Distribution Component from the list
  • Concurrent Distribution Settings
    • The maximum number of packages3 is the default value. If you want to reduce the bandwidth usage. You can reduce the allowed number of packages.
    • The Maximum number of threads per package5 is the default value. If you want to reduce the bandwidth usage. You can reduce the allowed number of threads per package.

NOTE! – The default settings are good. I don’t recommend changing it unless you have a specific scenario or business requirement to change it.

ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM
ConfigMgr Server Side Bandwidth Management Options | SCCM

Third-Party Tools

I have already covered one server to client-side bandwidth management options in the following post “The bandwidth Control via BITs Throttling between the Distribution point and Client“. There are third-party solutions to provide end to end fully automated bandwidth control using peer to peer technology.

1E Nomad (https://www.1e.com/products/nomad/), provides end-to-end bandwidth management and peer-to-peer content sharing solution. You can learn more details about the challenges of the native ConfigMgr solution from the following posts. These posts also provide 1E’s answers to those challenges with better bandwidth management and peer-to-peer content sharing technologies.

  1. Simplification and Automation Powered by 1E Nomad Peer to Peer Technologies
  2. Reduce Device Management Overheads with 1E Agent

Resources

Sharing is caring!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.