Cool Solutions

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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Disclaimer: This content is not supported by Micro Focus. It was contributed by a community member and is published "as is." It seems to have worked for at least one person, and might work for you. But please be sure to test it thoroughly before using it in a production environment.


  1. By:Grant

    I will be very interested in subsequent postings on
    this topic. Although Zen works in a Windows only
    environment, the eDir/AD sync is of enough concern
    to my employers for them to start looking at SMS
    as we begin to change our NOS from Netware 5.1 to
    Windows 2003

  2. Grant

    Take a look at the ZENworks product area – there are specific whitepapers that talk about this.

    Also – take a look at the ZENworks futures sessions from BrainShare 2006 – we discuss how ZENworks will natively embrace LDAP directories in the future.

    My final comment to your comment – make sure you tell your management team to compare apples with apples – you lose a lot of flexibility and agility moving to SMS from ZENworks.