5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 26, 2009 10:36 AM by Dingo_Tush

    Never worked with Landesk before, now I am in charge of it....HELP




      I have never worked with Landesk before, but now I am in charge of our IT department and they want me to use it.  The admin that I am replacing never got Landesk to work right, and now he is gone so it is on my plate now.


      I basically don't know how to do anything in Landesk.  I don't know how to patch clients, I don't know how to update the core server, I basicallly know Jack that's about it.  (Not Jack Coates unfortunately).


      So can I some really basic user questions to help me get going here....


      First off is how do I update the core server?  All of our clients are reporting a scan engine of 3-31-09.  Almost 3 months old, how can I update those definations?


      So if I want to create a brand new agent, I think I can do that, but how do I push it out to the clients?  I tried the advance agent, but it runs, and then doesn't do anything.  Will it download what it needs at a later time?  Is that how it works?


      How do I create the self-install package for this new agent?


      Then how do I get Landesk to update my clients.  All of my machines come up in the devices window, but they are all missing most patches.  How can I get them to install over the network?


      How does rebooting factor in?  If I have like 30 patches to install, is it going to reboot a few times before finishing or will it reboot only when necessary, or is there a setting that I can change?


      Sorry for the n00b questions, but I need to figure this stuff out.  I have been working with it for awhile now, but I am still at a lose, so any help would be much appreciated.  Please and thank you.

        • 1. Re: Never worked with Landesk before, now I am in charge of it....HELP

          Hi Dingo,


          You'll love LANDesk once you get the hang of it.  It's pretty big, and can seem overwhelming, but it's actually very user friendly and nice to use.  Let's tackle these problems one by one.


          First, the Core server patch level.  What Management Suite version / Service Pack level are you on?  Sign in to the Management Suite and go to Help -> About which will give you the main version (probably  From there click More Info and see the Service Pack level.  If you don't see SP3 installed then download the Core Server Service Pack from here: http://community.landesk.com/support/docs/DOC-1001


          If you want to create a new agent deployment (after verifying that the core is on SP3) then you can either create an Agent Deployment task by simply dragging a device (or multiple devices) from the All Devices list onto the Agent in the Agent Configuration pane at the bottom, or you can try and patch them using Security and Patch Manager.  If the Core is already on SP3 then I definitely recommend just using Security and Patch Manager.  If your core is older than that then it depends on what you want to do.  If you want to get a feel for agent deployment, then you can deploy new agents.  If you'd prefer to use Patch Manger then that's fine too.


          Let me know what Core version you are on and how you want to get your agents up to the same level as the Core.

          • 2. Re: Never worked with Landesk before, now I am in charge of it....HELP

            We are on 8.8 SP2a.  Once the new agent is created and I deploy it does it kick in right away?  Or does it take alittle while to do it's thing?


            I don't have a preference for whichever is better, I just know that my bosses are going to start askign me questions about our envirnment, and I can BS with the best of them, but when I have to prove it, then it becomes tricky.


            Does the agent install automatically, or does it get everything ready first, then it installs the updates when the machine is idle?


            Also, once all of that is set up how do I make sure Landesk is updating its clients?  I don't think they are in my environment, since the AV definitions are from March 31.  Plus I keep all of these critical miscrosoft updates.  How can I get Landesk to get these updates, then push the updates to the clients?


            I just want everything updated and commuicating correctly, and I have no idea how to do that.


            Thanks for the answer too, sorry to be such a n00b

            • 3. Re: Never worked with Landesk before, now I am in charge of it....HELP

              Alright, I recommend using Security and Patch Manager to update everything.  To do that, open Security and Patch Manager.  [-8  (Tools -> Security -> Security and Patch Manager)  The default agent install methods will run immediately, but silently.  If an agent already exists there will be a reboot required, but you can suppress the reboot or prompt your users for it, etc.  Decide how you want to handle reboots, because that will be a common theme for patching, a lot of software distribution tasks, etc.


              First thing to do (to patch your clients) is download all current definitions.  That's the button on the top left that looks like a yellow diamond with a big green arrow pointing down on it.  Download at least the LANDesk updates and the Microsoft ones.  If you want to do others, feel free.  You should schedule a task that runs every day (or week, but I recommend day) and set it to run.  There's a button to do that.


              At this point you have options.  For now I recommend not downloading all definitions to the unassigned folder (so they'll be automatically scanned instead) and I also recommend only downloading patches for detected definitions.  That saves a lot of bandwidth and hard drive space, because you only download what you need.  Determine how you want ot handle the downloads, create your daily task, then kick of a manual update.


