Article

What is the Perfect Industrial-Strength Intermapper Server?

Windows, Linux, Mac OSX
Posted:
August 29, 2016
Industrial server running in a monitored IT environment


It is important to think about the ideal hardware set-up when deploying Intermapper for an industrial-strength enterprise deployment—when you wish to monitor 200 or more devices, for example. With the database enabled, the key factor becomes the number of datasets that you're exporting. By default, that includes response time and short-term packet loss for all devices, plus sent/received bytes/sec for all interfaces. If each of your devices has 16 interfaces, that would be 2,000 * 2 + 2,000 * 16 * 2, for a total of 68,000 datasets.

For architectural reasons, performance degrades heavily with more than 20-40k datasets. We’re working to increase this limit, but for now the best performance investment is reducing that number.  A couple of hours spent narrowing the datasets to just those that you truly want to report on has a greater impact than a million dollars of hardware.
 
Generally, though, the software is I/O-bound, particularly when using the database. And with a single machine, the bottleneck becomes contention rather than bandwidth. Therefore, if physical space isn’t a concern, it’s much more effective to get three lower-powered systems, running IM, IMDC and Flows separately, than a single high-powered one. SAS doesn’t help nearly as much as avoiding having three processes constantly fighting over the position of the disk head.

Ideal Set-up

Ideally, the best set up for someone on a budget would be three machines with the cheapest consumer-grade Core i7s and 4/8/8 GB of RAM for the IM, IMDC, and Flows machines, respectively. If you were still under budget, you could obtain an SSD for the IM machine and SATA RAID0 for the IMDC & Flows machines, with some money set aside to cover the fact that SSDs and consumer SATA drives tend to fail a lot faster than server-grade SAS.

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