Optimizing the servers

BigFix operates efficiently, with minimal impact on network resources. However, there might be installations that stretch the recommended configurations, where there are too many clients for the allotted server power. The best solution is to choose a server with the required characteristics for your environment; you might be able to modify some preferences to get better performance. Most of these optimizations involve a trade-off between throughput and responsiveness, so proceed with caution. Your HCL Software Support has more information about which modifications might be best for your particular deployment.

Here are some possible optimization techniques:

  • Deploy Relays to reduce the load on the server. This is the most effective way to increase the performance and responsiveness of BigFix. Generally, the more relays, the better the performance (as a rule of thumb, one relay for 500 to 1000 clients is a good choice, although it can be much higher for a dedicated computer).
  • Slow down the Client heartbeat from File > Preferences. This decreases the frequency of messages that are regularly dispatched by the clients to update their retrieved properties. Reducing this frequency reduces the amount of network traffic generated, but also decreases the timeliness of the retrieved properties. However, regardless of the heartbeat settings, the clients always send their latest information whenever they receive a refresh ping from the server or when they notice that a Fixlet is relevant.
  • Slow down the Fixlet List Refresh rate from File > Preferences. This decreases the update frequency for the information displayed in the console. If there are many clients or consoles simultaneously connected or the database is very large, reducing this frequency can substantially reduce the load on the server. If multiple console operators are going to be simultaneously using the console, set the refresh rate to be something higher than the default (15 seconds) to reduce the load on the BigFix database. Consider changing it to 60-120 seconds or more if there are many console operators. The BigFix Administration Tool on the server allows you to set a global minimum refresh rate.
  • Your database administrator might be able to help you with the following optimizations:
    • Change the SQL server Recovery Model for the BFEnterprise database to Simple transaction logging.
    • Reduce the percentage of memory allocated to SQL server from 100% to 85%, to ensure that the web server and operating system are not short of memory.

More performance recommendations can be found at the BigFix support site.