Setting up BigFix Inventory 9.2

IBM BigFix (Endpoint Manager) has released a new Software Usage Analysis (SUA) module. This release includes a number of new capabilities, specifically SQL support.  BigFix Inventory (or SUA) also provides IBM sub-capacity measurement capability. IBM has provided a number of installation and administration guides here.   In the following article, I’ll step you through the key elements to setup SUA 9.2: Prerequisites

  • I’d created a new Windows 2008 R2 server to run SUA 9.2.  My virtual machine had at least 8GB of memory and 2 vCPU
  • On the SUA server I had installed Microsoft SQL 2012 and updates
  • I had installed an IEM Agent and it was reporting back to the IEM server successfully.

Install and Configure the SUA 9.2 Server

  1. From the IEM console, select BigFix ManagementLicense Overview and find the Software Usage Analysis section.   Next to IBM Endpoint Manager for Software use Analysis v9, select Enable
  2. Click on IBM Endpoint Manager for Software use Analysis v9, under the  Computer Subscriptions tab, change the value from No computers to All computers and select Save Changes
  3. Select System Lifecycle – Software Use Analysis – Server Setup and Software Use Analytics.
  4. From the SUA install screen you’ll want to choose a server which will run SUA.  For small environments, SUA could run on the same server as IEM.  However as you grow beyond several thousand endpoints, you’ll want to dedicate a separate server for SUA 9.2.   Select that server and click Deploy Installer.SUA9 install
  5. SUA 9.2 will then show you the following screen as it downloads the SUA 9.2 software and then mirrors it to that server.   In my lab environment this took about 10 minutes.  You can check the progress of the download by looking at the running Actions too:Deployment Status Pending download completed successfully sua installer next steps
  6. On the SUA 9.2 server (my server was called SFTSGSUA9 – as it’s on Softlayer) I ran the installer setup-server-windows-x86_64.bat (as an Administrator).
  7. During the SUA 9.2 installation, select the default including accepting the license agreement. Change the default installation path if required:sua 9 path
  8. I select the default https port 9081 in my environment (you could choose another port if required)
  9. I selected System Account and finally reviewed the settings before clicking Installfinal SUA installer review
  10. When SUA was completed I was shown the following screen: sua 9 installer complete
  11. Click on Done and a web browser is then launched to complete the SUA 9.2 configuration.  You might need to click the certificate warning in your web browser. I entered the following information below to configure SUA.sua config 1 sua config 2 sua config 3sua config 4
  12. After the import was completed (which did take a few hours in my lab), the SUA 9.2 application was then launched:SUA login
  13. Back in the IEM console I could click Finish and configure it with the URL of my IEM9TSUA2 server:SUA Finish launch url
  14. Now SUA 9.2 is up and running,  we’ll now setup the endpoints for SUA scanning.

Setup your Endpoints for SUA scanning

  1. From the IEM console,  select System Lifecycle.  Then select Software Use Analysis, select Setup – Activate Analysis.  You should see seven Analysis as shown in the example below.  Activate each of these.activate analysis
  2. Next select Setup – Deploy Scanner to Endpoints and select Install Scanner,  select Take Action.   Select Target and select Dynamic target by property and select All Computers, if you want the scanner applied to every computer with an IEM Agent installed.  Otherwise you might create a manual group (called SUA 9 clients) and select it instead.  Click OK to run the Action.  The scanner will then be deployed to the endpoint.
  3. Select Setup – Schedule Scans on Endpoints.  Select Initiate Software Scan.  Select Target and select Dynamic target by property and select All Computers.  Select the Execution tab.  By default the scanning process will run every 7 days as shown below.  You can change this value if you like.  Select OK when complete.software scan - default
  4. Finally, select Setup – Schedule Uploads on Endpoints.  Select the Upload Software Scan Results fixlet.  Click OK to run the Action.   Select Target and select Dynamic target by property and select All Computers.  Select the Execution tab.  You’ll see below the Fixlet will run anytime new scan results are available and retry this 3 times if there is an error.  Select OK when complete.upload scan results

Note:  As mentioned above, it’s probably a good idea to do each of the three items above on a group basis, so that as you deploy additional endpoints they’ll automatically be setup for SUA processing. Software Catalog Update You’ll want to use the latest software catalog from IBM, which we see has been automatically detected within the console.  You’ll need to perform a similar task roughly every month as IBM releases new SUA catalogs.  The update process is documented within the Fixlet, so check there on what you need to do, especially if you customise the catalog.

