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Endpoint Management Community Blog
Showing posts tagged with Deployment Solution
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Ludovic Ferre | 13 Jul 2012 | 3 comments

If you have followed the Package Server saga [1][2] on my Connect Blog you will be happy to hear that we got it all working today, but not without a last twist, that takes us to this blog post subject.

In this customer the SMP and Site Servers do not have access to the Internet. This is a not a real problem for our products however it (the lack of Internet access) has one major impact related to a security feature of the Microsoft .Net framework that I will resume in three points:

Assembly signing, assembly loading and CRL.

To ensure that .Net code is globally and securely accessible on a workstation (i.e. for an assembly/dll to be stored in the Global Assembly Cache - also known as the GAC) Microsoft enforces assembly signing. This means the assemblies are protected against tampering.

Now comes assembly loading. In our products we use code that is shared amongst many part of the product. This code leaves in DLL that...

Ludovic Ferre | 12 Jul 2012 | 1 comment

It seems to be the Package Server problem season for me [1].

Whilst trying to stabilise my customer environment so they can enjoy PXE 2.1 and OS deployment tasks I found that the two package servers have some issues accessing the deployment share... getting an access denied message (which leaves no doubt to the root cause of the error).

Package Server 2 is trying to download the drivers.manifest.txt file from Package Server 1 (fully synchronised - and freshly cleaned of .net 4.0 [1]). But all we where receiving there was an error 500 (application error).

Checking on PS1 the url provided to PS2 was effectively throwing an error, indicating that .Net could not read the web.config file in path "\\?\Deployment\...". This may look unfamiliar to most of us, but having spent a couple of hours it rang a bell immediately, as earlier attempts to synchronise PS2 threw similar errors, but locally (when the PS was attempting to copy a downloaded file to \\...

Ludovic Ferre | 12 Jul 2012 | 3 comments

In case you want to know quick the short answer is no. 

But the long answer is, well, of course you can. But you shouldn't ;-). Why you should not is because the framework makes some changes to the file handling in IIS and causes error with some Linux package that have file with no extensions.

These files are recognised as script and IIS attempts to find a loader for them, but there isn't any, given the files have no extensions. So IIS throws an error explaining that you are trying to access a script file via a static file handler, and it will not allow you to do that.

On a remote client you will see a generic 404 error message, whilst on the server itself you will get the full code 404.17.

Removing the framework 4.0 will resolve these problems, if you are encountering them. So now you know :D.

Pascal KOTTE | 13 Jun 2012 | 0 comments

I just correct the script gived from Gilles, to add the NS server name (to change yours).

Notice: not tested yet this one. Notice also: best to install a data partition, if available, instead a system partition !! :)

You should put, the msi file (from <\\SMPserver\NSCap\bin\Win32\X86\NS Client Installation>) and this script into NETLOGON domain folder, and add a GPO to run it at machine startup.

I would like to test if the system is a server with a data partition, or a workstation a single C drive, to deploy different path according the system type.

@echo off

set MYALTIRISPATH=%programfiles%\Altiris
if exist "%MYALTIRISPATH%\Altiris7agent.log" exit 183

rem remove all plug-in et agent altiris
if exist "%MYALTIRISPATH%\Altiris Agent\AeXNSAgent.exe" start "" /b /wait "%MYALTIRISPATH%\Altiris Agent\aexagentutil.exe" /uninstallagents /clean

rem cleanup Setup folder
if exist "%...
ianatkin | 31 May 2012 | 2 comments

Metrics, metrics, and more metrics.

I've been analysing the results from the last few months of deployments (encompasing nearly 300 machines across several departments with varying hardware) by 'binning' the deployment times got the graph below,

The blue diamonds are real results, the the two gaussian curves are trend-fits. The total deployment time is the cummulation of the time to,

  • Deploy the image with rdeploy
  • Run Windows mini-setup
  • Install latest patches (Flash, Adobe Reader, Java etc)
  • Install Departmental specific software (i.e. business critical software not present in the main image)
  • Install the Altiris Agent and get it's GUID
  • Domain Join

These statistics are generated from our deployment reports -a custom addition to our DS environment. We tag our job sets in ImageInvoker with a dummy job called...

tbenson | 21 May 2012 | 0 comments

The May 23rd Twin Cities User Group meeting is cancelled for this week.

Sorry for the late notice!

We hope to have an event in June. Please check back for further info.

adude | 06 Apr 2012 | 0 comments

Just a heads up on the dates for the next San Diego Altiris, I mean, Endpoint Management User Group Meetings, please add to your calendars.

  •   Thu, May 17 @ Point Loma Nazarene
  •   Thu, Aug 16 @ Jack in the Box
  •   Thu, Nov 15 @ Jack in the Box

Meetings times are from 10 AM to 2 PM

snyderj | 21 Feb 2012 | 0 comments

The company I work for just hired a new CIO. One of the changes he has made affects the way I do installs on users machines with AltirisDS. I was told that I am not to close applications or reboot users' machines. I am hoping this mandate will change but until that happens I have to work within the constraints that have been given to me.

So to deal with the detecting of applications I have come up with a batch file that will detect the application, or applications. The simple idea is to count the open applications, and if the total doesn’t equal zero, then error 1609, “A handle is in an invalid state”. I then went in to the task and add the error to the return code list and set the response to stop, with a failure. I can then run SQL queries against the job, to build a list of users that don’t read their e-mails and let management handle it how they please. I hope this helps anyone else who might be given a similar mandate.

Script template...

ianatkin | 20 Jan 2012 | 1 comment

This morning my task was to do a mass-update of embedded scripts on our master deployment server. The reason is I needed to upgrade to the latest version.

There are two ways of doing this,

  1. Find each instance of the script, and manually edit it and paste in the new script
  2. Write some T-SQL

As I knew there were well over a dozen instances of this script scattered quite liberally over our job hierarchy, I decided some SQL would do the job quite nicely.

And here it is...

 DECLARE @myscript varchar(6000)

SET @myscript=(select top 1 script from script_task where script like '%(v1.2)%')

update script_task
set script=@myscript
where script like '%Resolve Shortcuts%'

So, first I created a variable called @myscript into which I stored the latest version of my script (and yes, I did check that this simple filter did indeed only find the script I intended!!!)

And then I just ran an SQL UPDATE command...

ianatkin | 16 Jan 2012 | 1 comment

I attended a SQL Server user group just before christmas and I found it pretty illuminating. Well worth the trip out. Altiris administrators have to wear many hats, and SQL Server knowledge is more than useful -it's critical for a smooth running Altiris setup.

I strongly advise you join a SQL User group near you. At mine they provided free pizza and we could bring in a beer from the bar downstairs.... Not that this was my primary reason for going of course....

You might not of course understand what they are saying,  what they are doing, or even why they are doing it... but in time you might ;-)

And making connections with SQL admins could turn out to be very useful in a time of need. And, I am of course assuming you are already a member of your local Altiris Group... right??!?

Kind Regards,