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Hoe

Guess who's back...

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Hey Guys & Girls,

After a long time away from Automate, well looks like I am coming back thank god as my new company have all but decided to move over and get me to set it all up! :)

One thing which keeps coming up those as resistance to it, is the following...

  1. What are the most useful \ most used scripts in Automate out of the box, I find this hard to answer as I wrote all our for the old company and we used very little out of the box scripts which now looks a lot more complete than it did last time I set up a new Automate server which was back on version 9 or 10 (I realise everyone's list maybe different but any good examples would be appreciated).
  2. At the moment the company is doing a very manual backup check process, this needs to stop, I get there is quite good Shadow Protect integration through the plugin but other programs are a bit more hit and miss, we have all sorts from Asigra to Windows Backups but mostly StorageCraft. I am wondering if there is any wonderful does all plugins or script for checking backups from any application (or at least most)?!
  3. I think I know the answer but after some time away would like to know if it's changed... Agent Deployment, the probe is OK and useful in some cases, but we found Group Policy Run Once was the best deployment option for Domain based PC's? We have 300+ Agents on LogMeIn, I know we could deploy it to these machines fairly easily but would be in root group unless we wrote a number of versions (1 per location), has anyone got a clever way to do this better?
  4. What have I missed since LT10? I have had a few demo's etc. and I can see that much is improved and added since I last used it, Updates, Layout \ Design etc. but much also looks very much as was it the backend, particularly the script editor which I am pleased to see if as comprehensive as it's always been, is there anything less obvious which has changed improved over the last few years? (Probably many points, I am looking for things I can use as selling points to directors if that helps).
  5. Anything else I should raise? Something coming soon? In development? etc.?

I realise many of those questions are quite open which I apologies for, I don't expect any real detail in your responses I don't mind doing the leg work in researching the details, one liners will do if you prefer.

I also realise I can get much of this information from the sales guys and believe me I have tried, but I get indifferent responses to some questions, for example most useful scripts, they say to don't know, don't have this info which is fair enough in my view but some of our Regional Managers want more, some of the other questions we have got answers from but I think I may get a whole different and more compelling set of responses from you guys who actually use it day to day! :)

So all responses appreciated! :)

Thanks

Hoe.

 

Edited by Hoe

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Hope this helps some...

  1. To me this kind of depends on what you want to consider oob. If you mean a clean Automate install with only Ignite, then the most useful scripts are probably the ones you are already familiar with, like the scripts for daily agent maintenance and offline server diagnostics/ticketing. (Although imho even those need customized for your company's preferences.) However, I think that if you take oob to include the plugins that you should get from the Solution Center for whatever products your company uses, then you'll probably get a lot more scripts/monitors/etc that will be more useful. Example, the StorageCraft Backup plugin includes the scripts needed to install/uninstall ShadowProtect and ImageManager, as well as monitors to alert to issues with those products. 
  2. Again, to me this depends on what plugins you use. Backup/DR products can be so varied in how they work, I don't think there could be one way to check them all. 
  3. The network probe has been completely rewritten, so you may have more success with it now than before. (Full disclosure, I haven't used it yet, but have heard some good things.) GPOs still work, of course, but if you already have a way to run a powershell command on your PCs, then you may find the Install-LTService function of LTPosh helpful. I sure do.
  4. The Control Center has a completely different look/feel then it used to, and, like most UI overhauls, it has good points and drawbacks. Some other new stuff that we use all the time:
    1. the new Patch Manager gives you more control over patching, including the ability to release patches is stages
    2. the new Report Manager is a little easier to design custom reports
    3. the Web Control Center has most of the agent info available in a web browser, which is pretty handy for techs (they're also adding more into that interface with every patch)
    4. speaking of patches, they release new patches about once a month or so now
  5. There's always something they are working on, such as adding the script editor the Web Control Center

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On domains we often use a domain startup script, something like:

if exist %windir%\ltsvc\ltsvc.exe goto :SKIPAGENT

copy "\\domain\netlogon\path\Agent_Install.exe" %windir%\temp

call %windir%\temp\Agent_Install.exe /q /wait

:SKIPAGENT

 

Can also be done with ltsilent.exe copied from the probe PC to have the new install drop into that customer/location.  Either way it's probably a good idea to update the agent installer from time to time. Does the MSI installer still leave an entry in add/remove programs?  That always kinda bothered me.  Can also download via PowerShell:

powershell -command "& { (New-Object Net.WebClient).DownloadFile('https://%LTServerHostname%/Labtech/Deployment.aspx', '%temp%\agent_install.exe') }"

Generally the probe push has worked for us.  Definitely not on workgroups as there is a bunch of setup required to run stuff over the network that domain admins/PCs already have.  Probably 80-90% of the time on domains?

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Deploying Agents: Use a Scheduled+Immediate task to make rollouts a breeze. Using the scheduled/immediate task means you don't have to wait for reboots to get the agent installed, can automatically reinstall if the agent is removed or cannot run, and has other benefits.

 

Stash the .bat file and the Labtech.psm1 file on a dc under a folder under netlogon, setup group policy preferences to do the following:
Use GPO Folder Security to create a base folder, secured from being written to by non-admins.
Use GPP Folder preferences to create %systemdrive%\basefolder\AgentDeploy - Make it replace, and remove no longer applied.
Use GPP File Preferences to copy \\%userdomain%\netlogon\AgentDeploy\*.* to %systemdrive%\basefolder\AgentDeploy if the AgentDeploy folder exists.
Use GPP Scheduled Task preferences to create the immediate task to run the batch as SYSTEM from %systemdrive%\basefolder\AgentDeploy\agent.bat if the %systemdrive%\basefolder\AgentDeploy\agent.bat file exists.
Do the same for a repeating task, say, running hourly, targeting only if the bat file exists. Make the item remove if no longer applied.

That's a short version of what is in the post above, with some minor updates. The post above has attached files you can use as a base GPO and has the script that you can run. The batch file can specify the target location, so each client can be automatically setup in the right location. Don't use a GPO to deploy the MSI as a published app, that just doesn't work very well.

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Thanks for the responses guys, as expected 3 different way to accomplish 1 thing! :)

In my view that's another selling point though, more flexibility and always a way to get to end goal, even if sometimes a little more long winded that one might like.

Thanks

Hoe.

Edited by Hoe

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