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Evolving Efficiency

Moving from Novell ZENworks 7 Desktop Management
to Novell ZENworks 11 for Greater IT Efficiency

Written by Jason Blackett

Every product has a natural lifecycle, and for Novell ZENworks 7 Desktop Management, that lifecycle will soon enter the next phase of its six-year evolution. On June 30, 2011, ZENworks 7 Desktop Management will move from the general support phase of its support lifecycle to the extended support lifecycle phase. (See Extended Support.) The extended support phase is designed to provide an interim solution if you need more time to make the transition to Novell ZENworks Configuration Management 11. And if you're current on maintenance for the ZENworks 7 Suite, you are entitled to upgrade to Novell ZENworks Configuration Management 11 for free.

If you're current on maintenance for the Novell ZENworks 7 Suite, you are entitled to upgrade to Novell ZENworks Configuration Management 11 for free.

Reasons to Transition

Beyond the fact that general support for Novell ZENworks 7 Desktop Management is ending and that moving to Novell ZENworks Configuration Management 11 is free if you're current on maintenance, there are a number of compelling reasons for making the move. Chief among these additional reasons is productivity: simply put, ZENworks Configuration Management 11 will increase the efficiency of your IT department and the productivity of your users. That's because not only does this latest ZENworks version feature most of what you've come to love about ZENworks 7 Desktop Management, but it delivers a host of new capabilities designed to significantly reduce the effort it takes for you and your IT team to manage, maintain and deploy your IT resources.

The following are just a few of the new capabilities you'll find in Novell ZENworks Configuration Management 11:

  • Bundle management - The next generation of application management allows you much more control over how software is delivered to devices.
  • Single pane of glass for lifecycle management and endpoint security - Provides a unified, browser-based interface that features system dashboards, hot lists and other tools and shortcuts that provide quick, easy access to important tasks and device information.
  • Web-based architecture - Enables administrators to access the system from anywhere using a simple browser interface, without installing an additional management console.
  • Location awareness - Uses location to let you easily determine the closest Windows and Linux servers, as well as facilitate the control of bandwidth throttling.
  • Power management - Leverages Intel vPro technology to allow you to create policies that control power management settings and perform out-of-band power-management tasks.
  • Bundle and policy change management - Helps ensure that changes are only deployed to your production network when you're ready to publish them.
  • 64-bit support - Employs a 64-bit JVM that allows you to make the most of today's 64-bit hardware and operating systems.
  • Web-based reporting server - Delivers actionable information about your IT environment with an enhanced reporting service that lets you run a wide range of canned reports and build custom reports as needed.
  • Integrated Windows and Linux device management - Unifies your desktop environments by letting you manage all your Windows and Linux endpoints through a single unified, Web-based console, including the ability to discover Linux and Windows devices, enforce configuration policies, roll out new software, and deploy Windows and Linux operating systems.

You can take advantage of even more new features and capabilities if you choose to upgrade to Novell Endpoint Lifecycle Management Suite, which includes ZENworks Configuration Management, ZENworks Asset Management, ZENworks Patch Management and ZENworks Application Virtualization. This gives customers a proven set of ZENworks products at a significant discount over their combined stand-alone price.

This unified approach allows you to transform your IT specialists into IT generalists without compromising quality or performance. It eliminates the need to have people specialize in a single area. With a common, intuitive tool and a single management agent (ZENworks Adaptive Agent) for configuration management, endpoint security, asset management, and patch management, your people can easily acquire the knowledge and expertise needed to be proficient in all these areas. (See Figure 1.) The end result is that you can remove service bottlenecks without increasing headcount, eliminate unintended expenses associated with risk, and more efficiently and cost effectively meet your SLAs.

How to Transition

Although there are architectural differences between the product versions, the ZENworks 11 platform has been designed with ZENworks 7 customers in mind. In fact, ZENworks 11 includes a migration utility that simplifies and streamlines the process. For best results, you should install your ZENworks Configuration Management 11 servers in a separate environment, while moving your ZENworks 7 Desktop Management application objects and managed devices in stages. This gives you more control over the process and helps you to better decide which systems to move and when. With full control of the process, you can upgrade your environment as slowly or as aggressively as needed.

At a high level, the following represents the main steps you'll take to upgrade from ZENworks 7 Desktop Management to ZENworks Configuration Management 11:

  • Perform pre-migration tasks
  • Move your data
  • Test and publish your data

Perform Pre-Migration Tasks

Before you begin the actual move, there are few tasks you'll need to complete. The first of these is to install and set up a Novell ZENworks Configuration Management 11 server. ZENworks 11 will need to be installed on a different server than your ZENworks 7 server. The installation process will initialize the ZENworks Configuration Management database and create a primary server with a basic zone structure. You'll be able to verify the success of your installation by accessing the ZENworks Control Center.

To allow you to migrate the associations in your existing eDirectory tree for your ZENworks 7 environment, you'll need to configure a user source that points to that tree. This user source will allow the ZENworks Migration Utility to read the GUIDs in the existing tree and assign them to the ZENworks 7 bundles and policies that you plan to move to ZENworks 11.

