Understanding Machine Groups and the Machines View

Version 9

    Purpose

     

    This document explains the function of the "Machine Groups" navigation pane and the "Machines" view in Shavlik Protect and offers guidance on utilizing both.

     

    Description

     

    Administrators may sometimes find the information found contained in the Machine Groups navigation pane and Machines view in Shavlik Protect to be confusing or difficult to understand. Understanding the different functions of both panes may help users to know how to better scan and patch machines in their environment. This document will explain each function and provide suggestions of how administrators may best use these views for an optimal experience in Shavlik Protect.

     

    Using the Machine Groups Navigation Pane

     

    In Shavlik Protect, the Machine Groups can be found in the navigation bar on the left side of the window. Shavlik Protect defaults to displaying Machine Groups in this navigation pane, but other displays can be selected from the navigation bar like Patch and SP Groups, Agent Policies, Templates, etc.

     

    machine groups.PNG

     

    Under the Machine Groups navigation view you will see these two groups of machine groups:

        -Default Machine Groups, which includes: My Machine, My Domain, My Test Machines, and Entire Network.

        -My Machine Groups- This group contains/will contain any user-created machine groups

     

    While machine groups can be used to scan individual machines- they are best used to scan pre-defined groups of machines. As administrators find different criteria to justify creating custom patch templates and groups, the machine groups can be used to group machines together as required.

     

    These machine groups do not represent strictly defined machine groups or organizational directories in Protect, but rather a pre-defined selection of machines to be targeted by a scan. Machines can therefore belong to multiple machine groups. Deleting machine groups does not delete machines or their records out of Shavlik Protect- their record will be maintained in the machines view, which will be explained in the next portion of this article.

     

    Understanding the Machines View

     

    The machines view is the best way to view the status of individual machines in Shavlik Protect. The machines view makes readily available a wide range of functions related to managing individual machines. You can patch individual machines, deploy missing patches to individual machines, etc.

     

    The machines view can be accessed by going to View>Machines. You should see a screen similar to this one:

     

    machines view.PNG

     

    The Machines view simply displays every machine that has been scanned by the console and displays the result/properties of this machine as of the most recent scan. The accuracy of the machine view relies on how recently a patch scan was completed- and which patch scan was used.

     

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

     

    The following are some specific questions that are often asked regarding the function of these different views in Shavlik Protect.

     

    Q: Can individual machines belong to multiple machine groups at the same time?

    A: Yes. A machine group does not designate a separate location or distinct group of machines, but rather just acts as a list of computers to be scanned per the users demand. Belonging to one group does not deny the ability to belong to another.

     

    Q: Why do some machines in the machine view show as part of a Machine Group to which they no longer belong?

    A: The machine view only provides a record of individual machines as of their most recent agent-less scan. A scan executed from a agent policy patch task does not update the Machine Group field. If the most recent scan was in a group to which it no longer belongs, performing a agent-less scan of the machine through the current group should resolve the inconsistency. This allows machines to still be able to be targeted individually and scanned despite deleting or modifying the groups to which the machine may belong.

     

    Q: Can you scan and patch indidvidual machines through the machine groups?

    A: Yes, users can scan individual machines in the machine group by opening the machine group and marking the machines to exclude from the scan as excluded. However, with large machine groups this can be a difficult process. An easier way to scan individual machines would be by right-clicking the target machine in the machines view, and selecting the desired scan.

     

    Q: Can I sort machines in the machine view by a different criteria than the machine group to which they belong?

    A: Yes. By using the customizable columns in the machine view, you can see the individual machines ordered by a variety of variables such as IP address, domain, machine name etc. The left column in the machines view is used as the grouping characteristic. To group machines by domain, you would simply click and drag the domain column all the way to the left. Clicking this column will cause all the machines to be sorted by this criteria.

     

    Additional Information

     

     

    Affected Product(s)

     

    Shavlik Protect 9.x