Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1 Release Notes

Article:DOC1181  |  Created: 2006-08-03  |  Updated: 2007-02-01  |  Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/DOC1181
Article Type
Documentation


Description



Question
What do I need to know about the Altiris® Inventory Pack™ for Servers 6.1 release?

Answer

Altiris® Inventory Pack™ for Servers 6.1

Release Notes

What is Inventory Pack for Servers?

Inventory Pack for Servers Documentation

What's New in this Release

Things to Know for 6.1

Installation and Upgrade

Known Issues

Additional Information

Documentation History

What is Inventory Pack for Servers?

Altiris® Inventory Pack™ for Servers is an application designed to meet the demands of today's diverse network environments. It gathers comprehensive server-related software and hardware data from virtually any Windows 32-bit server. A variety of deployment and data collection options makes Inventory Pack for Servers work in any environment.

To help maximize your investment, Inventory Pack for Servers goes beyond simple data gathering. It provides various tools, such as a Web-based management console, professional quality Web reports, and tasks to alert you of critical information. These tools help you transform your inventory data into useful information.

In Inventory Pack for Servers, a special emphasis has been placed on the ease of deployment and small agent size. Inventory Pack for Servers provides a comprehensive inventory for Windows servers.

Inventory Pack for Servers Documentation

Documentation for Inventory Pack for Servers is available as help files from the Altiris Console in localized languages or as a comprehensive package.
 
The help guide (InventoryServers.pdf and InventoryServers.chm) and the reference guide (InventoryServersRef.pdf and InventoryServersRef.chm) are available in the Server Inventory/Docs directory. You can also access these guides from the Help menu of the Altiris Console.

What is New in this Release

Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1 has provided many features for collecting inventory of the various server resources available in the customer's organization. The features include:

 Feature Description

  1. A single Server Inventory task to collect inventory for servers
A single Server Inventory task is provided to collect inventory of all server-related components from managed computers. By default, this Server Inventory task is disabled. After you enable and apply the task, a package containing all the necessary files to collect the server inventory is sent to all managed computers of the default All 32-bit Windows Servers collection.
  1. A separate Server Inventory task to re-create the inventory for servers

On the Tasks tabview of the Altiris Console, a new Server definition file with Cleanbeforerun program is added in the Program Name drop-down list. Running this program on the target computers, removes all the existing *.NSI and *.BAK files from the Altiris\eXpress\Server Inventory directory before running the AeXServerInventory.exe file.

Using this program, a full inventory for servers is re-created.

Note: Instead of selecting this program, you can select the Server Inventory definition files program and add the \cleanbeforerun switch to the command in the Command line field.

  1. Collecting inventory from unmanaged computers
On the unmanaged target computer, run the AeXWebSrvInvPkg.exe file from the following location: \\NSName\NSCap\Bin\Win32\X86. The AeXWebSrvInvPkg.exe scans the unmanaged target computers for server components. After the scanning is complete, the data is posted to the Notification Server.
  1. Collecting Win32 Server Inventory in Standalone Mode
In the Altiris Console, the Standalone Win32 Server Inventory page provides instructions for running the Server Inventory task on the target computers in a standalone mode. Using the options on this page, you can run the Server Inventory task without installing the Altiris Agent.
  1. Package Multicast option is available

    For the Server Inventory task, the Package Multicast option is provided. On the Task tabview, the Disable download via multicast check box is added for the Server Inventory task. Clearing this check box downloads a package on the target computer through multicast.

    Multicasting improves Package Server performance on large networks using significant amounts of network bandwidth. It protects Package Servers from being overloaded and prevents slow network responses when distributing large packages. Multicasting also reduces the load on Package Servers by reducing the number of Altiris Agents that connect to the Package Server. It also decreases network utilization by multicasting package data to peers.

  1. Unicode Support

All the components in Inventory Pack for Servers are Unicode-enabled.

