K2000 Kloser Look: Using Multicast in v3.6

It’s that time of year again, when schools and universities start preparing for their major summer rollouts and reimaging projects. K2000 version 3.6, released earlier this year, added Multicast capabilities to the K2000, which should cut down the total overall time to finish those deployment projects. If you haven’t already signed up, we encourage you to check out the Education Week KKE sessions- see the list above for dates and times.

So what exactly is Multicasting?  Multicasting allows the K2000 to send image data to multiple devices simultaneously, reducing the overall bandwidth and disk usage of the K2000.  While Multicasting will not necessarily speed up the imaging of an individual device, it does allow for more concurrent devices to be imaged at the same time without any additional load on the K2000.  Instead of imaging a handful of computers at a time, imagine deploying entire floors, buildings, and regions at one time!

Haven’t setup Multicasting on your K2000 yet? Don’t fret- it is very easy. First, make sure you have updated your K2000 to 3.6 (you should be receiving a notification on your Home module). Next, create your “Gold-Master” image and capture it as a WIM image (Multicasting does not support K-Image or Scripted Installations.)  Next, go to your Deployments module -> Automated (Boot Actions) tab and create a new boot action.  Name the Boot Action and select your WIM Image. Under Schedule, choose to run at next boot or at a future date/time. Under Type, select Multicast and select the Show Advanced Settings link.  Now we have some options to discuss!

  • Timeout to wait for connection ‘Ready to receive’ State: This is extremely important to making sure all of your target computers join the Multicast session.  This timeout begins when the first of your target computers reaches the Apply Image task of your deployment.  Once the timeout completes only those target computers that have connected will receive the multicast session, so make sure to leave ample time to get all of your target machines to that step!
  • Multicast Address: Best practice is to set this to address to to make sure that it does not conflict with other popular multicast protocols.
  • Control Channel Port: This setting can stay as it unless another device on your network is using that port.
  • Transmission Rate: You may want to modify as this reflects the speed at which your session will deploy.  Higher speeds and larger numbers of target computers could have an impact on your network, so it is recommended that you lower this number to 4 mb/s (4000000) and then adjust this number (up or down) based on the results of your Multicast Log (Settings and Maintenance -> Appliance Logs).
  • Systems: Make sure to select your target computers.  Don’t forget to use your K1000 Inventory Tab (for those customers with a linked K1000 appliance) to target your systems based on your K1000 Labels!
  • Make these the default Settings: Your multicast settings can be changed each session, however if you would like to make your changes default, check this box.  Alternatively you can modify your default settings in Settings and Maintenance.

Finally, save your Multicast session and start PXE booting targeted computers into your K2000 Boot Environment (KBE). The K2000 will define the devices based on their MAC Address and start initiating the assigned Boot Action. Be aware, that only one multicast session can be broadcast at a time and it does not work through Remote Site Appliances at the time of this publication.

Here are some useful Knowledge Base Articles to reference while creating your images: System Imaging Best Practices.
To learn more about K2000 version 3.6 check out this KKE: What’s New in K2.

Overall, Multicasting opens up a whole new world for all customers by reducing the overall time for the summer imaging projects by allowing you to complete more in a shorter amount of time. With your free time, you may actually be able to take that vacation you were planning, or plan your trip to Austin for Dell World User Forum in November!

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K1000 Kloser Look: Manipulating Printers on Mac OS X

As with nearly everything for Mac OS X, there are ways to accomplish administrative tasks via the command line and via the GUI. Printing is no different. Printers on OS X are controlled using CUPS (Common Unix Printing System) which has its own set of command line tools. The basic capabilities include viewing, adding, and removing printers, as well as changing printer options and viewing print queues.

There are many things that can be done with CUPS, and once you master a few of them you’ll be able to implement them in K1000 Scripting. Once you’ve scripted the CUPS commands you need you can make them available to users if you want, or you can distribute them from the admin side of the table- it’s your call. One of our favorite Kace Koaches has written up some great details and examples on ITNinja just for you. See more at: http://www.itninja.com/blog/view/managing-printers-on-os-x-with-kace

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News You Can Use

With information coming in from all directions, we all miss things from time to time. In case you missed something from KACE, here’s some useful announcements, news, and knowledge base articles that you might be interested in:

News & Announcements:

Knowledge Base:

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Mile High Backyard Boot Kamp

Oh, how we love Denver! There’s so much to see, so much to do, and so little time. We thought about skipping class and going to explore the city, but we would much rather explore the KACE appliances with you! Registration is open, and we’ve got a few seats remaining for the Denver Backyard Boot Kamp. More details and registration can be found at https://www.regonline.com/KaceDenver14.

We want you to learn all the latest tricks and tips for using your Dell KACE Appliance. We’ll be using K1000 v6.0 and K2000 v3.6 in the classroom, so if you aren’t using them yet, this is the perfect opportunity to get comfortable with them!

You’ll gain step-by-step guidance to help you with initial agent provisioning, software management, patch management, user roles, inventory, scripted installations, native imaging, and much more. Visit the event website for the full list of upcoming events and cities. Remember – seats are extremely limited for these training events, so register now for the city or time frame that best suits your needs!

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Dell World User Forum 2014 Savings

This year, the biggest Dell World ever will take over Austin the first week of November. Meet industry powerhouses, experts and your peers at the Dell World User Forum 2014 in Austin, Texas. Maybe you know it as KACE Konference, or Software User Forum, but no matter what you call it- it’s certain to be the learning event of the year!

We are pleased to announce that the Buy-One-Get-One offer that many attendees have enjoyed in past years is happening again for 2014! You must pre-register, or complete your registration before August 31st to be eligible for this special pricing. If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to pre-register to lock in your savings. You and a colleague can attend User Forum for the price of one! Since each User Forum pass comes with a Dell World general admission pass, it’s really like you are getting 4 passes for the price of 1!

Mark your calendars for Dell World User Forum taking place November 4 – 7, 2014 at the Austin Hilton and the Austin Convention Center!

Registration is opening soon- pre-register for User Forum at http://www.dellworld.com/ for special pricing and more registration information.


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