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Cloning AppManager Agents Using Virtualization Technologies

Cloning AppManager Agents Using Virtualization Technologies

Customers often employ virtualization technologies (for example, Citrix and VMWare) to rapidly deploy servers with pre-installed software. NetIQ AppManager supports this practice, but requires a unique identity for each physical and virtual agent computer.

Upon initial agent startup and communication with the management server, AppManager stores a unique AgentID in the Windows registry. Because AppManager expects each agent to be uniquely identifiable, duplicating the AgentID as part of cloning an agent computer causes issues with job control and data collection. This article describes how to create agents without a set AgentID so that you can clone and deploy them without identity issues. Agents will receive a unique AgentID on initial startup and communication with the management server.

Creating a Template from an Existing Agent


You can create a deployment template from an existing agent computer, and then use the template to deploy agents to additional computers.

To create a template:


  1. On the agent computer that you want to use to create the template, stop the NetIQ AppManager Client Resource Monitor (NetIQmc) and NetIQ AppManager Client Communication Manager (NetIQccm) services.

  2. Using the registry editor, locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\NetIQ\AppManager (on 64-bit computers) or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NetIQ\AppManager (on 32-bit computers) right-click the AuthoritativeID key, and select Modify.

  3. Specify an empty string ("") for the AuthoritativeID value.

    NOTE: If you want to continue monitoring the computer after you create the template, be sure to record the existing value before you modify it. Later, you will reset the key to the original value.

  4. Using the registry editor, locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\NetIQ\AppManager\4.0\NetIQmc (on 64-bit computers) or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NetIQ\AppManager\4.0\NetIQmc (on 32-bit computers) right-click the DiscoveryName key, and select Modify.

  5. Specify an empty string ("") for the DiscoveryName value.

    NOTE: If you want to continue monitoring the computer after you create the template, be sure to record the existing value before you modify it. Later, you will reset the key to the original value.

  6. (Optional) If you want the new agent to communicate with different management servers, complete the following steps:


    1. In the NetIQmc folder, right-click the MS Backup and MS Primary keys, select Modify, and specify an empty string ("").

    2. In the NetIQmc\Security folder, right-click the AllowMS key, select Modify, and set the value to *.
      NOTE: If you want to continue monitoring the computer after you create the template, be sure to record the existing values before you modify them. Later, you will reset the keys to the original values.

  7. Shut down the computer.


Configuring the computer that you cloned from the template:


  1. Power on the computer.

  2. In the System Properties, rename the computer.

  3. Using the registry editor, locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\NetIQ\AppManager\4.0\NetIQmc (on 64-bit computers) or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NetIQ\AppManager\4.0\NetIQmc (on 32-bit computers), right-click the DiscoveryName key, and select Modify.

  4. Specify the name that you want to display in the AppManager consoles.

  5. Use the following command to cold start the NetIQ AppManager Client Resource Monitor (NetIQmc) and NetIQ AppManager Client Communication Manager (NetIQccm) services:
    AppManager_Installation_Folder\bin>netiqmc -oa
    For example, C:\Program Files\NetIQ\AppManager\bin>netiqmc -oa
    AppManager generates a unique AuthoritativeID value and populates the software inventory in the AppManager repository (QDB).

  6. Use the Control Center console to add the cloned computer to the Enterprise Layout view.

  7. (Optional) If you want to continue monitoring the computer that you used to create the template, complete the following steps:

    1. Power on the computer.
    2. Using the registry editor, locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\NetIQ\AppManager (on 64-bit computers) or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NetIQ\AppManager (on 32-bit computers), right-click the AuthoritativeID key, select Modify, and set it back to the original value.
    3. Locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\NetIQ\AppManager\4.0\NetIQmc (on 64-bit computers) or HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\NetIQ\AppManager\4.0\NetIQmc (on 32-bit computers), right-click the DiscoveryName key, select Modify, and set it back to the original value.
    4. Right-click the MS Backup and MS Primary keys, select Modify, and set them back to the original values.
    5. In the Security folder, right-click the AllowMS key, select Modify, and set it back to the original value.
    6. Use the following command to cold start the NetIQ AppManager Client Resource Monitor (NetIQmc) and NetIQ AppManager Client Communication Manager (NetIQccm) services:

      AppManager_Installation_Folder\bin>netiqmc -oa

      For example, C:\Program Files\NetIQ\AppManager\bin>netiqmc -oa


Using the above procedure, you've created a template for cloning agents that are unique. Job control and data collection will be tied to the unique ID that is created when the cloned agent completes initial startup and establishes communication with the management server.

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Comments
Very well documented. This will help APpManager customer to use the cloning technology in conjunction with AppManager
Well done! Where VMs and products like Citrix XenApp are involved, this process will allow you to simplify and reuse an agent image - and keep your sanity!
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