To help you identify the objects and data that need to be moved, as well as ensure the upgrade process runs as smoothly as possible, you should run pre-migration reports to identify the following:

  • Group polices and the objects they reference.
  • Application objects that might need to be converted to individual actions or MSIs for the move, since these applications might need extra testing to ensure success.
  • Applications that use Remote Alternate Applications and the applications they reference so you can properly configure them after the move. ZENworks 11 does not support the remote alternate application attribute since the ZENworks 11 Adaptive Agent runs the same inside or outside your firewall and doesn't need to make this distinction.
  • Image objects that might need to be modified after the move or that might not migrate properly, such as image objects with scripts that reference other files that also need to be moved.
  • Applications that have non-applicable assigned attributes, such as fault tolerance and load balancing. Since the content system in ZENworks 11 provides this functionality automatically on a whole zone basis, these settings will not be moved since they are no longer needed.
  • Devices that won't be migrated, such as Windows 9x devices.

The above reports can be created by leveraging the eDirectory ODBC driver to run queries against eDirectory using reporting tools such as the ODBC query tool, OpenOffice Base, Crystal Reports or Microsoft Access. You can also use an eDirectory reporting tool such as BindView.

Simply put, Novell ZENworks Configuration Management 11 will increase the efficiency of your IT department and the productivity of your users.

Move Your Data

The Novell ZENworks Migration Utility will allow you to move most of the configuration data stored in your Novell ZENworks 7 eDirectory tree to the new Novell ZENworks Configuration Management zone. (See Figure 2.) The utility will guide you through the migration of the following data types:

Application objects of all application types
This includes thin client, Web, AOT/AXT, MSI and simple. Application objects are migrated as Windows bundle objects with the same name as the original application. In most cases, the utility simply copies the existing data to the new bundle. Objects with distribution information will be automatically converted to individual actions or MSIs. Files associated with applications are uploaded to the content repository on the primary server.

Image objects and their associated image files
This includes scripted image objects, simple image objects and server-based image multicast sessions. The utility migrates the image object content to an image bundle of the same name in the zone, and updates the paths to the images referenced by simple or server multicast session objects. After the migration, you'll need to copy any image files referenced by image scripts to the repository images directory, update scripts to reflect the new location, create images for add-on applications in the console and update their references, and clean up any image files that are no longer needed.

Policies still supported by ZENworks Configuration Management 11
This includes Dynamic Local User (DLU), Group, Imaging Server, Imaging Workstation, iPrint, Remote Control, Roaming Profile, and SNMP Trap Target policies. For most policies, the migration utility can create a similar type of policy.

Image server policy settings and workstation launcher configure settings (Management Zones)
These settings will be moved into the ZENworks 11 environment as management zone settings. The launcher configuration settings that can apply to a whole management zone will not be migrated since they can be more easily configured as a global management zone setting.

Workstation, folder and group objects
You need to make sure you move all folders and groups that have associations. You can skip the migration of workstations if you don't have associations to workstations or workstation GUIDs that you need to preserve from Novell eDirectory. You can also skip this step if you want to set up your workstations as managed devices in a management zone by using the ZENworks Control Center to discover them and deploying the ZENworks Adaptive Agent to them. Currently, the utility only supports the migration of Windows 2000 Support Pack 4, Windows XP SP2, and Windows XP SP3 workstations.

Although there are architectural differences between the product versions, the Novell ZENworks 11 platform has been designed with Novell ZENworks 7 customers in mind.

Novell eDirectory object associations
Associations will be migrated as assignment objects in ZENworks 11, which establishes a one-to-one relationship between two objects, such as "App A is assigned to User 1." So, to move an association to an assignment object, you have to include both the ZENworks object and its associated object. For user-associated policies or applications, you need to define a user source for the zone. For workstation-associated policies, applications and images, you need to move their associated folders, workstation groups and workstations.

Test and Publish Your Data

Even though the migration tool simplifies the movement of your Novell ZENworks 7 data to your new Novell ZENworks 11 environment, you should still extensively test the migrated objects to confirm they work as expected. This is especially true for applications that the migration utility needs to convert from AOT format to MSI format. The sandbox feature in ZENworks 11 facilitates this testing. By default, the migration utility can move your bundles, policies and other data into a sandbox, such that they can only be seen by test workstations that you specify. This allows you to validate your move and make any needed changes in a non-production environment. Once you're satisfied that your new ZENworks 11 environment is ready, you can begin to publish your data by deploying the ZENworks Adaptive Agent.

When you push out the ZENworks Adaptive Agent to a device, the old ZENworks 7 Desktop Management agent will be removed, and the device will automatically begin to be managed by your new ZENworks Configuration Management 11 environment. You can push the agent out to only a few or all of your devices. If you want to further ensure the integrity of your move, you might want to move just a few devices at a time. The point is that you can make the move as slowly or as quickly as you like. The nice thing is that this parallel setup approach lets you execute the move without any downtime.

To learn more about how you can benefit by moving to ZENworks Configuration Management 11, visit, or contact your Novell account manager or Novell partner.

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