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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.

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