9.1 Sizing the ZENworks Database

The ZENworks Database is the database that is used to store all the configuration information received from the devices. Although it is not possible to accurately predict the size of the ZENworks database, it is possible to identify the factors that influence the database size and provide some basic guidelines. The factors that affect the size of the ZENworks database are as follows:

  • Number of users under management

  • Number of devices under management

  • Number of bundles

  • Number of ZENworks policies

  • Products that are enabled in the ZENworks zone, such as Asset Management, Configuration Management, Patch Management, and Endpoint Security Management.

The following chart gives an indication of the database sizes to expect based on the numbers of users and devices in a zone with 100 bundles.

The following chart gives an indication of the database sizes to expect based on the number of bundles, devices, and users in a ZENworks zone.

Disk space requirements are not the only consideration to make when designing the Database Server. Best practices for fault tolerance, maintenance, and performance need to be considered along with the general calculations for the overall database size.

Most large customers have Service Level Agreements that commit to minimal downtime and require robust storage capabilities. For sites with more than 10,000 devices, RAID10 (1+0), mirror with stripe) is recommended for the database, the transaction log, the TempDB, and the TempDB log. In fact, these four items need to be located on four separate LUNs (four separate disks or four separate logical arrays of disks). This addresses potential reliability issues.

Database servers are very sensitive to disk performance. More small disks are always faster than a few large disks. This must be discussed while planning the database because a single 10 GB drive for a site with 10,000 devices might not perform adequately, although it might meet the database sizing formula. Ten smaller drives should perform much better.

Testing and monitoring are an essential part of database configuration. You must measure the throughput (MB/sec) that the application is demanding of the database and size the disk array accordingly. In addition, the operating system and executables do not have high I/O requirements and can reside on a mirrored array (a single mirrored pair) to provide reliability with no added performance.

ZENworks Configuration Management requires a dedicated database server that is not shared with other database applications. This needs to be discussed during the design phase so that everyone involved in the project (especially the database administrator) is completely aware of the requirements. This might not be the case in very small implementations of ZENworks Configuration Management.