Getting started - Help needed.

Hello everyone, 

We have a K1000 and it's not going so well. It's wonderful as a inventory tool, searching is easy and so on, but that's not all we bought it for.  

As a background, we were coming from an Altiris Deployment Solutions environment.  I was able to read the guide on that and take even more advantage of it. I was use to making packages, batch scripts to do things and generally worked well.  I did find the deployment software app deploy just before it was purchased.  I almost got around to trying it when it was purchased and we ended up buying Altiris 6.9... this was all back when windows 7 was shiny and new.  

Altiris is old, it was bought by Symantec and turned into several products. We didn't like the idea of buying two or three products to do what one did before.  Altiris doesn't work with Windows 10 - anything.  We looked for other solutions and Quest dazzled us with Kace.  We were told how we'd get help and have access to so much information and training and even shown how you could remote to clients, and soon you'd be able to remote to them anywhere as long as they were online.  That never seemed to materialize or work that well.  Now I have a new subset of machines on my network that were installed by a company.  I'm going to need to push software and really need Kace to work.

I tried to read through the 900+ page guide but it's a lot and I sometimes don't even get to do anything I planned to as I need to run to put out other fires. I swear that thing is made by software.  Though it's been many months, my eyes still glaze over at the thought of reading "Go to the admin console, if you're using a single company install go the blah blah, if you're using a multi tenant install do blah blah..."  I thought I'd skip around after getting through the chapters to just set it up and deploy the agent.  Going to software deployment I remember two things that seemed very confusing, first is labels, I skipped that on the way to software deployment because it seemed unneeded, NOPE!  The second was needing that in order to deploy software it needed to already be installed...  I get it that perhaps only on one machine but that was still an odd concept.  

I could go on but the point is that I need to start at software deployment. I might need to run custom scripts too and possibly use the ticket system.   I'm going to try and trudge through the guide again; besides it being dry and repetitive, it doesn't even have small victories and building. By that I mean, giving a short objective, like deploying an msi on windows, then going to say an exe with quiet parameters, then going to an install that needs scripting before and after or one that more complicated. Which gives a user the feeling of success and empowerment they can build on. 

I tried a few minutes searching here for guides and information but I didn't see ground/base work that I seem to need.  I'm not always the best at looking, I had to submit questions to Sophos after hours of looking for guides!

Any leads and suggestions appreciated, thanks.  

P.S.  I did see about the training and that one is coming up in March.  I think when the price is weighed between that and buying a more simple solution, the new purchase would probably win.  (I already fear they may want to outsource the department)

0 Comments   [ + ] Show comments

Answers (5)

Posted by: barchetta 1 month ago
4th Degree Black Belt

Dry is right.. repetitive is right.  However, the search function usually gets me where I need to.  

For software deployment, Managed installations is easier than it looks.  I just minutes ago added a MSI..  You have to add the software first (under software) and then upload the MSI in managed installations. I didnt make any custom settings, just a few clicks and it deployed.  

If you have an msi that requires custom command lines such as a token, you can do it right in the config screen or make a zip with everything you need, put a bat file in it and then call that bat file (over-ride the installation)..

I hope for your sake you dont need to use service desk.  Its is years behind the tech.. and does not even remotely support ITIL.  You will need to become a sql script expert in short order.  

Patching is not terrible but its also behind the times.  

Curious, did you only look at kace for software deployment? If not, which others did kace beat out?

  • Would you mind explaining more about the zip with internal batch file? I'm looking for articles and trying to learn on my own. I was a success with your instructions and MSI, I think I could do the same with an install of a single exe and switches.

    Although I see the override option, I just don't know how I'd call a batch file in a zip, and if there special variables or default locations of where things would be.

    If you have an actual batch you wouldn't mind sharing, I could probably learn from that.

    Thank you! - bigstu 3 weeks ago
Posted by: bigstu 1 month ago
Senior Yellow Belt

Thanks Ronco, I think I had those but I'm going to look back into them. 

