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lccTechA Absent Member.
Absent Member.
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Just curious

I'm curious to know if anyone has general success pushing software with bundles with ZCM to Windows 7 and 10? After testing and reaching successful deployment of a bundle on a test machine do you then have good success on your production machines? Like 50% or more? Or is it very unpredictable with a lot of machines failing to install anything?

How would you rate your frustration level from 0 - 10 with ZCM bundles for software installation? 0 = no frustration, 10 = giving up and going to SCCM or other solution?

Thank you!
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8 Replies
Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Re: Just curious

Keep in Mind....

If a Bundle fails......
It will have ZERO to do with ZCM.

ZCM will make a call in the background such as "MSIXEC /I SOMETHING.MSI /Q" or "SETUP.exe /s".
Once the call is made....ZCM or any other product is out of the loop.

For Starters....
If you are trying to use a tool such as "AdminStudio" to Repackage software installers..........
The odds of successfully deploying software will be quite minimal unless that is something you have done exclusively and professionally for a LONG time.

Most Vendors Detail on their site how to automate their installs....and those processes are quite easy to port over to ZCM since it is so flexible letting you go just about anything you can dream.

I often suggest setting installs to not run fully quiet and use /QB+ vs /QN as the default installer.
The Reason is that if you use /QN and the installer fails, you need to read MSI Debug logs to know what went wrong....
A Difficult Task for many and time consuming even for the best.....

When using /QB....The Error message will come up and give you what went wrong in place English...
"Error: Needs Jave 8.x or Higher" or "Out of Disk Space" or ".NET 4.7 Required" etc.. etc....
All of those errors would likely go right the screen with WHY it failed vs the Generic Windows installer error of 1603 followed by you having to dig.

But again...your success rate will come down to properly constructing a proper install package...
But building those packages has nothing to do with ZCM, SCCM, or anything else.

But in your ZCM bundle you can do stuff like...
Action #1 - Check to See if Java is Correct version...else install
Action #2 - Check to see if C++ required files are there else install
etc...

But where I see users trip up more than anything is they believe that it is too hard to read the Vendor's instructions to automate an install and falsely believe they can just repackage a Professionally Built Installer with a few clicks.
Does not work that way....

I did a consulting gig with one company that was doing that for rolling out all new PCs.
Year 1....they Did 20 PCs out of 5,000 Planned.
Year 2....I joined the failed project...made sure the install packages were built properly per Software Vendor Specs and Deployed 9,980.

ZENworks did not change.
The Input to ZENworks Did and Change from Garbage Out to Delight.

95% of Managing Software Deployments with ZCM has nothing to do with ZCM as in the case above.
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lccTechA Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Just curious

Craig, Thank you for your reply. We get total success in VMs with 95% of our bundles. The other 5% we have identified installer problems and so those are explained. What is not explained is that when we move to hardware, our results are either nothing works or we get different results on every machine we run it on. Reporting is wacky saying that bundles were successful when not, failed when they were successful or they just don't run at all. These same bundles reported success and were installed successfully over 95% of the time on VMs before we moved to physical hardware. On hardware, the same OS on a different machine does something completely different. Today I set up 4 fresh machines - first installing windows 7 & 10 and patching them to current. Then install zenworks, set them as test machines and placed them in group that bundles are assigned to and then restarted all machines. We waited for over an hour before logging in to check. Not one machine installed anything. We started a refresh from the zcm console at 12:15 PM hoping to kick the process and it unexpectedly stopped at 12:30 PM. So started another refresh at 12:35 and set it to never expire. It still said "New" on all 4 machines at 2:15PM. An engineer from MicroFocus have looked at it repeatedly and can't find a problem. He says our bundles are built correctly, but I am starting to doubt everything. We have had Zenworks for 20 years and just about every one of our techs has been through this nightmare. No consistency at all and we have never been able to get it to install software with any reliability. We are going to start ticket on Monday, but I would be interested to know if you are available for hire and what kind of cost that might involve?
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Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

Re: Just curious

On 17.05.2019 23:44, lccTechA wrote:
>
> Craig, Thank you for your reply. We get total success in VMs with 95%
> of our bundles. The other 5% we have identified installer problems and
> so those are explained. What is not explained is that when we move to
> hardware, our results are either nothing works or we get different
> results on every machine we run it on.


That doens't make much sense. There is no difference whatsoever between
a VM or a Hadware from ZCMs POV.

> Reporting is wacky saying that
> bundles were successful when not,


When a bundle is reported as successful, then whatever the bundle was
doing reported it being succesful. It's not ZCMs fault, but an
improperly build bundle. Prime mistake: Calling batch files from ZCM.
When one command inside a batch fails, the batch will still report a
success back in the end.

> failed when they were successful or
> they just don't run at all. These same bundles reported success and
> were installed successfully over 95% of the time on VMs before we moved
> to physical hardware.


There must be an obvious difference between your VMs and your hardware then.

