Simplified Branch Office Support and Server Deployment with Novell ZENworks 10 Configuration Management SP3
Written by Jason Blackett
Novell ZENworks® Configuration Management is all about making your IT life easier, especially when it comes to managing your endpoints. The release of Novell ZENworks 10 Configuration Management SP3 focuses on three main areas that support the “make IT easier” theme: improved branch office support; authentication enhancements; and easier, faster and more cost-effective deployment of ZENworks Configuration Management through a virtual appliance deployment option.
Satellite Support Enhanced
The branch office support improvements in this support pack focus on ZENworks satellite servers, which are managed devices you can set up in your branch offices and other locations to perform roles normally performed by primary ZENworks servers. Such roles include authentication, information collection, content distribution and imaging. The improvements provided in Novell ZENworks 10 Configuration Management SP3 deal primarily with giving you greater flexibility, control and WAN bandwidth optimization for replicating content between your satellite and primary servers.
The improvements provided in Novell ZENworks 10 Configuration Management SP3 deal primarily with giving you greater flexibility, control and WAN bandwidth optimization for replicating content between your satellite and primary servers.
The first of these improvements enables you to make content assignments for your bundles and policies at the folder level, instead of just the individual object level. (See Figure 1.) For example, if you want to replicate the entire contents of a folder containing a thousand bundles, instead of having to configure each individual bundle for replication, you can simply indicate that you want all of the folder's content replicated. This is accomplished by doing the following:
- Go to the bundle folder's details page in ZENworks Control Center, select the Settings tab and click Content.
- Choose Primary Server Replication or Satellite Server Replication.
- Indicate the replication status that you want for that bundle folder by marking either the Include or Exclude check box next to the content server.
- If you want to ensure that all subfolders—as well as individual bundles and policies—inherit the settings, click Force Inheritance in the Folder Task list in the left navigation pane.
Novell ZENworks 10 Configuration Management SP3 also gives you more flexible and granular control over scheduling content replication. Instead of limiting scheduling to a primary server basis using a basic reoccurring schedule, you can now schedule on a per-satellite basis and content-type basis. Additionally, you can schedule those different satellites and content types to replicate on different days and different times during the day. The new support pack also gives you more flexible control in terms of bandwidth throttling for scheduled content replication.
As an example, the granular scheduling and throttling controls allow you to make sure your critical patches replicate all day long with a large bandwidth throttle to ensure that critical content gets to your satellite servers as quickly as possible. For content that isn't as time critical (typically the bulk of your content), you could schedule it to replicate on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., or some other time frame that fits your specific needs. If you need some of that content to replicate during working hours, you can reduce the bandwidth throttle so it doesn't have as big an impact on your WAN traffic.
This support pack update also allows you to deploy new satellite servers in a way that doesn't consume as much WAN bandwidth during the initial content replication process. When you open a new branch office and bring a new satellite server online, if you have large content repositories that you need delivered to that satellite—and especially if you have a very slow WAN link—you could potentially consume a lot of WAN bandwidth during the initial replication. Novell ZENworks 10 Configuration Management SP3 provides an offline content replication process that allows you to avoid this situation by moving the majority of your content offline rather than over the WAN.
To take advantage of offline content replication, simply do the following:
- Configure the new satellite device to not replicate any content.
- To export the content to be replicated to a removable storage device (such as a USB thumb drive), employ the zman command-line command on the primary server:
satellite-server-export-content (ssec) (Path To Device) (Export Directory) [Options]
- At the branch office, import the content from your removable storage device to your satellite server using the zac command-line command:
- Finally, configure the satellite to replicate content. This will ensure that only content changes will be replicated to the satellite over your WAN link.