  1. Server Components

The Server Inventory task collects information for the following server components:

  1. Microsoft IIS ServerReports the various Web-related services that are configured on the IIS (Internet Information Server) Web server of a client computer. Supported versions include IIS 5.0 or later.

  2. Microsoft SQL ServerReports the SQL Server version installed on a client computer. Supported versions include Microsoft* SQL Server 2000 and 2005.

  3. System DSNs—Reports the System Data Source Names created on a client computer.

  4. VMWare GSX ServerReports the Virtual Machine environments present on a client computer. Inventory Pack for Servers supports VMWare GSX Server 3.1.0 and 3.1.1 installed only on Windows platform.

  5. Microsoft Exchange Server and Active Directory—Reports the Exchange Server and Active Directory on a client computer. Supported versions include Microsoft Exchange Server 2000 and 2003.

  6. SCSI Controllers—Reports the SCSI controller installed on a client computer.

  7. Windows Components—Reports the components installed on a client computer.

  8. Network Configuration—Reports the network configuration details on a client computer.

  9. DHCP Server—Reports the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server running on a client computer.

  10. DNS Server—Reports the Domain Name System (DNS) server running on a client computer.

  1. Real-Time View for .NSI Files

The AeXNsiViewer6Plus (Location: \\NSName\NSCap\Bin\Win32\X86\Server Inventory) can be used to view .NSI files in real time. On target computers, the .NSI files are created in the install path\Altiris\eXpress\Server Inventory directory.

  1. Separate Packages for Reports, Documentation, and Solutions

Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1 provide Reports, Documentation, and Solutions through separate install packages. Each of these install packages can be downloaded from the Altiris Solution Center.

  1. Posting data on Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)

Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1 can post data on Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). To post the data on SSL, the /url command-line switch for Server Inventory task or Inventory Pack for Servers Web Package can be modified as /url \"https:\\NSName\aexns\postevent.asp\". The NSName is the Notification Server name where data needs to be posted.

Note: If the SSL certificate is configured incorrectly, the information about the connection validation error is logged into a client log file.

Things to Know for 6.1

 Things to Know

  1. Inventory Pack for Servers has a separate license pool

Inventory Pack for Servers maintains a separate license pool. Both the managed and unmanaged computers that are scanned with Inventory Pack for Servers consume the licenses from the Inventory Pack for Servers license pool.

  1. AeXInvSrvConfig.xml and schema.xml

Modifying the AeXInvSrvConfig.xml or schema.xml files may cause Inventory Pack for Servers to malfunction.

  1. The ALTINVSRV e-mail profile

When collecting inventory from the target computers with Microsoft Exchange Server installed, Inventory Pack for Servers creates an ALTINVSRV e-mail profile on the target computers. This e-mail profile is used to log on to the Exchange Server mailbox store. The ALTINVSRV e-mail profile remains on the target computer while the Server Inventory task of Inventory Pack for Servers is running. Upon completion of the Server Inventory task, the ALTINVSRV e-mail profile is deleted from the target computer.

Note: Manually deleting the ALTINVSRV e-mail profile may result in the malfunctioning of Inventory Pack for Servers.

  1. The services for the server components should be running

To successfully collect the inventory for the supported server components, the corresponding services for the server components should be running on the target computer. Example: To report the inventory for VMWare, VMWare services should be running on the target computer.

  1. WMI service is started automatically if it is not running

Inventory Pack for Servers uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) service on a target computer to retrieve inventory for some of the data classes. If this service is not running on a target computer, an attempt is made to start this service. After the inventory is collected, the WMI service is restored to its previous state.

  1. Permissions required to gather the Microsoft Exchange Server inventory

To successfully collect inventory for Microsoft Exchange Server, a user account that is used to run the Server Inventory task on a target computer should satisfy the following requirements:

  • The user should be a member of the Active Directory, to which the Exchange Server refers.

  • The user should have a minimum Exchange View Only Administrator privilege on the Exchange Server. For information, see To assign the Exchange View Only Administrator privilege.

