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SneakPeak at E2EVC, the new RES Software IT Store

At E2EVC (Experts to Experts Virtualization Conference) 2-4th November 2012, RES Software showed a sneakpeak from their new IT Store, that will be released in 2013.

My opinion, “I love the new looks of the new client, its simplified and “VERY” userfriendly and it does what the user needs” its build for the new Windows 8 feel and look.

The IT Store is the new client, and the new name that replaces the Service Orchestration Client for Automation Manager. The IT Store will be available in 2013.

The new login screen

The new user interface that the users will see, when the request services.

 

RES Automation Manager 2012

RES Software have released RES Automation Manager 2012. RES Automation Manager now supports Linux and better integration with Microsoft System Center. In the following article i will describe whats new in RES Automation Manager 2012.

Whats new in RES Automation Manager 2012

RES Automation Manager 2012 introduces the RES Automation Manager Agent for Linux Operating Systems. With this Agent, you can execute the following new RES Automation Manager Tasks on machines running Linux Operating Systems:

  • Linux Command (Execute) (“Task “Linux Command (Execute)
  • Linux Computer (Reboot, Shutdown) (“Tasks “Linux Computer (Reboot, Shutdown)
  • Linux Resource (Download) (“Task “Linux Resource (Download)RES Automation Manager Agents for Linux need to be installed with a separate installation file. The RES Automation Manager Agents for Linux will run on the following Linux Operating Systems:
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux release 4: 4.5 and higher
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux release 5: 5.3 and higher
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server release 10: versions higher than 10.0
  • IBM AIX 5L: version 5.3

Licensing: Evaluation licenses valid for 45 days

When you install RES Automation Manager 2012, 75 evaluation licenses are provided automatically. These evaluation licenses are now valid for 45 days, instead of 60.

New RES Automation Manager Dispatcher: Dispatcher+

RES Automation Manager 2012 introduces a new Dispatcher that has been developed using the latest Microsoft tools. This has enhanced the Dispatcher with the following capabilities:

  • Improved scalability: The Dispatcher+ is no longer limited to 150 concurrent connections.
  • Native 64-bit installer.
  • Resource integrity check: When the Dispatcher+ starts, an integrity check is now performed on the available Resources in the Resource cache of the Dispatcher+. This ensures that Agents can always download valid Resources from the Dispatcher+.
  • The availability of a Web API provides full support for building and deploying RESTful and SOAP web services. This allows you to integrate Job scheduling in external systems.
  • The Dispatcher+ logs all events in the Event log, which can be viewed with e.g. the Event Viewer that is part of the Microsoft Windows Operating System.The new Dispatcher requires the installation of Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (full version) on all machines hosting a Dispatcher. Please make sure to update all Dispatcher hosts with this version before installing or upgrading to RES Automation Manager 2012

New RES Automation Manager Upgrade Pack

RES Automation Manager 2012 introduces a new Upgrade Pack: the Upgrade Pack now consists of a standalone executable file. This differs from Upgrade Packs of previous releases of RES Automation Manager, in which you could upgrade your RES Automation Manager environment by importing a .WUP file in the Console. The RES Automation Manager 2012 Upgrade Pack can also be used on machines on which no Console has been installed.

As a result of the new Upgrade Pack, the buttons Update Wizard and have been removed from the node Infrastructure > Datastore > Setup > Components in the Console.

If necessary, it is now possible to downgrade to a previous version of RES Automation Manager by right-clicking the node Infrastructure > Datastore > Setup > Components and choosing Downgrade (WUP).

The RES Automation Manager 2012 Upgrade Pack needs to be deployed manually and is not suitable for unattended installations.

RES Automation Manager 2012 upgrade requirements

  • RES Automation Manager 2011 SR3 or later
  • Microsoft Windows XP SP3 Professional or later (x64/x86)
  • Microsoft Windows Installer 3.1
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 or later: Client Profile is the minimum requirement for the machine on which the Upgrade Pack is run; Full Version (Client Profile and Extended) is required for all Dispatchers. Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 Full Version can be installed on your Dispatchers from the Console.

RES Automation Manager samples for RES Automation Manager 2012

RES Automation Manager introduces a set of samples that make it easier to perform certain IT tasks. These samples are Building Blocks of predefined Modules and include hypervisor Modules, Linux Modules and Microsoft Windows Modules. After importing these Building Blocks into your RES Automation Manager environment, you can adapt the predefined Tasks to your situation if necessary.

