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Tim.Jing | 20 Feb 2013 | 0 comments

So you have support on the line, and they have a fix for an issue for you. WebEx session, servers configured service restarted, all good right?

Not so quick, 5 minutes later, complaint about console not longer accessible. 10 minutes after that's resolved, no jobs/tasks will run!

That's the worst moment in IT, when everyone that's never roamed near your cube is now gathering inside or huddled in to an empty space just to spectate. It's like mosh pit thick ring side when Tyson's strolling down the isle, and in my mind, a numbing silence like someone that just got TKO'ed.

Starting from the beginning, we had NSE processing performance issues and a call was made to support to change queue processing size. (TECH183347 ) After the changes, both server seems normal when using the console while remoted to the server. The call ends, and then we found out the console no longer...

Tim.Jing | 18 Feb 2013 | 3 comments

To create a good product it requires lots of talent, great team work, and really good communication. To have a great product, the entire team needs to be focused and driven.

Up to this point, Symantec has some of the best sales people, a good Sales Engineering group, decent technical support team, but where is the communication with the Dev group? How come we never hear from those guys? Are they locked away and not getting the feedback from the users?

This will be our 7th week with the Symantec SMP 7.1 MP1 product, and while 90%+ of the suite is working or workable, we continue to have imaging issues. While i'm optimistic that Symantec has the resources to resolve our issues, it's rather unfortunate that the basic functions do not work out of the box. At least not reliably, which their 6.x version did without any issues. 

So moving on to next week, focusing on the same imaging issue, but with more detailed problems:

1. Deploy Anywhere will...

ohzone - CherylPeterson | 15 Feb 2013 | 1 comment

The Endpoint Management team is gearing up to celebrate another successful event at Symantec Vision. Filled with new sessions and the same 1:1 access to Product Management and Development, it’s time to register and start customizing your Vision Experience.

This year, Vision is all about the extras—including new types of breakout sessions and hands-on labs, expanded networking opportunities, and even more flexibility to customize your Vision experience. You might even win the chance to choose your own Grand Prize. So register now, and then visit the Vision website to:

  • Explore the Vision Session Catalog. Then choose sessions that will help you embrace BYOD and support all the different devices across your organization or...
Tim.Jing | 15 Feb 2013 | 0 comments

With a lot of help from Symantec, we narrowed down some of the issues with image deploy. And it's all timing related, which is another word to say product design?

When a machine that has any changes other than whats already reflected in the database (New machine, existing machine's F8'ed in to a task server, a machine that just had a name change...) The database needs a resource membership update, and this machine is not allowed access by any of the software tasks due to licensing/client not capable.

So lots of Delta Reource Updates for most o the error messages. And more calls to come with Symantec Support.

Check out the screen shot below. This actually means, some jobs ran, but at least 1 failed. And you have to click on everyone to find which one failed.


Tim.Jing | 11 Feb 2013 | 0 comments

It feels like my freshman years in the IT business, where there is no fear, not a single worry. Beer and pizza will be there later, and all things will work it's self out.

Well I am lost for words on this product deployment so far. Lots of bells and whistles to see in the Altiris 7.5 SMP, tons of automated actions that you don't have to script to do. Something you can train even beginner IT forayers to use in the console when it comes to software management, Patch and Inventory.

Until you get to the DS, we suddenly have lost our ability to image machines. As in issues on both Notification servers, separate issues, different errors. But bottom line is simply we cant reliably deploy any images.

The issues seems to relate to either timing, or design. The NSE's are supposed to get processed with priorities, and since inventory is one of the least important it becomes at the back of the line. So we went to Initial Deploy as a method for sending a highly...

ianatkin | 11 Feb 2013 | 0 comments

Today I'm taking a break from Shylock woes and instead looking at an issue one of the team raised regarding inconsistent jobs on our deployment server. Specifically, we've got two versions of a script task on our deployment servers where only one should exist. This is a nice task it's one of those jobs which looks horrible to correct, but it's actually easy to correct with just a bit of SQL knowledge.