  • If the Exchange Server is installed on a Domain Controller computer, the user should also be a part of the Administrator group in the Active Directory to which the Exchange Server refers.

  • If the Domain Controller and the Exchange Server are on different computers, the Specified User for which the Server Inventory task is to be executed should have Allow Logon locally rights on that Exchange Server computer. See To assign logon locally rights to a user.

  • The user should have a mailbox configured on the Exchange Server to be scanned for inventory
    Note: You must create a separate user with a mailbox on each Exchange Server in the network.

Supported Methods and permissions for collecting Exchange Server Inventory

  • Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI): If you use this method for collecting Exchange Server inventory in the AeX Srv Exchange Mailboxes data class and if a target computer has Microsoft Exchange Server* 2003 installed on it, the Server Inventory task in Inventory Pack for Servers requires the user account that satisfies the first four requirements from the above requirements.

  • Messaging Application Programming Interface (MAPI): If you use this method for collecting the Exchange Server Inventory using the /useMAPI switch, the Server Inventory task in Inventory Pack for Servers requires a user account that satisfies all the requirements.

Note:

  • WMI is the default method for collecting Microsoft Exchange Server* 2003 inventory, whereas MAPI is the default for collecting Exchange Server* 2000 inventory.
  • To collect the inventory of servers using Altiris Inventory Pack for Servers Web Package (AeXWebSrvInvPkg.exe), log on to a target computer using the user account that satisfies the above requirements.

Scenario: Suppose you want to collect Exchange Server Mailboxes inventory from the Child Domain computer, using /useMAPI switch. Active Directory and Exchange Server 2000/2003 are installed on the Child Domain computer, and Exchange Server is referring to the Active Directory on the Child Domain.

In the above scenario, the Server Inventory task requires a user account that satisfies the following requirements:

  • The user should be a member of the Active Directory on the child domain.

  • The user should also be a part of the Administrator group in the Active Directory on the child domain with a minimum Exchange View Only Administrator privilege.

To assign the Exchange View Only Administrator privilege
  1. On Exchange Server 2003, start the Exchange System Manager by selecting Start > All Programs > Microsoft Exchange > System Manager.

  2. In the left pane of the Exchange System Manager console, right-click an Administrative Group and select Delegate control.
    The Exchange Administration Delegation Wizard starts.

  3. On the Welcome wizard page, click the Next button.

  4. On the Users or Groups wizard page, click Add to add a user who is in the local administrator group on that Exchange Server computer.

  5. From the Role drop-down list, select Exchange View Only Administrator.

  6. Click Next.

  7. Click Finish.

To assign logon locally rights to a user

  1. On the Exchange Server computer, select Start > All Programs > Administrative Tools > Domain Security Policy.

  2. In the left pane of Domain Security Policy window, select Local Policies > User Rights Assignment.

  3. In the right pane, select Allow logon locally.

  4. Click the Add Users and Group button, and add a user or a group from the list.

To configure the Server Inventory task to run with administrator rights

  1. In the Altiris Console, click the Tasks tab.

  2. In the left pane, select Tasks > Asset and Inventory > Inventory > Windows > Inventory Tasks > Server Inventory.

  3. In the right pane, click the Go To Program link.

  4. On the Programs tabview of the Inventory Pack for Servers Agent Package page, click New to create a new program.

  5. Enter the name for the program. Example: Exchange Server Inventory.

  6. From the Server Inventory Definition Files or Server Definition File with CleanBeforeRun program, copy the information in the Command Line field and paste it in the Command Line field of the newly created program.