  1. From the IEM console,  select Systems Lifecycle – Software Use Analysis – Software Catalog Update – Software Catalog Update.  Select Take Action and select your SUA 9.2 server.  The action will download the latest catalog and install this on your SUA 9.2 server.sua 9 catalog update
  2. Login to the SUA 9.2 server console.
  3. Go to Management – Catalog Update
  4. Click Browse and locate the downloaded catalog file  (I expanded the ZIP file first)
  5. Click Upload.   Then select Import Now within the SUA console and browse to the file (D:\Program Files\ibm\SUA\sua_catalog)   and select the ZIP file.
  6. Click Upload 

    Note:  There is a Fixlet 1002 – Upgrade to the newest Software Usage Analysis 9.x catalog that can be run.  This will automatically download the latest catalog to the SUA 9.2 server.  The above task of applying this catalog via the SUA console is still required (thank’s David Kosenko for this information).

That’s it!   SUA is now up and running and you can easily see what software is installed and being utilised in your company.   If you have any problems,  please post your query to the new Bigfix forum. Are you benefiting from IBM Endpoint Manager SUA?    If so we’d love to hear from you. Darryl

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Is Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) the new Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM)?

The IT industry loves buzzwords and acronyms.  We we have RAM, SOA, EMM, VM, AJAX, HTTP…  luckily we have Glossary‘s available to help us decode what we’re talking about!

I suggest there is another acronym that is growing in popularity, UEM or Unified Endpoint Management.

In the past, organisations ran “traditional” server management tools, which extended to managing Windows PCs.  These are the traditional on-premises solutions such as IBM Endpoint Manager (IEM/BigFix), Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) etc.  Some solutions such as IEM did a great job to manage a variety of new devices, even when the devices were disconnected from the office network.

As smartphones arrived, IT needed a way to provide visibility and ensure devices were secured if they were lost or stolen. So independently, new mobile device management (MDM) solutions emerged.

Some MDM solutions have since evolved to provide advanced device and data security management.  These advanced solutions such as MaaS360, include secure container solutions which separate business from persons personal data.  MaaS360 provides a secure container across a range of mobile form factors such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone.  These solutions are what Gartner, and the industry have termed Enterprise Mobility Management or EMM solutions.

maas360-udm

However very few EMM’s are also providing a true Unified Endpoint Management or UEM solution.  Integrated solutions which can manage new and old PCs, Macs and mobile devices.   Many claim “we manage PCs and Macs”, but when you scratch below the surface, you soon realise it’s only the latest operating systems and via an initial set of management API’s in Windows 8 or Mac OS X.

MaaS360 has been managing PCs and Macs for over 10 years.  So it provides a set of more advanced PC and Mac management services.  Even those running Windows XP SP3!

So you can implement a SaaS solution in minutes, that can manage a wide variety of form factors from old Windows XP PCs to Microsoft SurfacePro 3,  iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Windows Phone and Blackberry.

I conducted a Webinar on Thursday 27th 2014.  You can register here and see a replay of the recording plus slides.

Darryl

Unified Reporting with IBM Endpoint Manager and MaaS360

IBM has released a new extender for IBM Endpoint Manager (IEM) to MaaS360.  The extender (or connector) allows MaaS360 mobile device information to be accessible within IEM alongside PC, Mac and Server endpoints.  Hence the Unified Reporting capability.

The setup is relatively straightforward and the development team have created some excellent documentation here.   With some information provided by Fiberlink which is specific to your MaaS360 account, you’re ready to get started.

You start by activating the MaaS360 site and deploying the Management Extender for MaaS360.   I decided to use a dedicated virtual machine which was already an IEM relay in my test environment.

The only issue I came across was the information I received wasn’t correct for my MaaS360 account.   I was provided a Platform ID of 3, and the extender didn’t function after I configured it.  After re-confirming this with ops@fiberlink.com, they provided a Platform ID of 5 for my account.   The extender was then configured correctly, and a list of mobile devices from my MaaS360 account was displayed!

I’ve included a bunch of screen captures from the setting up the extender, to the list of devices, and drilling down to an iOS device and obtaining inventory information and sending commands to a device.

