1 2 Previous Next 18 Replies Latest reply on Jan 29, 2010 1:04 PM by Stephen Burke

    Preferred Servers Understanding

    Apprentice

      I've been trying to follow along other threads that explain the Preferred Servers concept. I think I have a fair understanding but I want to ensure that this is working here.

       

      I have 3 Sites. NC, DC, GA.

       

      GA is our core server and the file structure is as follows \\%CORE%\ldlogon\SWpackages\

       

      The NC and DC Sites have preferred servers with the addresses as follows \\%PREFSERVER%\ldlogon\SWPackages\

       

      What I'm looking to do is take all of our standard software, Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Java and create silent installations to house in the Prefferred Servers share.

       

      For example, in the DC site I would create a Distribution Package for Adobe Reader 9.3. and I would place the package in \\\\%PREFSERVER%\ldlogon\SWPackages\Adobe Reader\9

       

      Now what I'm trying to understand is how Adobe Reader 9.3 gets put on all the machines....... Do all the agents every so often look to the preferred server for any new software and try to retrieve it?

       

      Can someone help me fill in the details here....?

        • 1. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
          Stephen Burke Apprentice

          Someone may explain this better than me, but I'll give it a go...

           

          1. Your packages would be created here: \\%CORE%\ldlogon\SWpackages\

           

          2. You then use some sort of mechanism to replicate that directory structure to each server you will be using as a preferred server

               "Very simple example" -  xcopy \\%CORE%\ldlogon\SWpackages\*.* \\DC\ldlogon\SWpackages\ /s/v/e

           

          3. Your push or policy job for Adobe reader would reference \\%CORE%\ldlogon\SWPackages\Adobe Reader\9\"whatever setup program"

           

          4. When the job is run, the client computer would look in preferred.dat (not sure the exact name. we needed to change it because of a bug in 8.7) for which server it should get the package from and if the server name is DC, instead of using \\%CORE%\ldlogon\SWPackages\Adobe Reader\9\"whatever setup program", it would use \\DC\ldlogon\SWPackages\Adobe Reader\9\"whatever setup program"

          • 2. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
            Apprentice

            About 1. and 2. I don't have the actual package on the core. I just have it on the preferred server. The folder structure is all the same though.

             

            3. So I should change my push policies to look at the core? Currently I have them looking at hte preferred servers.

             

            4. I checked out the preferred.dat on a few clients and here is what I have noted the filename itself is called: preferredservers.%core%.dat but if you open the file up in note pad there are some numbers then the name of the preferred server.

             

            Here are a few questions for you:

             

             

             

            Multi-part question

             

            1. I will use a query for those computers not equal to Adobe 9.3.

            2. Then, I will schedule a distribution task based on that query pointing to the core to install Adobe 9.3.

            3. At this point it would look to the pref server. for the installation.

            4. If the computer fails it will at a later date check back in with the preferred server for the install?

             

            Is this sequence correct?

             

            How often are these preferred servers checked for software?

             

            I just want to be sure on this the Core and the Pref Servers are suppose to have the same install path.....

             

            ex.

             

            \\%CORE%\ldlogon\SWpackages\Adobe\Reader\9\silent.bat 


            and

             

            \\%PREFSERVER%\ldlogon\SWpackages\Adobe\Reader\9\silent.bat

             

             

            I appreciate your help with this.

            • 3. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
              Stephen Burke Apprentice

              Stoj wrote:

               

              About 1. and 2. I don't have the actual package on the core. I just have it on the preferred server. The folder structure is all the same though.

               

              3. So I should change my push policies to look at the core? Currently I have them looking at hte preferred servers.

               

              4. I checked out the preferred.dat on a few clients and here is what I have noted the filename itself is called: preferredservers.%core%.dat but if you open the file up in note pad there are some numbers then the name of the preferred server.

               

              Here are a few questions for you:

               

               

               

              Multi-part question

               

              1. I will use a query for those computers not equal to Adobe 9.3.

              2. Then, I will schedule a distribution task based on that query pointing to the core to install Adobe 9.3.

              3. At this point it would look to the pref server. for the installation.

              4. If the computer fails it will at a later date check back in with the preferred server for the install?

               

              Is this sequence correct?

               

              How often are these preferred servers checked for software?

               

              I just want to be sure on this the Core and the Pref Servers are suppose to have the same install path.....

               

              ex.

               

              \\%CORE%\ldlogon\SWpackages\Adobe\Reader\9\silent.bat 


              and

               

              \\%PREFSERVER%\ldlogon\SWpackages\Adobe\Reader\9\silent.bat

               

               

              I appreciate your help with this.

              You mentioned that "GA" was your Core, and you also specified that you had a path on it that pointed to your packages.I assumed that all your packages were on the Core, if they are on the preffered servers only, then your tasks SHOULD be pointing to one of the preferred server paths instead.

