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Support Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2/Core mode under NS6 Solutions

Created: 19 Jun 2009 • Updated: 03 Jan 2011 | 23 comments
KSchroeder's picture
36 Agree
3 Disagree
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Status: Already Offered

I suspect I'm not alone in this...Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2/Core are definitely on our short-term radar.  What is a bit of a longer-term upgrade is NS7/CMS7/LSS/RS7.  We're going to need support for Windows 7 / Server 2008 R2 in NS6.  Hopefully the underlying OS architectures of Win7 and Server 2008R2 (GUI mode) is close enough to Vista that it would not be a monumental effort to make the NS6 Altiris Agent work under these OSes(certainly it would seem easier than building a fully functional Agent for Server 2008 Core mode installation....which our server guys are also chomping at the bit for!). 

9/29/09 - updated to include Server 2008 R2/Core mode notes

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jharings's picture

running a R10 agent. Not sure what is all supported. I notice the inventory wasn't running, but that may be because of how the inventory tasks were assigned (I was just 'passing through').

Jim Harings
HP Enterprise Services
1st Rule of Connect Club: Mark the post that helped you the most as a 'solution'. 2nd Rule of Connect Club:You must talk about Connect club.

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PeeGee's picture

The out of the box collections currently don't recognize Win7, that's why the Inventory Policies won't work with out-of-the-box settings.
Certainly we'll need Win 7 support for Altiris version 6 as well, as it will still take quite some time before Asset/CMDB and ServiceDesk customers can migrate to version 7.

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robertser's picture

Our company will be adopting Win 7 early in 2010 and we will have over 100 test machines running it in 2009.  Since Asset/CMDB and Local Security Solution will not be out for Altiris 7 till late this year we will not be able to upgrade to Altiris 7 until Feb/March at the earliest.
 

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jjesse's picture

At least on the DS side, and SP3 is currently in Beta.  Not much of a help

Jonathan Jesse Practice Principal ITS Partners

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adtlink's picture

 Question for you.  When do you anticipate migration to Windows 7?

Andy

Andy Taylor Manager Program Management Beta, EOOC Symantec

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PeeGee's picture

Ourselves and our customers will have Win7 boxes from the moment on, the new OS is being released. Those will be in test use and possibly in use by  IT pros. If Win7 turns out to be usable and the needed applications function (Anti-virus, productivity software, etc.) more computers will be migrated to Win7. At the moment I am especially keen in getting rid of our Vista installations and getting Win7 instead on the existing powerful hardware.
IF the according infrastructure software (Altiris) supports Win7, then the migration will happen earlier (after about 3 month testing period), otherwise it will be postponed until some migration software is available, so we are in a hen-egg situation.

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KSchroeder's picture

We'll probably start "dipping out toes in" by the end of the calendar year, and hopefully have some sort of testing build by late winter, but nothing wide-spread until spring most likely, and even then it would be on an attrition basis as users get new PCs for lifecycle management.

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Kyle
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adtlink's picture

Thanks PeeGee, and Kyle,

Our research is in-line with what you are saying.  We have heard similar information from other customers.  On average, we are seeing partial adoption by spring, and then full adoption of 7, 2H10, or beginning summer of next year.  Also, we see the same movement to displace Vista, or skip vista altogether, and migrate from XP.   

Andy Taylor Manager Program Management Beta, EOOC Symantec

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telegon's picture

Andy,

We're piloting 100 users in the end of October, and will complete a company-wide migration to Windows 7 by spring of 2010.  This is due to a legal requirement for drive encryption, which goes into effect January 1st.  -Jim

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KSchroeder's picture

That being said, we'll need Win7 support in NS6 as soon after release as possible, so we can begin our testing efforts with final code.  Certainly there have been many occurrences before where one application worked fine on a "release candidate" build, but the shipping code was a different matter altogether.

Thanks,
Kyle
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RichC's picture

figure i'll chime in on this as well...

our group is already running off of Windows 7 (we guinea pig ourselves), but we're hesitant to roll out many more beta testers until we can actually patch and recover them with Altiris...whether it be 6 or 7.  Last I heard we're looking at possibly the end of Q1 before we can do this which certainly is putting the brakes on any sort of transition.  I'm very much hoping that an update will come out sooner than that to allow us to move forward at least a little bit.

--->    i'm no stranger to slack, but i'm not a slacker

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michael.woolbright's picture

We will begin test deployments of Windows 7 in Q4 2009 in order to begin rollout during Q1 and Q2 2010.

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ravenzod's picture

Since Win7 has been out since 07 Aug 2009 on Microsoft Volume Licensing we have already installed a few pilot boxes to do the initial monkey testing. It's a bit disappointing to see Altiris did not release any Win7 beta support so far, since the Win7 Beta and RC have been out for so long.

We've been on XP for a long time and looked at Vista but decided to skip it. Our hardware is definately ready for Win7 and we might decide to do a full migration early 2010. In order to get that far we need Altiris v6 support for Win7 asap, since it looks like not al v7 Altiris NS solutions will be available on time.

Anyway, before such a migration we need inventory and patch running on our Win7 "production" pilot boxes as next to our internet-connected domain we also have an "offline" domain that we need to keep updated.

We would definately be in the market for beta-testing Win7 support through the NS console and client agent.

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Sean.B's picture

Has there been any news on when we can see an update for the NS6?

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datadrudge's picture

"Win7 has been out since 07 Aug 2009 on Microsoft Volume Licensing " --Symantec, what are you thinking?!!! Q2 2010 --you've got to be kidding... You should already have support for this in Client Management Suite. Please, please address this.

