TEM Software Usage Analysis v1.3.0.592

A very nice tool for capturing the software inventory of your enterprise is our Software Usage Analysis (SUA) add-on product. 

Here is a simplified overview of how to install this add-on into an already existing infrastructure.

For the various official guides visit: (http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/tivihelp/v26r1/index.jsp?topic=/com.ibm.tem.doc/welcome.htm)

Considerations:

I’ve chosen to setup SUA on a physical computer with modest capabilities due to the tiny deployment I’m using.  See the Install guide for details on system requirements.  My server has an Intel E7200 Core 2 Duo processor with 4Gb of RAM.  It is running Microsoft Windows 2008r2 with SP1.  This should work perfectly for my deployment of <50 endpoints.

I will also be using a centralized SQL server that all of my applications are using including the TEM server itself.  It is a Virtual running under Hyper-V but should service my needs.  It too is a Microsoft Windows 2008r2 with SP1 installed and has MS SQL 2008r2 SP1 as well.

Everything is attached to my Microsoft Active Directory domain to make authentication easy.  The SUA services will be running under a special svBigFix account I have setup with appropriate permissions within my domain.

Very simply the installation procedure is as follows:

  1. Subscribe/Activate to DSS SAM Content Site
  2. Install SUA
  3. Configure the services that run SUA and connect to the databases
  4. Create the SUA BFEnterprise Database Connections

Let’s begin!

1. Subscribe/Activate to DSS SAM Content Site

Look under the BigFix Management->License Overview for the “DSS SAM” available site.

SUA Install Step 1a

SUA Install Step 1b

Activate and subscribe the appropriate computers.  For my tiny deployment, I’m going to subscribe all computers.

SUA Install Step 1c

Next, we’ll need to activate the three required analyses.

SUA Install Step 1d

Activate our Installation task for the SUA Scanner that runs on our endpoints.

SUA Install Step 1e

SUA Install Step 1f

Then schedule that scanner to run…

SUA Install Step 1g

SUA Install Step 1h

And schedule the uploads to occur immediately upon scan completion.

SUA Install Step 1i

SUA Install Step 1j

2. Install SUA

Now we’ll install the initial components of SUA… this is pretty straight forward.  Just remember if you are configuring the service as I am with a domain service account.. log into the desktop of this server using that account.

SUA Install Step 2a

SUA Install Step 2b

SUA Install Step 2c

SUA Install Step 2d

SUA Install Step 2e

SUA Install Step 2f

SUA Install Step 2g

SUA Install Step 2h

 

3. Configure the services that run SUA and connect to the Databases

The configuration wizard will automatically open upon completion of step 2. 

SUA Install Step 3a

Specify the domain level service account that SUA will be configured to “Run As”.

SUA Install Step 3b

Indicate if you have WebReports installed so SUA can have access to it.

SUA Install Step 3c

Specify the details surrounding connection to that WebReports server.

SUA Install Step 3d

Now specify the details of where you want your SUA database.

SUA Install Step 3e

If this is not a dedicated server, you may want to change the default port.  And even install an SSL certificate if you have one.

SUA Install Step 3f

SUA Install Step 3g

The installer will automatically launch the catalogue updater which populates the database with the latest catalogue entries which is published monthly by IBM TEM Headquarters.

SUA Install Step 3h

The various services are configured and started.

SUA Install Step 3i

SUA Install Step 3j

SUA Install Step 3k

 

4. Create the SUA BFEnterprise Database Connections

The last stage of installation is to pull up the user GUI and make the connection to BFEnterprise and run a full ETL.

SUA Install Step 4a

SUA Install Step 4b

SUA Install Step 4c

SUA Install Step 4d

SUA Install Step 4e

SUA Install Step 4f

SUA Install Step 4g

SUA Install Step 4h

SUA Install Step 4i

SUA Install Step 4j

SUA Install Step 4k

SUA Install Step 4l

SUA Install Step 4m

SUA Install Step 4n

 

If you have any questions regarding the installation of SUA, leave them below and I’ll respond.

 

I’ve put together a video guide of this process over on YouTube…

Installing Tivoli Endpoint Manager (BigFix) Console 8.2.1093

My latest installation of the TEM v8.2.1093 server comes with it the installation of the Console.  This new console is extremely cool and has features like LDAP authentication, HTTP communications channel, and more.  Here is the basic step-by-step installation procedure to get the client installed on your workstation.

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If you have any questions, let me know!

Installing Tivoli Endpoint Manager (BigFix) v8.2.1093

imageInstalling this newest version of TEM is relative straight forward and easy to do.  Drawing from my previous articles, a SQL server Installation (and SP1), and the Installing of Pre-requisites, I give you the full installation of v8.2.1093.  I also have downloaded the latest v8.2.1093 version from the TEM website.

I have already attached my new virtual server to my internal Windows Domain so authentication is easily accomplished within my existing network.

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I’m going to remove WebReports from this particular installation, favoring to install it onto a different server for simplicity.

