Experience hassle-free deployment of ZENworks Service Desk with real-time updates using Common Appli


As a ZENworks Service Desk owner you know that you have to regularly update your Service Desk installation to ensure you are getting the latest and greatest benefits. Over the years the process of keeping up, may have been a challenge. There were probably late nights upgrading operating systems, reconfiguring IP addresses and database connections and more. But that all changed with ZENworks Service Desk 7.5 and higher. ZENworks Service Desk moved to a new Virtual Appliance model based on the Micro Focus Common Appliance Framework (CAF), the same appliance framework used by ZENworks, Filr, iPrint and more.

With this movement, your new installation and upgrade process are entirely hassle-free unlike standalone installation. The virtual appliance not only makes your life easy by providing web interface driven configuration management and interactive migration option, you can also easily apply security fixes through online update automatically based upon your pre-defined schedule.

On the platform front, like ZENworks, Service Desk uses the same appliance, built on top of the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server OS platform, in fact it takes “Just enough OS” (a minimal version of OS) to keep it lean and bloat-free. All the required software and tools are added as an add-on to the base OS to build a ZENworks Service Desk appliance that has just what you need, and nothing else.

Because it’s based on CAF, the Service Desk Appliance offers the following key benefits:

  • Easily manageable network configuration compared to YaST
  • Option to setup recurring schedule for automatic updates
  • Pre-defined Digital Certificate is available along with the installation. A new certificate can be created or an existing certificate can be imported easily through appliance interface unlike the lengthy process followed earlier with manual steps
  • Option to expand storage capacity or adding new storage extension
  • Option to change passwords for the appliance users through web-console
  • Terminal access and file explorer from the browser based management tool
  • Single point access for all the important logs
  • Option to change password for embedded Service Desk database
  • Both product updates and OS patch updates are seen/alerted as and when available


Remember, when deploy the ZENworks Service Desk Appliance, the required initialization happens on the first boot of the appliance. After the boot, ZENworks Service Desk becomes up and running, configured with internal PostgreSQL database.

Key points of the deployment model:


The downloadable formats for the appliance are:  .ova (for VMware), .xen (for SUSE Xen Server), .xva (for Citrix XenServer) and .vhd (for Microsoft Hyper-V). You just need to add an extra hard disk to store data and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Version advancement:

There are two mechanisms to go from one version to a higher version i.e. Update and Upgrade. Each option has a separate tile on the appliance console.




An Update can either be performed manually or it can be automated with a recurring schedule (daily, weekly, monthly). Normally, the update method is used for any kind of small patch releases such as bug fixes, security fixes, and minor enhancements.




The ZENworks Service Desk upgrade can be done through two options i.e. online and offline.

An online Upgrade is manual. Typically, this method is used for Major and Minor releases. With this method, you have to accept the EULA before your upgrade takes place. During upgrade, the appliance is switched to the new update channel(s). Each new Major/Minor version will have its own update channel.



An offline upgrade can be performed by installing a new appliance with the 2nd disk attached from the old appliance.

Important call out: In ZENworks Service Desk 8.1 and later, the option to migrate from a standalone installation is discontinued. All upgrades and installation can happen only through the Appliance console. If your Service Desk version is v7.4 or less, you can upgrade to v7.5/v8.0 to move to CAF. For more details, please refer our online documentation (https://www.novell.com/documentation/zenworks-service-desk-75/).


With ZENworks Service Desk 7.5 and higher, delivered as a CAF-based appliance, you can now quickly and easily deploy updates and upgrades to your ZENworks Service Desk system without jumping through the hoops of a standalone installation. This allows you to focus on delivering value to your business and your end-users and worry less about building, maintaining and upgrading the system.



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