> On hardware, the same OS on a different machine
> does something completely different. Today I set up 4 fresh machines -
> first installing windows 7 & 10 and patching them to current. Then
> install zenworks, set them as test machines and placed them in group
> that bundles are assigned to and then restarted all machines. We waited
> for over an hour before logging in to check. Not one machine installed
> anything.


Well, you obviously fail to tell us how your bundles were configured in
terms of *when* they should have been doing what.

> We started a refresh from the zcm console at 12:15 PM hoping
> to kick the process and it unexpectedly stopped at 12:30 PM. So started
> another refresh at 12:35 and set it to never expire. It still said
> "New" on all 4 machines at 2:15PM.


Well, then it's obvious the primary server you instructed to refresh
those machines can't talk to your clients, which obviously is a problem.
Firewall/Network problem seems the obvious answer.


CU,
--
Massimo Rosen
Micro Focus Knowledge Partner
No emails please!
http://www.cfc-it.de
CU,
--
Massimo Rosen
Micro Focus Knowledge Partner
No emails please!
http://www.cfc-it.de
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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Re: Just curious

General Tips...

#1 - Disable Assignment Optimization if you want assignments to be seen quickly.
That feature tends to only be used by the Largest of Organizations needing 10,000s of devices to all get assignments at the same exact time.

#2 - "On Refresh" will deploy sooner than "On Login".....since Logon Occurs before refresh when a User/Device will see new assignments.

#3 - While Quick Tasks can work here or there, Generally Folks Schedule Bundles to install on events such as "Refresh", "Device Boot", "Logon", at 2am on May 23rd (Execute or Don't Execute if Time Missed), on WOL, etc....
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Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

Re: Just curious

On Fri, 17 May 2019 20:04:02 GMT, lccTechA
<lccTechA@no-mx.forums.microfocus.com> wrote:

>
>I'm curious to know if anyone has general success pushing software with
>bundles with ZCM to Windows 7 and 10? After testing and reaching
>successful deployment of a bundle on a test machine do you then have
>good success on your production machines? Like 50% or more? Or is it
>very unpredictable with a lot of machines failing to install anything?
>
>How would you rate your frustration level from 0 - 10 with ZCM bundles
>for software installation? 0 = no frustration, 10 = giving up and going
>to SCCM or other solution?
>
>Thank you!


0. Any issues I run into are caused by the wacky things some software
companies do with their installers, but not with ZCM. My typical
process is to first see if the software developer was kind enough to
provide and document a silent install. Otherwise I have to figure it
out myself. Then I manually run through the install process from a
command line to make sure it works. Then I repeat that process in a
ZCM bundle.

And as Massimo mentions, stay away from batch files.

--
Ken
Knowledge Partner

Create and vote for enhancements!
https://www.microfocus.com/products/enhancement-request.html
--
Ken
Knowledge Partner

Create and vote for enhancements!
https://www.microfocus.com/products/enhancement-request.html
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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Re: Just curious

Note: You can write the various parts of your batch to capture exit codes and then exit with an error code if any of the steps failed.
If you scripts are highly complex with many moving parts, you can even call multiple batches to simplify that....each bundle can have many actions....
No need for a massively long single script if error handling gets confusing.....

ketter;2500008 wrote:
On Fri, 17 May 2019 20:04:02 GMT, lccTechA
<lccTechA@no-mx.forums.microfocus.com> wrote:

>
>I'm curious to know if anyone has general success pushing software with
>bundles with ZCM to Windows 7 and 10? After testing and reaching
>successful deployment of a bundle on a test machine do you then have
>good success on your production machines? Like 50% or more? Or is it
>very unpredictable with a lot of machines failing to install anything?
>
>How would you rate your frustration level from 0 - 10 with ZCM bundles
>for software installation? 0 = no frustration, 10 = giving up and going
>to SCCM or other solution?
>
>Thank you!


0. Any issues I run into are caused by the wacky things some software
companies do with their installers, but not with ZCM. My typical
process is to first see if the software developer was kind enough to
provide and document a silent install. Otherwise I have to figure it
out myself. Then I manually run through the install process from a
command line to make sure it works. Then I repeat that process in a
ZCM bundle.

And as Massimo mentions, stay away from batch files.

--
Ken
Knowledge Partner

Create and vote for enhancements!
https://www.microfocus.com/products/enhancement-request.html
0 Likes
Knowledge Partner
Knowledge Partner

Re: Just curious

LccTechA,
> Like 50% or more?


Yes. It all depends on how weird the apps are and how much time you
have to test.

- Anders Gustafsson (NKP)
The Aaland Islands (N60 E20)

If customers would like to give input in the upcoming
releases of MF products then they should go to
https://www.microfocus.com/products/enhancement-request/

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Micro Focus Expert
Micro Focus Expert

Re: Just curious

Note: Since the poster specifically referenced issues with "Quick Tasks"....

See - https://download.microfocus.com/Download?buildid=YVdIstyKxF0~

There was an sporadic issue with Quick Tasks specifically when both the Agent and Server were on 17.4.0 due to a minor issue in a new feature that enhanced QT performance.
The 17.4.1 has a server side fix that resolves this w/o an agent upgrade.
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