Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Nice to know: 'Devices' view in Altiris Activity Center still shows a client in the (IsManaged='1') search filter even after uninstalling the Symantec Management Agent (AexNSAgent.exe)

After manually uninstalling the ‘AexNSAgent.exe’ from a discovered and previously manageable client system, the computer is still viewed in the Altiris 'Activity Center' under devices with an 'Installed Agent'
The filter, (IsManaged='1') is used to filter computers and as seen on the attached screenshots, the computers with the AexNSAgent uninstalled are still listed.  However, the icon is not active (grayed out).
Creating a filter set to, (IsActive='1') will NOT show the clients that have had their AexNSAgent.exe files uninstalled.
If the AexNSAgent.exe file is uninstalled from the managed client, an (IsManaged='0') switch should be sent to the Notification Server to indicate it is no longer being managed. This should be reflected in both Altiris Activity Center and First Time Setup.
Known Issue. Altiris Symantec Management Agent (SMA or Altiris Agent) does not send any inventory information while uninstall of the agent itself. Only sub-agents (plug-ins) send the inventory information, using the agent which is still exist.
This is actually a design restriction, since the client-side uninstall could be performed when no NS connection is available. In that case we can't send the inventory neither postpone the uninstall process.
This issue has been reported to the Symantec Development team. They are working in providing a solution for this in a future release.

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Monday, 19 December 2011

Beware : Altiris enhanced console views and updating to Altiris ITMS 7.1 SP2

To update to enhanced console views 7.1 SP2 from a 7.1 SP1 environment
  1. Start Symantec Installation Manager.
  2. On the Installed Products page, click View and install updates.
  3. On the Product Updates page, search for Altiris Deployment Solution Complete Suite 7.1 SP1a MR1a and take one of the following actions:

    Option 1:
    If you find Altiris Deployment Solution Complete Suite 7.1SP1aMR1a in the list of updates on the Product Updates page, then you have an environment that does not include installed hot fixes.
    You must use the View and install updates option in Symantec Installation Manager to update to enhanced console views 7.1 SP2. You must select the Altiris Deployment Solution Complete Suite 7.1 SP1a MR1a update.

    Option 2:
    If you do not find Altiris Deployment Solution Complete Suite 7.1SP1aMR1a in the list of updates on the Product Updates page, then you have an environment that includes installed hot fixes.
    You must use the Install new products option in Symantec Installation Manager to update to enhanced console views 7.1 SP2. This option lets you install the 7.2 version of your product on top of the 7.1 version of your product.

    How to install New Products in SIM:

    1. On the Installed Products page, click Install new products.
    2. On the Install New Products page, select the 7.1 SP2 version of your Suite or individual Solution. For example, if you have IT Management Suite 7.1 SP1, select IT Management Suite 7.1 SP2.
    3. Click Next, and continue with the installation process.
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    Altiris SQL Database growth issue : InvHist_Policy_Compliance_Status table


    You are facing a database growth issue due to the InvHist_Policy_Compliance_Status table within your Altiris SQL environment.
    Every time a compliance check is ran for a Managed Software Delivery policy a compliance status update is submitted.
    When the new status is updated into Inv_Policy_Compliance_Status a copy of all the existing compliance statuses for that client is added to the InvHist_Policy_Compliance_Status table.
    How large the table grows all depends on how many MSD policies each client has ran, number of clients running MSD policies, and how often the compliance check is scheduled to occur for each policy.
    Solution -
    Possible approaches:

    1. Change configuration so this table grows more slowly.
      This can be done by modifying MSD policies, so the policy compliance checks are run less often. If the policy check schedule to occur during a time range, the check may occur multiple times during that time range. So, changing the policy to check at certain times will reduce the number of times the check is perfomed, while accomplishing the desired results. If checks are peformed at specific times, consider how often these checks need to be performed. Perhaps daily or weekly will be sufficient.
      Slowing the growth will reduce the work which is done on the various managed computers, and the amount of data they forward to the SMP server, which the SMP server has to process.
      To see which policy are contributing the most to the recent growth of this table, use first attached SQL; the second query show the computers that are the largest recent contributors.
    2. Disable the saving of this historical information.
      If you have slowed the growth of this table, and it is still growing to rapidly, then you may want to disable the saving of the history for this data class. Note that this table is used by some reports.
      The history settings can be found in Settings\Notification Server\Resource and Data Class Settings\Resource History.
      Disable check box for this data class in history settings. Note that existing table is renamed to InvHist_Policy_Compliance_Status_Backup_1 (or similar). This table is no longer in use and can be deleted/moved to regain space.
    3. Slowing the growth of this table, will not reduce the size of this table immediately. The table should eventually shrink through the normal data class purge processes. But if want to free up this space immediately, then if appropriate precautions are taken, this table can be truncated.
      First perform a complete database backup, prior to implementing the following change.
      Second, the query can be used to truncate the table.
      TRUNCATE TABLE InvHist_Policy_Compliance_Status

    Following SQL queries can used to identify the problem
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      Changing the package codebase of your Altiris Symantec Management Platform

      This can become handy when your clients can’t resolve the Full Qualified Domain Name (FQDN)
      By default, during the installation of the Symantec Altiris Notification Server, SIM (Symantec Installation Manager) populates this regkey with whatever server name you selected during the configuration page during the initial installation, which usually is the Full Qualified Domain Name (FQDN). So, in order to modify the preferred Notification Server hostname for SWD codebase and snapshot URLs, you need to do the following:
      • Open the Registry Editor (Open the RUN prompt and type regedit and click OK)
      • Go to HKLM>Software>Altiris>eXpress>Notification Server and open the PreferredNSHost regkey.
      • Modify the PreferredNSHost regkey by adding the NetBIOS, FQDN, or IP Address that you want to use for SWD codebases and snapshot URLs.
      • Restart the Altiris Service
      • Then go to Control Panel>Scheduled Tasks and run the NS.Package Refresh schedule (by default it runs everyday at 3:30am). By running this schedule, the SWD codebases and snapshot URLs should be updated.
      Note: If for some reason the PreferredNSHost regkey is not present but there is the reference of it on the coreSettings.config, just recreate the regkey. Create a String Value and call it 'PreferredNSHost'.
      Additional Note: Do not add ports to the PreferredNSHost setting (such as nsServer:5814 or 10.x.x.x:5484). Adding a port will cause the NS.PackageRefresh to FAIL

      Altiris ITMS 7.1 SP2 release notes available
      A short overview of some changes in regards to ITMS
      • Symantec Management Console supports Internet Explorer 9 (in IE 8 compatibility mode)
      • Support for additional OS's
        • o Mac OS X 10.7
        • o RHEL 6
        • o RHEL 6.1
        • o Solaris 10 U9 (includes Zones Inventory)
        • o SUSE 11 SP1
      • All documentation is now available under Symantec Help Center
      • ESX/ESXi 4.1 & v5 support for Server Management Suite
      • Several reliabiltiy and performance enhancements
      • Some changes around Software Products within Software Management