ZCM fundamentals

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Recently I've been busy working with customers to implement ZENworks Configuration Management (ZCM). My posts in the coming days and weeks will discuss the key points when considering a ZCM deployment.

So let us start with a couple of fundamentals, what do we really need to be in place before we start anything.

DNS
Forward and reverse lookups must be functional to and from all severs and workstations. We use forward and reverse look-ups in our certificate operations such as when a device checks in, when we hook into Casa for eDir/AD operations, and remote control operations.

Time Synchronisation
All managed devices, primary servers and the DB server should be sync'd as close as possible. Certain operations in ZCM are session based and therefore rely on accurate time between the two parties.

If you have any ideas on subject matter, please feel free to leave feedback.

The aim here is to start the discussion not give everything away

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  • I have had hours and hours of fun (not) with DNS causing issues. Ironically, this was with a fresh DNS configuration in our AD environment and ZCM was the only thing that had problems. It was frustrating because everybody said DNS DNS DNS but finding and fixing the problem was virtually impossible. Thankfully, because of a good (female) tech @ Novell I figured out how to work around the particular issue.

    As far as time sync issues? Ouch. My time wasn't in sync before the installation of ZCM so all my certs were bad (date was out of whack too for some stupid reason). That's what I get for using prebuilt lab images that weren't on the domain first.

    What about changing the IP address? That one nailed me hard a few times as I tend to forget to static the IP before installing ZCM. Changing it after the fact resulted in services not starting anymore. Yay! One more reinstall for the road!

    Oh, and System Update on my primary server caused all my secondary servers running PXE services at remote sites to also go to 100% cpu utilization.

    ZCM is a little more bleeding edge than leading edge in my environment. But it does have awesome potential.
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  • I have had hours and hours of fun (not) with DNS causing issues. Ironically, this was with a fresh DNS configuration in our AD environment and ZCM was the only thing that had problems. It was frustrating because everybody said DNS DNS DNS but finding and fixing the problem was virtually impossible. Thankfully, because of a good (female) tech @ Novell I figured out how to work around the particular issue.

    As far as time sync issues? Ouch. My time wasn't in sync before the installation of ZCM so all my certs were bad (date was out of whack too for some stupid reason). That's what I get for using prebuilt lab images that weren't on the domain first.

    What about changing the IP address? That one nailed me hard a few times as I tend to forget to static the IP before installing ZCM. Changing it after the fact resulted in services not starting anymore. Yay! One more reinstall for the road!

    Oh, and System Update on my primary server caused all my secondary servers running PXE services at remote sites to also go to 100% cpu utilization.

    ZCM is a little more bleeding edge than leading edge in my environment. But it does have awesome potential.
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