What is the best way to implement Auto Deploy in an existing environment

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14 comments

  • Michael Muni

    If you have the appropriate licenses, you should find in PDQ Inventory they have preconfigured collection library of Dynamic collections. These will have Old collections and new collations as well as collections of computers that do not have it installed at all. Link your auto deploy to one of their collections that shows out of date versions.

    Their pre-made dynamic libraries use a custom variable for the most recent version of the software. When they update PDQ Deploy packages they also update PDQ Inventory's custom variables to reflect the current version.

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  • Joe Pye

    Mmuni, thanks for the prompt response.  We have 5 locations (one technician in each location) using PDQ Deploy, and implementing PDQ inventory in addition would double the cost of this solution.  Can you recommend any method to to get auto deploy integrated into an existing environment without using PDQ inventory?  I have reviewed PDQ inventory, and see it as a great tool to use and have a purchase request in for one copy to help with visibility at a regional level, but at this time, I prefer software deployments be controlled at the site level.

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  • Michael Muni

    I don't exactly remember what is capable in the free version of PDQ Inventory.
    you may be able to use the free version of Inventory and create your own custom variable for the app versions and then you would just need to go into settings and update the version numbers when new versions come out. But you might as well just not use auto-deploy and download/push out the packages.

     

    PDQ Deploy also is able to connect with SpiceWorks. Spiceworks is like PDQ inventory only it runs on a computer with a website interface, not an application interface. You could see if maybe spiceworks has some dynamic way of grouping machines with old versions of software and use that instead of inventory. also spiceworks is free.

     

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  • Michael Muni

    Autodeploy is great, the thing is that you need some sort of dynamic collection setup that tells it what computers need to be updated.

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  • Michael Muni

    One more thing you could test out. Setup a schedule to run a group of computers and set it to stop deployment on successful install. When a new version comes out I think the auto deploy resets the successful install list and would start deploying the new version.

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  • Jason Hanks

    If you're going to use one collection to identify machines or a static list and deploy a baseline package (whether auto deploy or imported packages) you can use the option in your schedule to "Stop deploying to computers once they succeed".  This will keep a history for that version of the software that was successfully deployed.  Once the package gets updated in the schedule, it will deploy the new version because there is no history for the new version.

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  • Joe Pye

    Mmuni, thanks, it sounds like it isn't practical to implement auto deploy to an existing environment without a linked inventory software. 

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  • Jason Hanks

    While having an Inventory solution of some sort is far more valuable than just deploying packages and seeing what sticks, you can easily choose your targets via AD, target lists, Spiceworks, or import a CSV file.  We've built in these options for flexibility and to try and help every customer be successful with our products.  Every environment is different so there is no cookie cutter answer that will fit everyone's needs.  If you would like more customized help with your environment with recommendations please feel free to email us at support@adminarsenal.com and tell us everything about your environment.

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  • Joe Pye

    Jason, thanks for your responses.  This is pretty much what our practice has been up to now.  We have a software inventory product, that we can export lists of computers with older versions, and do one time deploys to update in PDQ Deploy and that makes the tool worth so much to us.  I am hoping to get to the next level where we can automate the entire process.  I wanted to try here for an easy answer before I contacted support.  

    Sincere thanks, 

    Joe

     

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  • Michael Muni

    you wont be disappointed with PDQ inventory, that's for sure. its just a matter of getting the funds. I have several schools and I'm the only tech, rotating different schools on different days of the week. They wouldn't purchase for me so I ended up buying it out of my own pocket just to make life easier. My renewal is coming up next month and ill be renewing out of my own pocket again. ( I have enterprise license for both inventory and Deploy).

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  • Joe Pye

    Mmuni, I agree both tools are awesome.  One of my team had purchased it for his site out of his own pocket.  When he showed it to me, I was able to get it funded for all of the sites regionally. When I showed it to our global director, he decided to fund it for all sites globally.  He already funds an inventory product that is used more for licensing compliance.  I don't think getting him to fund two inventory products, or changing inventory products will be easy.  Not saying I won't try though.  I need to prove out that PDQ inventory can meet the licensing compliance requirements.

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  • Michael Muni

    I'm curious what is the current inventory software and what licensing compliance requirements does it keep track of. 

    If you ask them to fund PDQ Inventory, make sure and let them know that Inventory also can be used to generate automatic reports. I have a few reports that automatically get generated each day and automatically get emailed to me for things like if any computers get new software installed that I didn't install myself. Or also for computers whose hard drive has not failed yet but is about to fail.

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  • Joe Pye

    clearapps network inventory advisor.  PDQ inventory has the same functionality of collecting deployment information.  Where the trick will be is consolidating that data to a global database.

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  • Michael Muni

    Yeah, that looks similar to what SpiceWorks does.

    Keep in mind PDQ Inventory is windows only, so If you have Macs, it won't do much for them.

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