Data replication refers to duplicating and transferring data from your Desktop Central server to a distribution server. When managing computers across a Wide Area Network (WAN), you might need to use distribution servers, at all the remote locations in your WAN. Using distribution servers at remote locations allows you to use the available bandwidth efficiently depending on the infrastructure that you have.
A distribution server recieves updates comprising replicated data from the Desktop Central server at certain intervals, called replication intervals. It sends this data to all the computers in its network. The default replication interval for distribution servers is 2 minutes. You can configure this to suit your requirements.
A distribution server replicates configuration details (or the tasks that have to be performed in client computers) and its dependent data, from the Desktop Central server. Dependent data includes:
This means that not all the software application configurations and patch binaries that are available in the Desktop Central server will automatically get replicated to all the distribution servers. Specific binaries will be replicated to the respective remote locations that require them.
While the distribution server has been introduced to save your WAN bandwidth, improper usage might contradict its purpose. Using your bandwidth efficiently depending on your infrastructure is known as optimizing your bandwidth. You can optimize your bandwidth by selecting only those computers to which a software application or a patch configuration has to be deployed. This will ensure that the software application or patch configuration is replicated only to the appropriate distribution servers.
You must select the required remote office as the target. If you select a domain as the target, the software application or patch configuration is replicated in all the distribution servers irrespective of whether the client computers require the configuration or not.
For example, if you have 5 distribution servers and you require a patch to be deployed to 3 computers at one remote location, you should select that remote office when choosing a target. This will ensure that the patches will be replicated only to the distribution server of that remote office, thus optimizing your bandwidth. If you have to deploy a patch to computers in more than one remote office, you can use the Add More Targets button to add multiple remote offices as targets.
If you are using an Internet connection with limited bandwidth for your remote offices, it is important that you control the bandwidth to ensure that it is used efficiently. You can configure data-transfer rate as required. Configuring the data-transfer rate will increase the time taken to transfer the data from the Desktop Central server to a distibution server in a remote location.