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How do you do....it? Thread, Specops Deploy VS Zenworks in Technical; We're in the planning stages of our Netware->Windows network migration and one VERY big decision that I have to make ...
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    Specops Deploy VS Zenworks

    We're in the planning stages of our Netware->Windows network migration and one VERY big decision that I have to make is what to replace our current Novell Zenworks system with.

    We use Zenworks heavily for software distribution but there are times when we create simple app objects to modify/destribute registry keys and or text files etc. I wondered what others are using to meet these goals in a windows only environment?

    I've been playing with built in GPO software deployment and while that will work for some applications it doesnt meet all needs. I am testing Specops and it seems to work as advertised but I'm trying to see the real value other than the software reporting.



    Thanks for any help in advance,

    Ben

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    We've been using Specops Deploy here for years now and it's wonderful.

    The big thing, aside from the feedback about how a deployment goes, is the ability to run those legacy setup.exe's silently and work.

    coming from a Lan Desk to Zenworks to SMS to Now Specops Deploy, I feel the Specops Deploy is the most robust distribution system I've ran into.

    any simple app you create that runs silently will work as a "legacy setup.exe" for Specops Deploy.
    I typically kick off cmd.exe /c %SpecopsDeployExecutDir%\SomeBatch.cmd to do a similar thing. some of my batch files I push out via Specops Deploy will run regedit /s registryfile.reg or do whatever you want.

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    Hi Ben ...

    I'm an ex Novell engineer and now heavily into Windows server ...

    I just wondered what in particular you are having a problem with ...

    Windows can cope with most things these days ....

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    I am using some software called Prism Prism Deploy - Automated Software Deployment from New Boundary to create packages & can be used to deploy I have used this for about five years very successfully can deploy whatever you like reg keys, docs what ever you like very quickly.

    It takes a snapshot of your machine you then make changes, deploy software, change registry key whatever ,name the Package and push out to machines. I have been using something from a company called CSE (CSE Application Manager) to deploy the packages although you can use Prism itself but I am looking at some software being developed by a couple of ex engineers that left CSE that can also deploy MSI's and has other functionality Burconix.com - Network Solutions for Business and Education in the Management Tools section.

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    MS Server 2008 can push out registry updates via its GPMC app.

    On software deployment, personally ive never found a piece of software which i couldnt deploy using only free software; regmon, filemon, WIWW, wininstallLE, orca, or simple batch files.

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    Thanks to everyone for the responses.

    I have a webex/demo scheduled with Specops tomorrow, this should help answer some of my technical questions. This is a very tough decision for me as I need to make the right choice for my users and administrators. Software distribution will affect every user, student and teacher alike.

    Managing 6000 workstations and 70 servers with two engineers doesn't leave a lot of room for mistakes when it comes to management software. Equally important is being able to manage deployment through as few pieces of software as possible. My Jr Admins aren't trained on admin scripting but it may be time they learned.

    Steven: I'm checking the links out. Thanks!

    wbarnes: that helps a lot, do you know of any forums specifically dedicated to Specops Deploy?

    Brpilot: The main problem has just been that it's very "different". Hopefully we can get over that and make a decision.



    Ben

    PS,
    I love this site! Just wish we had more people from my side of the ocean ;-)

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    Latest version of ZENworks runs in Windows only environment

    I work for Novell in the ZENworks Product Management team so naturally my views are slightly skewed.

    I just wanted to let you know that the latest version of ZENworks, aka ZENworks Configuration Management runs in a pure Windows environment, with or without Active Directory. There is no requirement for NetWare, eDirectory or the Novell Client.

    If your maintenance agreement is current, then you would be entitled to ZENworks Configuration Management ( ZCM ) standard edition free of charge.

    ZCM is now at service pack 1 with service pack 2 coming out in the next few months.

    If you want a sales free chat about it, please drop me a message

    Jon

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    Quote Originally Posted by A5Ben View Post
    Thanks to everyone for the responses.

    wbarnes: that helps a lot, do you know of any forums specifically dedicated to Specops Deploy?
    Yes, specopssoft.com
    I read it often. It's their tech support forum.

    I deploy everything here with Specops Deploy. For example: I just started a Mcafee AntiVirus 8.7.0i deploy last week, and it went very well. I had that one configured to install as machines rebooted.

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    I sat through the demo today. We are trying to get our heads around the price tag. $27k is quite the number! Especially when M$ is trying to talk us into using SCCM instead and making it more cost effective.



    Ben





    Quote Originally Posted by wbarnes View Post
    Yes, specopssoft.com
    I read it often. It's their tech support forum.

    I deploy everything here with Specops Deploy. For example: I just started a Mcafee AntiVirus 8.7.0i deploy last week, and it went very well. I had that one configured to install as machines rebooted.

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    What about Symantec Ghost Solution Suite, that has a deployment tool, which you could use for non-msi apps....? Then you can use Ghost for disk based imaging too.

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    Techman,

    We already have our WDS system designed and its pretty slick I must say. We PXE boot to a custom menu with Deployment Services as an option (password protected to keep students out) as well as diagnostics and a normal hard disk boot.

    From there you choose between two images, Office 2003 or Office 2007 and these two support all 6000 of my multi-modeled workstations, it is then multicasted to the workstation(s) at that point. A 5.5GB image is deployed in 20 minutes and ready to log into in 30.

    I am very happy with this as we are coming from a Ghost-based deployment system. Now If I can just get happy with software distribution




    Ben


    Quote Originally Posted by tech-man View Post
    What about Symantec Ghost Solution Suite, that has a deployment tool, which you could use for non-msi apps....? Then you can use Ghost for disk based imaging too.
    Last edited by A5Ben; 7th March 2009 at 12:42 AM. Reason: EDITED FOR SPELLING

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    have you looked at winisnstall LE that will give you basic snap shot to MSI then you can just deploy them through GPO.. there was a last free version floating around the net...

    also Advanced installer which is also free i find really useful for pushing out files, or reg keys.. where you manually package up the MSI... i do this if i need to put files on a PC or Reg keys into its registry...

    I used ZenWorks a long long time ago probably 10 years ago was pretty good back then... did you clock the Novel Engs comments that the new ver works in a pure ms environment?

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