1 2 Previous Next 18 Replies Latest reply on Mar 30, 2016 8:37 AM by juchtman

    Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution

    mathias1 Apprentice

      The optimization guide tells something about "Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution". is there a guide which discribes in detail on how to do that?

        • 1. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
          patgmac1 Expert

          I think the optimization guide is pretty much it. Basically, you just setup another server and configure your agent settings to also point to that new server.

           

          How many devices do you manage?

          • 2. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
            mathias1 Apprentice

            I am managing around 2500 devices

            I want to set up a second server to run as a software distribution server.

            the optimization guide only goes into detail in optimizing ... not setting up a second server

            • 3. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
              patgmac1 Expert

              I agree, this should be documented better.

              The 2nd server is setup just like the first server. The only difference is that only your software dist server needs to have software distribution points (SDP) that actually contain the software. If you are intending on keeping your existing server as the software server, then things are easier. Just setup the 2nd server and add a dummy SDP (needs to be a real system, but won't hold any software). Then when you configure your agent settings, you would specify two inventory servers, but the software one would only need to have "basic inventory" and the other would be full inventory.

               

              I would suggest opening a ticket with support and get someone on the phone to help work out the details.

              • 4. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
                mathias1 Apprentice

                can i use the same distribution server definition on the 2nd server?

                • 5. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
                  patgmac1 Expert

                  No. A SDP can only be associated with 1 server.

                  • 6. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
                    baotran Apprentice

                    Just to reduce confusion we should try to standardize on the nomenaclature for the various LANrev components. SD = Software Distribution.

                    ===

                    SD Server - LANrev Server component is installed. Agents are pointed to this server for package checks in the SD are in the lower left corner of the Servers tab of the Agent Settings command.

                     

                    Inventory Server - LANrev Server component is installed. Any server listed as an inventory server in the top section of the Servers tab of the Agent Settings command. All LANrev servers are "inventory" servers since the agents wouldn't appear in the Computers window unless they sent in their heartbeats/inventory to them. Primary inventory server is the first one in the list. Your SD server should also be on this list except that you would most likely have the checkbox for basic inventory checked as Patrick mentioned.

                     

                    Distribution Point (or DP) - The LANrev Agent is installed and you've specified this agent to host installer payloads with a DP definition.

                    ===

                    A server takes on whatever role you've pointed an agent to it for in the Agent Settings command dialog. Let's say you have 2 servers, A and B. If you point 500 of your agents to server B for software distribution in the Servers tab, then that server takes on the SD Server role for those agents.  However, lets say you add 5 new agents, and in the SD section of the Servers tab you accidentally specify server A for package checks, then Server A now takes on the SD server role, but only for those 5 agents and not the other existing 500 agents.

                     

                    If you only have a single server it is receiving inventory, SD checks, and LM (License Management/Monitoring) checks from agents. To help scale in larger environments that have tens of thousands of agents the Optimization Guide suggestions 2 things to help with this.

                     

                    1. Increasing the various intervals for hearbeat, inventory, SD checks, and LM checks.

                    2. Splitting the inventory, SD, and LM roles between multiple servers.

                     

                    This way only full inventory is sent in to the primary inventory server (that's the first server in the inventory server section of the Servers tab of the Agent Settings command. The SD and LM servers are only receiving basic inventory. You would point all the agents to the server designated as the SD server for package/patch checks. You would point all the agents to the LM server for LM checks. This is done in the Servers tab of the Agent Settings command.

                     

                    This way the primary inventory server is only receiving heartbeats and inventory. The SD server is receiving heartbeats, basic inventory, and SD/patch checks. The LM server is only receiving heartbeats, basic inventory, and LM checks. When you do this you can also add the settings outlined in the Optimization Guide that basically tells the server to prioritize the processing of these requests. For example, if a SD server receives an inventory, package check, and LM check at the same time, it's going to preferentially process the SD/patch check first and cache the other inventory, and LM check for a later time when it's less busy. Making sure that agents only point to a specific server for particular functionality and then optimizing it for processing the checks for that functionality is what the Optimization Guide means by splitting the functionality between different servers and optimization them.

                     

                    As Patrick mentioned you can only set up an agent as a distribution point for a single SD server. The agent keeps track of what server it's associated with as a DP (based on the SD server's IP) and will throw a warning that's already a DP for another server if you try to set it up as a DP for 2nd server.

                     

                    Hopefully that extra context helps the Optimization Guide make more sense for you.

                    • 7. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
                      mathias1 Apprentice

                      okay ... that I already understod

                      when I create a new server B and link it to A (taking Admin and Custom Field definitions), take one of my existing slave DP and remove it from A and put it into B I end up with having 2 master servers. Is that the right behaviour?

                      What happens when I create a new package? Is it then uploading to both master servers?

                      • 8. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
                        baotran Apprentice

                        What you want to do is to only have DP's defined on whichever server you want to act as your SD server. This server would

                         

                        1. Have all agents pointed to it for SD.

                        2. Perhaps have all the SD settings optimizations (if you don't use the LM stuff). If you do use License Monitoring then it's better to not apply the SD settings optimizations.

                        3. Have all the packages and payloads defined on it. There should not be any packages/payloads present on any other servers except for the SD server.

                        4. Have all the DP's defined on it (master plus any 2ndary DP's). There should not be DP's defined on any other server.

                         

                        So when you log into your SD server and define a package with an associated payload the package definition metadata is send to the SD server while the associated payload is uploaded to the master DP first and is then replicated to all the 2ndary DP's. If you attempt to do the same thing on any other server that's not the SD server you'll get an error message since there's DP's defined.

