What's New in LDMS 9.6 Software Distribution

Version 9

    Verified Product Versions

    Endpoint Manager 9.5Endpoint Manager 9.6Endpoint Manager 2016.x

    Purpose

     

    This is the purpose of the document is to provide a high-level overview of the changes to Software Distribution in LDMS 9.6. Links will be embedded in other documents for further information the specific changes.

     

    Description

     

     

     

    Software Distribution underwent many new changes in LDMS 9.6 fundamentally changing how tasks are handled configured and then processed on the client side. These changes include:

     

      1. Global Scheduler was rewritten to run leaner and faster.
        1. Time Zone Aware targeting has been added.
        2. Targeted Multicast has been deprecated in the LANDESK Global Scheduler in favor of Self-Organizing Multicast.*
        3. Scheduled Task Handler and Application Policy Management have been consolidated.*
      2. Delivery Methods have been deprecated and their settings relocated to the Task Properties, Distribution and Patch Settings, and Reboot Settings.*
        1. Task Properties.
        2. Distribution and Patch Settings.
        3. Reboot Settings.
      3. Link Manager has been deprecated, and links are now managed the same as any other Distribution Package.
      4. Self-Organizing Multicast built into clients for quicker more efficient multicasting.
        1. Multicast Domain Representatives deprecated.*
      5. PEDownloader.exe added to clients to simplify downloading of files, and troubleshooting download issues.

     

                      *Legacy Support still exists for LDMS 9.5 and older clients, although it is recommended to upgrade Agents as soon as possible.

     

    Additional Information

     

    1. Global Scheduler was rewritten to run leaner and faster.

     

    The LANDESK Global Scheduler has been rewritten to increase speed in processing tasks. Part of this upgrade called for the consolidation of Scheduled Task Handler (Used for Push Tasks) and Application Policy Management (Policy Tasks) into one optimized delivery system. The short and sweet of it is ALL tasks are now processed as Policies. You can still select to use a Push, Policy-Supported-Push, or Policy type of task, but these options have been moved in the Task Properties. To further lean down the Global Scheduler we have removed Targeted Multicast, in favor of Self-Organizing Multicast which is all handled on the client side taking the load off the server. And we have added the feature of Time-Zone Aware Targeting of Tasks, this allows a task to start at a certain time local to the machine, instead of going out to all targets at the same time it is started on the core.

     

    1.1 Time Zone Aware Targeting

            About Time Zone Aware targeting for Distribution Tasks

    1.2 Targeted Multicast has been deprecated in the LANDESK Global Scheduler in favor of Self-Organizing Multicast

    To improve performance on the Scheduler Service, and also reduce the amount of work the Core took on in Multicast tasks we have removed Targeted Multicast. The multicast process is now completely handled by the client machines and is able to run faster and more efficiently than ever. For More information on Self-Organizing Multicast please see the section dedicated to it below.

     

    1.3 Scheduled Task Handler and Application Policy Management have been consolidated

    To further reduce the load on the core server's resources, optimize the processing of clients for Distribution tasks we have consolidated the Scheduled Task Handler (Push Tasks) and Application Policy Management (APM) engines into one. The end result is much closer to APM than Task handler, and as a result all tasks now behave similar to policies, although they can still be scheduled as a Push or Policy Supported Push type task as well, they all arrive to the client in the same manner.

    All tasks now have XML files associated with the task that contain all the needed task info the agent needs to install the software. On the core server these files are located at \LANDESK\ManagementSuite\landesk\files\ClientPolicies\. Once downloaded to the client machine the policies are stored in C:\ProgramData\LANDESK\Policies. A windfall of this change is now it is much easier to find the status of a given policy and troubleshoot it. The LDCLientDB.db3 no longer exists on clients in LDMS 9.6.

     

    2. Delivery Methods have been deprecated and their settings relocated to the Task Properties, Distribution and Patch Settings, and Reboot Settings

     

    Along with the consolidation of Task Handler and APM and the addition of an Agent Setting specific to controlling reboot behavior associated with Software Distribution and Patch Management tasks, it made sense to move away from Delivery Methods and move the options found inside those methods to new locations.

     

    2.1 Task Properties

    In addition to selecting the Task Type (formerly Delivery Method) you can select some of the specific settings for the task to use such as:

    • Task Settings
      • Frequency: Control if the task runs Once, Hourly, Daily, Weekly, or Monthly on the client. This does not cause the task to restart, but for the client to re-execute it. Formerly specific to Policy delivery methods.
      • Additional Push Options: Some setting here are from Delivery Methods, others like Accelerated Push are new.
      • Download Options: Would you like the task to Run from Source, Download and Execute, or to just Pre-Cache the files for execution later?
    • Agent Settings
      • Select the Distribution and Patch settings, and Reboot settings specific to the task if they need to differ from the defaults already assigned to the agent.
    • Schedule Task
      • Time Zone Aware Targeting

     

    2.2 Distribution and Patch Settings

    The majority of the setting you could find in the Delivery Method have been moved in the Distribution and Patch Settings.

    • General Settings - Everything here applies to both Software Distribution and Patch Management.
      • Network Settings
        • Preferred Server / Peer Download Options
          • Peer
          • Preferred Server
          • Source
          • Multicast
        • Bandwidth Throttling
      • Policy Sync Schedule
        • Moved out the Agent Configuration to here.
      • Notifications
        • Allow user to defer and cancel tasks.
        • Show UI.
        • Use a custom message.
    • Distribution-only Settings
      • Offline
        • How the agent behaves if it cannot contact the Core Server
      • Logged Off User Options
        • Control behavior if no user is logged on the machine, useful for tasks that require logged on user credentials to install the package.

     

    2.3 Reboot Settings

         How to use Reboot Settings

     

     

    The LaunchPad Link manager tool has been removed from the Management Suite Console. Now to manage all your existing links you create and schedule then just like any other software distribution package.

    Picture1.png

     

    4. Self-Organizing Multicast built into clients for quicker more efficient multicasting.

     

    With the removal of Targeted Multicasting from the Global Scheduler on the Core, we have switched to a more efficient method called Self-Organizing Multicast. If the Multicast box is checked in the Distribution and Patch settings, then all the client in the task will communicate with other machines in the task on their same subnet, they will elect a machine to be the Multicast Domain Representative (MDR), who will be the sole machine downloading the files from the best location (Peer, Preferred Server, or Source) and will then multicast each file out the other side while the next file is downloading.

    Previously the Core would elect the MDR, which depended on whether or not the network allowed subnet directed boradcasts, then the Core would push the files from the source to the MDR and once he had all the files he would begin the multicast. It was a drawn out process that took longer than desired in many cases, but allowed for minimum network traffic across WAN connections.

    The new method is faster and more efficient on network communication overall.

    **Detailed documentation coming soon**

     

    5. PEDownloader.exe added to clients to simplify downloading of files, and troubleshooting download issues.

     

    Have you ever copied the sdclient.exe out of the Boot.wim used in Provisioning tasks to simplify downloading files for tasks? Well those days are now gone. With the new PEDownloader.exe application that is part of every Windows Agent there is a simple way to download the needed files for a task. Located at:

     

    C:\Program Files (x86)\LANDESK\LDClient\PEDownloader.exe

     

    This utility allows you to more easily download files and folder from Source, Preferred Servers, Peers, or via Multicast. You can use this in your scripts, tasks, and troubleshooting.

     

    PEDownloader is capable of testing every function of the LANDESK Downloader (lddwnld.dll).

     

    For a list of commands, and some sample commands lines simply run "PEDownloader.exe /?" from the Command Prompt.