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I will be using a remote database to a different installed instance of SQL server as noted at the top of this article.

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I plan on integrating this newest version of TEM with my Domain.  Thus a generic admin account is exactly what I need here.

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Everything looking good according to the TEM Server Diagnostics tool.  The only error it showed was the resolution of the DNS name used for my new infrastructure.  Now I’ll add a quick little entry in my DNS server for this domain name.

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There we go… that’s better…

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If you have any questions, please them below…

Add .NET Framework v4 to your IIS7 Web Server

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Lately I’ve decided to build a .NET v4 website…. thus I needed to add the IIS capabilities… after an exhaustive search, I found what I needed thanks to Brad over at StackOverflow:

 

  1. Open your command prompt (Windows + R) and type cmd and press ENTER
    You may need to start this as an administrator if you have UAC enabled.
    To do so, locate the exe (usually you can start typing with Start Menu open), right click and select "Run as Administrator"
  2. Type cd C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v4.0.30319\ and press ENTER.
  3. Type aspnet_regiis.exe -ir and press ENTER again.
    • at this point you will see it begin working on installing .NET’s framework in to IIS for you
  4. Close the DOS prompt, re-open your start menu and right click Computer and select Manage
  5. Expand the left-hand side (Services and Applications) and select Internet Information Services
    • You’ll now have a new applet within the content window exclusively for IIS.
  6. Expand out your computer and locate the Application Pools node, and select it. (You should now see ASP.NET v4.0 listed)
  7. Expand out your Sites node and locate the site you want to modify (select it)
  8. To the right you’ll notice Basic Settings… just below the Edit Site text. Click this, and a new window should appear
  9. Select the .NET 4 AppPool using the Select…
  10. button and click ok.
  11. Restart the site, and you should be good-to-go.

(You can repeat steps 7-on for every site you want to apply .NET 4 on as well).

Free Onscreen Ruler

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On occasion I’ve needed the ability to keep track of my location on the screen.  Since I have multiple screens, that typically involved me putting my finger on one screen while clicking or typing on another screen. 

Along time ago I had a small utility which puts a ruler on the screen which I could move around with my mouse.  This was a fantastic utility and very useful.  Today I went looking and found someone wrote a different program which does what I wanted even better.  A Ruler for Windows was written by Rob Latour and available at http://www.arulerforwindows.com/

Here’s my step-by-step installation guide for this utility:

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The installation was so fast, I wasn’t able to get a progress screen… LOL

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Once finished, I’ve launched the application and see this. Now I can have my bank website up on one screen and my Quicken money software up on the other screen… and quickly/easily reconcile my accounts.  Thanks Rob!

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If you have any questions or comments, leave them below!

Migrating BigFix v8.1 Root Server

In a previous article I described how to install the pre-requisites for BigFix v8.1.  In this article I’ll demonstrate the process for installing the root server and attaching it to a previously existing database.  I’ll be following the How to guide created by BigFix corp (KB133) to migrate my old BigFix physical computer to a freshly installed BigFix virtual computer.

I encountered some major problems with this process… so follow along but remember this is not a perfect migration.

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I will be using this virtual as a root server only.  My web-reports service will be setup virtual to keep the installations and the processes of upgrading as simple as possible.  So… I unchecked the Web Reports option during the features selection part.

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My SQL server is a separate system, so I had to specify the “Remote Database” option and on the next window give the details of connecting to the DB.

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While specifying the SQL server, it needed to utilize the Computer Browser service.  This service was stopped and/or disabled on my virtual by default.

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The service was disabled, so I will need to manually enable it so the installer can start it up for use.

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Now, back to the installation…

hitting ok to the error, I hit Next again and answered Yes and all went well… we’re back on track…

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I am utilizing a database that was moved from a previous instance of this license.  Thus many of my logins were already added to the database.  So there is no need to modify this…

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Looks like during the startup process I ran into a little problem.  My FillDB service would not start.

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Just finish up the install and cancel out of the diagnostics part, we’ll come back to it later.  (since filldb failed to start, expect to see lots of errors)

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A quick look back at the Services MSC showed the Root Server also failed to start, however the Gather Service and GatherDB started just fine.  This points me to the either database connectivity or a permissions as the cause of their startup failures. 

First I’ll launch the 32bit version of ODBC to confirm connectivity with the database.  C:\Windows\SysWow64\odbcad32.exe

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I don’t need to change anything, just want to test connectivity.  This function is on the last form and the “Finish” button is a shortcut there…

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This shows that my DB connectivity is working through the firewalls that are configured… so I’ll ignore them.

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Let’s look into permissions.  One of the most important permissions your service account requires is admin permissions to the server you’re running the root server on.  This will allow it access to the Program Files and other special directories.  Let’s start there… and test.

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I don’t see my BigFix service user account listed, so we’ll have to add it.

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There it is… now let’s try to start up our failed services… FillDB and Root Server

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IT WORKED!!!  Excellent, next I started the Root Server which also worked.  Let’s turn our attention to validation of our installation.

