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Favourite TID part 2


July 10, 2006 10:52 am



Well, that was a post that generated some interest.

It seems that most people have favourite documents that they use all the time; for help, reference or just to be able to stay informed.

I’ve had a bunch of offline e-mails about this one and got a pretty good list of ZENworks related TID’s going now. So my plan is to keep them all secret and use the knowledge to improve my own engagements…

Ok, so I can’t really do that. What I am really going to do is let this run for another week and then compile a list for this Blog.

Who knows, maybe if I get enough we could lobby the Novell Support website to start publishing the ‘top tens’ and help you guys out?

**Written in Provo. Very hot today, so hiding indoors**

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Favourite Support TID?


July 2, 2006 11:52 pm



Do you have a favourite (and yes, I have spelt that correctly!)?

Is there one TID, or a number of them, that you always refer to before an engagement?

Here are a couple of mine:

ZENworks 7 Desktop Management Updates – this is the TID of TIDs for any recent updates to ZDM7.

Enable ZENworks logging – this is invaluable for troubleshooting. It details all the logging options available to ZENworks Server and Desktop Management.

Let me know your favourites – I’ll add them to my list.

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Brainstormer UK


June 17, 2006 10:03 am



Last week I presented at the UK Brainstormer event, which was held at Telford International Centre (Telford is just up and to the left of Birmingham for those of you ‘outside the UK’).

This is a non-Novell event run in a ‘Brainshare’ style and attended by mostly British companies with a smattering of Europeans thrown in.

This year the event ran on multiple tracks, there was a ZENworks track, an OES track, a Groupwise track and a number of partner sessions including all day events from GWAVA.

I just wanted to report that it was a great success and seemed to be greatly enjoyed by all. From a presenter perspective it was a lot of fun and nice to get such enthusiastic attendees at my sessions (well, none of them fell asleep – see Mr. Schouls post πŸ˜‰ )

Thanks everyone!

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Vista and ZENworks – Workstation Import


June 5, 2006 2:21 pm



Sorry, I’ve been gone a while. Very busy in the UK and not getting as much time as I would like to experiment.

In my ongoing quest to see what can and can’t be done TODAY with ZENworks 7 and Vista I have some more news to report. It’s a rocky road at the I’m afraid – but then Vista hasn’t even hit a proper public BETA so we wouldn’t expect too much more yet would we?

My first finding isn’t good. In short workstation import doesn’t work. Now, what I’d really like is for someone to jump up and down on me with a comment here to say that they have it working but I tried everything I could think of and it just fails. Firewall on, firewall off, command line, registry and manually entered into eDirectory: It still fails.
So, if anyone out there can correct me I’d appreciate it. But for now we must wait… until my next post!

Edit: As the guys say in the comments – it IS planned for ZENworks to support Vista, my articles are just to help out those of you out there who want to play :o)

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Interlude – Windows Vista on VMware 5.5


April 24, 2006 1:57 am



This is off-topic from my ‘Rapid Deployment’ posts but thought people might find it interesting – so whilst the cuts are still fresh and sore…

I have been looking at how ZENworks 7 Desktop Management might work with Windows Vista. Of course this is totally unsupported at the moment and there is a lot of missing functionality, but I thought that posting my findings (as I find them!) might help other people looking at the same thing.


This is all TOTALLY unsupported. Windows Vista is BETA software and not supported by Novell or the ZENworks team. Try at your own risk

So my first finding? How to get Vista to install in VMware. The problem here is that the installation process will not recognise the VMware partition as a blank hard-disk. There are two ways around this, one is install Windows XP and upgrade (not ideal) – the other is here:

  1. Insert the Windows Vista DVD into the DVD-drive
  2. Start the VMware virtual machine
  3. At the menu, select ‘Install Now’.
  4. Press Shift-F10 and the command prompt is displayed
  5. Type ‘diskpart’ and enter the following commands:
    • select disk 0
    • create partition primary
  6. When the process finishes, reset the virtual machine
  7. On the reboot select the ‘boot menu’ option.
  8. Choose CD-ROM as the boot device

The installation should now complete successfully.

Watch for more Vista Interludes coming up!

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Pros and Cons of a Rapid Deployment


April 13, 2006 2:49 pm



In my previous entry I mentioned the scale of this project – 15 sites, 50 servers, 2000 users and six days. The only way that this could be achieved was using Rapid Deployment.

Most projects are broken down into a number of key areas; at a high level these are:

1. Requirements Analysis
2. Proof of Concept (resulting in initial design)
3. Detailed Design
4. Lab / Pilot implementation
5. Design updates
6. Live pilot implementation
7. Go Live

For Rapid Deployment a number of these steps are removed. No, scratch that: most of the steps are removed. In most cases a Rapid Deployment will involve only steps 6 & 7.

And this is RISKY. With a capital R.. I.. S.. K.. and Y!