This capability allows clients to view a mixture of endpoint types from a single console.   I expect more integration will be progressively released over time.

Darryl

 

IBM Fiberlink MaaS360 a Leader in the 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Mobility Management

MaaS360 has earned IBM Fiberlink a leadership position in the Magic Quadrant for the 3rd year in a row.

IBM was selected a Magic Quadrant leader for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) based on completeness of vision and ability to execute.

Gartner highlighted the MaaS360 mature shared-processing multi tenant architecture.  In addition, reference customers who consistently praise MaaS360’s ease of use for both end-user and administrator.

maas360globalheader

MaaS360 is one of the few MDM products, where you can literally use their MDM product in minutes.  A customer can register their details at www.maas360.com for a 30 day trial, and take it for a test drive within minutes

Get your complimentary copy of Gartner’s latest report for in-depth analysis of where enterprise mobility by registering your details here.

Please contact me if you need any information on MaaS360.

Darryl

IBM BigFix (Endpoint Manager) Windows 7 Migration Cookbook

IBM BigFix can not only provide software distribution but also Operating System Deployment (or OSD).  OSD includes the ability to upgrade operating systems (such as Windows XP to Windows 10) but also perform bare metal installations.  I’ve recorded two edited video’s of OSD in action for an upgrade and bare-metal installation.

windows-7

OSD is a feature of IEM’s Lifecycle Management service and a lot of detailed documentation is available here.   My colleagues have now produced an excellent step-by-step guide of the setup and use of OSD.

Topics include:

  • Setup of OSD
  • Deploying the Windows 7 Image to a Windows XP system
  • Bare Metal Imaging
  • Quick Reference Guides

This guide can be downloaded from IBM developerWorks from here.   If you have any questions on OSD, you can post them to the IEM forum.

Darryl

 

MaaS360’s Secure Productivity Suite for Windows Phone 8

MaaS360’s Secure Productivity Suite (SPS) or secure container is available on iOS, Android and now Windows Phone.  Clients have been particularly interested in MaaS360’s secure container for Windows Phone.  The different mobile experience and something different is quite a discussion point in live demonstrations. 

Organisations realise that Windows Phone will be a viable third force in mobile devices.  Windows Phone 8 is just beginning to see broader adoption in the U.S. and in Europe, and I’d agree in Australia and Asia Pacific too.

I’m still looking for a OS X / iPhone Reflector equivalent for Windows Phone (if possible) for live demonstrations.  So for the clients who have asked, I wanted to share a number of screen captures of Windows Phone 8 running the MaaS360 SPS (‘secure container’).

You’ll notice the MaaS360 SPS not only features email and calendar, but also the ability the securely share documents and your internal web resources via the secure browser.

I look forward to doing more testing with the Windows Phone 8 and MaaS360, and demonstrating this capability to our clients.

If you have any questions, head to the MaaS360 MDM forum.  If you would like to try out MaaS360, you can register for a free 30-day trial by going to www.maas360.com/IBM.

Darryl

Remote Control a Samsung Galaxy with MaaS360

Samsung Australia were kind enough to loan me Galaxy Note 3 to test it’s capabilities with MaaS360. It’s a fantastic smartphone and the screen resolution was amazing.

MaaS360 provides a range of Android device management.  Samsung have extended this capability for their devices via Samsung SAFE (Samsung for Enterprise).   MaaS360 also has the capabilities to provide remote control of these devices, just like a traditional PC or Mac.

Enrolling a device to MaaS360 is very simple.  The administrator can configure all users to enrol in a pre-defined URL, which they can then be authenticated to a companies Active Directory server.  The following are a set of screen captures when I enrolled my device.

The Samsung phone would then register to MaaS360 and I could then manage the device.  I was then able to distribute the MaaS360 Remote Control application.

MaaS360 Remote Control

The user would install the application as shown in these screen captures:

The MaaS360 administrator can then select to remote control the device as shown:

Samsung Remote Control 1

The user is then prompted on their phone to accept remote control.

Samsung Remote Control 2

After a few seconds, the administrator can view and take control of the device as shown in this video.

If you have any questions, head to the MaaS360 MDM forum.  If you would like to try out MaaS360, you can register for a free 30-day trial by going to www.maas360.com/IBM.

Darryl