Planning a Basic RMS Topology

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

The basic RMS topology consists of one or more physical servers that serve as the root cluster. This cluster is used for certification, licensing, and publishing in the organization. For all but the smallest of deployments, multiple physical servers are typically configured as a cluster behind a single cluster URL. This cluster is created by provisioning the first server to create the root cluster server, and then adding servers to the cluster until you have scaled up to the number of root certification and licensing servers that you need to support your projected activity. The following figure illustrates this topology.

Basic topology

When you join servers to a cluster, they share the same configuration and logging databases, which are SQL Server databases. SQL Server can reside either on the root cluster server or on a separate server.

Either a software-based or hardware-based load balancer should be set up across all servers in the root cluster. All requests for certificates and licenses are passed to the root cluster through the common cluster URL that you specify during the configuration of the first server in the cluster.

If you will be supporting a small number of clients, you can set up RMS on a single server with a local database. The server is responsible for all certification and licensing in the organization. This configuration provides a single point of failure, so regular backups of your configuration are recommended.