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Software Distribution – Getting It There Erick Engelke & Daniel Delattre.

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Presentation on theme: "Software Distribution – Getting It There Erick Engelke & Daniel Delattre."— Presentation transcript:

1 Software Distribution – Getting It There Erick Engelke & Daniel Delattre

2 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Nexus Software Deployment 3,576 computers 1,750 in student or public areas 1,826 in private offices or research labs Automated software delivery is a big part of the Nexus promise and solution necessary to keep system administration scalable

3 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Challenges Deployment of Windows Software Reliable Effective Automated Targeted Upgradeable Removable Secure

4 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Requirements Reliable: software installs properly or returns error report for debugging Effective: fast, without user intervention and without user frustration (boot time) Automated: remotely managed, workstations can be rebuild easily Targeted: able to add software packages to specific group Upgradeable: able to manage and deploy software upgrades Removable: able to remove software reliably Secure: must expose no new security risks

5 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Possible solutions Manual installation RoboCopy Active Directory Group Policy Objects Third party commercial solutions Open Source solutions Others?

6 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Manual Installations Somewhat reliable: vendor supported, but not always identical results Not very effective: need to visit every workstation Not automated: manually insert CD Targeted: one workstation at a time Upgradeable: manual process Removable: manual process Reporting: during installation process Insecure: exposes administrator password

7 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution RoboCopy Reliable, similar to the Watstar nightly refresh Not very effective. Works best on identical images and identical workstations Automated, but only suited for file copy installations, not for MSI or executable installs Upgrade or removal process involves overwriting or deleting files No reporting tools

8 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Active Directory GPO’s Reliable for smaller software packages Only for MSI software packages Automated: build into Active Directory Effective for initial installation Upgrade process not very reliable Removal process not very reliable and not very flexible; only remove package from GPO! No reporting tools provided by Microsoft

9 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Third Party Commercial Solutions There are several options available Nexus has clients and growing – most products become very expensive with these numbers Commercial systems are often less extensible than open source – which means less flexibility for our needs Most tools offer excellent reliability and reporting

10 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Open Source Solutions Not many open source tools available WPKG: popular and flexible, last updated July 2006, good support ANI: less flexible, identical systems, includes OS, no upgrade or removal process, last updated 2005 Unattended: includes OS, not flexible, identical systems, last updated 2004 SDS: similar to SMS, command line only, not very flexible, last updated 2005

11 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Current Environment Nexus uses Active Directory GPO’s Not all software comes with MSI packages Some software is very unreliable to install Upgrades or uninstall is extremely unreliable Once software is unusable, it becomes very hard to detect and fix Microsoft offers no reporting tools

12 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution GPO Issues Repackaging: capturing unrelated, unnecessary or even damaging elements Hardware dependencies: capturing hardware information Logic: capturing removes logic, such as compatibility, other components and hooks to other installed software Large software packages: seem to install less reliable

13 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution GPOTool Locally developed tool Looks for broken software Initially used for lab of 120 supposedly identical computers. Now used many places on campus analyze delivery reliability – to fix broken and assure quality can reset flags on individual computers to reinstall software able to uninstall software reporting capability

14 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution GPOtool Observations Reliability of GPO’s in a 120 station lab Microsoft Office – 100% Microsoft Visual Studio – 97% Nexus Common Applications – 96% Altair Hyperworks – 89% Ansys – 85% MasterCAM – 81%

15 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Open Source: WPKG Software deployment, removal, updates Offers push and pull features Deploys MSI, InstallShield, other vendor supported formats Supports layered images – like GPO’s Files can be distributed for better total scalability Limited local and remote reporting Very small footprint

16 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution WPKG - overview Software Packages defined – e.g.. Matlab Packages can depend on other packages Stations profiles defined - list of packages e.g.. All computers in a given lab Profiles can extend other profiles e.g.. scanner machine is superset of generic lab Computers are assigned to profiles

17 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution WPKG - Example GAFF Lab Microsoft office SSH MatLab Other scientific software GAFF Lab with Scanner Scanner software Inherit rest from GAFF lab profile

18 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution GAFF Lab Example

19 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution WPKG – Web Tool WPKG uses XML files to list packages, profiles and computer names XML is hard for users to enter but easy for software to parse Administrators need shared access We added a web based interface and database backend for WPKG - XML generated as needed

20 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution WPKG Busy Warning

21 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Possibilities Configure PC client software from any web browser Perform reporting for gauging software license renewal interest Reduce duplication of effort in packaging software Truly handle software life cycle including upgrades/uninstalls

22 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Our Plan: 2007 We currently use GPOs extensively – this will not change anytime soon We will use WPKG too Initially target only difficult or unreliable installs Monitor the results and refine our tools

23 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Resources on the Web wpkg GPOtool

24 WatITis | Enabling The 6th Decade Plan Through Effective I.T. Collaboration | December 6, 2005 | Software Distribution Questions? Any questions? Open discussion.


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