5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 20, 2017 6:08 AM by cwinning

    Is it possible to use a desktop pc as a distribution server?

    MistiiElmore Rookie

      I'm new to Shavlik and learning more everyday. At the moment I am trying to figure out a way to speed up deployment so it doesn't take 5 days to deploy a patch to all the machines on our network. I am open to any ideas anyone may have.

        • 1. Re: Is it possible to use a desktop pc as a distribution server?
          cwinning CommunityTeam

          Hello,

           

          I think determining why your deployments are slow would help us figure out how to speed things up.

           

          Are these clients on a remote network to the Protect server? You may want to consider agents.

          Are the scans slow?  This could be cause by a WAN connection.  Agents may be a good fit.

          Is the copying of the patches slow?  A Distribution Server could help.

          Are the patch installs slow?  This is normally due to Windows Update settings.  Best Practice: Windows Automatic Updates

           

          To answer you question, you can use a workstation as a Distribution Server.  It's just a share to store patches on.  No software is installed on it since it doesn't push files from it,  the client machines request patches from it.  Just make sure you have enough hard drive space on it since it can grow large over time.

           

          Thanks,

          Charles

          • 2. Re: Is it possible to use a desktop pc as a distribution server?
            MistiiElmore Rookie

            Charles,

             

            Thank you for your response. I'm all for trying to figure out how to speed things up and to know what options are available for doing so.

             

            Yes, some of the clients are on a remote network to the Protect server. We are currently not using agents at remote locations.

            Yes, our scans are extremely slow. It has been determined that our WAN connection could be some of the problem. We are in the process of updating it to a faster connection.

            Yes, it takes 4-5 days to copy and install patch updates to about 550 machines. We have a group policy in place that has the Automatic Windows Updates disabled on the clients. The actual service is still started though.

             

            Once all the patches are up to date on the clients, what is the advantage of keeping patch files that are more than a couple of months old in a folder on the distribution server?

             

            Thanks

            • 3. Re: Is it possible to use a desktop pc as a distribution server?
              cwinning CommunityTeam

              Hello,

               

              Scanning an patching for 550 machine should take a matter of hours, the 4-5 days time-frame is most likely caused by slow WAN links. You should split the remote servers from the local servers, otherwise the scan of the local servers will be delayed while waiting for the remote scans.  Do this by removing the remote machine from your main Machine Group and create a new group for the remote sites. This will greatly increase the speed of the scan of the local servers.

               

              Agents are a great way to deal with slow scans, but you would need to Distribution Servers otherwise copying the files to the remote sites will take a long time.

               

              Other than having the patches around for new systems, there is not real advantage keeping old patches on the Distribution Servers.

               

              Thanks,

              Charles

              • 4. Re: Is it possible to use a desktop pc as a distribution server?
                MistiiElmore Rookie

                As of right now we do not have any remote servers, just clients. We have the clients separated into groups by location in the console. We also have all the remote locations scheduled to deploy at certain times after hours.

                 

                Wouldn't a new system have most of the current patches if it is updated before being put into service? I was thinking of keeping 6 months or so of patches on the server and deleting anything older. Just a thought.

                 

                Thanks

                • 5. Re: Is it possible to use a desktop pc as a distribution server?
                  cwinning CommunityTeam

                  Hello,

                   

                  I wouldn't assume all new systems to be full patched, unless that is part of your process to ensure they are.

                   

                  As long as the Protect server is connected to the internet, you don't need to keep patches in the \Patches folder.  You can arbitrarily delete patches out of the C:\ProgramData\LANDESK\Shavlik Protect\Console\Patches folder at any time.  The only benefit you gain by keeping these patches is you save time since you don't need to wait for the patch download to the Protect server.  Most patches download in seconds, but there are some 700mb+ patches and service packs out there.

                   

                  For Distribution Servers (shared folders), this folder will keep growing until you manually clear it out.  Most customer set a batch to clear these on a scheduled basis, 6 months is a good amount of time.  I would suggest deleting from the Protect server before the Distribution Server sync runs to make sure unwanted patches don't get pushed out to them again.

                   

                  Thanks,

                  Charles