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So far so good… let’s take a quick look at our log files to confirm everything is functioning properly…

Two files I’ll be interested in is the BESRelay.log and the FillDBData\FillDB.log  these reside under the Root Servers path… “C:\Program Files (x86)\BigFix Enterprise\BES Server”.

Due to this being a pre-existing database these errors were expected…

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I’ll first stop all of the services so I can complete step 9 on the How to guide (KB133).

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Step 9 says to copy the following folders from the old server to the new server:

BigFix Enterprise\BES Server\wwwrootbes
BigFix Enterprise\BES Server\ClientRegisterData
BigFix Enterprise\BES Server\Mirror Server\Inbox

Using a little Robocopy magic… I’m done with this step in.. 2 hours!

Started the services back up and no go… grrrr what was up?

After a lot more research I came across KB215 which discussed the details of “Using NT Authentication with Domain Users or User Groups”.  On step 2 was my answer… my domain service account did not have SA authority in the database.

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Added the required permission and restarted my services… and I’m done!

Let’s do a little bit more validation…


Validation Part 1

Back to the logs mentioned above… no errors… this is a good sign!


Validation Part 2

Visit http://localhost:52311/rd  for some simple server diagnostics like filldb status, actionsite status as well as downloads status…

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Validation Part 3

Launch the BES Console, ensure you can connect into the DB and see computers checking in properly…

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What I’ve learned from this process is pretty simple… you only need a few items in order to completely re-create your infrastructure if something bad happens.

1. (3) folders…
    a. BigFix Enterprise\BES Server\wwwrootbes
    b. BigFix Enterprise\BES Server\ClientRegisterData
    c. BigFix Enterprise\BES Server\Mirror Server\Inbox

2. Database

3. Masthead & auth keys (license.pvk and user keys)

4. Installer which is available at the BigFix website.

 

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!

Installing Tivoli Endpoint Manager (BigFix) Client 8.1.617

Continuing with my installation step-by-step series, I’ll be installing the BigFix client version 8.1.617.0.  This relates to my BigFix Personal Lab infrastructure. 
Get your own trial version of BigFix at the Corp website.

First locate your installer of the client and the corresponding masthead file.  In this step-by-step we’ll be using the EXE and not the MSI version of the installer.

I’ll be installing it onto my root server, a Windows 2008r2 server, however the installation process is the same for the EXE regardless of which Windows OS you’re using except for maybe the UAC dialogs.

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I’ll be installing with the defaults, since I’m happy for the client to be installed onto the C drive for my endpoints.  However you may want to change the installation directory depending on company policies.

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That’s all there is to it.  There are a few validation steps I’ll go over here which will give me the peace of mind that it is functioning properly.

Browse to the clients Logs directory, in my case its “c:\Program Files (x86)\BigFix Enterprise\BES Client\__BESData\__Global\Logs” and look for the todays dated log. 

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You’ll be looking for two very important parts of this log.  The “Attempting to register” which should appear indicating the client itself is working and trying to get to the root server (or relay you specified).  And the “Registered with url” which shows us that it was able to talk to the root server (or relay) and has started the gathering process.

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Please leave your comments and questions below!

Installing Windows 8 without a DVD Drive

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I just completed downloading the Windows 8 Developer Preview with tools and have a tiny problem.  Well, not so tiny… all of my blank DVD media is 4.7Gbs in size, however the Developers Preview with tools tops the 4.8Gbs mark.  I was searching high and low for a larger blank DVD disk when I remembered a previous article from a few years back where my Netbook didn’t even have an optical drive and I turned to a USB thumb drive to save me.  Time to do it again!

 

1. Format USB flash drive to NTFS format

Format the USB drive to NTFS format

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2. Disk-Part the Drive

On the Start menu, navigate to the command prompt entry. Right-click and select Run as administrator.

startmenu

Type

diskpart

list disk

Record the disk number of your USB flash drive.

diskpart

Select the USB disk.

select disk X (X is the drive number of the USB flash drive)

List the current partition. Record the partition number.

list partition

Select the current partition and make it active.

select partition Y (Y is the partition number of the USB flash drive)

active

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3. Prepare the OS files

Download Windows 8 Developers Preview ISO to your desktop.

Download and install PowerISO from http://poweriso.com/.

Right-click on the Windows 8 iso file and select Extract files. Extract the files to a folder (you can name the folder any name you want, but for illustration purpose, I name it win-8) in your desktop.

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In your command prompt, cd to the windows 8 folder where you extracted the files.

cd Desktop/win-8 (Change the destination to the folder that you have extracted)

cd boot

bootsect /nt60 X: (X is the drive latter of your USB drive )

Now, copy all the files from the Windows 8 folder to the USB flash drive (of appropriate size of course, I’m using a Patriot 8Gb purchased for cheap off NewEgg.

Reboot the computer. Remember to change the first boot device to your USB drive in the BIOS.

You should be able to install Windows 8 from your USB flash drive now.