               

              Remember, you said you have 3 sites that include 1 core and 2 preferred. A couple of questions:

               

              1. Where are the packages for users that are local to the Core being installed from?

              2. Do you have multiple push jobs each pointing to it's on preferred server?

               

               

               

              I should have also stated that I am going by what was necessary for us using 8.7. We just migrated to 8.8 SP3 and I don't know if anything has changed for version 9.

               

              Example - you are using \\%PREFSERVER%, is that an actual env variable accessible to tasks? or are you just using it as a placeholder in this posting?

              • 4. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
                Apprentice

                Sorry for the misunderstanding. We sort of have a mis-mash setup that I would like to reorganize. I have 2 different distribution tasks for the same product going to two different preferred servers.

                 

                ex.

                NC Distribution Task (Adobe Reader 9.3) going to %NCPREF%\ldlogon\Adobe\Reader\9\silent.bat

                DC Distribution Task (Adobe Reader 9.3) going to %DCPREF%\ldlogon\Adobe\Reader\9\silent.bat

                 

                After speaking with you it appears that I need to have 1 distribution task pointing to the %CORE%, then essentially the machines will first check the PrefServers and will install there. Before I do this though I will need to move the install files up to the %CORE% as well. What I was saying matched were the file paths %PATH%\ldlogon\SWPackages. <-- This was common between all the servers.

                 

                %is just a place holder%

                 

                I think I'm following you now. One question though is how often are the clients looking at the preferred server for the packages?

                • 5. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
                  Expert

                  Have a look at the docs on this thread.

                   

                  http://community.landesk.com/support/message/26998#26998

                   

                  From my understanding, as long as the folder structure is the same, then the server name won't matter providing the preferred server is configured properly in LANDesk. In your .bat file (or install script), you don't want to hard code the path to where the executable is being run from. So don't put something like \\server\folder\file.exe in your .bat file or it will defeat the purpose of where the file is being executed from. Instead, you want to tell the install to run from its current directory. I have a sample .bat file that would help (if I can find it...).

                   

                  You could try using .\folder\file.exe

                  The "." (dot or period) will represent the current directory. I've had mixed results with this especially if the installer calls a file from another directory such as what might happen if you are running an MSI.

                  • 6. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
                    Stephen Burke Apprentice

                    jmac wrote:

                     

                    Have a look at the docs on this thread.

                     

                    http://community.landesk.com/support/message/26998#26998

                     

                    From my understanding, as long as the folder structure is the same, then the server name won't matter providing the preferred server is configured properly in LANDesk. In your .bat file (or install script), you don't want to hard code the path to where the executable is being run from. So don't put something like \\server\folder\file.exe in your .bat file or it will defeat the purpose of where the file is being executed from. Instead, you want to tell the install to run from its current directory. I have a sample .bat file that would help (if I can find it...).

                     

                    You could try using .\folder\file.exe

                    The "." (dot or period) will represent the current directory. I've had mixed results with this especially if the installer calls a file from another directory such as what might happen if you are running an MSI.

                    We are not talking inside the batch file. You have no choice but to pick a physical server where the batch file is located.

                    • 7. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
                      Expert

                      Have a look at the docs in the link I provided. It answers the questions and assumptions in your thread above as well as a tip on how to use Robocopy to update your preferred servers. As far as my suggestion on the bat file, it was a tip as to where to look to improve the success of software distibution using multiple locations.

                      • 8. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
                        Apprentice

                        I sort of agree with this. What does it matter what's inside the batch file? In side of a batch file on NC or DC Pref Servers will state to install from the NC or DC Pref Servers.

                         

                        The Distribution Package is just going to point to \\%CORE%\ldlogon\swpackages\Adobe\Reader\9\silent.bat

                         

                        Once I run it the clients are first going to look at their preferred serves and run

                         

                        \\%DC/NCPREF%\ldlogon\swpackages\Adobe\Reader\9\silent.bat

                         

                        Which will install setup.exe in \\%CORE%\ldlogon\swpackages\Adobe\Reader\9\

                        • 9. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
                          Stephen Burke Apprentice

                          OK, here you go:

                           

                          1. The clients look at preferred every time the task is run.

                           

                          2. Are you only installing packages at the (NC & DC) locations? If you are also installing at the GA location, you need those files local so that GA computers are not going to DC or NC to do the installs. So either put the packages on the Core or setup another local server that will host your packages:

                           

                          At my location, I have a Core server AND another server where all our software installs reside. I then have a server in each remote office that contains any software packages that will be pushed out with LANDesk and also any patches (\\%CORE%\ldlogon\patch) that will be deployed from "Security and Patch Manager".

                           

                          Each night, I do a Robocopy job that copies any changes made on my Core & local "application package" server to each remote preferred server.

                           

                          3. You only need 1 distribution task that points to either NC or DC (or GA). When that task executes, the first thing it does (maybe not first) is check the preffered.dat file to see where it should install from.