  7. From the Run with rights drop-down list, select Specified User.

  8. Enter the user details for the Exchange User account created earlier.

  9. From the Program can run drop-down list, select Whether or not a user is logged on.

  10. Click Apply, and close the Inventory Pack for Servers Agent Package window.

To gather the Exchange Server inventory

  1. Start the Altiris Console by selecting Start > Programs > Altiris > Altiris Console.

  2. Create a collection that contains the exchange server from which you want to gather the inventory.

  3. In the Altiris Console, configure the Server Inventory task. See To configure the Server Inventory task.

  4. In the left pane of the Altiris Console, right-click the Server Inventory task and select Clone to clone the task.

  5. Enter the name for the cloned task. Example: Server Inventory - ALID-EX2.

  6. In the left pane, select the newly cloned task.

  7. In the right pane, select the program from the Program Name drop-down list created earlier.

  8. In the Applies to collections section, select the collection created above.

  9. Set the schedule to run the task.

  10. Select Enable check box for the task.

  11. Click Apply.
    Verify that the package runs with the given rights by manually running the task from the server.
  1. Permissions required to gather the Microsoft SQL Server inventory

To successfully collect the inventory for Microsoft SQL Server, you should run the Server Inventory task on target computers using the user account that has administrator’s rights for the SQL server.

  1. No need for data class normalization

    Inventory Pack for Servers data classes cannot be normalized. To view the inventory reports, you are not required to normalize the data classes.

  1. No support for SMS

Inventory Pack for Servers cannot be integrated with Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS).

  1. Re-create Full Inventory task does not perform Server Inventory

Altiris® Inventory Solution® for Windows 6.1 and Altiris® Inventory Pack™ for Servers 6.1 are two separate products. Therefore, the Re-create Full Inventory task of Inventory Solution for Windows 6.1 that is used for collecting the full inventory does not perform the Server Inventory task when applied to the target computer.

  1. VM GUID and MAC address for virtual machines

A GSX VMWare server generates the VM GUID and the MAC address for a virtual machine, when it is powered on for the first time. Virtual machines that have never been powered on at any time do not have VM GUID and MAC address. For such virtual machines, the VM GUID column of AeX Srv VMWare Clients data class is reported blank and the MAC Address column of AeX Srv VMWare Client NIC Settings data class is reported as No MAC address has been assigned yet.

  1. IIS Web Service Extensions and Application Pools

    The data classes AeX Srv IIS Web Service Extensions and AeX Srv IIS Application Pools are applicable only if the target computer has IIS 6.0 or later version installed. However, if any vendor-specific web service extensions (example: VMWare GSX Server's web service extensions) are present on the target computer then those will be reported irrespective of the IIS version. The vendor-specific web service extensions cannot be viewed on the IIS 5.0 and 5.5 manager console.

  1. In the AeX Srv IIS Web Site Details data class some columns report information only if a particular IIS version is installed on the target computers

In the AeX Srv IIS Web Site Details data class, the columns Process Throttling Enabled, Maximum CPU Use Percentage, and Enforce Process Throttling report information only if the target computer has IIS 5.0 installed and the column Dot Net Passport Authentication Enabled reports information only if the target computer has IIS 6.0 or later installed.

Note: The Dot Net Passport Authentication Enabled column reports "NA" if the target computer has installed IIS earlier than 6.0.

  1. The memory allocated for SQL Server 2000 is reported as 2,147,483,647 bytes

When SQL server 2000 is installed on the target computer, it is configured to dynamically allocate the server memory by default. The maximum memory for this allocation is considered as the total memory of the target computer. SQL server internally sets this maximum memory limit to 2,147,483,647 bytes (approximate 2 GB). In this particular case, Inventory Pack for Servers reports this value as maximum allocated memory when reporting the Memory Allocated (MB) column of the AeX Srv MS SQL Server data class.

  1. In Inventory Pack for Servers, the columns reporting the date information  report blank if the information could not be retrieved

In Inventory Pack for Servers, the following columns from the mentioned data classes report date information to the Notification Server:

AeX Srv Exchange Mailbox

  • Last Logon Time

  • Last Logoff Time

AeX Srv Exchange Users

  • Last Logon Time

  • Password Last Changed Date

  • Password Expiration Date

AeX Srv VMWare Client Snapshot Settings

  • Last Snapshot Time

The above columns report blank if the information could not be retrieved.

