Hi Berthold, for full disclosure, I'm in the Cisco Services org (formerly Advanced Services), my team consults with customers on designs, implementation and optimization of CiscoWorks NCM (and our other NM products).
NCM can run as a standalone system. If you have a smaller deployment (<4000 devices) you can use the embedded MySQL database. This would be a one server deployment.
If you're running a larger deployment OR if you want High Availability (redudant databases that do replication), then you would go up to Oracle or MS SQL Server. In that scenario you'd have 2 app servers and 2 database servers. We've done engagements scaling up to 30k and we can do more.
There's another feature called 'Horizontal Scalability' that allows for multiple app servers to talk to single database servers. This feature allows even more scalability, but it requires a thoughtful design process, especially if you're combining HA and HS.
I'm not sure of the maximum limit of devices, but I know of a customer up to 60k managed devices.
My platform preference is Linux, Solaris, then Windows. However, it is equally supported on all.
It can also be run on VMware ESX if you want/need to virtualize Linux or Windows.
I think it's great. However our partner that OEMs the product to us requires the end-user to double CPU and Memory for the same managed device count when using VMware virtualization. [Don't shoot the messenger, please]
There are other benefits like snapshots. So if you were to install a driver pack or hot-fix you could snapshot before the change - make the change, then see how things worked. If it was not working as expected, you could roll back to the earlier snapshot. It's a nice feature.
This also requires some careful consideration. If you have a lot of managed devices and do a lot of changes or run frequent diagnostics, then you're going to be hitting that database a lot. So if your database/disk is 'remote' you have to think about things like - FiberChannel interface speed (1, 2, 4, 8 Gbps), raw IOPS, LUN sizing and RAID performance. It's the same type of consideration you need to make for any app you put on a NAS. I've had good success with it.
We are pleased to announce availability of Beta software for 16.6.3. 16.6.3 will be the second rebuild on the 16.6 release train targeted towards Catalyst 9500/9400/9300/3850/3650 switching platforms. We are looking for early feedback from custome...