The samples are included in the file RES-AM-2012-Samples-6.5.0.0.zip, which can be downloaded from the support portal.

The samples cover the following:

  • Linux Tasks:
    • Application Management
    • Disk Management
    • Network Management
    • Security Management
    • Service Management
    • System Management
    • User Management
  • Hypervisor Tasks: These Tasks allow you to manage snapshots and VMs on:
    • VMware vSphere Hypervisor
    • Microsoft Hyper-V Server
    • Citrix XenServer
  • Additional Tasks:
    • Citrix XenApp 6.5 Unattended Deployment
    • Write Event to Microsoft Windows Event Log

Support for Bare Metal OS deployment using WDS and RES Automation Manager

When deploying new workstations or servers, Bare Metal OS deployment usually is the first task that is performed. This task can now easily be carried out by combining Microsoft Windows Deployment Services (WDS) and RES Automation Manager.

For more information about Microsoft Windows Deployment Services, please refer to the Windows Deployment Services Getting Started Guide, available at http://technet.microsoft.com/en- us/library/cc771670(WS.10).aspx.

For more information about Bare Metal OS deployment using WDS and RES Automation Manager, please refer to the chapter Appendices\Best Practices\Bare Metal OS deployment using WDS and RES Automation Manager of the RES Automation Manager 2012 Administration Guide, available at http://support.ressoftware.com/automationmanageradminguide2012.

Variables

RES Automation Manager 2012 introduces Variables.

When configuring a Task, the values of many fields can now optionally be replaced with Variables. Similar to parameters, Variables function as placeholders for customer-specific values, such as, for example, server names, passwords or credentials. Different from parameters however, Variables are resolved at the moment of Job execution, rather than at the moment of Job scheduling.

The global values of Variables can be set up at Infrastructure > Datastore > Settings > Global Variables. These values are inherited by default by all Teams and Agents, but exceptions for individual Teams and Agents can be set up on the Team’s Team Variables tab and the Agent’s Agent Variables tab.

Team Variables and Agent Variables allow “owners” of a specific Team or Agent to override the Global Variables by specifying a custom-value. This makes Variables especially useful for use in multitenant RES Automation Manager sites, because it makes it easier to manage different settings for different customers and assigned projects, and to exchange Modules, Projects and Run Books with other branches of an organization.

Example

You can set up Global Variables to specify a Domain, Security Context and Domain controller for usage in a Task Manage Active Directory Computer. This creates a generic Task that can be used by all customers in your multitenant site. “Owners” of a specific Team or Agent at the customer site can override the global values of these Variables by specifying a custom-value that only applies to their site. When the Task is executed, the Task automatically gets the correct values that applies to the individual customer site. Depending on the hierarchy of these Variables, these can be the global values, Team-specific values or Agent-specific values.

Video tutorials

As of RES Automation Manager 2012, video tutorials are available that will help you quickly start using RES Automation Manager. These tutorials cover a broad range of subjects, from planning, installing and setting up an environment to using the functionality of RES Automation Manager.

Video tutorials can be accessed from the Help:page8image18472page8image18840

Custom Properties from previous versions of RES Automation Manager will automatically be migrated to Variables in RES Automation Manager 2012. Because names of categories in Variables must be unique, any categories in Custom Properties with the same name will be merged into one category in Variables and any existing Custom Properties objects in these categories will be categorized in this category.page8image25128

A complete list of all available video tutorials by category can be found in the Help, by clicking Help > Video Tutorials from the menu bar of the Console.

Depending on availability, individual tutorials can be accessed from the matching Help topic, by clicking “View tutorial”.

New Tasks in RES Automation Manager 2012

Task “Linux Command (Execute)”

At Repository > Modules, a new Task has been added to the library folder Linux: Execute Linux Commands. With this Task, you can run commands on Agents running on Linux Operating Systems.

Scripts that you run on the RES Automation Manager Agent for Linux using the Task Execute Linux Command cannot include reboot and shutdown commands. Use the Tasks Reboot Linux Computer or Shutdown Linux Computer instead. See Tasks “Linux Computer (Reboot, Shutdown)” (on page 6).

The library Linux and its Tasks will only be available in the Console if your RES Automation Manager environment contains at least one RES Automation Manager Agent for Linux.

Tasks “Linux Computer (Reboot, Shutdown)”

At Repository > Modules, the following Tasks have been added to the library folder Linux: Reboot Linux Computer and Shutdown Linux Computer. With these Tasks, you can reboot or shut down Agents running on Linux Operating Systems automatically. A restart is often required after the installation of new software. These Tasks can also be useful after the execution of a Task Execute Linux Command. See Task “Linux Command (Execute)” (on page 6).

