1 2 Previous Next 18 Replies Latest reply on Jun 25, 2010 1:30 PM by twischeropp

    How to distribute Provisioning files

    Apprentice

      I am a provisioning newby - getting training in a month or so, but need to get up to speed in the meantime on a few things.

       

      I have gotten past making PXE work, and getting basic OS deployment and Provisioning to work - from the core server.

       

      But nowhere can I find a way to get it to work in a distributed environment. We have 35 offices around the world and I would like to figure out how to make the files that provisioning is running come from the local subnet - perhaps from the Preferred Server shares.

       

      Anyone give me some hints?

       

      Thanks,

       

      Steve

        • 1. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
          Apprentice

          Does the lack of any response mean it is not possible? Or, so obvious that it is a stupid question? ;-)

           

          S

          • 2. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
            Employee

            You guessed it. You got no answer because there is no really good answer. In the case of OSD, we have one really good answer in the shape of multicast (which remains a good answer even if you have a single client to deploy). In the case of provisioning, variables are one answer but it's not an ideal one. If nobody comes up with anything, I'll describe what I've seen working.

             

            You're posting this under provisioning, but your question can be read as if you haven't decided whether to use OSD or provisioning. Can you clarify?

            • 3. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
              Apprentice

              Thanks for the response.

               

              We are definitely looking at provisioning.

               

              My company has several very different business units with different needs, so we would have like 10 different configurations (different apps mostly - but also differnt computer models on top of that) for deploying computers, so provisioning seems best to accomodate this need. Does that sound right that provisioning is best for this?

               

              So far, we are very disappointed overall in our LANDesk purchase - too many bugs, too many feature gaps in what we were told to expect or were in our systems this is replacing - and if this is not possible, that's another HUGE problem.

               

              Seriously, I find it hard to believe there is not an easy way to use, say, Preferred Servers as local distribution points for provisioning/OSD!

               

              Steve

              • 4. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
                Apprentice

                You hint that there is a useable solution. Can you share that, please?

                 

                Thanks,

                Steve

                • 5. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
                  Employee

                  I'm writing up something. Expect publication tomorrow.

                  • 6. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
                    Employee

                    Here goes...

                     

                    The essence of it is a tool called prefmap that mapsa drive to the preferred server.

                    • 7. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
                      dhandy Apprentice

                      Thanks for this application, it does what we want it to do. Hopefully this will be in the next release, by the way is their a list of releases that are coming in the version?

                      • 8. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
                        jameshopkins Apprentice

                        Hi Steve,

                         

                        Did you manage to get very far with this? We have a similar setup to yourself, around 30 sites.

                         

                        We currently have the images deploying from local sites, and this works fine. The main issue I have at the moment is installing the agent during Post-OS, currently I am running it straight from the core, which isnt ideal for remote sites. Do you have a method of deploying the agent from a local/preferred server?

                         

                        Many thanks,

                         

                        James

                        • 9. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
                          Apprentice

                          Thanks for the reply.

                           

                          We finally just purchased and have now completed 8 days with a LANDesk trainer to get our provisioning up and fully running. We did not design a way to distribute the client locally (but that is an interesting question), but have everything else working from local distribution shares - using robocopy for distribution of sites, and creating a template for each site mapping drives to the local shares.

                           

                          I would think that just placing the latest installer for the client on the local distro share and running it would work, though. Or perhaps creating a package for it and just running that package task, too.

                           

                          Steve

                          • 10. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
                            Employee

                            I've never done it but working out a method to install the agent from a local server should really be straightforward. This is how I would go about it:

                            • package the agent as a self-contained executable (right-click the agent configuration in the console and you'll see that there is an context menu item to do that)
                            • distribute the exe the same way as your images (and drivers if you're doing HII)
                            • in the post-OS installation section of the template, you already have a drive mapped to the server from which you restored the image, so use that mapped drive to copy the agent to the c: drive
                            • in the system configuration section of the template, run the agent installation exe from the C: drive
                            • 11. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
                              Apprentice

                              yup, that is what I was thinking. Ought to work...

                              • 12. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
                                Apprentice

                                I know I'm stating the obvious but wouldn't it just be easier to have a "Deploy Image" template for each site and have each template point to a local repository or preferred server?

                                 

                                We are also a multi-site company and that's the route we're going to take.  Yes, it's a little more work up front to create a template for each site but for us the risk of an image accidentally being deployed across the WAN is not an option.

                                 

                                Along the same lines, you could use a "download file" and "execute file" action to install the LANDesk agent from a local server.  It's going to be a little work up front to build these templates but once there done, if you keep them seperated, you can use the wonderful "include" function to combine your various templates to make all sorts of different configurations.

                                1 of 1 people found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
                                  Apprentice

                                  Thanks for the input. It turns out that is exactly what we are going to do. Need to do a Template for each office anyway - if only to set the computer's timezone/keyboard and other settings appropriately. So, might was well include it pointing specifically to the local server.

                                   

                                  Of course in our case that means something like 50+ Templates, but its all upfront work like you say.

                                   

                                  S

                                  • 14. Re: How to distribute Provisioning files
                                    Apprentice

                                    Hi Jan,

                                    it seems that in LDMS 9 preferredserver.dat location and format changed.

                                    So you should replace in your AutoIT script

                                     

                                    Const $PrefServerFile = "x:\LANDesk\ManagementSuite\sdmcache\preferredserver.dat"

                                     

                                    with

                                     

                                    Const $PrefServerFile = "x:\ldclient\preferredserver.dat"

                                     

                                    The file also changed. Preferredservers.dat start with something like a timestamp and a "'?"

                                     

                                    In example:

                                     

                                    12349439485?MY1STPPS;MY2NDPPS

                                     

                                    This is the way I changed the parsing flow.

                                     

                                    ; ===========================================================================================

                                    ; Read preferredservers.dat data

                                    ; ===========================================================================================

                                    If FileExists($PrefServerFile) Then

                                    LogMessage("preferredserver.dat found at " & $PrefServerFile)

                                    $line = FileReadLine($PrefServerFile)

                                    if $line = "" Then

                                    LogMessage("preferredserver.dat is empty. Using Core server as main share")

                                    $servername=$CoreServer

                                    Else

                                    $serverlist = StringSplit($line,"?")

                                    if $serverlist[2]="" Then

                                    LogMessage("preferredserver.dat file empty")

                                    $servername=$CoreServer

                                    Else

                                    LogMessage("preferredserver.dat file contents: " & $line)

                                    ; ===================================================================================

                                    ; Found preferredserver.dat. It is a text file with no CR-LF. If there are multiple preferred server,

                                    ; they are separated by a semicolon

                                    ; ===================================================================================

                                    $array = StringSplit($serverlist[2],";")

                                    $servername = $array[1]

                                    EndIf

                                    EndIf

                                    Else

                                    LogMessage("preferredserver.dat not found")

                                    $servername=$CoreServer

                                    EndIf

                                    ;================== END OF CODE =====================

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    Hope this Helps

                                     

                                    Jary

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