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SDenure's picture

We are currently piloting Windows 7 Enterprise 32-bit within our environment. As an earlier poster stated, yes the oob collections do not support Windows 7, but we were able to include our Windows 7 devices by collection manipulation. Lack of detailed inventory reporting within NS6 SP3 R10 has currently put the brakes on any future derployments. On the devices currently deployed win Windows XP and below we were getting very detailed inventory reports, serial number, manufacturer, model, etc., which we then use for feeding an Intranet application for viewing by by all senior management of all departments/divisions. Unfortunately, Windows 7 does not return this type of info, as not all components of the Inventory Solution execute. I definitely agree with datadrudge as this OS is being touted as the replacement to XP and enterprise customers are currently in testing as the OS is live. Unfortunately, we as an enterprise customer need to test now, and the only true test is not in a small lab; but select production devices. We are highly disappointed in the engagement by the Symantec development team in the support of this new OS.

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Sean.B's picture

Windows 7 has been out for several months now and yet Symantec has not yet released any sort of update. This is not only hurting customers but hurting Symantec since products like SCCM have been supporting Windows 7 since last year. This does not go unnoticed by our management and makes it increasingly harder for us to justify staying with Altiris. As much as I love the product we have to face the facts and do what is best for our business.

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Jan Trnka's picture

I fully agree with you, Sean - we must be from the same company :o)

As per AKB50708, Windows 7 support is planned for Q2 this year, which makes positioning Altiris agains SCCM very difficult for everybody.

Since not all solutions are migrated to SMP7 and "stabilized" enough (I mean at least SP1 is out), we must stay on NS6 for a year at minimum. Also due to large size of our enterprize, complete migration would take a year or two.

Deployment Solution is not supporting WIM format natively...
Some CMS solutions work on Windows 7 with limitations...
Remote Tool (CC) is out of support and new one (pcA) is not integrated...

Although I also love Altiris, many people around noticed that Altiris became an "ugly duckling" in last two years and as a result product quality and "renomé" is affected. Altiris used to be a market leader, leaving SMS2* far behing. Unfortunately that has changed.

Altiris is very reach in configuration options, but for most decision makers it's "...too complicated"!

SCCM is providing "basic" functionality in comparison to Altiris CMS, which is reacher and modular.
But developer should ask "what customers need" or "what they are ready to pay for"?

How many users are using Windows Defrag (free) and how many buy a third-party one, even better, but expensive? Money talks and TCO/ROI in five year cycle is positioned against "save now". 

This is how managers plan: "Let's buy the minimum needed - some inventory and patching."

I am afraid that if Altiris (Symantec) would not react adequately, many existing customers will be lost, because competitors do not sleep.

It is evident, that migration away from NS6 in our company must happen soon. While Microsoft is offering complimentary support for migration to SCCM, I can hardly expect any free support from Altiris for migrating from NS6 to SMP7 (which seems to be uneasy in large enterprizes). 

I still take it easy, hurrying to office everyday, believing that miracle might happen and one day I will see that everything in the company got automatically migrated overnight smoothly to Altiris 7 :o)
 

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RichC's picture

...full (or the bulk of) NS6 support for Win7 and Server 2008 will be around mid Q-2, but don't quote me.  Surprisingly we have been able to patch Windows 7 and Server 2008 for the most part with 6.  Maybe we're just lucky, I don't know.  It's certainly not 100% but it's better than nothing at all.

--->    i'm no stranger to slack, but i'm not a slacker

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KSchroeder's picture

Hello all,
Not sure if anyone caught this (unless you subscribe to the Notification Server section of the Altiris KB), but Symantec quietly released "R13" last Friday (4/30), introducing official console support for Win7 and Server 2008, along with updated installs for several solutions, including Inventory, Inventory for Servers, Active Directory Integration (AD 2008 support), Application Metering, Monitor Solution and Task Management.  Check out the details on my blog here (once it is published) or directly in AKB 52641.

...and there was much rejoicing!  Here's hoping 13 is a lucky number! cool

Thanks,
Kyle
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Sean.B's picture

I saw the KB this morning and we are going to start testing it tomorrow with the hopes that we can install it once our change freeze has ended.

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KSchroeder's picture

Well, we've finally began our Windows 7 testing in earnest using Win7 64bit SP1.  One gotcha we've run into so far is with Patch Management 6.2.  Currently the patches will install then the machine immediately reboots, seemingly becuase the agent doesn't "know" that any user is logged on.  This seems to be a by-product of the AeXAgentLogon registry entry in the WOW3264Node Run key not being present in the "real" Run key.  Has anyone else run into this, and if so have you found a solution?  I have a ticket open with our RPS to evaluate this.  I'm currently testing copying the AeXAgentLogon value over to the real Run key as an alternative; otherwise I'll look at a Scheduled Task in Windows that runs at startup, or a SWD task that fires at machine startup (assuming that that schedule time is still valid under Win7!)

Thanks,
Kyle
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KSchroeder's picture

Just an FYI to anyone encountering my issue above....this was caused by our Win7 GPO which had the following values Enabled:

Do not process the legacy run list

Do not process the run once list

This (really the first item) effectively causes the 32bit Run key (in HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run) to be ignored.  So, check your GPOs if you're having this same issue. 

This was also causing our A/V solution (Trend OfficeScan 10.5) to not display its tray icon, along with several other 32bit apps which register items in this Run key.
 

Thanks,
Kyle
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