ZAM Maintenance Tasks
Asset management starts with an accurate inventory of the IT assets in your organization. The first section of this white paper details the tasks you should run to keep your database up to date.
All of the following tasks are addressed:
Automated Tasks - Client Reconciliation/Differentiation - Network Discovery - Recognition Updates - Product Live Update - Database Purge - Database/Filestore Backups - Tracking Lost & Found - Active Directory Integration
Regular Tasks - Identifying Machines without Client - Identifying Machines With Client, but Not-Yet-Scanned - Identifying Machines Not Scanned Recently - Identifying and Deleting Old Workstation Records - Managing Lost & Found Data
Periodic Tasks - Version Upgrades - Check Web for Tech Notes and Utilities
These tasks can configured initially and left alone. You should revisit the settings periodically, however.
Reconciliation and differentiation settings control how ZENworks Asset Management handles new Workstation IDs. An ID is requested when the client is installed or if the registry key for the client is missing. The default settings are as follows:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Reconciliation. ZENworks Asset Management checks if the workstation is already in the database.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Differentiation. ZENworks Asset Management ensures that the workstation has a unique ID.
Create Network Discovery Tasks to identify devices such as routers, switches, hubs, servers, workstations and printers. These tasks can be configured to run at a specific time and to cover one or more subnets or IP ranges.
If you have distributed Collection Servers, it is a good idea to install Task Servers to the same machines.
You can then create multiple tasks, each assigned to the "local" Task Server. Hint: Include the scheduled time and a brief description in the name of the task, so that you can easily identify it in the list of scheduled tasks displayed on the Tasks tab of the Process Control Panel.
You can access the results of the Network Discovery module in the Web Console.
On the first business day of each month, Novell posts the monthly Product Recognition Updates (PRUs) to our Web site. PRUs include hundreds of new hardware and software products that ZENworks Asset Management will now recognize automatically. Updates can be scheduled or applied manually. Select Product Recognition Update from the Administration menu for either option. Hint:Include the scheduled time in the name of the PRU task, so that you can easily identify it in the list of scheduled tasks displayed on the Tasks tab of the Process Control Panel.
Product Live Update
Updates to ZENworks Asset Management software are released on an as-needed basis through the Novell Web site. These updates are created in response to issues discovered in the field or as a result of continuing product development. Select Product Live Update from the Administration menu to set your preferences for downloading and installing updates. You can choose to handle these processes in one of the following ways:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Periodic check for updates. You can configure ZENworks Asset Management to check the Novell Web site periodically and alert you if updates are available. The alert will appear in the status bar of the Manager. You can then install the updates via either of two methods:
- Manual download and update. You can download the updates from the Novell Web site and install them yourself. - One-step update and install. You can have ZENworks Asset Management download all available updates and install them automatically.
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Automated update schedule. You can also schedule ZENworks Asset Management to check the Novell Web site periodically, downloading and installing any available updates automatically.
In most cases, updates can be applied in a few minutes. Actual time for distribution of the updated software to the ZENworks Asset Management applications will depend on available network resources. Stopping and restarting the inventory process may consume additional time.
Note: You should back up your database and file store prior to applying any updates.
It is important to schedule a regular database purge to remove deleted information from the database. To schedule a database purge, follow these steps:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Step 1. Configure how long data is to be kept in the database. (From the Manager, select Enterprise Options from the Tools menu.) Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Step 2. Schedule one or more purge tasks. (Select Database Purge from the Administration menu.) Hint:Include the scheduled time and a brief description in the name of the task, so that you can easily identify it in the list of scheduled tasks displayed on the Tasks tab of the Process Control Panel.
Database / File Store Backups
Database servers should be backed up on a regular basis. ZENworks Asset Management conforms to your normal backup schedule.
Whenever you back up your database servers, you must back up the file store directory as well. If you ever need to restore your database, you will need to restore the corresponding file store.
Tracking Lost & Found
Lost & Found components have an asset tag or a serial number that was associated with a workstation in a previous inventory, but is no longer associated with that workstation or any other in the database. If you choose to track components using the Lost & Found record, it is important that you view the list of components and clear the data on a regular basis.
To change Lost & Found tracking, select Enterprise Options from the Tools menu in the Manager.
Active Directory Integration (optional)
If you have demographic data in an Active Directory source, you can configure a scheduled task to update specific ZENworks Asset Management fields with this data. Active Directory tasks are configured from the Management tab of the Manager. Hint: Include the scheduled time and a brief description in the name of the task, so that you can easily identify it in the list of scheduled tasks displayed on the Tasks tab of the Process Control Panel.
The following tasks are suggested for maintaining database integrity.
Identifying Machines That Do Not Have the Client Installed
The Client Status report displays those workstations with the Collection Client installed as well as those on which it is not installed. The report is located in the Reports folder of the Web Console Network Discovery tab. To keep this information up to date, you should schedule regular Network Discovery tasks for all subnets.