  1. The beta version of Inventory Pack for Servers must be uninstalled before installing Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1

Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1 does not support upgrading from Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1 Beta. Therefore, if Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1 Beta is already installed on your computer, it must be uninstalled before installing Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1.

Installation and Upgrade

Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1 can be obtained at http://www.altiris.com/Download.aspx. Inventory Pack for Servers is a full product installation. To install Inventory Pack for Servers for the first time, go through the Altiris Solution Center and install Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1. Please back up your database first and have license files available.

Prerequisites

  • Altiris® Notification Server™ software 6.0 SP3 or later
  • Altiris® Inventory Solution® for Windows 6.1 or later

On the target computer

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
  • Windows 2000 Server, 2000 Advanced Server, or Windows Server 2003 editions

On the Notification Server

  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 or later
  • Altiris® Inventory Solution® for Windows 6.1 or later

New installation

  1. On the Notification Server, start the Altiris Console.
  2. Click the Configuration tab.
  3. In the left pane, click Upgrade/Install Additional Solutions.
  4. In the right pane, click the Available Solutions tab.
  5. Click the Solutions button.
  6. Select Altiris Inventory Pack for Servers.
  7. Click Start. This installs Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1 to the Notification Server.

Known Issues

The following are unresolved issues and workaround instructions for issues in this release:

 Known Issue Article ID
The Count of CPUs column of AeX Srv VMWare Clients data class is reported only for the virtual machines that are running 27651
AeX Srv DHCP Scopes and AeX Srv DHCP Options data classes incorrectly report the values that have double quotes 27652
The reported version of the DHCP server does not match with the DHCP version given in the About dialog of the DHCP server 27713
Server Inventory task for Inventory Pack for Servers generates warning messages in a log file on the Notification Server 27715
Running only the Server Inventory task on target computers does not display the information for Virtual Machine Memory Allocation by Host report 27716
The VM IP Address column in the Count of Virtual Machine by connection Type report is displayed blank 27805
The /URL command line switch for AeXServerInventory.exe requires the http URL start with \" and end with \" 27806
Posting data on a SSL Enabled server (HTTPS) works if the HTTPS URL is specified using backslash (\) 27807
No 64-bit support 27888
Traces in a log file 27891
The Exchange-Active Directory report User Login Detail does not report the user’s true last logon time because the lastLogon attribute of AD is not replicated throughout the domain to other domain controllers. 31863

Additional Documentation

Altiris product documentation is available in Microsoft HTML Help (.CHM) and Adobe Acrobat (.PDF) formats. To view Altiris product documentation in .PDF format, use Adobe Acrobat Reader (available at: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html).

Documentation files are installed in the following directory on the Notification Server computer: i
nstall path\Altiris\Notification Server\NSCap\Help

The following documentation is provided with Inventory Pack for Servers 6.1

InventoryServers.pdf
InventoryServers.chm

You can access documentation from the Altiris Console by clicking the following icons in the upper-right corner of the console:

  Access the contextual online help by clicking the online help icon.
   Access an index of all installed help by clicking the index icon.

Altiris Information Resources

Source What Information it Includes Where to Find it
Altiris Documentation Information about new features, update instructions, and known issues for each release. Includes Altiris formal documentation, such as Release Notes, Help, Reference Guides, Best Practice Articles, and Technical Reference Articles. http://www.altiris.com/support/documentation
Altiris Knowledgebase Comprehensive collection of articles, incidents, and issues for Altiris solutions. http://kb.altiris.com/
Altiris Juice: an online magazine for Altiris users Best Practices, tips and tricks, and articles for users of Altiris solutions. http://www.altiris.com/juice
Online Forums Forums for Altiris solutions and suites. http://forums.altiris.com/

Document History

 Date  Changes
08/07/06 Draft
- Initial Release
10/05/06 Updated Known Issues
01/23/07 Checked and updated information


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Article URL http://www.symantec.com/docs/DOC1181


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