The embedded script task in question begins with the string 'REM Resolve Shortcuts' so I quickly put together a little SQL to see where the problem lay,

select count(*),script from script_task
where script like 'REM Resolve Shortcuts%'
group by script
The result of this is.
30 REM Resolve Shortcuts using SQLCMD.EXE (v1.2) .....
6 REM Resolve Shortcuts using SQLCMD.EXE (v1.2) .....


Tim.Jing | 08 Feb 2013 | 1 comment

Sorted a lot of items today, most discovery and not fixes.

Discovery of a lot more issues that is. All DS and imaging related. Here are some of the crazy scenarios.

1. Build a machine with the predefined spread sheet, and the machine did not join the domain. After a manual joining to the domain, the machine enters WinPE every time. In the console there is now 2 instances of it, one with IP and domain info. The other which is just blank.

2. Any machines that needs an image job on our second NS, Jobs gets the error of either "Not Capable", or "Unexpected error while saving this schedule"

3. Image is a crap shoot at this point, there is no telling which service, directory, files to clean up. Like voodoo.

But found 1 cool trick out, you can resize the pesky window sizes if you grab it at the top of the sizing bar(Red dot).

And interesting PXE bounce when the PXE configuration fails to replicate settings from the parent....

Tim.Jing | 07 Feb 2013 | 2 comments

Great call today, Altiris support is like a box of chocolate, unless you are nice to some people and they can get you connected with the right people.

Chatted for a while with Thomas Baird today, he's brilliant like Brent Bishop. 2 of the smartest Altiris guys I've ever had a chance to working with. So on with the items of the day. 

We narrowed our top production issues to 3 main items, with a bunch of sub-issues that I sent to Symantec in an email hoping to have the DS team address with some efficiency. 

Issue 1. Machines gets a Device not capable at times. So the issues stems from inventory more than SBS as we originally thought. The NSE processing as Inventory vs Initial Deploy. So Changes were made to initial deploy and testing continues I will say now image to existing machines do work(See issues 3 for more details) but new machines remains to be tested. So the beta solution is fake a InitialDeployment task and get the NSE in with a...

Tim.Jing | 07 Feb 2013 | 0 comments

A lot of questions for Altiris support today. The product is piloting very well to this point with the exception being the Deployment Solutions.

The amount of issues with the product, the oddness of the logic in execution hopefully will be answered by someone in the DS team on a scheduled call today. There is a list of items I'm hoping to get answers for.

1. Hierarchy, why certain things replicate and what for. like Images built for a Child NS server does not replicate up, but the resource guid does. So you can see it at the parent but not assign it as a job.

2. Imaging, lots of issues with the supported method and mechanism that it performs to connect a WinPE machine to a known Guid.

3. PXE or now changed Symantec Boot Services. It behaves badly, and other than restarting services no details or documentations on any possible tweaks.

4. x86 for WinPE has broken Firm files.

5. Replication of PXE configs does not always work.


Tim.Jing | 06 Feb 2013 | 1 comment

Fixed a few things yesterday if you are keeping up with this still. The PXE/WinPE loading issue is working for now. but our cases with Symantec is stacking up.

There are 5 open cases which all seemed to be shuffled around from technician to technicians. When I get time I will be calling the duty manager to escalate them to the DS team as they are almost all DS related.

So the new issues:

Some machines does not always boot in to WinPE. They just wont do it even with a SBS rebuild and only on some jobs. Unfortunately this happened to one of my image machines. It imaged fine on Child Server 1's Site server 1. But will not boot in to PXE on Child server 2's Site server 2.

When an image is captured. Which means we had to force the machine to shutdown after the Syprep. They delete the image capture job and apply a Image capture task. Well now the Image Deploy job will not allow us to populate the Serial # after selecting the image. Look at the red...