I am a new customer to LANDesk as of this past year. We are going to rollout V9 to our client sometime over the next few months. Currently we are waiting for SP1 to hit. So in the meantime I have been learning the ins and outs of this product. I believe we have the Patch and Compliance module licked, and are moving to software distribution.
The biggest pain point so far has been the fact that we are unable to send multiple Policy Supported Push or Straight up Push Tasks to a single target device. You end up with errors on the subsequent pushes that an installation is already in progress. There is an ER in on that and we hope to get that flaw straightened out, link to the ER is as follows: http://community.landesk.com/support/thread/10471?start=0&tstart=0
So after learning from LANDesk that the way to avoid these errors is to either use a different module, OS Distribution Provisioning, Security and Patch, or use Policy to distribute packages with Software Distribution, we decided to take the Policy Route and use Software Distribution to do what it is suppose to do, deliver software!
The benefits we have found with Policy is that if you create a policy for each software package, and associate an uninstall routine for each distribution package, you in essence automate a lot of things. A machine that has been placed in a policy for say, Microsoft Project, will receive the software when it checks in for policy and policies also have the benefit of being able to queue up and not run into each other failing out with Another Installation Is In Progress message! You can also force policy via a script or the beta tools so you do not have to wait a certain amount of time for the machine to check in and start installing if you wish to see results right away, not so bad.
If you leave this same policy out there, and say re-image a machine that is part of it, the said machine, as long as it has the same device name, will check back in and install that software! This alleviates the need for the technician to do anything other then re-image and place that PC back on the user's desk in our environment. LANDesk Policy will check in and install all software that the machine is part of policy for! Another great feature is that if there is a uninstall routine associated with the distribution package, and I need to uninstall that software from a machine all I need to do is go into the policy task and remove that machine, next time policy checks in it will see that it is no longer part of that Software Distribution Policy and remove the software automatically, no intervention required!
So as admins of this system we are starting to paint the picture of creating our Distribution Packages on the back end, and having the normal day to day technicians use scheduled tasks to distribute software based on Policies the Admins Setup. We are looking to setup a policy for each peice of software we have in our Library, giving us the advantage of setting up delivery methods and such based on size of package to alleviate human error on the technicians part for say trying to deliver a 4-5GB package over the wire to an off-site location or even on site location, where as we would rather that type of software package be delivered by running from source!
As I stated above we are very new customers to LANDesk, and I am trying to find out how people in the REAL WORLD deliver software with this system to their Enterprise Environments. The demo showed us how to deliver one package, I believe it was winzip, to one machine, any online training I have watched also showed us how to deliver one package, solargame.exe to one or multiple machines. We never really got to see how this thing worked on an Enterprise Llevel and are curious to see how the rest of the community uses this tool? We plan on using this to deliver software to machines locally on site and to machines around US, including Hawaii! Any reference or input would be appreciated!