Tag Archives: ITNinja

Mar
24
2014

KACE’s Favorite Things

Oprah doesn’t get to corner the market on favorite things… At Dell KACE – We like YOU! Some of our favorite things include your blogs, tweets, social posts, and more:

Twitter: “Using KACE K1000 and K2000 to make my IT life easier. If you haven’t checked out @DellSysMgmt yet, maybe it’s time you did.”

Facebook: “I don’t know what I would’ve done trying to push out the SBAC Secure Browser to over 3000 computers without KACE. Here’s the formula: 1 Distribution Package + A set of labels + “Click Save” + go home = SBAC Browser on 3000 computers. FTW!”

Kace Konnect: What Are Some Ways That You Are Going “Green”? “Implementing more virtual servers and desktops.”

ITNinja Blog: “To execute the thing you want to run in the elevated CMD, just locate the file, hold down the Shift button, Right click with the mouse, and select ‘Copy as Path’”

Keep the Konversation going! We love to hear it!

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Mar
12
2014

Best Practices for Migration from Windows XP – Phase II: Applications

Microsoft support for Windows XP ends on April 8, 2014.  Yet, Windows XP still remains the second most popular operating system out there behind Windows 7 – with close to 30% of the world’s PCs are still running on Windows XP.  Dell Software has established a four-phase process for successful and timely migration of your devices from Windows XP to Windows 7 or 8, and provides the tools to automate and simplify each step:

This is the second in a series of four blog posts discussing each of these phases.

Phase II – Applications:  Testing, remediation and repackaging

Once you have completed the first step in your migration process and determined what hardware and software will be migrated over to the new OS, you must then make sure that all of your business critical applications will work as intended with your new Windows 7 or Windows 8 OS.  Testing for application compatibility and remediating any issues that arise is, therefore, a critical mandate for organizations in the midst of a Windows migration project.

Each application that needs to be migrated must be tested for compatibility with the new Windows environment.  Dell’s experience shows that more than 60 percent of applications need some minor compatibility fixes, and that this process can take up the most time in the migration process.  In fact, according to a recent survey by Dimensional Research (sponsored by Dell), Application compatibility was the top challenge faced by organizations in their migration projects.

Of course, testing for and remediation of compatibility issues is often easier said than done, especially given the huge application sprawl that has taken place in many organizations – this is why a through inventory and rationalization of applications in Phase I is key to a timely and successful migration project.  Not only are you faced with a large number of rogue applications that are not supported by IT, in many instances, these applications have become business-critical and you are now faced with no choice but to support them in the new OS environment.   You must, in many instances, also worry about ensuring compatibility with browsers for your web-based applications as Windows 7 or 8 do not support earlier versions of Internet Explorer, while your organization might have a number of older web-based applications that will not work on the latest browsers.

The Dell ChangeBASE solution can help you improve the speed, quality, and consistency of this process by automating application compatibility testing, remediation, and repackaging, saving you a great deal of time, money and headaches.   ChangeBASE enables you to automatically assess application suitability for target environments, reducing the time, cost and effort involved.  ChangeBASE also applies automated practices to remediate issues identified during testing and  provides detailed reports and guidance to help speed up remediation.

In addition to automated solutions like ChangeBASE, user forums can also be a great resource to help you with your migration project.  These forums provide real life testing, compatibility and remediation tips from those who have already been through the process.  ITNinja, a rapidly growing community of IT professions, is a great resource with rich application deployment data, where IT administrators can go to get testing and packaging tips on a number of applications.  One of the key advantages of ITNinja is integrated with the Dell KACE appliances.  Users of both the K1000 Management Appliance and the K2000 Deployment Appliance can access application packaging information on ITNinja directly from their appliances.  In addition, the appliances automatically pull deployment tips from the ITNinja community and directly to the console and displayed contextually.

To find out more about how the KACE Appliances and the ChangeBASE solution can help you with your Windows Migration project, please see:

A joint IDC and Dell KACE webinar on Windows Migration

A Dell Whitepaper on Windows Migration

A Dell Whitepaper on IT Inventorying

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Feb
22
2014

ITNinja Spotlight: Repackaging Applications

From time-to-time, we like to showcase articles from ITNinja.com. This month we wanted to cous on the concept of repackaging. Repackaging in summary, is “The process of creating a customized installation using an already packaged installation”. In other words, putting something in a box that makes more sense than the one it shipped in. We’ve all re-boxed gifts that were oddly shaped and couldn’t be wrapped easily- same concept.

