2.0 System Architecture

All ZENworks products use the same system architecture. This architecture consists of components such as Primary Servers, Satellite Servers, and managed devices. The components are organized into management domains, referred to as Management Zones.

Primary Server

The Primary Server is the focal point of a Management Zone. Depending on the number and location of the devices that you want to manage with ZENworks, you might need one Primary Server or multiple Primary Servers.

The Primary Servers in the zone work together to manage the devices. For example, Primary Servers distribute content to and collect inventory information from managed devices.

Each Primary Server contains the following ZENworks components:

  • ZENworks services: The ZENworks software that provides software management, policy enforcement, imaging, inventory collection, asset tracking, and so forth.

  • Management tools: The ZENworks software that enables you to manage a zone, including performing such tasks as creating and assigning software bundles and policies for distribution to managed devices, managing software patches, setting up imaging operations, and collecting hardware and software inventory from devices.

    There are two management tools: ZENworks Control Center and the ZENworks command-line management utility (zman). ZENworks Control Center is a browser-based management console. The zman utility is a command-line management utility that is useful for automating tasks (through scripts) and performing mass management tasks that might be tedious to perform in ZENworks Control Center.

  • Content repository: The directory structure that stores the software bundles, policies, patches, and system updates that are available for delivery to managed devices within the zone. The content, which is compressed and encrypted, is automatically replicated among all Primary Servers in the Management Zone. If necessary, you can exclude specific content from replication to all servers.

  • ZENworks databases: The Management Zone has two databases: the ZENworks database and the ZENworks Audit database.

    The ZENworks database stores information about devices, users, software bundles, policies, hardware and software inventories, centralized system messages, license tracking and usage data, and other transactional data. It also stores information about the actions scheduled to take place within the zone.

    The ZENworks Audit database stores information for audited events. This includes changes made to the zone configuration and actions that occur on managed devices.

    Both databases reside on the same server, which can be a Primary Server or another server that is not a Primary Server. For the databases, you can use the embedded Sybase SQL Anywhere database software included with ZENworks, or you can use external Sybase SQL, Oracle, or Microsoft SQL database software. For detailed information about the supported database versions, see Database Requirements in the ZENworks Server Installation Guide.

Primary Servers can be installed on Windows and Linux servers, both physical and virtual. You can also set up a Primary Server by deploying the ZENworks Appliance to a supported virtual infrastructure. ZENworks Appliance is built on the customized SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Just Enough Operating System (SLES 11 JeOS). For detailed information about supported operating systems, see Database Requirements in the ZENworks Server Installation Guide.

Satellite Server

A Satellite Server is a device that can perform certain roles that a Primary Server normally performs. A Satellite Server can be a Windows, Linux, or Macintosh managed device. When you configure a managed device as a Satellite Server, you specify which roles it performs:

  • Authentication: Provides authentication for ZENworks users.

  • Collection: Collects inventory information, system messages, policy status, and software bundle status from managed devices and sends the information to its parent Primary Server.

  • Content: Distributes software bundles, policies, system updates, and patches to managed devices.

  • Imaging: Performs all imaging operations, such as taking an image of a device and applying an image.

  • Join Proxy: Acts as a proxy to connect the Remote Management viewer to a managed device, in order to enable administrators to perform remote operations on the device.

The use of Satellite Servers can help increase performance in a Management Zone by placing ZENworks services in the same network segment as managed devices and by distributing workload among more devices. For example, you might have managed devices in a location that has a slow WAN link to your Primary Servers. You want to improve authentication and content distribution performance for the managed devices, but you don’t want to install another Primary Server at the location. Instead, you designate one of the managed devices as a Satellite and have it perform the Authentication and Content roles for managed devices in that location. Because the managed devices communicate with the local Satellite Server instead of a Primary Server, authentication and content distribution speed improves.

For more information about Satellite Servers, see Satellites in the ZENworks Primary Server and Satellite Reference.

Managed Device

A managed device is a Windows, Linux, or Macintosh device that has the ZENworks Agent installed and is registered in the Management Zone. The ZENworks Agent communicates with a Primary Server or Satellite Server to exchange content and information. The agent also performs any required management tasks on the device, such as installing software or applying configuration and security policies.

A managed device can be registered in only one Management Zone and is therefore managed only in that zone.

Inventoried-Only Device

You might have devices where the ZENworks Agent cannot be installed, or devices where you do not want to install the ZENworks Agent. To inventory these devices, you can either install the Inventory-Only agent or run the Portable Collector.

For more information, see the ZENworks Discovery, Deployment, and Retirement Reference.