From the Nuts&Bolts Dept. November 2014 saw the release of Workspace Manager 2014 Service Release 2. You may have read the initial post over at RES, but as always here at RESguru.com we like to kick the tires and take it for a spin around the block. There’s several items in this release that are important to know about and I’m going to highlight some and give you my view on them.
Posts tagged: Release notes
From the Nuts & Bolts Dept. As the RES WorkspaceManager Updatepack 6 has been finished, we took the time to trawl through the release notes to see what’s been fixed. As always please remember: The RES update packs are not available for direct download and have not been fully regression tested like a Service Release is. You can request these from RES Support if you believe you are affected by one or more of the issues, or if Support recommends you to apply an updatepack. Updatepack 6 contains some rather nifty registry settings, which you can check out here in the one and only WM Registry Guide:
Note: if you want to get an earlier heads-up on updates and new articles on this site, consider following @RESguru on Twitter.
From the new-hotness dept. Today, November 1st 2010, RES Product management announced the Release Candidate of the RES Automation Manager 2011 (formerly known as Wisdom). It is now available for download for SA customers through the portal. The version number for this release is 220.127.116.11. The main areas of improvement are centered around the Service Orchestration module, Scalability, Integration, Security and compatibilty.
This update is massive, i.e. the enhancements are too many to mention here, although they are all covered in the releasenotes, available for download below. I would however like to highlight a few items which may be of interest to you, especially in regards to licensing as these things have changed with the latest release:
- License cost for PC’s cut in half. From this version, a workstation now only charges 0.5 licenses. This due to the fact that Automation Manager now supports the service orchestration pack. If you upgrade your exising Wisdom installation to Automation Manager, you will notice that your license consumption on workstations will be half of what it used to be. You’re welcome :-) Note that servers and terminal servers still are charged 4 and 8 licenses respectively.
- New licensing for small business servers: A new connector type has been added, which allows you to use a domain controller, a SQL server and an exchange server on one box. Where up until now this combo would cost 50 licenses in order to enable existing connector licenses (SQL:1 + Exchange:16 + DC:32), the new Small Business Server connector will enable all 3 on one box, charging 33 licenses, saving you 17 licenses for something else.
- Service orchestration now a part of Autmation Manager: From this version onward, the service automation module shares the Automation Manager database and thus the license pool also. So how’s service orchestration charged then? 0.5 license per serviced user. What’s a serviced user then? It’s a user to whom a orchestrated service is delivered. In other words, suppose you set up a service, such as an app the user can request to have installed, then 0.5 licenses is draw from the Automation Manager license pool when the service/app is delivered by Automation Maanger. If the service is returned (i.e. the app is uninstalled), then the 0.5 license is returned to the pool. I’d say that’s a quite fair model. Watch this blog for another article on Service Orchestration later.
Be sure to visit the updated Automation Manager licensing 101 article which is available here. This article contains a calculator which will help you figure out how many licenses you would need.
Besides the above changes to licenses, there are several other important improvements worth mentioning, although most of these have been available in the interim versions of Wisdom that have been available throughout this year. Anyway, if you’re not on the Early Adopter program, these items will likely be of interest to you:
- New Engines node in the console: From this version the console node formerly known as Dispatchers has been renamed to Engines. Reason for this change is that once you install the Service Orchestration module for Automation Manager, you’ll also be able to monitor the status of the Catalog Services and the Transaction Engine, besides the regular dispatchers.
- Master Dispatchers: This is a pretty cool way to manage large-scale environments where you have a requirement for multiple dispatchers on a remote site. You may also have a situation on your hands where setting up a replicated datastore is not an option. Setting up the Master Dispatcher allows dispatchers on a given site to talk to another dispatcher instead of talking directly to the datastore. Configuring this involves setting up 3 registry keys. There’s currently no GUI for this. These are described on page 4 of the releasenotes. Click the illustration on the right for a visual explanation of how the master dispatcher fits into the big picture.
- Job notification via email and SNMP: In Automation Manager 2011 it is also possible to configure alerting, very much like you know it from PowerF.. erm, Workspace Manager. The SNMP integration does not require installation of SNMP agents. Supported SNMP versions are v1 and v2c. The .MIB (Management Information Base) file, is located where you initially deployed your Automation Manager Console under %programfiles%\RES\Automation Manager (or ..\Wisdom if you’ve just upgraded).
- Ability to tweak Wake-on-Lan options: You can now change in Global Options what port WOL packets are sent on, default is 3163. Also you can tweak the default behavior which is sending to the 4×255 broadcast address, and instead send to a specific target subnet. See page 7 of the releasenotes for details.
- Enhanced SSH script support: Automation Manager can now use sudo, which is the UNIX equivalent of runas. Also, instead of executing a SSH script line by line, the script can be created in it’s entirety in the users homedirectory on the target system.
- Support for more Microsoft and Citrix environments: MS Exchange 2010, SQL Server Native Client 10.0, Windows 7 and Server 2008R2. The exchange support is especially cool as it will allow you to move mailboxes from say Exchange 2003 to 2010. Note however that such a job must be run on the Exchange 2010 box. Also worth mentioning is the ability to support Citrix Workflow Studio. By enabeling this integration existing workflow users will be able to take advantage of the advanced scheduling and conditional execution of Automation Manager. Existing RES customers will be able to take advantage of the Citrix-specific tasks available through the Workflow Studio.
- Query Evaluators: This is a very interesting piece which will alow you to make conditional executions based on the result of a given query. For example – if diskspace is less than 10% run a task to clean out the %temp% folder etc. Currently query evaluators are only supported for the following queries: Computer Properties, Disk space, Installed programs, Service properties, TCP/IP properties. I’m sure we will see more of these in the future. The important bit is that every query evaluator is different and, as a result of a query you can set a given module parameter to any value. The idea is that you can then use regular Conditions to check on the value of these further into the modules.
The above is just a few items I picked out from the stuff included in this major release of Automation Manager. For the complete picture, make sure to have a look at the releasenotes, which you can download right here.
This friday, April 24th, RES Software released Service Release 5 for PowerFuse 2008. This is a major overhaul which includes many new enhancements, and fixes alot of issues.
The update can be downloaded from the RES portal. As usual there 4 different downloads to consider: Either the full installer for new installations, or the PowerPacks, either the unattended or the manual version. Besides that, there is also the stand-alone Console installer, if you need it. Remember to have your credentials for the portal handy when you use these links.
Important note. This Service Release includes several new registry settings and environment variables. The reference documents maintained maintained on this site are being updated accordingly:
RG006 – Variables, Tags and Functions (more info is being added as we learn about the new variables)