As many of you know we’ve been hard at work on the next service pack for ZENworks 11. I wanted to take a just a minute and update you one how things are progressing. At this point the engineering team had reached feature complete and we have started our authorized beta. I also expect that we will release the beta code to the ZENworks Community Builds site shortly. This beta should give you a great idea what you can expect and give you something that you can look at in your labs to prepare for the release late this year.
The key capabilities being introduced in ZENworks 11SP3 include:
- Share bundles and policies between zones
This capability allows an administrator quickly and easily share any software bundle (not patch management or preboot) or policy with other zones. This is great news if you have a production and test zone setup, are using multiple zones for political or scale reasons, or if you are a partner that wants to provide a service where users can subscribe to a set of pre-created bundles or policies.
- Keep track of what’s happening in your zone
The new auditing capabilities being introduced in ZENworks 11SP3 allow you to keep track of most changes made in the ZENworks Control Center. This includes changes to bundles, policies, devices, and so forth. Auditing also encompasses logging the remote management events performed on a device, including any files transferred to or from the device via remote management. Finally auditing includes the ability to report on files copied to removable media when ZENworks Endpoint Security Management is used.
- Scale higher with better performance
New optimizations throughout the code have significantly improved performance in small and large environments alike. Initial tests show we should be able to significantly increase the current server to device ratio of 1:3000 significantly. Additionally, by supporting the advanced features of Oracle Enterprise Edition a zone can now support up to 100,000 devices. Look for more details on this in the best practices guide that will be available when 11SP3 ships.
- Simplify patch deployment
New Patch Policies allow you to use rules to quickly define desired patch states in your environment – such as All Critical Microsoft Patches released at least 7 days ago. Once this policy is assigned to devices they will ensure that they apply patches required by the policy on a defined maintenance interval that you configure. This should make it easier than ever to keep your devices up to date without negatively impacting your users. These policies also allow you to perform common tasks such as stopping processes before patches are applied. Finally underlying changes to the patch management system ensure that only patches that need to be applied to devices are cached and attempt to install on the devices.
- Create richer, more interactive reports
A completely new ZENworks Reporting server is also included with ZENworks 11SP3. This new, lightweight reporting solution makes it easy to build interactive reports that can be used to analyze information about the system and provide reports to individuals within your company. Additionally, the new dashboard designer makes it easy to build eye catching dashboards that can be consumed by non-technical users. This same solution will also be used by ZENworks Mobile Management and ZENworks Application Virtualization to bring rich adhoc reporting to these products as well.
These are just the big things that the engineering team has been hard at work on. There are many other smaller things that will improve your daily experience with ZENworks at both the server and agent side. I encourage you to monitor the ZENworks Community Builds page for the beta to be posted and then take it for a spin in your own lab environment.