Posts tagged: Automation Manager

Ports of PowerFuse and other products

From the Technotes-R-Us dept. A new article, RG02C has been added to the technote library. This is a reference to the TCP ports being used by all RES products. This document will be maintained if new ports are added in the future.

Click here to read the article

New technote: Fixing a Wisdom agent uninstall issue

From the we’ve-got-plenty-more-where-that-came-from dept. Another technote, RG028 has been posted in the RESguru technote library. Playing around (maybe a bit rough :) with my Wisdom lab, I managed to mess up a target computer, where the Wisdom agent quite simply refused to uinstall. I decided to investigate and figure out a generic approach to cleaning out an agent completely. Hopefully you will never need to do this, as the Wisdom agent normally uninstalls clean and nice, but hey things sometimes go bump in the  night, and this is how to deal with it.

Click here to read the RG028 article

Cleaning out the Wisdom agent completely

Here’s a bit of info which may come in handy for those of you who spend a lot of time cloning machines and contemplating using Wisdom to manage the clones. As you may know, there are 3 methods in RES Wisdom for identifying the agent:

  1. Using the WUID option
  2. The MAC address of the first NIC and
  3. 3) a combo of the computername and domain name.

In an environment where cloning is performed, using option 1 is not recommended as it may lead you to agents disapearing from the Wisdom console. This is due to the fact that the WUID is written into the HKLM portion of the registry, hence it will be part of the image. This is why we usually recommend either using MAC address or domain+computername as the Agent identification method here

When you uninstall the Wisdom Agent, it’s a quite clean operation. However the WUID value will remain on the target machine when you uninstall it. Although this is per design, it may have some unforseen consequences if you are in the middle of building your clone template. Hence it would be nice to know what to clean out in order to forget the Wisdom agent has ever touched a machine.

The registry keys you are looking for are:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\RES\Wisdom\Preferences\WUID
HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WUID\Default

If you need to clean out the Wisdom agent completely, make sure you delete both the WUID keys.

Update: August 24th 2010 – This topic has been integrated into Technote RG028.


RES Wisdom Visio Shapes

From the creative dept. One of our esteemed RES usergroup comunity members, pkaak has taken the time to create a set of Microsoft Visio shapes for RES Wisdom. Good man! This is the first go, which includes just the basic stuf like Datastore, Disapatchers and agents. Nevertheless it’s a great start and I would urge you all to try them out and give Pkaak feedback in the forum.

The thread can be found here and here’s a direct link for downloading the Visio shapes.

New Wisdom Buildingblocks on the RES forum

legobrick_redOver the last couple of months, two nice Wisdom buildingblocks have been posted by users on the RES Forum. The latest BB will help you install Windows Deployment services on a Windows 2003 server. The other available buildingblock is able to turn off those pesky Cached Offline Folders.  This buildingblock is designed for target computers running Windows XP.

Great work chaps, thanks for sharing!

Click here to see the postings and download the Buildingblocks

SR1 Wisdom update

reslogoOkay, this is some old updates which have been sitting in the queue for a while without getting published. Nevertheless, there’s some good info in here on how to upgrade Wisdom.

March 27th, RES Software released an update package for RES Wisdom. The Service Release 1 package for Wisdom 2009 is available for download from the RES Portal. The update can be downloaded here (this requires you to have a valid SA logon).  So, what’s new in this update you might ask? There’s a good deal of fixes:

Have a look here for more info:  Icon, PDF file

If you havent’ tried upgrading Wisdom before, don’t worry. It’s piece of cake (really, it is! :) Essentially, you fire up your console and point to the update package, which is automagically uploaded and distributed thereafter. All the agents, dispatchers and consoles will upgrade themselves without you having to do anything.

wis11) You download the .WUP file (Yes, WUP is short for Wisdom Update Pack :). Start your Wisdom console and go to Infrastructure | Datastore | Setup | Components.

2) Here you use the Wisdom, update button button, and it’s pretty much a next, next finish job from there.

The mere thought of having a production system upgrade itself on a massive parallel scale,  may scare the  living daylights out of you. If it does, it just proves you’re still sane! :) Seriously, Wisdom is one of the most stabile platforms out there and it handles itself very safe and sanitary. One of the very little known facts of the product is that you can actually downgrade to an earlier update package version. So, if something isn’t working right, it’s possible to do a rollback. The version range where this is possible has yet to be determined, but we will ammend this post as soon as this has been clarified.

