Hierarchy can simplify the management of multiple Notification Server computers. However, having multiple Notification Server computers does not necessarily indicate that you should implement a hierarchy. Even if a hierarchy simplifies your administration, it increases your Notification Server computer infrastructure overhead.
Consider the following limitations before you implement a hierarchy:
You can have between one and six child Notification Server computers in a hierarchy. This number depends on the hardware capabilities of each server and your IT management requirements. For example, the frequency and amount of inventory that you gather affects the number of clients each Notification Server computer can support. In a highly complex hierarchy scenario, you should contact Symantec Consulting Services to analyze your requirements and fine-tune the platform architecture to meet your needs.
Replication has some effect on the performance of all the Notification Server computers. This additional load on the child Notification Server computer may influence its maximum supported client count.
All Notification Server computers must have the same version of the Symantec Management Platform and Solutions installed. To determine the version you can open the Symantec Installation Manager locally on each Notification Server computer and record them.
To perform Symantec Management Platform updates, hierarchy replication must be disabled first to avoid conflicts between dissimilar versions. You can easily enable or disable hierarchy replication on specific Notification Server computers with a single step. To perform Solution updates, use Symantec Installation Manager locally on each Notification Server computer.
You cannot get real-time data with hierarchy replication. When data is moved through the hierarchy, there is a time delay. If you use the default schedule for software distribution, then you require up to 24 hours for each tier in the hierarchy. You can force individual items to replicate by using the Replicate Now option instead of waiting for the schedule.
If clients are configured with SSL (HTTP or HTTPS), then their Notification Server computer must also be configured for it. Mixed SSL and non-SSL environments should not be supported. If one Notification Server computer has SSL, then all of them must have it configured.