              Before you set up your repair task you should check your Scan and Repair settings.  Click on the icon that's third from the left and select Scan and Repair Settings.  Hopefully you only have one listed, because then we'll know which one your agents are using.  [-8  If not, you can either create a new one or modify an existing one and we can have you explicitly specify to use it for this initial task until you can figure out what all your agents are using.  Either way, you'll need to determine whether to notify end users before patching (I usually don't), and determine if you want reboots to happen automatically, notify end users (with optional options to allow users to cancel or delay the reboot), or suppress the reboot completely and wait for the device to be rebooted before the patches are fully applied.


              While the patch definitions are downloading we can set up how you want to apply your patches.  I like to create a custom group under Groups - Custom Groups in Security and Patch Manager.  Right click Custom Groups and choose to create a new group.  Give it a name.  After that go to your detected folder up top.  Determine which patches you want to apply.  You can filter what types you want to look at by using the drop down menu that's kind of in the middle of the pane.  If you don't want to patch something drag it from detected to do not scan.  There are some patches that you will need to move to do not scan.  For example, you can patch devices to install IE8, or you can patch them to not have Windows Update detect IE8 as necessary.  Those two obviously conflict, so pick which one you want and move the other to Do Not Scan.


              At this point go back to your Detected folder and drag all the patches you want to repair to your repair group.  A message will pop up telling you that prerequisite and dependent patches will also be updated, so click OK.  Right click on your device group and choose to repair it.  You can repair via a scheduled task or a policy.  A scheduled task is a push from the Core and a policy is a pull from the client.  A policy will usually have a higher success rate, but you lose the ability to schedule it, because it waits for the clients to check in.  I usually do a policy and notify end users that they need to reboot after (that setting is in the scan and repair settings from a few paragraphs ago).  What you do is obviously up to you.


              If you had more than one scan and repair setting then select it from the scan and repair settings option you see while creating the task.  If you only had one, then you can leave it to use the default one for each agent, because you know it's the one you modified.


              Create your task, then drag the devices you want to repair onto the task to add them.  Then schedule the task to start (or start immediately).  If it's a policy then you will see everything go to active for a minute or so then go back to pending until that device checks in.  A scheduled task will immediately attempt to contact the devices and either begin processing or fail (if the device is offline).


              There are a lot more elegant patching solutions, but that should get you a quick, dirty patch job and give you a feel for LANDesk patching.  Let me know how it goes.


              Also, you probably noticed there are a lot of areas where you have options.  Once you determine how you want to do something it is very easy to pull off consistently.  It's a lot to take in the first time through, but most of what you did is a once only type of activity, unless you decide you want to tweak it later.

              • 4. Re: Never worked with Landesk before, now I am in charge of it....HELP

                I know this may not be what you want to hear, but you are in charge of an extremely powerful and dangerous system here.  Used well, LANDesk will do a great job for you, used badly it will either just fail or do a large amount of damage.


                You can learn this through readin and trial/error, but this is really the hard and extremely slow way.  If there is any chance at all you need to get yourself trainined so that you understand the basics.  I'd hope your boss would understand that you need this as I'm fairly sure they wouldn't throw somebody with no Active Directory experience into becoming their dedicated administrator on their first day.


                If the last guy coudnt get it going, then you face an uphill task becuase not only do you need to find out what it is meant to do when configured correctly, you also need to find out what the last guy diff incorrectly and possibly fix a badly configured product (assumptions here so things may not be that bad, just painting the picture).


                Since you are in LA, I suggest you talk to these guys - http://www.networkd.com .  They are local to you and can help you out in everything you need from training, support, and even to running the system on your behalf.  It won't be free as it is a business, but it might just be what you need.


                Mark McGinn
                Verismic Software - http://www.verismic.com
                Precision Engineering for Systems Management

                • PC Power Management Software
                • LANDesk Historical Analysis
                • Self-Service Password Reset
                • LANDesk to Service Desk Integrations
                • 5. Re: Never worked with Landesk before, now I am in charge of it....HELP

                  Wow Mach6, thanks for writing all of that, I truely appreciate taking the time to do that.  I will try everything that you have said and then come back and update this thread.  I haven't had the time to try it yet.  But I wanted to express my gratitude before too much time has passed.  Stay tuned for details and thanks again!