7.0 Adding Closest Servers to Locations

When a ZENworks Management Zone includes more than one ZENworks Primary Server or Satellite (collectively referred to as servers), devices need to know which servers to contact for collection, content, configuration, and authentication purposes. These servers are referred to as closest servers.

Closest Server rules help you improve load balancing between ZENworks Servers, perform failover, and improve performance when there is a slow link between the managed devices and Servers.

Closest servers can be configured on locations, network environments, and in the Closest Server Default Rule. The Closest servers for network environment override the Closest servers for locations. When a managed device requests its list of closest server, the ZENworks system combines the server lists from the location and default rule (in that order) or network environment and default rule (in that order), and passes the combined list to the device. The managed device contacts the first server in the list and continues down the list until it is able to connect. All of the Closest Server rules are received by the managed device and are cached locally. If the location of a managed device changes, the settings and closest servers rules associated with the new location are applied to the device.

For example, assume that the device detects that it is in NetworkEnvironment1, which is associated with Location1. The closest authentication servers for each of these are defined as follows:

  • NetworkEnvironment1: Server4, Server5

  • Location: Server4, Server3

  • Default Rule: Server1, Server2, Server6

For authentication purposes, a device would receive the following server list. It would attempt to connect to the first one in the list, then the second, and so on until it successfully connected.

  • Server4 (network environment)

  • Server5 (network environment)

  • Server1 (default rule)

  • Server2 (default rule)

  • Server6 (default rule)

ZENworks allows you to configure a location or network environment to be a disconnected location or network environment. If a managed device detects itself to be in a disconnected location or network environment, it does not contact any of the ZENworks servers or Satellites until the location or network environment of the device changes to a non-disconnected location. For example, if you do not want your laptop to contact any of the ZENworks servers or Satellites when you are using it from your house, define a home location as the disconnected location by performing the following tasks while configuring the location:

  • Select the Exclude the Closest Server Default Rule option.

  • Do not configure any Closest Server rules.

You can create Closest servers for locations and network environment in one of the following ways: