5 Replies Latest reply on Jan 20, 2015 2:02 PM by Lawrence Garvin

    Creating Custom Packages

    sinjen

      At a previous job we used a product called Prism Deploy Packager to create and deploy custom packages. It was a very easy product to use and it worked by taking a baseline scan of a machine, then another delta scan after you've installed software, made settings changes, added files, registry tweaks, etc. This delta contained every change you made to the machine. Then that delta could be saved as an .exe and ran on a target machine to automatically deploy all those changes. My question is, does SolarWinds make a product that behaves similarly to create custom packages? We currently own Patch Manager for pushing Microsoft and 3rd party packages. And, I know that you can create certain types of custom packages with PM, but I can't seem to find a way to create a package based on a baseline/delta process. If it helps, a simple example of what I want to accomplish is to deploy print drivers to about 100 Server 2008 R2 servers without scripting. I know that Prism Deploy Packager can do this, but does SW make a product like that or does PM have this capability and I've just missed it?

       

      Thanks,

       

      -Bo

        • Re: Creating Custom Packages
          Lawrence Garvin
          My question is, does SolarWinds make a product that behaves similarly to create custom packages?

          No. But to be practical, creating a package for publication to WSUS generally does not require that level of configuration delta information.


           

          If it helps, a simple example of what I want to accomplish is to deploy print drivers to about 100 Server 2008 R2 servers without scripting.

           

          However, packaging and deploying drivers, of any kind, is a significantly more complex process than packaging application updates, or even OS updates. Generally, though print drivers on Windows systems are updated and deployed via the print server. While Patch Manager could be used to package and deploy print drivers, we do not make a product similar to Prism that collects a configuration delta and builds a package from that information.


          In most cases, the only thing that is needed to effectively package an update is knowledge of the File Version of the specific file(s) that are being updated by the package. Either the current file version exists, or it doesn't; and in 99.9% of cases, that's sufficient information for the WIndows Update Agent to determine whether a package should be installed or not.


          You may find some benefit from these two webcasts we conducted on packaging processes and using Patch Manager:

          [VIDEO] Package Creation Fundamentals

          [VIDEO] Package Creation Using Patch Manager

            • Re: Creating Custom Packages
              sinjen

              Lawrence,

               

              Thanks for the the reply and information. Specifically, my challenge is that I want to mass install print drivers such as for Canon copiers. In many instances a particular driver will cover several models of copiers. Almost like a pseudo universal driver. So in these cases putting a deployment package together is somewhat difficult just because of the way you have to install each driver that covers multiple models. Using the other software I mentioned handles that situation extremely well. I appreciate you confirming we don't already own something like that before I went out and bought something.

               

              Cheers,

               

              -Bo

                • Re: Creating Custom Packages
                  Lawrence Garvin
                  my challenge is that I want to mass install print drivers such as for Canon copiers

                  Will these Canon copiers be served by a Windows Server-based print server to your users?

                    • Re: Creating Custom Packages
                      sinjen

                      They will be, but the catch is that the primary consumers of these print devices are Citrix users with RES (user desktop, printer and environment management suite) running on top of the Citrix server to provide the access. So the layout is as such:

                       

                      User\Terminal Server (citrix) session\RES\Print Server.

                       

                      The way RES works keeps me from having to install all my printers on the Citrix servers, but I DO have to have all the drivers installed ahead of time for RES to use. On top of that, I have to have this solution banged out by end of week. Being familiar with how I can solve this with the other software is making me lean in that direction.

                       

                      -Bo

                        • Re: Creating Custom Packages
                          Lawrence Garvin
                          The way RES works keeps me from having to install all my printers on the Citrix servers, but I DO have to have all the drivers installed ahead of time for RES to use

                          Hmmm.. interesting. Seems to me like this environment is complicating matters in two different ways:

                          One, not installing the drivers on the Citrix servers may or may not be a good thing.

                          Two, normally a Windows desktop would install the print drivers direct from the print server after connecting to the printer, and the drivers only need be installed to the print servers.

                          It seems that the RES interferes with this normal operation, and as a result has created an exceptionally complex problem for you to try to solve.


                           

                           

                          On top of that, I have to have this solution banged out by end of week.

                           

                          My sincere condolences. :-)