FreakoutITGeek's Blog

Random IT postings from Freakz

Altiris (intro)

Note: Despite Altiris Deployment Server version 6 being quite dated, I feel that the information provided in this section of my blog is useful, even for IT support staff that are using other deployment methods (most of the Altiris jobs I have created could be adapted to use Batch scripting and work equally as well – something I have had to do in the past when our Altiris server has not been available over several days)

Quite a few years ago the company I presently work for purchased Altiris Deployment Solution and Altiris Notification Server.

At that point Altiris Inc. we’re still running the show and we were introduced to version 6. Since then Symantec purchased Altiris and have brought a new version to market with some new features, additions, improvements and merged some of the functions of Notification Server and Deployment server into a new version 7 product.

Unfortunately I have not been able to use version 7, so I can’t advise on the merits or otherwise of Version 7, so these postings will focus on version 6.

There are rumours that Version 7 is currently running on one of our servers in some testing and Inventory control capacity, unfortunately this is currently out with my current role and remit, so the information and access is ‘cloak and dagger’. The only reason I’m aware of it’s existence is because of my interest in the product and colleagues appreciation of my ongoing investigation and development of skills in relation to version 6.

So what is this blog posting about?

We’ll I thought I’d share some insights into the past few years using Altiris, with a view to helping others to develop their skills and hopefully benefit others (and possibly myself via feedback to these postings).

Looking back at the early Altiris deployment jobs I created, most appear to be a case of push out the installer and hope for the best (something it appears my colleagues still do !!?). So some of my future posts will cover concepts that I consider support staff have to consider when creating an Altiris deployment job?

We currently, as most organisations do, run on a mixed platform of OSX, Windows XP and Windows 7 and as such I’ve learnt how to utilise Altiris to standardise and make supporting the computer estate easier within the sites that I cover.

At present the organisation do not support Apple OSX, much to my personal dismay, however there are Altiris V6 and V7 clients available and with a bit of knowledge of Unix, OSX command line [see Mac OS X Server Command-Line Administration on Apple.com] and access to a NetBoot facility [OSX server or shareware DHCP/NetBoot utilities for Windows / OSX]) Altiris is capable of doing as much with Apple OSX as you can with Windows (or Unix / Linux for that matter). (If there is interest in this topic I may dig out my old documentation / notes and create a post)

So I hope you don’t find the intro too boring and I hope that the follow up posts are of benefit.

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