Identifying Machines with the Client Installed That Have Not Been Scanned
To identify machines with the Collection Client installed that have not yet been scanned, create a Workstation Query and use the filter Inventory Type = Not-Yet-Scanned. Suggested fields for the layout include Create Date, Client Is Connected, Disconnection Time and Machine Name.
The field Create Date indicates when the client first connected to the Collection Server. Check:
Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Is the client currently connected? If not, when was it last connected (Check the Disconnection Time field). Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Schedule(s). Verify that the machine is covered by one of the schedules assigned to itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Collection Server. Make sure to check the Workstation tab of the option set(s) as well as double-check the schedule. See Ã¢â‚¬Å“Client Status Fields in Query BrowserÃ¯Â¿Â½? on page 20. Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ View Detailed Status. Check if the Client State is Invalid, which would indicate that the client cannot be updated and therefore has not been scanned.
Identifying Machines Not Scanned Recently
The Web Console includes a report you can use to quickly identify the number of machines that were not scanned in a recent inventory cycle. The Last Scan History report is located in the Admin folder of the Web Console Reports tab.
From the Manager, you can create a Workstation Query and filter on Last Successful Load Date. Suggested fields for the layout include Machine Name, Last Successful Load Date, Client Is Connected, Disconnection Time, Checked Out and Check In/Out Time.
If the value for Client Is Connected is Yes: Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Is the machine being scanned right now? If so, the Checked Out value will be Yes. Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Is the Client State Invalid? This would indicate that the client cannot be updated and therefore cannot be scanned.
Note: The Service Pack 2 update for Windows XP will prevent the client from getting updates from the Collection Server. These machines will display as Invalid in View Detailed Status. Tally Systems has issued a Tech Note to address this information, which can be found on the Support Tech Note page of the Novell web site.
If the value for Client Is Connected is No: Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Use the Disconnection Time to determine the last time the client was connected with the Collection Server. It could be that the machine is no longer in your environment, or hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t been used since that date.
Identifying and Deleting Old Workstation Records
To identify old workstation records, create a Workstation Query and filter on Client Is Connected = No and on Disconnection Time < date of your choice. Suggested fields for the layout include Machine Name, Last Successful Load Date, Client Is Connected and Disconnection Time.
To delete one or more workstation records, select the row numbers, right-click and select Delete.
Managing Lost & Found Data
If you choose to load Lost and Found data, you will need to regularly check the associated components and delete them from the database. It is also important to exclude Lost & Found data from any queries and custom Web reports that you run. Add Inventory Type ! = Lost & Found to your filters. (The data is automatically excluded from Manager Reports and the standard Web reports.)
To display a list of all software components in the Lost & Found, follow these steps: Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Step 1. In the Manager, click on the Queries tab and expand the ZENworks Asset Management Queries and then Component containers. Double-click Lost and Found Components to open the query. Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Step 2. Add AND to the first line of the filter statement. Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Step 3. On the next line, select Product Type for the field, leave = for the operator, and select Software for the value (Product Type = Software). To select the field Product Type, first click on the field Product Field(s) in the field list.
To display a list of all hardware components in the Lost & Found, use the same query as above, but modify the filter on the second line by changing the operator to != (for example, Product Type != Software). To delete components, select the appropriate rows, right-click on the row number column and select Delete.
In order for ZENworks Asset Management to track your hardware and software assets accurately, you must periodically update the product and download new and relevant information from the Novell Web site.
Upgrading Novell ZENworks Asset Management
Version updates to the product are released once or twice a year on average. These upgrades generally include new features as well as improvements to the existing functionality of ZENworks Asset Management.
Please keep in mind the following: Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ It is vital that you back up your ZENworks Asset Management database and the File Store prior to applying an upgrade. Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ Once the upgrade process has started, DO NOT interrupt the process. There is no Ã¢â‚¬Å“back upÃ¯Â¿Â½? process for the upgrade path. If you do interrupt the process you will need to restore the database and File Store, then reapply the upgrade. Ã¢â‚¬Â¢ If the process does not continue after you are asked about stopping all ZENworks Asset Management services, do not cancel the upgrade. Please contact Technical Support at that point. (If you do cancel the upgrade, the database accounts will be locked. This is easily remedied: Technical Support has a utility to unlock the database so that you can continue with the upgrade process.)
Version upgrades are applied via CD from a location that is central to your ZENworks Asset Management installation: usually from the workstation or server at which the original installation was performed.
These automated update processes will update the ZENworks Asset Management database and file store, which will in turn trigger updates to ZENworks Asset Management applications (Collection Servers, Task Servers, and Manager) and the client applications. These updates are pushed out automatically without the need to visit any systems in the field.
In most cases, version updates can be applied in an hour or less. Actual time for distribution of the updated software will depend on available network resources.
Reading the Release Notes
After you have upgraded to the newest version of ZENworks Asset Management, it is a good idea to read the Release Notes. A shortcut to the Release Notes is created in the ZENworks Asset Management Program Group.
Checking Web for Tech Notes and Utilities
The Novell Web site Support page has a number of Tech Notes and Utilities that you can download. You may want to check this site occassionally for new information.