5.1 New ZENworks Customer

This scenario is the simplest deployment to plan. Because an existing ZENworks implementation is not in place, the pace of the deployment can be controlled very carefully without coordinating the decommissioning of previous ZENworks services. Administrative effort is simplified in this scenario because ZENworks Control Center is the only tool you need.

When you deploy ZENworks Configuration Management to a new customer, Novell recommends that you consider the following steps:

5.1.1 Building a Model Office Environment

It is important to test the desired solution in an environment that accurately represents the customer environment. If a test or model office environment can be built, the ZENworks Adaptive Agent should be deployed to devices that accurately reflect the various configurations that are in the field. Customers often have multiple operating system configurations with different service packs, authentication mechanisms, and standard applications. Ensuring that your solution works in all of these configurations helps ensure a successful deployment in the live environment.

Another benefit of providing a model office environment is that groups of users can be invited to use the systems and provide feedback on how information and data is presented. A good example of this is the various methods for presenting application icons to the users. In some cases, you might prefer to use the Start menu, Quick Launch bar, or the ZENworks Application Window. Gathering feedback on these items early allows careful planning on how to best provide the users with the ZENworks Configuration Management functionality.

Discovery and Deployment Methods

A new ZENworks customer might not have a desktop management solution in place. In this scenario, the customer needs to try various methods for deploying the ZENworks Adaptive Agent to the new machines. ZENworks Configuration Management provides the ability to discover devices through IP or LDAP discovery routines and then to target remote deployments of the agent to these discovery devices. For remote agent deployment to function, a number of criteria must be in place, such as:

  • Simple File Sharing is disabled.

  • An administrative credential is provided.

If it is not possible to deploy devices through the built-in deployment tool, a number of other methods can be investigated. For each of the following methods, the process should be tested to ensure that it is acceptable to the end user and that the ZENworks Adaptive Agent can be successfully deployed.

Login Scripts

If the customer utilizes a directory, the Adaptive Agent can be deployed through login scripts.

NOTE:The user must have the necessary privileges to install the Adaptive Agent.

Manual Agent Download

The last resort for agent deployment is to manually download the agent from the ZENworks Control Center. Alternatively, customers can place agent installation on their own intranet pages to allow users to install the product.

Deploying and Testing Policies

After the ZENworks Adaptive Agent is deployed in the model office environment, the ZENworks policies can be tested to ensure that the desired result is achieved. Particular attention should be directed to the deployment of Group policies. Group policies in ZENworks Configuration Management are plural, allowing multiple policies to be stacked. It is important to test the different policy stacks.

Deploying and Testing Applications

Test all the applications that are to be made available on the first day of the production rollout. This testing should include standard applications that are made available to all the managed devices.

Typical examples of these are the following:

  • Adobe Reader

  • OpenOffice

  • GroupWise e-mail client

  • GroupWise Instant Messenger

Line of Business Applications

Different departments within the organization, such as Finance and Human Resources, might require different application sets. Ensure that these applications deploy successfully on each build type and that they interact with other applications.

Specialized Applications

Applications that are used by a small numbers of users should also be tested, such as applications designed for people with disabilities.

User Acceptance Testing

After the ZENworks Adaptive Agent has been deployed and all policies and applications have been tested for functionality, the next phase involves inviting representatives of the user base to test the end user experience. At this stage, it is valuable to receive feedback on a number of items, such as:

  • The look and feel of the desktop.

  • The method by which users can launch ZENworks Configuration Management delivered applications (Start menu, Quick Launch bar, notification area, and so forth).

    Feedback received from users helps to ensure that the ZENworks desktop experience is acceptable. Another useful result of this activity is that requirements for additional training or marketing collateral are identified.

5.1.2 Planning a Deployment

Planning deployments is an important part of a successful project. After a robust design has been tested and evaluated in a model office environment, a number of steps should be followed before implementing ZENworks Configuration Management in a production environment.

Identifying Groups of Users and Devices

An important part of any deployment is to identify which devices must be targeted and in which order. Novell recommends that logical groupings be made in the target environment before deploying the product. After ZENworks Adaptive Agents are deployed and represented in the ZENworks Control Center as managed objects, ZENworks groups can be created to reflect these groups. Groups can become important in the future when staging the rollout of system updates, applications, and patches.

The following list provides examples of how environments can be grouped:

  • Departments: The IT organization is a good group of people to start with because the members tend to be technology-savvy and understand the need for reboots and testing.

  • Laptop Users: Laptop users can help to identify and test the roaming capabilities of ZENworks Configuration Management. As devices roam inside the firewall, it is important that Closest Server Rules are configured in the Management Zone to ensure that devices connect to the most appropriate servers according to their physical locations.