                           

                          4. You only need to update your Core IF you have machines that are local to it only (they are not local to NC or DC). If that is the case, create the same structure on your Core OR another local server and use that in your distro. It's easier configuring tasks locally to the Core instead of pointing them to remote directories. Just think, if you loose connectivity to your remote site while creating a task, you won't be able to.

                           

                          5. ANOTHER THING THAT PREFERRED SERVERS ARE GOOD FOR::::::::  Patching, if you replicate your patches directory to each of your preferred servers, Hot fixes will be installed from there as well. See my setup at #2 above

                          • 10. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
                            Stephen Burke Apprentice

                            Once I run it the clients are first going to look at their preferred serves and run

                             

                            \\%DC/NCPREF%\ldlogon\swpackages\Adobe\Reader\9\silent.bat                        <------  YES

                             

                            Which will install setup.exe in \\%CORE%\ldlogon\swpackages\Adobe\Reader\9\  <------  Your silent.bat should run JUST setup.exe (no path)

                            OK, this is where jmac's suggestion would come into place. inside the batch file do not specify a path to anything (unless it is a subdirectory) so it would be "setup.exe" not \\%CORE%\.....\setup.exe. When you create the job and specify the "additional files", LD knows that they will also be on your preferred server.

                            • 11. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
                              Apprentice

                               

                               

                               

                              See my comments below.

                               

                              1. The clients look at preferred every time the task is run.

                              1. So , Should I should then schedule the distribution task to run once a day. I thought the purpose of Policy-Supported Push was if the machine fails it would try again.

                               

                              2. Are you only installing packages at the (NC & DC) locations? If you are also installing at the GA location, you need those files local so that GA computers are not going to DC or NC to do the installs. So either put the packages on the Core or setup another local server that will host your packages:

                              2. I’m only actually installing to the NC and DC locations. There are no client machines in GA. Right now I have the file paths as follows:

                              \\%GACORE%\ldlogon\swpatches\adobe\reader\9\silent.bat

                              \\%DCPREF%\ldlogon\swpatches\adobe\reader\9\silent.bat

                              \\%NCPREF%\ldlogon\swpatches\adobe\reader\9\silent.bat

                               

                              3. You only need 1 distribution task that points to either NC or DC (or GA). When that task executes, the first thing it does (maybe not first) is check the preffered.dat file to see where it should install from.

                              My distribution package will now be updated to point to\\\%GACORE%\ldlogon\swpatches\adobe\reader\9\silent.bat  , simply because my machines will just look to their pref servers.

                              • 12. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
                                Apprentice

                                okay , i will have to test this.

                                 

                                The problem with adding additional files is that doesn't it pull those files down to the sdmcache of the machine?

                                 

                                the nice thing about a batch file is there is a small footprint.

                                • 13. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
                                  Stephen Burke Apprentice

                                  The problem with adding additional files is that doesn't it pull those files down to the sdmcache of the machine?

                                  If you are using "run from source" then no it doesn't pull the files down. If you are doing a "push", then yes it puts the files in sdmcache. Hence the reason to use a preferred server configuration. This also means your batch file doesn't need reference to a server to find executables. Everything is local.

                                  • 14. Re: Preferred Servers Understanding
                                    Stephen Burke Apprentice

                                    See my comments below.

                                    Now you see MY comments (grin)

                                     

                                    1. The clients look at preferred every time the task is run.

                                    1. So , Should I should then schedule the distribution task to run once a day. I thought the purpose of Policy-Supported Push was if the machine fails it would try again.

                                     

                                    It doesn't matter how many times the task is run or what type of task, it is just saying "I don't have file X, where do I get it?"

                                     

                                    2. Are you only installing packages at the (NC & DC) locations? If you are also installing at the GA location, you need those files local so that GA computers are not going to DC or NC to do the installs. So either put the packages on the Core or setup another local server that will host your packages:

                                    2. I’m only actually installing to the NC and DC locations. There are no client machines in GA. Right now I have the file paths as follows:

                                    \\%GACORE%\ldlogon\swpatches\adobe\reader\9\silent.bat

                                    \\%DCPREF%\ldlogon\swpatches\adobe\reader\9\silent.bat

                                    \\%NCPREF%\ldlogon\swpatches\adobe\reader\9\silent.bat

                                     

                                    If you are not going to be installing anything local to the core, then you don't need to have the packages there. It does make it easy like I said if YOU are local to the core to manage everything. Meaning you create all jobs to point to \\%GACORE% and replicate everything from the Core to the remote locations.

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                     

                                    3. You only need 1 distribution task that points to either NC or DC (or GA). When that task executes, the first thing it does (maybe not first) is check the preffered.dat file to see where it should install from.

                                    My distribution package will now be updated to point to\\\%GACORE%\ldlogon\swpatches\adobe\reader\9\silent.bat  , simply because my machines will just look to their pref servers.

                                     

                                    Yes. Just remember in order to use %GACORE% in your task, the files and path HAVE to exist on %GACORE%

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