Sizing and deployment considerations

To plan the sizing and deployment, you must consider the size of BMC HR Case Management environment that includes BMC Remedy Action Request System Server, BMC Remedy Mid Tier, and the databases. 

This following sections in this topic gives guidance about estimating the number of concurrent users, graphic representation of small-scale and large-scale deployment, things to consider during virtualization, and so on:

Use cases and value paths

Before you can determine sizing, you must understand the business and organizational requirements and use cases for each solution—number of users, transaction types and quantity, and customizations (for HR services and knowledge bases) that impact sizing. The following examples describe use cases, and factors that can impact sizing:

  • Heavy case volume from issues management
  • HR knowledge base management and Full Text Search (FTS)
  • Large numbers of HR service catalog items (solutions)
  • Integrations

Sizing your environment

The BMC Remedy Action Request System (BMC Remedy AR System) and BMC Remedy Mid Tier (Mid Tier) servers scale better horizontally than vertically. Although adding resources such as CPUs and memory to a server might be tempting, testing has shown a point of diminishing returns on performance in doing so. Scaling horizontally by adding more servers to a server group results in better and more consistent performance than scaling vertically.

You can configure BMC HR Case Management in a load-balanced environment to direct user interactions to the load-balanced BMC Remedy AR System mid tier and BMC Remedy AR System servers while assigning dedicated non-user functions and responsibilities to specific instances of the BMC Remedy AR System Server. For example, escalations, integrations, reconciliations, and notifications can be separated from "user" servers to ensure that these services do not impact user activity. This is a reliable way to provide consistent high-performance services as well as scale the installation safely.

Similar to dedicated BMC AR System Servers for nonuser-related functions, additional dedicated servers at the web tier should be considered if web services are implemented for BMC HR Case Management.
In a BMC Remedy AR System server group, the host computers do not all require the same processing power and memory. For example, the back-end servers can use servers with more or less processing power and memory.

Sizing in virtualization

Current sizing is based on CPU cores from physical hardware, not virtualization. Be aware that with hypervisor-based x86/x64 systems such as VMware ESX Server using multicore, multithreaded processors, hyperthreading can increase the number of virtual CPUs displayed and made available to the ESX Server. Assuming that a vCPU has the same processing power as a CPU core could negatively impact capacity planning.

Ensure that the following virtualization features are configured properly.

  • Priorities related to resource pools (Do the BMC applications deployed in a virtual environment have the proper priority?)
  • Distributed Resource Scheduling (DRS)
  • VMware vMotion
  • Affinity

If necessary, consult your virtualization expert for more details.

BMC Remedy Mid Tier servers and web infrastructure

Use at least two BMC Remedy Mid Tier servers to provide high availability and failover capability. Deploy the same number of mid tier servers as the number of "user loaded" BMC Remedy AR System servers. This assumes the AR System servers and mid tier servers are sized appropriately.

BMC Remedy AR System Server

BMC Remedy AR System Server operates as a 64-bit multithreaded processor, and can support up to 3,000 concurrent users per server. In  BSM performance and scalability tests, the memory footprint of the 3,000 concurrent users of the BMC Remedy AR System Server and the mid tier server is stable at about 2 to 3 GB. In practice, however, the memory footprint can grow to 10 GB or more. The memory sizes, listed in the sizing baselines*, are the correct starting points.

BMC previously advised that 60 or 70 threads be considered the upper limit for all threads in total. The BSM performance white paper  shows that significantly higher thread settings can be preferable. The correct way to tune threads is to use API Thread % Idle Time = 0s values from an API log analysis to find out what needs to be increased or can be decreased. If you can restart the server with thread logging on, you can observe when new threads are started up.

Estimating the number of concurrent users

The number of concurrent users depends on the total end-user population, and on the way the system is used. For example, with the BMC HR Case Management application, if only a few HR services (external solutions) are deployed, the number of concurrent users is low. If a large number of HR services are deployed, the system experiences a higher load.

The number of concurrent users is best established by looking at the load on the existing system that is being replaced or upgraded. In the absence of this data, use the following guidelines to create an initial estimate on the number of concurrent users. These guidelines give estimates rather than accurate numbers.

Type of user

Number of concurrent users

HR agent

10 percent of HR staff

Self-service employee

1 – 2 percent of total population

HR administrator

1 percent of HR staff

For example, if you have an HR staff of 90 employees, all of whom use the BMC HR Case Management, you can assume that about 9 of them are concurrent at any time. Similarly, if you have 100,000 employees who are using BMC MyIT to request HR services (External Solutions), the concurrent count can vary from 1,000 (1 percent) to 2,000 (2 percent). You must evaluate this high variance based on your plans to roll out HR services. If you intend to host many HR services on the BMC HR Case Management, use the high count. If you plan to limit the number of HR services, use a smaller count.

Scalability for the HR knowledge base

BMC HR Case Management 4.7 uses the FTS service provided by BMC Remedy AR System for indexing. This requires the indexer to run on one of servers of the BMC Remedy AR System in a server group. Since this indexer consumes CPU, run it on a back end AR System Server (which is typically not serving online user traffic). The index should be local and not on a shared storage (NAS/SAN).

In addition to the indexer, each of the AR System servers in the server group has a service that reads information from the common index. This can also consume CPU cycles, thereby reducing the performance of the AR System server where the indexer resides. In general, the larger the size of the index is, the greater the effect on scalability.

Databases considerations

You might choose to host product installations on a single physical server, or on separate servers, or tiers. The decision is based on multiple factors, including but to limited to hardware and licensing costs, performance, administration and maintenance efforts, and security requirements.

Best practices

  • Do not run databases on virtualized hardware.
  • Do not place a firewall between the AR System servers and the databases. The extra processing time that a firewall takes to analyze each packet causes a delay. This delay, with the additional unnecessary network hop, creates a transaction response time that will be unacceptable to most users.

Small-scale deployment model

The following diagram illustrates a generic, small-scale deployment suitable for up to 50 concurrent users.

Gliffy Macro Error

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Large-scale deployment model

The following diagram illustrates a generic, large-scale deployment suitable for up to 150 concurrent users.

Gliffy Macro Error

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Integration methods and data flows

The following diagram illustrates the integration methods, and data flow specific to BMC HR Case Management for a large-scale deployment.

Where to go from here

Installation overview

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Comments

  1. Gene Manuel

    There is a Giffy Macro Error displaying for the Small and Large Deployment Model


    Jul 16, 2018 10:18