7 Replies Latest reply on May 20, 2009 3:50 PM by MarkMcGinn

    Fine-tuning a multicast

    esmoore Rookie

      Is there a anything written on how to fine-tune a multicast (cache only) for greater speed?  I am attempting to do so for Office Enterprise 2007, which consists of about 600 MB of files.  I have about 80 clients that must download the files in time for next week's upgrade.

        • 1. Re: Fine-tuning a multicast
          Apprentice

          The best and most reliable way is to zip the whole lot up into a single file and multicast that. Then execute an extraction script to get all of the files out.

           

          Multicast is not good at lots of files, this will give you the best performance improvement by far.  Some people will probably disagree and suggest other vald mechanisms, but the package builder is pretty good for this.It is a perfect collect, compress, and extract to a location program that requires no additional scripting.  just try to avoid doing it as a snapshot.

           

          If you prefer to script it, then up to you as that will be slightly more bandwidth efficient, but that's not the main issue here because of multicast.

           

          Mark McGinn

          Verismic Software - http://www.verismic.com

          Precision Engineering for Systems Management

          Check Our New Power Manager Solution

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          • 2. Re: Fine-tuning a multicast
            esmoore Rookie

            Thank you, Mark, for your suggestion.

             

            After speaking with LANDesk support, I've taken a different route.  I've created a new package with all the files for the Office 2007 upgrade. The main executable is a batch file that performs no useful work.  I will then push the files one evening.  Later, I will push out a batch file to activate the upgrade.  I previously tweaked the registry on the clients so they will retain the files for 30 days, per the instructions in DOC-2309.

            • 3. Re: Fine-tuning a multicast
              Apprentice

              That should work. I still think you should try the zip option though, just to compare the speed difference.  Worth a shot as you might see a very dramatic difference.

               

              Mark McGinn

              Verismic Software - http://www.verismic.com

              Precision Engineering for Systems Management

              Check Our New Power Manager Solution

              • 4. Re: Fine-tuning a multicast
                mrspike SSMMVPGroup

                Eric,

                 

                We used the same method as you,we were able to upgrade over 5,000 systems in one day (these systems were on 5 or 6 cores).  What we did to ensure that if a system did not get the "pre-cached" files for some reason is we created another identical package, will all of the additional files, etc, but in this case we called the main installer file instead of a batch file.  So, if a system did not get the staged files it would just download them at the time of deployment and install.

                 

                 

                Keep in mind, that the tweak you made to the registry will affect all files put into the sdmcache folder after it was made and until it is changed, not just Office. If you have a lot of free HD space, not an issue.

                 

                Then, once you change the registry back, these files do not magically delete themselves, they will continue to live on until the date time stamped on them (which is what ever you changed the time to live to) comes.

                 

                I created a custom definition that I used afterwards that:

                 

                • Looks for the registry setting, if not the default, will reset it
                • Looks for one of the office files in the sdmcache, if it finds it runs a custom .exe one of our guys created to delete the files from cache

                 

                 

                Again, depending on how long you set the time to live and how much free HD space you have, this may not be an issue.

                • 5. Re: Fine-tuning a multicast
                  esmoore Rookie

                  Mark,

                   

                  Compressing the files only saved me about 40 MB (a reduction of about 7%).  My method was sufficient to complete most of the staging overnight.  Still, I will keep your idea in mind for future tasks that could benefit from file compression.

                   

                   

                  James,

                   

                  I appreciate your pointers about managing the discard period for the cache.  I wasn't aware of the potential problem of old files not being deleted, so I will be sure to keep this in mind.

                  • 6. Re: Fine-tuning a multicast
                    Apprentice

                    I've found using the package builder to "zip" and "unzip" the files is a great way to send out msi installs with lots of files.  With multicast in LanDesk its not really the file size, it is the number of files that matters.  If I remember correctly there is a 3 second overhead per file.  Not a big deal if you are only pushing a few files but with some installs it can be thousands of files.  All of the time is in the overhead.

                    • 7. Re: Fine-tuning a multicast
                      Apprentice

                      Thanks Mattz, that's what I mean by this.  It is the Multicast process itself that is the overhead rather than the file sizes.  It will be a HUGE difference if you make it a one or two file distribution instead of 100's of files.  Also, if disk space on the target is not an issue, it means you can just zip all the files up so that you don't have to spend the time finding the right additional files.

                       

                      Mark McGinn

                       

                      Verismic Software - http://www.verismic.com

                      Precision Engineering for Systems Management

                      Check Our New Power Manager Solution