What exactly is the ZENMaster Framework? Well, in short it is a combination of both methodologies and technology that addresses the complexities surrounding release management of both your corporate applications and your corporate images. Is that high level enough for you?
What the framework allows you to do is build a system of interconnected trees (via ZENworks Server Management - Tiered Electronic Distribution) so that you can isolate your testing environment(s) from your production environment. This is the key. As a best practice I have always recommended that customers/partners isolate testing from production. Why? Because... it's smart practice, and you will never have to answer to the CIO for disrupting production time due to to testing your new version of WinZip. No one needs that. In addition, by interconnecting your systems using Tiered Electronic Distribution (TED) you can then automate the movement of your corporate applications and images throughout your testing environments and into your production environment while maintaining application object configuration, and content synchronization. The end goal is to get the content into production, wherever it needs to be, ready for the end users to consume. Then if in the future the content or object information changes this information can then be automatically replicated out to all your remote sites... once again ready to be consumed.
To summarize, the ZENMaster Framework address the following:
1. Increases efficiencies
2. Creates standardization
3. Decreases administrative efforts
4. Leverages the automation capabilities of the ZENworks Suite
I have personally designed and implemented this framework in a few very large environments, and believe me the payoff is immediate.
In the next post I'm going to start going into more detail on how to design the framework, and get it implemented in your organization... regardless of the size. Put it in place, and you will reap the rewards.