3.2 Single Zone or Multiple Zones

In most organizations, you will be able to implement a single ZENworks zone for the management of your production devices. A zone is a collection of Primary Servers, Satellite Servers, and a Database that is used to manage a set of devices. As long as you have 100,000 devices or less, there is no sizing limitation that would necessitate multiple zones. However, there are times when you might want to consider multiple zones for non-scaling reasons, such as the following:

  • Testing Zone: The most common reason for a separate zone is to have a test zone. This is useful when you want to test a newer version of the product before an upgrade and to test how a new application might impact the system.

  • Geographic Reasons: While Satellite Servers can generally be used to solve the challenges associated with a large distributed environment, if you have a situation where there is very limited bandwidth, where the configuration data that must come from the Primary Server is simply too much, you might want to consider separate zones.

  • Political Reasons: In rare cases, ZENworks is used in a company that has very rigid boundaries between different parts of the organization. They want to ensure that all the data is secure and only available to their own administrators and the reporting group. While ZENworks provides role-based administration, full isolation might necessitate a separate zone.

In each of these cases, it should be noted that creating a separate zone is not without overhead. Each zone must have its own Primary Servers, Satellite Servers, and Database. Additionally, each zone uses a separate ZENworks Control Center instance, so it is not currently possible to manage across zones from a single ZENworks Control Center.

The latest version of ZENworks does, however, add the capability to replicate bundles and policies between zones. This can help to reduce the administrative overhead by allowing you to create a bundle or policy once and then have the system automatically replicate it. For more information about configuring zone sharing, see the ZENworks Subscribe and Share Reference.