Repackaging is not for or sub-ninjas. Application repackaging has many pitfalls, dangers, and secrets known only to the artist.Yes- artist. Repackaging is more art than science, as the software design and packaging industry has very few rules. If you’re up against a wall, and considering repackaging- it’s likely because all other avenues have been exhausted as dead ends. Repackaging has some advantages: you can configure the install, you control what’s going on, and you get a nice MSI that’s easy to deploy. Disadvantages include requisite software failures during deployment, including bits you didn’t mean to, limited or no vendor support, and more. In most cases we should allow repackaging to be a last-resort; try hard not to use it- trust us.

Here’s a few of our favorite resources from ITNinja that will help you better understand what path will lead you to deployment bliss:http://app.kace.kbox.com/e/er?s=682&lid=3237&elq=<span class=eloquaemail>recipientid</span>

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Jan
22
2014

ITNinja Spotlight: Barcode Asset Management with the K1000

From time-to-time, we like to showcase articles from ITNinja.com. This is a snippet of an article which details a simple yet effective method for using barcodes with the K1000 appliance. The article is exceptionally well-written and we’d like to shine the spotlight on this gem: Click here for the full version of the article

The use of barcodes, and similar technologies, is becoming standard practice for asset management in many institutions. Often we will see these barcodes on computers, monitors and printers but they can be applied to many other things including locations, vehicles and more. The difficult part is managing the barcodes in a simple-to-use manner.

The K1000 has the ability to get you started in simple barcode asset management right out of the box. The K1000 Systems Management Appliance contains the ability to record any type of asset you wish so there is no reason a barcode could not be one of them!

While there are many best practices for using barcodes in many different institutions, by utilizing the K1000 Asset Management solution you can start managing and keeping track of your physical assets via barcode in an easy-to-use basic manner. Read the full article linked above and get creative with modifying it to fit your specific needs!

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Jan
8
2014

Dr. K’s Korner – Ideas For Success


How to tell which machines have received a sync’d file and which ones have not.

If you are using the File Synchronization feature in the Distribution Module to sync files to machines in your enterprise, how would you be able to tell which machines have received the files and which have not?

It would be a real task to have to check these machines individually since the File Sync module only displays the machines that have the replicated file(s). One solution would be to write a custom inventory rule for your File Syncs and run a report based on those.

But wouldn’t it be nice to have a report that shows both results? A report that you could run with just a few clicks of your mouse and gets those results within seconds? Well fear no more! Our esteemed colleague and fellow Dell/KACE Trainer, Peter Doerfer, has come to the rescue with a custom report he wrote and we’d like to share that with you!

SELECT DATE_FORMAT(FS.CREATED,’%Y/%m/%d’) as CREATED_DATE,
DATE_FORMAT(FS.MODIFIED,’%Y/%m/%d’) as MODIFIED,
S.DISPLAY_NAME,
S.DISPLAY_VERSION,
M.NAME as Computername,
CASE
WHEN FSM.DOWNLOAD_TIME IS NULL THEN ‘not synced’
ELSE FSM.DOWNLOAD_TIME
END as STATUS,
M.IP,
M.LAST_SYNC,
M.USER_NAME
FROM   SOFTWARE S
JOIN FS ON ( S.ID = FS.SOFTWARE_ID )
JOIN FS_LABEL_JT FSL ON ( FS.ID = FSL.FS_ID )
JOIN LABEL L ON ( FSL.LABEL_ID = L.ID )
JOIN MACHINE_LABEL_JT ML ON ( L.ID = ML.LABEL_ID )
JOIN MACHINE M ON ( ML.MACHINE_ID = M.ID )
LEFT JOIN FS_MACHINE_JT FSM ON ( FSM.FS_ID = FS.ID AND FSM.MACHINE_ID = M.ID )
ORDER  BY S.DISPLAY_NAME,
S.DISPLAY_VERSION,M.NAME

When you’re configuring your report, be sure to Break on columns: DISPLAY_NAME.

We hope that you find this custom report helpful. For other reports like this, be sure to visit www.ITNinja.com and the Dell/KACE Support Knowledge Base. They are excellent resources for locating custom report data that you can potentially leverage inside your enterprise without having to re-invent the wheel!

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