                         

                        In answer to your question it depends on which server is your SD server, server A or Server B? I'm going to assume that you want to make the the new server B be your SD server. In that case you've got to make sure all of the above items apply to the new server, which means.

                         

                        1. Running an Agent Settings command to point to server B for SD.

                        2. Possibly adding the SD optimization settings (if you don't use LM)

                        3. Export all of the package definitions and payloads from server A. Move all your DP's to server B.

                        4. Reimport all of your package definitions and payloads to server B.

                        • 9. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
                          mathias1 Apprentice

                          yes B should be the new sd server

                          when i come to step 3 I'll sumble over the following fact:

                          export everything from A to B ... sounds easy ... select eveything (around 25000 packages atm) ... click export ... read the error message "the selections contains packages which cannot be exported" .... oh yes ... patches and 3rd party packages cannot be exported

                          this lokks to me like a big show stopper, beacaus i will NOT recreate the package definitions for all patches on server B

                           

                          next thing is, that also the smart computer groups are not exportable

                           

                          and the last thing is: considering I'll already have a 2 server enviroemnt (a= inventory, b= sd), I need to create new packages while being connected to B. And I will only see and deploy thoses packages while I am connected to B?

                          • 10. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
                            baotran Apprentice

                            It sounds like migrating the packages from server A to server B is not feasible for you so I would suggest leave the original server A as the SD server and make server B an inventory server.

                             

                            Packages only exist on the server they were defined on. Unlike admin accounts and custom fields you cannot direct a server to get its package definitions from another server. When you are logged into server A you will only see packages created when logged into that server. When you are logged into server B you will only see packages created when logged into server B. The other complication is that you'll need a separate master DP for the server B. A DP cannot be share between server A and server B. Maybe I'm missing something in what you're trying to do but I don't understand why you would want to have packages defined on both server A and server B.

                             

                            What is your goal in having 2 servers? If I have a better understanding of that perhaps I can provide better guidance.

                             

                            Smart computer groups are exportable. Highlight the groups you want to export and go to the LANrev Admin menu and pick Export Groups to export groups. On a Windows admin go to the File menu rather than the LANrev Admin menu to get to the Export Groups command.

                            • 11. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
                              mathias1 Apprentice

                              it reads that after separating the servers I need to have 2 admin consols running, right? one for inventory stuff and one for installing software packages

                              • 12. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
                                patgmac1 Expert

                                Yes. Or just connect to the one you need, and use the "Switch administrator and server" menu item to switch when needed. For this reason, I chose to keep inventory and software together. Because otherwise, it would be difficult to deploy software based on something that only resides in inventory.

                                 

                                I have a similar # of devices as you, but I split a bit different. However, when I first did this and I was consulting with the support guys, they were highly suggesting splitting inventory and SD but I knew that would cause too much confusion with our techs so kept them together.

                                 

                                Here's my setup:

                                Server1 - SD, full inv, Mac MDM (physical hardware with HW SSD raid, loads of RAM, etc)

                                Server2 - LM, basic inv, mobile MDM (fairly basic VM. 2Ghz, 2GB RAM, not actively using MDM for mobile)

                                Server3 - WebAdmin console (basic VM, similar to server2)

                                2 SDP's, both are physical hardware. One is a Mac Mini which also handles DeployStudio/Netboot, other used to be my LANrev server, now handles MDT PC imaging.

                                 

                                Agents are configured to send heartbeats every 30 minutes instead of 15. Inventory is still 12 hours. SD Checks are every 180 mins. LM check is 360 min.

                                 

                                Been pretty happy with this setup. One of these days, I might put MDM on its' own VM.

                                 

                                If admin console speed is your main problem (you didn't mention why you wanted to split), there are some settings you can apply to admin consoles to help a bit, but the biggest factor (at least for the Mac console) is having your DB reside on a SSD.

                                 

                                Hope this helps.

                                • 13. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
                                  mathias1 Apprentice

                                  " ... splitting inventory and SD but I knew that would cause too much confusion with our techs so kept them together. ..." thats exactly why I dont want to split them

                                   

                                  could you put loads of ram into numbers? :-)

                                   

                                  "but the biggest factor (at least for the Mac console) is having your DB reside on a SSD." ... and, engineers please listen up, use a decent database :-) sqlite isnt one of them

                                  • 14. Re: Setting up separate servers for inventory and software distribution
                                    patgmac1 Expert

                                    mathias decker wrote:

                                     

                                    " ... splitting inventory and SD but I knew that would cause too much confusion with our techs so kept them together. ..." thats exactly why I dont want to split them

                                     

                                    could you put loads of ram into numbers? :-)

                                    16GB. I guess I exaggerated by saying "loads" but compared to our (central-IT provided) standard VM's with 1 or 2GB, it's a big upgrade. ;-)

                                     

                                    mathias decker wrote:

                                     

                                    "but the biggest factor (at least for the Mac console) is having your DB reside on a SSD." ... and, engineers please listen up, use a decent database :-) sqlite isnt one of them

                                    I've spoke to Martin (lead LANrev dev) about this a couple years ago, mainly because I assumed the limitations of the admin console smart groups (can't use and/or) were because of the DB type...but he said this was more of a GUI limitation, not DB. He indicated they were happy with SQLite's performance and the support they get from that company. I don't really know much about DB's myself, but I like how simple it is to install/upgrade the LANrev servers compared to what other systems have to go through and I *think* that's largely because of the type of DB they're using.

                                     

                                    I do imagine there would be some benefits for much larger orgs than ours with more robust DB types, but it's been fine for me.

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