theflyingcorpse Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Starting fresh with ZCM10 SP3, used to ZDM 6.5 and 7.x


My office has finally got the go ahead to setup ZCM10 SP3. We are going to scratch what we have from before and do everything over in the coming few months.
My task is to make a new imaging setup, base images and driverpacks for around 60 models.

The environment is currently XP SP2, but we're going XP SP3 and next year we're ready to start exploring Win7 since we've then implemented ZCM10 SP3.

To tell what we've currently got:
I've made 4 base images that work across all our models in a ZDM 6.5 and ZDM 7.x setup:
- Laptop with ACPI
- Laptop with ACPI_UP (on reboot it upgrades to MP if it fits)
- Desktop with ACPI
- Desktop with ACPI_UP (on reboot it upgrades to MP if it fits)

Mass Storage drivers are hacked into a offline registry with the necccesary files so I get smaller packages and fewer images, so I can just overwrite the system registry file itself when the mass storage driver is imaged to the workstation.

Driver packages themselves are a mix between 1 to 3 addon images, they are quite the hazzle to maintain and update, because sometimes that single driver a new model wants breaks 3 older models.

I've heard my co-worker talk about hardware profiling and letting ZCM10 handling the driver installation itself, but I havent found this functionality in ZCM10, however I've seen it in the 3rd party product by ENGL.

Any thoughts around ENGL as the tool/addon of my needs?
Does this tool have the abillity to check that the profile match, if it doesnt, reject the workstation thats being imaged?
Or any other tool that can do this?
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3 Replies
Anonymous_User Absent Member.
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Re: Starting fresh with ZCM10 SP3, used to ZDM 6.5 and 7.x


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provogeek Absent Member.
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Re: Starting fresh with ZCM10 SP3, used to ZDM 6.5 and 7.x

The ENGL tools are nice and do help simplify the whole imaging process. I have used their tools in three deployments and they do work quite well in making the universal image .

Now that I have said something good about them, my real opinion of the tool set is fairly low. Their documentation is very poor, but once you learn it, it is fairly simple to use. A big drawback is updates. When there is a ZCM update, you must also update ENGL as well. This is because they replace some of the TFTP files, and a ZCM update will over write them during an update, so ENGL has to put them back, and you will need to use the ENGL update specific to the ZCM update. Once I had to upgrade ENGL just to update ZfD7 for a customer. The license is per PC that will be imaged, so you will be buying more than you need. So add the cost of ENGL on top of your ZCM upgrade cost. If your under 1000 desktops, it might be worth it to get the tool to have the time savings it will provide you with. But if you’re in a situation like my last customer to consider ENGL, for 12,000 desktops, ENGL is a HUGE added license cost. The final blow that made me NOT recommend their software to customers is their support. ENGL is located in England, and they do not offer after hours support. They have forums, and you can get some decent info from it, but if you need to speak to a human, and you live in the US, good luck. Typically when I have run into a problem and needed ENGL tech support for something, I would have to do it in email, and I would have to wait a day for a reply. To talk to ENGL tech support from the US, you need to call between 3am and 11am EST, or if you’re on the west coast, you have from 12am to 8am PST to contact a human. In my opinion, publisher support offerings is the #1 consideration when purchasing enterprise software.

Profile match? not really, it does a DMI check to determine the BIOS reported model and will match to a driver set so long as the ZMG file is named appropriately. There is a control file that gets placed in TFTP that maps model to ZMG file. They give you a spiffy tool that extracts drivers from a running PC to build a driver image for you (doesn’t always work), or you can just build a driver image manually. Nice thing is, you need not worry about the directory structure, so you can just build an image making whatever directory structure you want (granted the base path needs to be uniform). ENGL inserts a process into sysprep that scan the directory looking for drivers during the mini setup. The driver images are model specific, so they have only the drivers for the specific model in a single driver image. So in your case, you would have 60 driver add on images.

There is also a Cool Solutions article that will give you the bash scripts needed to accomplish the same thing, just doesn’t have the prettiness ENGL does. The end results are the same.

ENGL also has tools that take care of the HAL in XP. The biggest thorn in everyone rumps when it comes to imaging from any provider. ENGL handles that for you, no need to make special images for HAL type. They also make it easier to deal with mass storage drivers, nice little tool to insert them into your setup.

The rest is all automation scripting. ENGL builds some nice phased automation scripts for you (no you can not edit them) that will handle workstation naming, ZEN agent and Novel l client install, run a NAL base app deployment, then do a system clean up and profile copy. You can add to each phase with either a batch file or VBS script (specifically named if you want them to run right). You can use those to perform any added functions (like install drivers that do not install properly during sysprep).

So do you need the tool? Not really, everything it does you can build yourself and the community has already built much of it (Cool Solutions should be your best friend). They can just make it easier. The customers of mine that bought it did so because of the HAL solution it provides, since HAL is always the problem people have in an XP image.

Now I have not used ENGL on Windows 7 yet, but Windows 7 changes the game. No HAL issues to work with. Hell, you can image an Intel system and restore that image on an AMD now with Windows 7 (done it, works great). If you drop a directory into the C:\Windows\inf that has all the drivers for your PC model, the Windows 7 sysprep will auto scan the directory for drivers during the mini setup. No added tools or making sure your driver path does not exceed the character limit.

They do offer a free trial, so you can check it out and see it for your self. The customers of mine that I helped deploy ZEN imaging with ENGL all love it. The one thing I make sure I leave at these customers is an admin system. If you set one up, it will make the use of the product a whole lot easier. What I mean by an admin system, is something to run the wizard on. This wizard will want access to the ZCM server, access to the Novell client files, access to the agent file, and access MSXML installer, .NET installer, and some other things I am not thinking of right now. Make your life easy, build a virtual machine running XP or 7 to run the wizard on and store the files you need. This will make updates go smoother. If you don't retain the files used by the wizard, you have to build them up every time you do an update. Novell has promised to you and I an update of ZCM every three months. Having to to build up the file sets to run the wizard to complete an update (and yea, all your updating is the TFTP directory most of the time) can be a PITA since the wizard will not complete unless the required file sets are present.
gleach1 Absent Member.
Absent Member.

Re: Starting fresh with ZCM10 SP3, used to ZDM 6.5 and 7.x

I've done my first deployment with ENGL and foudn it to be quite good - lacking in documentation quite a bit (we wrote our own doc set because of this)
I'm the opposite - havn't used it with XP at all and have only done win7 deployments with it and found it to be fairly painless, the odd driver not detected (usually security components, TPM stuff and intel AMT)

we have 2 base images, 1 for 64 bit and 1 for 32 bit

I've found the support forums to be well monitored and will have a response ready for next working day (aussie here)

if you're moving to zcm, it's a great time to move to win7 as well, unless there are very good reasons not to

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