How To: Use Preferred Servers with AdvanceAgent

Version 15

    Verified Product Versions

    Endpoint Manager 9.6Endpoint Manager 2016.x

    Configured dynamic Preferred Servers will not work with AdvanceAgent  because the "scaled down" version of the downloader contained in  AdvanceAgent does not have full functionality for Preferred Server built in. This was done to keep the AdvanceAgent as small as possible for  deploying via group policy. This means that AdvanceAgent is not able to  get a dynamic list of preferred servers from the Core Server or able to use Preferred Server for authentication to locked down shares.

     

    Even though dynamic discovery and authentication are not  supported by AdvanceAgent, the legacy Preferred Server method can still be used. You can enable the use of preferred server(s) by simply creating a registry key on the workstation before installing the agent.

     

    Please note that LDMS 9.0 SP2 and later agent needs Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 to be installed on the Windows XP client prior to advance agent installation. Without MS Visual C++ advance agent service will crash. Windows 7 clients come with MS Visual C++ already included.

     

    Important note: by default advance agent will use HTTP path to download the .EXE file. If your preferred server is not configure with IIS, you must change the path for the .EXE file to UNC path! Failing to do so will result the .EXE being downloaded from the core server instead.

     

    Add the following key to the workstation before running your  AdvanceAgent.msi

     

    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\LANDesk\ManagementSuite\WinClient\SoftwareDistribution]
    "PreferredPackageServer"="THLANDESK;THLANDESK90"

     


    Multiple servers are separated by a semicolon (as shown  above). Up to 3 Preferred Servers may be used.

     

    Another way to accomplish this task is to edit the  AdvanceAgent.msi with Orca and add the registry key. This method will  allow installing the msi as you normally would without having to perform  additional steps.

     

    1. Download and install Orca.msi (Google knows where this is)
    2. Edit the AdvanceAgent.msi of the desired agent configuration with Orca
    3. Scroll down to Registry then right click and select "Add Row"AAPPS_001.jpg
    4. Fill out all required fields (key value can be random numbers, then fill the other fields using the values from the registry key at the top of this article)
      AAPPS_006.jpg
    5. Set 'UsePreferedServer' to #1.
    6. Save the .msi
    7. Deploy the .msi normally (manually, GPO, scheduled task, etc)

     

    Notice in the following xtrace of LDDwnld, that the original path in the AdvanceAgent setup http://landesk.com/ldlogon/AdvanceAgent/THLANDESK90 No Extras.exe has been escaped to http://THLANDESK/ldlogon/AdvanceAgent/THLANDESK90 No Extras.exe (THLANDESK being 1 of 2 preferred servers added with the registry key above.

     

    LDDwnld.xlg (xtrace log) This log will verify that the download is coming from the Preferred Server(s) vs. the core.

    04/15/2010 08:28:33.391    1016    440    lddwnld.cpp    2246    Calculating levels in 'http://THLANDESK/ldlogon/AdvanceAgent/THLANDESK90 No Extras.exe'
    04/15/2010 08:28:33.407    1016    440    lddwnld.cpp    2265    UNC/URL prefix removed, calculating for 'THLANDESK/ldlogon/AdvanceAgent/THLANDESK90 No Extras.exe'
    04/15/2010 08:28:33.407    1016    440    lddwnld.cpp    2279    current levels 1, remaining path '/ldlogon/AdvanceAgent/THLANDESK90 No Extras.exe'
    04/15/2010 08:28:33.407    1016    440    lddwnld.cpp    2279    current levels 2, remaining path '/AdvanceAgent/THLANDESK90 No Extras.exe'
    04/15/2010 08:28:33.407    1016    440    lddwnld.cpp    2279    current levels 3, remaining path '/THLANDESK90 No Extras.exe'
    04/15/2010 08:28:33.423    1016    440    lddwnld.cpp    2281    Calculated 3 levels for path 'http://THLANDESK/ldlogon/AdvanceAgent/THLANDESK90 No Extras.exe'
    04/15/2010 08:28:33.423    1016    440    lddownload.cpp    1322    AddFileToDownloadSet: called with sourcePath http://THLANDESK/ldlogon/AdvanceAgent/THLANDESK90 No Extras.exe, hash 
    04/15/2010 08:28:33.423    1016    440    lddwnld.cpp    2092    GetFileInformation - same path last=http://THLANDESK/ldlogon/AdvanceAgent/THLANDESK90 No Extras.exe current=http://THLANDESK/ldlogon/AdvanceAgent/THLANDESK90 No Extras.exe
    
    

     

     

    Since the agent file hash is contained in the MSI, the original path in the AdvanceAgent setup does not need to be accessible. In normal LANDesk Software distribution jobs, the original source patch is contacted to verify the files on preferred servers are authentic.

     

    Note: This registry key should be removed after full agent install to fully utilize dynamic Preferred Server capabilities.