Tag Archives: Kloser look

Sep
30
2014

K2000 Kloser Look: Pre-Installation Task Only Deployment Task Engine

We get asked from time to time how to deliver a deployment that only includes Pre-installation tasks. Perhaps you want to format devices before sending them out for donation/recycling or you want to perform an Offline User State migration without deploying an OS onto the device. Whatever the reason, this can be accomplished in a few quick steps!

  1. First, create a folder on your desktop and name it No Source Media. Within this folder, create a new text document and also name it “No Source Media”.
  2. Next, open up your K2000 Media Manager and enter your Hostname and Samba Share Password. For a name, enter “No Source Media”, select Windows x86 (or x64 if you plan to run 64-bit specific tasks) and browse to the folder you created on your Desktop. This will upload “blank” Source Media to be used with a Scripted Installation.
  3. Now you will need to create a new Scripted Installation, name it appropriately (Wipe Drives – No Source Media, for example) and choose the new No Source Media as your OS media and use the No Answer File option.
  4. You will now have the option to add Tasks to your deployment. Select only Pre-Installation Tasks and click Next and Finish to save your new deployment.

When you boot to your KBE, this “deployment” will be available to execute tasks you have associated. When the deployment reaches the OS installation portion of the deployment, it will fail and you will want to shutdown or restart the computer using the options provided.

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Sep
29
2014

K1000 Kloser Look: Metering 101

The K1000 metering tool received a major upgrade in 5.5 with the addition of the new Software Catalog. The catalog allows you to more precisely meter suite application than ever before. This is a simple 3 step process to begin metering your applications to see long term usage data to help you save money come license renewal time. In 6.0 that same catalog improved application control also, but we’ll talk about that another time.

To meter applications- The first thing you need to do is determine the software applications you need to meter. This sounds easy, and it is, but you still need to spend a few minutes to think this through. Metering office can allow you to downgrade people from “Office Pro Plus” to “Pro” or “Standard” saving you money. While many employees will need Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint they may not need some of the more powerful tools such as InfoPath or Access.
The K1000 metering tool allows you to view the usage of these items on per application and/or per suite, from a per machine basis. Once you’ve determined your applications simply browse to Inventory à Software Catalog à search and click on the desired software title. From the catalog detail page for the application, simply check the box “Metered” in the top left corner of the display window. This will meter application usage for all labels where metering is enabled. A Device label can be configured for metering in the Label Management screen, or at the time of creation.

After you’ve performed these tasks it is simply a waiting game to see who uses these applications and how often. This can be gathered from a report or by way of individually viewing the software catalog for the metered item. Remember give more than a few days, and weeks really, for quality usage data to be collected.

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Jul
31
2014

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 224.0.1.20 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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Jul
29
2014

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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Jun
30
2014

K1000 Kloser Look: Keeping up to date with your updates!

Patching is an important part of many K1000 implementations. Continuing with the “Knowledge is Power” from March, we wanted to make sure you had some great information about Patching and the K1000.

Some of you may be wondering how quickly patches are available. While your appliance’s subscription and deployment schedules may impact availability and delivery timing, the general availability is listed at http://www.kace.com/support/resources/kb/solutiondetail?sol=111224

How can you get more realtime information about patch releases? RSS feed- check out: http://www.kace.com/support/resources/kb/solutiondetail?sol=125091

What are the supported OS and applications in Patching? It changes regularly, but we keep the list fairly up to date here: http://www.kace.com/support/resources/kb/solutiondetail?sol=112030

Customers running on K1000 versions lower than 5.5 should take note that on August 1, 2014 newly published patches will not be placed in the patch feed for appliances on version 5.4.70403 or older. This article explains more about the change, and how to upgrade to a newer version: http://www.kace.com/support/resources/news/k1000-version-5-4-70403-older-eol

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