Why is it this risky? Well, in short the risk is because for a Rapid Deployment you will be working ‘live’. This means that any changes made during the project can have direct impact on day-to-day use of the systems. Also, any problems encountered during a Rapid Deployment will need to be sorted ‘on the fly’ – options for troubleshooting are greatly reduced with the absence of a lab to test in.

So, are there any guidelines for a successful Rapid Deployment? Yes. In my opinion there are.

a. A stable environment. Ensure that the network/servers/workstations are all up to date with the latest patches and updates
b. Knowledge of the environment. This is critical. There should be people on the project who know the systems inside-out. In my opinion this was one of the major contributors to the success of the project
c. Knowledge of the new product being deployed. You will need experienced consultants/specialists who know their products from the ground up and are experienced in deployment.
d. People with the ability to think on their feet. There will be problems and design changes during a Rapid Deployment. The team need to be albe to think outside of the box to overcome these challenges.

If you have all this lot then you should (notice I don’t say ‘will’) have a successful project.

So, now with that out of the way – see it as a kind of disclaimer – we can get onto what happened. My next three posts will be a day-by-day account of the project and how it went.

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How fast can you do it?


April 6, 2006 1:48 pm



This week a colleague (David Shepherd) and I took on a challenge. It was to deploy ZENworks 7 Desktop Management to a pure Microsoft Active Directory envrionment including user and password synchronisation with Identity Manager 3.0 (although this could just as well have been the Identity Manager 2.0 Starter Pack as ships with the ZENworks 7 Suite)

Ok, so that sounds simple – until you consider the scope of the engagement.

We had to create a scaleable design that would work for 15 sites, 50 servers and 2000 users all over the UK. In SIX man days – yes you heard that correctly: SIX MAN DAYS

This was to include user skills-transfer, design and implementation of the solution.

Some might say that this isn’t possible within the scope of a successful project. If I’m being honest it’s not actually something that I would want to repeat customer either – we should consider this a one off. However, during the implentation there were a number of good ideas that we came up with; also a number of lessons were learned.

My next few posts are going to discuss this implementation in detail. The pros and cons of a rapid deployment, some of the tricks we employed and what will happen next.

What I can say to wrap up this introduction is that the deployment was a success. When my colleague and I left site the user had a functioning environment with the full 2000 user accounts synchronised between Active Directory and eDirectory along with passwords. We were also able to deploy applications, policies and perform remote control actions successfully.

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Home again


March 30, 2006 12:04 am



I’ve been back from the US after Brainshare for two days now – what a week that was!

It’s always good to get up in front of people and talk about our products. However, Brainshare is a great chance for us to hear what you’ve been up to as well as telling you what we’ve been doing. This year was no different.

One thing that got great feedback for us were the solution based presentations: Citrix Integration and Highly Mobile ZEN. The questions and reactions from these presentations were great. I have had a number of e-mails from attendees and if you are one of those to which I have not yet replied – please be patient. I’ve got a lot to catch up on from two weeks away!

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It’s Brainshare Time!


March 20, 2006 8:26 am



I’m sitting in my SLC hotel room writing this whilst dry-running today’s session with my colleague and co-host, Andy Philp. We’re onstage at 11am and so thought this might be a good opportunity to advertise my sessions for this year.

Please come along and support us, specifically me πŸ˜‰ , the more people I get the happier I will be. Oh, and remember that I want all my sessions to be interactive with Q&A wherever possible.

My sessions are:

  • TUT349 – Upgrading to the Novell ZENworks Suite – 3/20/2006 – 11:00 AM – Room: 150G
  • BOF246 – FORUM: Architecting and Scaling Your Novell ZENworks Solution – 3/21/2006 – 4:30 PM – Room: 251E
  • TUT354 – Novell ZENworks in a Highly Mobile Environment – 3/21/2006 – 1:30 PM – Room: BR – D
  • TUT349 – Upgrading to the Novell ZENworks Suite – 3/22/2006 -3:30 PM – Room: 251B
  • TUT354 – Novell ZENworks in a Highly Mobile Environment – 3/23/2006 – 12:00 PM – Room: 250E

Have a great week!

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ZENworks solution creation


March 10, 2006 10:44 am



Most of my work these days is around creating solutions using ZENworks.

ZENworks is not just a ‘product’ or even a set of ‘products’. It is a framework. If you just install it and walk away people will be unimpressed. It’s no longer just about installing, it’s about the value-add which a good consultant/engineer/specialist can bring to an implementation using experience and good ideas.
If you follow Mark Schouls’ series on ‘the project’ it will give good background into how to run a successful implementation. However, a lot of times these days just implementing isn’t enough. We are finding more and more at the ‘Requirements Assessment’ phase that issues are being raised which require thinking outside of the box.

This is what I hope to show with most of my posts. I will be talking about customer engagements where we have used ZENworks functionality in exciting ways to resolve customer business and technical issues.

I will also be presenting at Brainshare 2006 around one of these solutions, if you’re there please come along and say ‘Hi’.

The session is: TUT354, “ZENworks in a Highly Mobile Environment” and is being presented on Tuesday and Thursday.

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