  • Home workers and VPN users: These users have devices that connect to the corporate firewall in a non-standard way. Testing these devices early ensures that the logon and connection process works to connect to the ZENworks Management Zone and refresh content.

  • Geographical locations: You should establish a footprint at each major location in the testing process. This is to ensure that the Management Zone is configured correctly to spread the load of devices through Closest Server Rules.

  • VIP users: You might want to manage the devices of CxOs and IT directors early, to ensure that these devices are working well. Grouping important devices together allows for quick remedial actions.

Creating Internal Documentation

Internal documents that can be shared with the user are an important part of any project that introduces technology that affects the desktop experience.

The following sections describe internal documentation that you could use:

Internal Marketing Collateral

Internal marketing is an important tool to inform the users of IT projects that affect them. This marketing is usually done in the form of intranet postings, internal promotions, and posters and so forth. You should use these actions to ensure effective management of the deployment are encouraged to use these actions to ensure effective management of the deployment process.

Support and Issue Escalation Process Documents

When you introduce a new product into a customer environment, it is important that the customer's support escalation process is well defined. In addition to this, it is vital that the support organization is well trained on ZENworks Configuration Management. The key members of the support team should attend workshops and training early in the project to ensure that they are familiar with the product, configuration, and troubleshooting methods. After the key members are trained, this knowledge can be cascaded to the other members of the team, as needed.

Scheduling Deployments

After the deployment groups have been defined, the next stage is to schedule when the deployments occur for each group within the organization. This process is typically associated with the process of starting change control requests. You should schedule deployments in small groups to begin with and then ramp up over time to ensure that the ZENworks Configuration Management architecture can be monitored effectively during peak periods of change.

5.1.3 Deploying the Product

Deploying ZENworks Configuration Management to managed devices is the most important part of any ZENworks project. At this stage, user productivity can become affected. You should use the following basic steps when deploying the product to a new environment:

Deploying the First ZENworks Primary Server and Database

Deploy the first ZENworks Primary Server and database, then ensure that the Management Zone is stable.

The first server in the Management Zone is often the certificate authority for the rest of the Zone. This server should be carefully managed and backed up regularly.

After the Management Zone is functional, the initial configuration should be defined as follows:

  1. Create workstation folders, depending on how the customer wants to organize devices, such as departments, geographical locations, and project teams.

  2. Create registration rules and keys to control the placement of devices in the Management Zone.

  3. Create roles, then assign administration rights. If a user source is being used, configure existing users with the management rights necessary for their role. For more information, see the ZENworks 11 SP2 System Administration Reference.

  4. Configure Closest Server Rules. Ensure that the various network locations are reflected. For more information, see the ZENworks 11 SP2 System Administration Reference.

  5. Configure System Update. Ensure that the server can access the various Internet resources required to download system updates and product recognition updates. For more information, see the ZENworks 11 SP2 System Administration Reference.

  6. Configure user sources. Configure the link to the chosen user source and ensure that the user objects can be found by browsing the source. For more information, see the ZENworks 11 SP2 System Administration Reference.

  7. Configure Inventory scheduling. The default setting for all devices is to inventory monthly on the first day of each month. Create different schedules for each of the workstation folders that exist within the Management Zone.

  8. Configure Remote Management to remotely control managed devices.

  9. Create a policy to configure the system or application settings for Windows or Linux managed devices.

  10. Create the required application bundles. When you use a staged approach, it is necessary to create only the standard bundles and the applications that are required by the first device stages.

Deploying the Initial Managed Devices

Use the chosen deployment methods to deploy the first devices to the Management Zone. After the devices have been deployed, ensure the following:

  • Devices are in the correct location (Workstation folder).

  • Devices have successfully created and uploaded the inventory.

  • Devices can be remotely controlled.

  • ZENworks Primary Servers and the ZENworks database are stable.

  • Devices can be refreshed successfully and do not report errors.

After the customer is satisfied that the initial Management Zone configuration is stable with the first devices, the project can continue.

Extending the Architecture

According to the recommendations in this document, add more Primary Servers and Satellite devices. If possible, make sure all the servers are in place before introducing additional devices. This provides the opportunity for the servers to be patched appropriately and for the Content Repository to synchronize completely. If all of the servers cannot be deployed before the live devices are added, ensure that the deployment is staged in such as way that the servers are added before the relevant groups of devices are added.

Extending the Managed Device Footprint

Using the stages identified earlier, continue the managed device rollout to the rest of the organization.

Analyzing, Reviewing, and Planning

During the device rollout, it is vital that the you closely monitor the performance of the back-end servers, databases, and managed devices by using tools such as Perfmon. The following items should be closely monitored:

  • Disk utilization

  • Memory

  • Peak processor utilization

If the servers are highly utilized and struggling to cope with the load placed on them by the managed devices, you should review the Management Zone configuration and the number of Primary Servers and Satellite devices.