The library Linux and its Tasks will only be available in the Console if your RES Automation Manager environment contains at least one RES Automation Manager Agent for Linux.

Task “Linux Resource (Download)”

At Repository > Modules, a new Task has been added to the library folder Linux: Execute Linux Commands. With this Task, you can download Resources to Agents running on Linux Operating Systems.

The library Linux and its Tasks will only be available in the Console if your RES Automation Manager environment contains at least one RES Automation Manager Agent for Linux.

Tasks “Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (Distribute Software, Query Client)”

At Repository > Modules, the following Tasks have been added to the library folder Provisioning: Distribute Software with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager and Query Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Client. You can find these Tasks in the Task library Provisioning.

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager allows you to distribute, configure and manage software across virtual, distributed and mobile environments. RES Automation Manager supports Configuration Manager 2007 and 2012.

  • With the Task Distribute Software with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager, you can deploy software distribution packages on Agents on which a Configuration Manager Client is running.
  • With the Task Query Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager Client, you can:
    • Create status reports of Configuration Manager clients, including client version, cacheoptions, service states, etc.
    • Obtain an overview of all software distribution packages that were advertised to Configuration Manager clients, including local status of the advertisement, last run date and exit code.

Tasks “RES Automation Manager Job Results (Delete, Export)”

At Repository > Modules, the following Tasks have been added to the library folder RES Automation Manager: Delete RES Automation Manager Job Results and Export RES Automation Manager Job Results.

    • With Delete RES Automation Manager Job Results, you can clean up the Datastore from Job results that are no longer relevant, for example because they have become obsolete through Snapshot Intelligence or because they are the results of recurring Jobs.
    • With Export RES Automation Manager Job Results, you can export Job results to XML files. This allows you to back up Job results for review purposes. This Task is especially useful in combination with the Task Delete RES Automation Manager Job Results, in which you first back up certain Job results by exporting them to zipped XML files, and then clean up the Datastore by deleting them.In these Tasks, you can delete or export Job results from the Datastore, based on a combination of criteria:
    • The type of Job that was performed (recurring/non-recurring)
    • The relevance of the Job results (actual Job results/Job results that have become obsoletethrough Snapshot Intelligence)
    • The Agent(s)/Team(s) that executed the JobThe period in which the Jobs were executed

Task “RES Automation Manager Team Membership (Change)”

At Repository > Modules, a new Task has been added to the library folder RES Automation Manager: Change RES Automation Manager Team Membership. With this Task, you can add or remove Agents from a Team, and offers a more dynamic way of adding and removing Agents to and from Teams.

This Task is typically used in combination with a Task Query Installed Programs in which an evaluator determines whether the succeeding Task Change Team Membership should be executed.

For example, suppose you want to add an Agent to the Team Office if Microsoft Office is installed on the Agent. You can achieve this by setting up a Module that contains the following:

  • A Task Query Installed Programs with an evaluator for Microsoft Office that fails the Query if it does not return results.
  • A Task Change RES Automation Manager Team Membership with a condition that executes the Task if the status of the previous Task is Completed. This Task adds the Agent to the Team Office.When the Module is executed, the Agent(s) that execute the Module will be added to the Team Office if Microsoft Office is installed; if not, they will not be added to the Team.
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Enhancements and Improvements

Agents: Agents no longer shown as offline when using IBM DB2

When using an IBM DB2 database, all Agents were shown as being offline in the Console. This did not have any consequences for the functioning of these Agents: in reality, they were online and all RES Automation Manager functionality was available. This has been fixed. All online Agents will now also be shown as being online.

Agents: Delete Job history of Agents

At Infrastructure > Agents, it is now possible to delete the entire Job history of individual Agents.

If many snapshots of an Agent are made, for example by using a provisioning server, the Job history of such Agents can become very large and may contain many obsolete entries. In such situations, it can be desirable to clean up the Job history of the Agent.

For this purpose, a button Delete Job History has been added to the History tab of the Agent Properties window, which is available when viewing the properties of an Agent.

It is also possible to delete the Job history of an Agent at Infrastructure > Agents (right-click the Agent, select Delete Job History).

Further informations about RES Automation Manager 2012

For the full release notes read the informations from RES Automation Manager 2012 release notes which can be downloaded from the client portal at www.ressoftware.compage9image16040
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