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Server Requirements

Multiple, Load-Balanced Servers

Hitachi ID Group Manager supports multiple, load-balanced servers.

Each server can host multiple Group Manager instances, each with its own users, target systems, features and policies.

Server Platform

Group Manager must be installed on a Windows 2012 server.

Installing on a Windows server allows Group Manager to leverage client software for most types of target systems, which is available only on the "Wintel" platform. In turn, this makes it possible for Group Manager to manage passwords and accounts on target systems without installing a server-side agent.

The Group Manager server must also be configured with a web server. Since the Group Manager application is implemented as CGI executables, any web server will work. The Group Manager installation program can detect and automatically configure IIS but Apache can be manually configured instead if required.

Group Manager is a security application and should be locked down accordingly. Please refer to the Hitachi ID Systems document about hardening Group Manager servers to learn how to do this. In short, most of the native Windows services can and should be removed, leaving a very small attack surface, with exactly one inbound TCP/IP port (443):

  1. No ASP, JSP or PHP are used, so such engines should be disabled.
  2. .NET is not required on the web portal and in most cases can be disabled on IIS.
  3. No ODBC or DCOM are required inbound, so these services should be filtered or disabled.
  4. File sharing (inbound, outbound) should be disabled.
  5. Remote registry services should be disabled.
  6. Inbound TCP/IP connections should be firewalled, allowing only port 443 and possibly remote desktop services (often required for some configuration tasks), plus a handful of port numbers between Group Manager servers, for replication.

Each Group Manager server requires a database instance. SQL 2012 is the most common options, but Oracle database is also supported in the current release.

Server Configuration

Production Group Manager application servers are normally configured as follows:

  • Hardware requirements or equivalent VM capacity:
    • An Intel Xeon or similar CPU. Multi-core CPUs are supported and leveraged.
    • At least 8GB RAM -- 16GB or more is typical for a server.
    • At least 500GB disk, preferably configured as RAID for reliability and preferably larger for retention of more historical and log data. More disk is always better, to increase log retention.
    • At least one Gigabit Ethernet NIC.

  • Operating system:
    • Windows 2012R2 Server, with current service packs.
    • The server should not normally be a domain controller and in most deployments is not a domain member.

  • Installed and tested software on the server:
    • TCP/IP networking, with a static IP address and DNS name.
    • Web server (usually IIS).
    • Client software: web browser, Acrobat or other PDF reader, native clients for the systems that Group Manager needs to interface with.
    • SQL Server client or Oracle client to connect to the Group Manager back-end database.
    • SSL server certificate, for HTTPS connections to the web portal and SOAP API.

  • A database instance is required to host the Group Manager schema. Most customers use Microsoft SQL Server 2012, but Oracle 11gR2 is also supported. The SQL Server database software can be deployed on the same server as the Group Manager application, as this reduces hardware cost and allows application administrators full DBA access for troubleshooting and performance tuning purposes.

In addition to a web/application server, Group Manager requires a database server. In most environments, the database server software (Microsoft SQL Server or Oracle Database Server) is installed on the same hardware or VM as the Group Manager software, on each Group Manager server node. This reduces hardware cost, eliminates network latency and reduces the security surface of the combined solution.

Database I/O performance on a virtualized filesystem (e.g., VMDK or equivalent) may not be ideal. If a VM is used to host the database server software, please consider a NAS or SAN solution for disk I/O.

Group Manager can leverage an existing database server cluster. Hitachi ID Systems recommends a dedicated database server instance, however, for a number of reasons:

  1. The data managed by Group Manager is extremely sensitive, so it is desirable to minimize the number of DBAs who can access it (despite use of encryption).
  2. MSSQL and Oracle have limited ability to isolate workloads between database instances on the same server. This means that a burst of activity from Group Manager (as happens during nightly auto-discovery) would cause slow responses in other applications. Conversely, other applications experiencing high DB load would slow down Group Manager.
  3. Group Manager already includes real-time, fault-tolerant, WAN-friendly, encrypted database replication between application nodes, each with its own back-end database. Use of an expensive DB server cluster is neither required nor beneficial.
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