MyNotes: Dell KACE #tceasysadmin

What a fantastic session on Dell KACE. Absolutely phenomenal detail and presentation. This session was presented at the TCEA SystemAdmin Conference held October 29 & 30, 2015.


MyNotes

  1. Kevin Wilbourn (Twitter: @kevinwilbourn), Systems Engineer, Temple ISD
  2. Session Goals
    1. What is a System Mgmt Platform?
    2. What is Dell KACE?
    3. Identify System Mgmt Pain Points
    4. Mgmt with KACE
    5. Deployments with KACE
  3. What is a System Mgmt Platform? Six areas that define it:
    1. Inventory & IT Asset mgmt
    2. Software distribution
    3. Service Desk
    4. Patch management & security
    5. Systems Deployment
    6. Mobile mgmt
  4. Key players
    1. MS System Center (SMMS) – Robust but difficult to use.
    2. Altiris – On and off again relationship with Symantec
    3. LANDesk
    4. Dell KACE
  5. What operating systems?
    1. Windows 7
    2. OS X
    3. Windows Server
    4. GNU/Linux
    5. Android
    6. iOS
    7. Chromebook
  6. What is KACE?
    1. Flexible Management Platform
    2. Purchased by Dell in 2010
    3. K1000
      1. Inventory
      2. Software distrib
      3. Reporting
      4. Support desk
    4. K2000
      1. O/S Deployment
    5. K3000
      1. Mobile device mgmt
  7. How is it implemented?
    1. Physical Servers (Dell PowerEdge R6) 1 user per KACE Service
    2. VIrtual Appliance (vmware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Cloud SaaS)
  8. KACE 1000
    1. Discovery and Inventory: View, sort, and search hardware devices, software, etc.
    2. Fixing Pain points – user details. KACE enables you to go to your inventory by device, search for the user by name, or view details or remote in.
    3. The Actions Menu
      1. From the inventory display you can take pre-defined action
      2. You can manage and change these actions to work with Remote Desktop, VNC, etc.
      3. Deep dive view of an individual system:
        1. Show all hardware with change tracking
        2. View installed printers
        3. Show installed programs with change tracking
        4. Patch status
        5. Running processes, startup programs and services (all searchable)
    4. Discovery Data in the Lifecycle
      1. Discovery and inventory is automatic
    5. Asset Management
      1. Do you have an accurate inventory? Why not? WHat if it was automatic, accurate, and customizable?
      2. Goals: 
        1. Fast, accurate inventory (tracks location)
        2. Must cover all district provided hardware
        3. Track location for fixed assets
      3. Adding Your assets
        1. Automatic entry with KACE Agent Devices and SNMP Trapping
        2. Manual entry with import of CSV files, web-based entry form.
    6. K1000 Management Appliance
      1. Software distribution: up to date software, automatic, targeted deployment, easy to manage.
      2. Managing software distribution
        1. Assignment – Select comps individually, use computer labels
        2. Scheduling – set days & times, Use Wake on LAN, etc.
    7. Security and Patching
      1. Got WSUS? KACE can replace WSUS with an integrated patching solution.
      2. Choose the products to patch, KACE downloads, scans, and deploys.
    8. What about my remote campuses?
      1. Replication shares – local stores for all data and program files for the K1000
        1. Software items
        2. Dependencies
        3. Patches and Packages
      2. Alternate download location – use a CIFS/SMB share to host an individual install package
        1. Managed installations
        2. File synchronizations
      3. WIndows 7 has a hard limit of 20 concurrent file sharing connections. Use Windows Server….
    9. KACE2000
      1. System Images
        1. Pros: Identical System setup, faster deployment time, multicasting, great with complex environments
        2. Cons: Hardware dependent, OEM LIcensing Compatibility, Difficult to change, Manual intervention at end point
      2. Scripted Installs
        1. Pros: Supports any hardware, compatible with OEM licenses, Upgrade and add components without rebuilding image, no sysprep, no golden image to maintain, ISO slipstream for CUs, or SPs
        2. Cons: Slightly slower deployment time, no multicasting
      3. Pre and Post Install Tasks
        1. What are they? User defined tasks that work with system images and script installs. Can be easily added or removed on drag and drop interface.
        2. What can they do? Join domain, Give the computer a new or existing name. 
          1. Install Office, Install KACE, etc.
      4. What about remote campuses?
        1. Once agan, a single applicance will handle thousands of clients. For K2000, you can reduce bandwidth by:
          1. Remote site appliances – storage for images and install media for the K2000.
          2. Multicasting – image multiple computers with the same bandwidth footprint as one machine
          3. Scheduler – set deployments to occur outside of peak hours
  9. Questions
    1. Do you have any problems with Dell KACE not recognizing new Dell laptops? KACE doesn’t have the driver in the cache for some newer laptops.


Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure
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