All the scheduled deployments will start at the same time, but the download start will be delayed by the deployment process. For instance, I set my delay to 30 minutes. The scheduled deployment date/time for all my machines are the same, but a setting in the deployment configuration files indicate there will be a delay.
Assuming you have a scheduled deployment.
Go to the target machine and navigate to: C:\Windows\ProPatches\Staged
Look for the dated package and open the deployPackage#.zip file.
Open the nonCoreDeploymentOptions.xml file and look for downloadStartDelayIntervalTicks=
Mine is set to 18000000000 which equates to 30 minutes.
This means the time will be random within a 30 minutes time interval after the deployment process starts.
From what I tested, this work. My suggestion would be to increase the delay otherwise you will end up with a lot of overlap specially with 300 servers downloading patches from the same DS.
Hmm, okay this must have been a change in behavior compared to 9.1, because in 9.1 I could view the Scheduled Tasks area and actually confirm that the times are staggered over a 15 minute period. But now on 9.2, I go to Scheduled Remote Tasks and all computers show the same deployment start time, which led me to think there is a problem. Can you confirm this was intended change?
I guess my point is, there is no longer a way of knowing on 9.2 what that randomly chosen offset is, since it is a time that is no longer shown in the Scheduled Task area.
Correct, the entire deployment process (on the backend) was changed between 9.1 and 9.2 and not being able to view the random start times in the UI is a byproduct of some of these changes. So the feature still works, but you can no longer view the start times.
Although this may not help until the next major release of Protect, my suggestion is to create a feature request. Most of all of our new features and feature changes come from requests from customers.
In the meantime, you can view how the deployment is staggered by looking in the Deployment Template and make adjustments when needed.