Software distribution overview
By using the BMC Client Management - Software Distribution, you can control and manage software installations and distributions across the entire network. The architecture offers a "pull" system, whereby the agents collect (or pull) software packages from the software depot, the master or a relay on the network and proceed to install and configure the software on the clients.
The following topics provide more information about software distribution:
The four steps of software distribution
Software Distribution consists of four consecutive steps:
- Creating the package to distribute in the Package Factory and publish it to the master/relay.
- Assigning the package to the target device and distributing it.
- Installing the package on the target.
- Monitoring the installation progress and the results.
Types of software packages
The BMC Client Management - Software Distribution supports the creation and installation of the following software package types:
- MSI Packages
- Snapshot Packages
- Custom Packages
- RPM Packages
Types of software distribution
Depending on the package type different types of distribution are also available for the packages.
This is the regular type of package installation which can be used for all different types of installation. It is also the default type of installation and the only one activated by default.
Administrative installation in this case means, that the package is not downloaded to the target client but remains on the relay and the installation is executed from the relay. An administrative installation installs the package on the network and the targets simply execute the installed package. The advantage of an administrative installation compared to a network installation lies with regards to patches which are to be applied to packages: If the package is patched, future target clients directly install the patched version of the package. If a network installation is used clients first install the version without the patch and then need to install the patch on it separately. This type of installation is only applicable to MSI packages.
The network installation is very similar to the administrative installation with the difference that the package is only extracted at the relay and the clients launch a normal installation via the network. Network installation is possible for MSI and custom packages.
Be aware that network and administrative installation is only applicable to packages which were created with a packager of version 5.3.1 or later. If you would like to use packages created with an earlier version, you need to send them back to a packager, modify them (the checksum must change) and then republish them.
Defining the type of software distribution
The network and administrative installation must be activated specifically before assigning packages to their destinations. The option is activated via the Packages tab of the System Variables node. To activate the option, proceed as follows:
- Select the System Variables node in the console and go to its Packages tab.
- Select the Activate Network Installation Option entry in the table in the right window pane.
Double-click the entry or Edit > Properties.
The Properties pop-up menu appears.
- Check the box for the option to activate it.
Click OK to confirm the modification and to close the window.
The option is activated immediately and from now on MSI/custom packages may also be installed on the target devices via the network or administrative installation.
This section includes following topics: