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Technical bulletins

This topic contains information about documentation updates for BMC Server Automation 8.3.

BMC BladeLogic Server Automation advisory for Microsoft Windows Server 2003

Microsoft is ending support for Windows Server 2003 on July 14, 2015. After July 14, Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003.

Overview

The BMC BladeLogic Server Automation Application Server will no longer be supported on Windows Server 2003, starting with version 8.7. On the OS front, BMC will not qualify Windows Server 2003 for any upcoming service packs or new releases of BMC BladeLogic Server Automation after July 14, 2015.

BMC is not planning to end support for Windows Server 2003 for RSCD agent versions (8.6 or lower). However, agent support in future versions is neither guaranteed nor expected.

Therefore, when BMC BladeLogic Server Automation version 8.7 (or another minor version is released after July 14 2015), you can upgrade your Application Servers to version 8.7 and continue to run RSCD agents 8.5 or lower on Windows 2003. However, in that scenario you would not have access to the features and bug-fixes available in the newer versions of the agents, unless you upgrade them.

Important

BMC typically supports backward agent compatibility between minor versions only, which means that you will be able to run 8.5 agents until BMC BladeLogic Server Automation version 9 comes out, at which point once you upgrade your Application Servers to version 9, you will also need to upgrade all agents to version 9 and will consequently lose any support for Windows 2003. 

The majority of use cases (such as configuration management, live browse, snapshots, audits, inventory, and so on) should continue to work on Windows 2003; however, there are two use cases which are expected to be significantly impacted: patching and compliance.

Implications for Patching

BMC BladeLogic Server Automation will not be able to support updates for patch catalogs for Windows Server 2003,  as Shavlik will not be providing updates for the Windows 2003 platform after July 14, 2015. As a result, you will not be able to use BMC BladeLogic Server Automation to patch security updates released after July 14, 2015. However, you can still use the existing catalog and updates available prior to the EOL date to patch the Windows 2003 servers.

Implications for Compliance

Existing compliance templates (for example, DISA CIS, and so on) for Windows Server 2003 available in BMC BladeLogic Server Automation version 8.6 or lower will continue to work. However, when Microsoft ends support for Windows 2003, BMC will no longer release new compliance content for Windows 2003. Updating content with the latest rules, templates, and remediation packages for Windows 2003 will be your responsibility.

Summary

Note that BMC’s support for any EOL OS platform, including Windows 2003, will continue on best-effort basis. BMC will continue to make put forth a best effort to provide fixes for new issues, however, such fixes are not guaranteed and will have lower priority than other supported OS versions, such as Windows 2008 and 2012.

Statement of support for Advanced Repeaters

Documentation for Advanced Repeater Servers and Advanced File Servers has been removed from the BMC Server Automation version 8.6 online technical documentation. 

After version 8.5, there are no plans to make any further changes to Advanced Repeaters, and no plans to ship updated installers for Advanced Repeaters.

However, the existing Advanced Repeater installers from version 8.5 will work with BMC Server Automation version 8.6 and with future releases. For information, see Working with Advanced Repeaters in the BMC Server Automation online technical documentation for version 8.5.

BLCLI documentation in the BMC Online Technical Documentation portal

The online help for the BMC Server Automation Command Line Interface (BLCLI) utility has been transferred to the BMC Online Technical Documentation portal (https://docs.bmc.com). The new online documentation space, https://docs.bmc.com/docs/display/bsacli83, replaces the previously provided offline browser-based Help.

Links to online documentation from Application Server and RCP Client

All links and menu commands for Help in the user-interfacing components of BMC Server Automation — the Application Server and the RCP Client — now launch the online documentation located in the BMC Online Technical Documentation portal (https://docs.bmc.com). The following two documentation spaces are available:

On UNIX or Linux computers, the OnlineHelp_URL.txt file is stored in the product installation directories (within <InstallDir>/NSH/Doc) on the host computer of the BMC Server Automation Application Server and RCP Client. This file provides the URLs for linking to the online documentation spaces.

Offline documentation is no longer included in the installed product, and the option for installing offline documentation no longer appears in the RCP Client installation wizard. Furthermore, when upgrading to BMC Server Automation 8.3 from a previous product version, old PDF versions of the documentation are removed from the installation directories. To obtain an offline copy of the documentation, you can either use the space export PDFs available here or export a custom PDF.

Documentation of Network Shell commands

The BMC BladeLogic Network Shell Command Reference Manual is no longer provided in PDF format for product version 8.3. For updated information about any particular NSH command, consult the man page for the command.

Associating Local Help with the product UI

If you cannot access the Internet in your environment, you have the option of calling offline Help, that is, a static, local copy of the online Help. The Local Help feature is disabled by default. You can enable it by selecting a setting in the Preferences dialog box (Preference > BMC > Display Options > Use Local Help).

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