Part 3 – Tools of the trade – your tools in EUC – RES ONE Automation
September 23rd, VirtualExpo was held. A online conference elimination travel, hotel costs. VirtualExpo is organized by @XenAppblog (Trond Haavarstein). Together me my co-worker Hayscen de Lannoy (@HdeLannoy) we created a light session about tools we use in the field. In our work we see people struggling with tools and something oblivious about them. Some tools are used already but not always user efficiently. so our thought was that we show real quick how to use them and we hoped that the majority of the audience would gain something from it. If you watched and knew all tools and the way we used them, the session was not for you…. hope you still enjoyed it. Let’s talk about the the third phase we discussed, deploying applications with RES ONE Automation
For the rest I hope we got you triggered to try the tool or try the way we used it. Let’s do a little recap as promised about the tools we presented. As we said in during VirtualExpo we went along as if we had a little project. Project have a certain organic way of going along, I think in phases;
- Assessment phase where you determine what you’re up against
- Application packaging where the applications are created including the specific configuration
- Application deployment where you deploy the applications and the configuration to the golden images
- Fix issues, every project has issues that need to be fixed
So with the four phases we have presented five tools, the fix phase sometimes needs more angles to look at. So let’s make a quick list of the tools we talked about at VirtualExpo. The third article is about phase three – deploying applications with RES ONE Automation.
- For part 1 about phase 1 please click this link – link –
- For part 2 about phase 2 please click this link – link –
- For part 4 about phase 4 please click this link – link –
RES ONE Automation
RES ONE Automaton is one of those tools that seems to be unknown a lot and that is a pity. It is a very powerful tool and I like it a lot more than Microsoft SCCM or any of those other tools. With only five menu items to work with it’s hard not to understand the product in a day. It has very powerful features that will take longer to understand but for a simple deployment of a golden image this is the perfect tool in my opinion.
As I told at VirtualExpo I don’t do manual installation, manual is something we did in the 90s when we didn’t have the tools to automate. With the right tools at hand only a fool still goes build an image by hand. don’t agree, let’s grab a beer and discuss, visit my project and I show you the power of this.
So RES ONE Automation is part of the RES Software product suite, they also got UEM in a product called ONE Workspace and a service store in ONE Service Store. But let’s not go there, I wrote about the UEM part in my article where I looked at the state of the UEM market, link is here. – link .
So if we look at the topology we see that it is not that hard to understand. There is a database that holds all the tasks and configuration and there is a console that talks to the database. You deploy one or more dispatchers to deploy the tasks and the agent will execute these tasks.
So Let’s first look at the console for a moment.. We start with the menu breakdown, there are four major menu topics
- Jobs, where you see the schedules, active and past jobs.
- Library, where you see the resources, tasks and projects . getting back to this in a minute
- Topology, yeah right that
- Administration, licensing and overal settings
So looking at Jobs we see the scheduling where you can see what jobs are waiting to be executed. At the activity pane you will see the active jobs and if they consist of more tasks you can see per taks what the status is.
Job history is what it says the history of the jobs you ran and there you will see if your scheduled jobs did finish nicely and in which time.
Topology gives and insight in the agents, dispatchers and so on. You can’t start any task without having at least one dispatcher ready.
The most important one is Library here is where you spend most time. You get five menu items here that are all very important
Resources are where the files are stored, so anything you want to use in a task is stored here (not 100% true but true enough for now).
Modules are the tasks you want to execute, this can range from copy file, to install application to deploy virtual machine to on/off-board a user in your domain.
Project are a combination of tasks, a logical flow of them. there you build your task to install the golden image.
Run books are more complex combinations between tasks and projects and you can mix and match between several things here (there is more to run books but for now it’s enough).
And that is basically it. If you understand this you can work with it. There are parameters or variables that you can set on a global level and execute them down to the tasks but parameters van also be set at task level or project level or anywhere else. Next to parameters you got conditions that can be used to determine if a package should be installed… and all of this together makes it a great product.
Deploy Adobe Reader
So we have the XML file, the MST file and the MSI, what more do you want. I didn’t automatically import it but have manually imported the files in RES ONE Automation. Let’s show how that looks in the console. If we look at resources we see the MSI and the MST file there so we can use it in a task.
If we look at the module section we see the task to install Adobe reader also present, let’s take a deeper look inside the task to see how it is configured.
So when we open it you see it is working with the MSI file we saw in the resources. There is not that much to show here other than this is a task called install windows installer package. Let’s click on parameters.
..and here we see the MST file, the transformer file that we created with Setup Commander.
There is one last thing to mention here, the list price of this tool is also interesting. Each golden image requires 0.5 license point and there is a desktop license package that gives you 5 license points. the package including one year maintenance cost 360 euro’s (that’s list price). i’m no sales guy but that is a sweet price I think to automate your deployment, I convinced a lot of customers already to use this and they were happy afterwards they did.
We now got an overview of the clients, we got the package ready for Adobe Reader and now we have the setup ready to deploy the application to the golden image. At VirtualExpo we showed the deployment of Adobe and Chrome which took about 3 minutes. This was the third article, next up is Process monitor and Spy studio. will do them in one article.