In ePO 5, how would you deploy the Agent and other packages like VSE etc. Would you choose Product Deployment feature or old-fashion Client Task Assignment? What's the difference between two of them, pros and cons? And what's the best pactice for deployments in ePO in your opinion?
Hi, at my company, we employ both. We use Client Tasks to get machines with times from 6am to about 10pm. This allows for users that might be on the East Coast (Remote users) and some that only log in in the evening (Again Remote). This is every 2 hours.
I also use Product Deployment as a catch all for machines as part of a daily routine...for example. we have several regions adding machins daily and while they have may have the Agent installed as part of the image, sometimes there is corruption so us PD to install the Agent over the previous install.
The pros of Client Tasks is that it can run autonomously however, (cons) if the agent isn't installed correctly, systems won't get updated and you may not know it unless you have custom searches that look for the missing items.
For Product Deployment, if you use custom searches with last communication as a filter, you can be sure to hit machines that have or at least were connected in the last hour. Downside is this is manual...you have to search then run the PD.
The product deployments page came into ePO recently when we merged the Cloud and on-Premise builds. Client task assignments, depending on configuration, can be more efficient then product deployments. For example, a client task set to deploy a point product, with a run immediately value, is one of the most efficient tasks. It allows the clients to call in organically, which means Agent to Server communication is good and already working. There is no need to send additional commands or wakeups and the task will only be executed once per client machine. ePO has to do almost no work and the systems that don’t get the upgrade can be identified through a query.
For the product deployment page, the task is scheduled with a hidden tag then a wakeup is sent to the client to initiate the communication, which invokes the task. This means that there are two additional layers of complexity to the deployment. One a tag is assigned to the system and two, a wakeup is sent to the client machine. This is by no means a particularly heavy job for ePO but depending on the frequency of tasks and deployment types, could potentially lead to some additional strain on ePO vs a standard client task.
Realistically, its however you feel comfortable doing deployments, both options are valid. I personally recommend client task, as I like the efficiency.
Your question is a good one! In McAfee tribal knowledge land we go back to a product called Protection Pilot for SMB where they tested out the approach of dashboards and ease of use. That eventually became what we know if ePO now. In a continued effort to make things easier to use in the console they introduced Product Deployment. Stay with me here.
Client Tasks are assigned to systems or groups and become "Product Deployment" tasks under Menu > systems tree > Assigned Client Tasks. There is a column called task type and what you will see is a "Product Deployment" task. Later in the ePO product evolution they introduced, you got it, the "Product Deployment" Project. This introduced a nice easy to look dashboard like everything else is in ePO. The problem is admins create the ole "Client deployment" tasks and then introduce an identical Product deployment task via the project menu. OMG
KB87673 - Fixed Proct Deployment tasks cannot have client tasks associated to a specific system tree group. (I tested this in the lab on ePO 5.9 and look at that, they are right..it doesnt work. fyi)
At the end of all of this mubo jumbo, your question! Use one or the other. From my clients to support to me, I like leaning on old reliable, the client deployment task. Create a couple of queries to help me measure my success, whatever it is I am doing in ePO.
If you decide to use Product Deployment Project, Fixed deployments have a limit of 500 systems you can deploy to.
Hope that helped a little,