A bit of background:  I work for a school district currently.  I'm the netadmin but I also do sysadmin work, general department glue and support the techs. Despite the size of the district, it's not well funded and of course they don't care to spend money on IT.  I'm actually wondering if the current Super is actively trying to replace us with a company come summer, I'm not the director but he did just leave.  All that is to say, that I don't get a lot of time to look into things and when I do it's probably in small spurts.  

I was hoping to start with something small and work my way up, maybe make a few mistakes here and there and keep referring to the docs and learning.  Which is what I'm going to do with Barchetta's info, thanks!

We really didn't look at much else.  Either I saw something or we were told in the meeting that it was connected to appdeploy.com - which I got tips on deployment with or original Altiris license, and I remembered we were going to get that software before it was bought by Dell.  We were up against the wall and my then boss kind of made the call.  We did also look at Symantec's offerings but it was so expensive as they seemed to have broken Altiris into several products.  We saw Kace for much of what we did with Altiris, system inventory (Name, IP address, Who's on it, is it on, what does it have hardware/software wise)  Like right now, I finally was able to get the district to buy Acrobat Pro CC, so I can search all the machines that have Acrobat Pro 2015 (yeah I've been fighting for years to get new licenses)  So I know where I need to work.   We also were looking for software deployment and yeah, we did plan on using the Helpdesk.  The software we have is extremely simple and out of date. 

If I'm not successful or I don't like how things are going with Kace, I'm going to look into a product named SmartDeploy.  Seems cloud based and while that wasn't a plus before, it is now! Also we have GSuite for education so we have a ton of Cloud storage. I think our MS license also gives us access to SCCM or whatever it is called now.  Started looking into that before the sky started falling.  We went with Goto Assist for remote support even with no client due to sudden work from home requirements.  Inside we rolled our own with UltraVNC.  I had forwarded ports but even with pictures, telling people how to do a reverse connection was too much for some.  It is still sometimes and issue telling people to go to a site, download and run a program...

Thanks everyone.  
Going to keep this open for a bit more while I look at things. Seems like I currently have time. (hopefully didn't jinx myself)

Posted by: bigstu 3 weeks ago
Senior Yellow Belt

Thank you Ronco, Barchetta!  I Took Barchetta's directions and also found https://support.quest.com/kace-systems-management-appliance/kb/4300813/how-to-create-a-managed-installation and went through it. It is rather simple, especially if the software already exists and has been inventoried. 

Haven't gone back to the PDF, but no idea what I was reading!  No *need for labeling, single install file? Easy!  Trying to look into installs that require multiple files (and if Kace automatically expands zips and uses that as a working folder, I'm going to headdesk, but also that wasn't even in the article I read)  I'm looking into scripting too and I should be gold for the time being. 

Thank you all. 

Posted by: bigstu 3 weeks ago
Senior Yellow Belt

Hello everyone (and anyone else in need of this info)

So I did some looking around and I can now run scripts, I can write up that more later as all these articles say they're free *with active service contract.   

This document is a handy listing of variables in kace scripts.  As far as I've found and are doing, these are built in the web page, these are so you can point and get info into things you need to point to dynamically.  

This document talks about Kace scripts and I find it really good because it talks about doing checks. I decided with my simple copy job to make a check file, if this job has been successful before, it won't run the actual process again. Also it gives pointers on how to run things after a failure and success.

I used 7-zip.org's sfx feature to drop both the copy file and the check file. 7zip is free, it's good, even major corps use it (HP for one)  If I research and find out how to run a command/file after extraction then I can use this for software distribution if there is more than one file need.  I can currently do this via scripting as you can have more than one action. 

Don't be a Stranger!

Sign up today to participate, stay informed, earn points and establish a reputation for yourself!

Sign up! or login


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site and/or clicking the "Accept" button you are providing consent Quest Software and its affiliates do NOT sell the Personal Data you provide to us either when you register on our websites or when you do business with us. For more information about our Privacy Policy and our data protection efforts, please visit GDPR-HQ