Happy upgrading

/TRG

Mo’ Blocks for the Builders!

legobrick_redThis is a handfull of nice buildingblocks for both PowerFuse and Wisdom. These are not insanely advanced or anything, just some handy tools that every RES admin out there ought to have in his toolbelt. An up-to-date list of all available buildingblocks on this site, can be found respectively in the PowerFuse and Wisdom Buildingblock archives. Click on the RAR files below to download the buildingblocks:

 

Icon, RarFile PowerFuse BuildingBlock: Default Global authorizations. This buildingblock will help you get from pilot to production much faster, by implementing some best practices for authorizations. The buildingblock contains a set of Global Authorized files which will enable the most common authorisations for Windows XP and VMware workstation. This will enable you to switch both Application Security and Read-Only Blanketing into Blocking mode much faster. For those of you out there using Vista, a seperate buildingblock will be made available later, as there are loads more stuff that Vista wants to pull up at logon. Besides, XP/2003 administrators will probably be happy not having to weed out a ton of unnecessary authorizations. If you want to have a look what’s in the box :), check out this nifty PowerFuse Instant-Report: Icon, PDF file 

 

Icon, RarFile PowerFuse BuildingBlock: Best Practice Registry settings. This is another buildingblock which will help you speed up initial deployment by implementing some of the most common HKCU registry settings. These cover a lot of common stuff, best practices, etc. For example you can redirect shell folders, disable the XP tour, configure the explorer windows properly and much more. You can preview the contens of the buildingblock by having a look at an Instant-Report for the module here: Icon, PDF file 

 

Icon, RarFile  Wisdom BuildingBlock: Add a computer to the domain. This is a simple module, however it ought to be in the toolbox of every Wisdom admin out there. It simply enters a computer into a domain, but also modifies the DefaultDomain registry key, so the user logging on afterwards does not have to change the domain dropdown. Believe it or not, this is a frequent item which helpdesks have to deal with, so why not eliminate it all together? The module should need no editing at all. When you import it into your Wisdom 2009 environment, it will prompt you for all necessary information.

 

Icon, RarFile  Wisdom BuildingBlock: Super Security Audit (21MB). With this module you will quickly get an overview of any outstanding security issues, related to missing updates, vunerabilities etc. The module installs MBSA 2.1 + the security cab files and report everything back to the Wisdom console. Also the module will report you MS product keys and do a WGA check on the machines you schedule the job on. There are several cool things worth mentioning about this module.

  • Scr, mbsa job resultThe module contains all the components ready to go. No extra downloads are necessary.
  • Just download, import and execute.
  • It can operate offline, which makes it great for those kinds of datacenters where allowing the servers to access the Internet is not an option
  • The module supports execution on both 32 and 64 bit OS’s. Wisdom will make sure the right bit-version of MBSA is executed on the righ platform

 

If you would like a sneak-peak of what this module can do look here: Icon, PDF file

Reducing the size of the PowerFuse database

Animated, Gears, boxA brand new article has been posted to the Technote Library. This time we’re diving into the PowerTrace tables. Being new to PowerFuse, some will be inclined to switch on everything, including PowerTrace turned to the Maxx, resulting in a potentially very unwanted huge heap of logdata and perhaps even a slow performing DBMS too.

This article explains how to both cure that situation if things have gone megabad, but also how to prevent it from happening in the future. 

Click here to read the full article.

Switching off – Still a good idea!

Icon, power plug 1Remember a little while back, we looked into how much money can be saved by turning off computers? An article was posted last month on how and how much money you can save if you can turn off selected computers and servers for a few hours every week. In case you missed it, the article can be read here

To make  the point that we here at RESguru.com are not completely bonkers (that is besides the point :), here’s a newspaper clip from the Reading Post (in the UK) of Febuary 11th. Click on it to view full-size.

reading-power-small

Wisdom BuildingBlock: Mandatory Profile Path

legobrick_redHere is another Wisdom BuildingBlock for your consideration. This one will help you correctly set an environment variable across all your different computers in your organization, which will point to the local path of a mandatory profile, which should be used for the given operating system.

This may at first sound like utter nonsense, but think of it like this: Let’s say that you want to enable users to have the same profile across different systems, say Vista, XP and Terminal Services 2003. Impossible you say? Nope, this can be done.  There is a nifty whitepaper from RES, available here which describes the entire procedure: Icon, PDF file 

To sum up the whitepaper, you can:custom-resources

  • Create a mandatory profile for each of the operating systems which require it
  • Upload these profiles to PowerFuse Custom Resources, which will automagically replicate them out locally to the %programfiles%\res powerfuse\data\dbcache \resources\customresources folder on all machines running PowerFuse. Make a structure in PowerFuse Custom Ressources as seen here on the right (note you do not have to create all the folders etc. just point to the root folder of an existing mandatory profile and the RES console will import it with all subdirectories)
  • Run the module on all target machines where users will be logging in.
  • Configure User Preferences to grab the stuff which you want to store for the users uppon logout.
  • Modify the User records in AD, change the user profile path of the users to the variable, say %manprofile% (remember, this can be done in Wisdom too! – perhaps a subject for another buildingblock)

This result is quite spectacular:  All users share one singular profile path (which is dynamic).  The user session will be loading the right mandator profile, as it will be specified by the variable. The path will be local, resulting in zero network traffic as result of loading the profile locally.

The Wisdom module has been designed with module parameters, so you can customize your own paths etc, making it quite easy to use.

Click here to download the module:  Icon, RarFile