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For purposes of this discussion, Tivoli Rapid Deployment refers to the ability to automatically install and manage Tivoli Endpoints. Capital Software has developed rules-based capabilities in our enterprise-Q product to automatically install and manage Tivoli Endpoints. This enterprise-Q feature significantly reduces the costs and timelines associated with deploying and sustaining the Tivoli Managed Environment (TME).

Tivoli Rapid Deployment Overview
Some of the most difficult and time-consuming elements of Tivoli Enterprise Systems Management (ESM) are the design, development, and implementation of the deployment and management of Tivoli Managed Agents (a.k.a. Endpoints) on every desktop in the enterprise.

Every Tivoli customer must develop a means to rapidly deploy and automatically manage Endpoints. Typically, the solution will involve these objectives:
  1. Installing Endpoints
  2. Assigning Endpoints to Policy Regions
  3. Subscribing Endpoints to one or more Profile Managers
  4. Upgrading Endpoints
  5. Migrating Endpoints to the proper/best Gateway
With enterprise-Q, objectives 2 through 5 are automatically initiated and achieved via Endpoint Login Policy and the EPLogin transaction (more on this later).

Invariably, customers that use Tivoli have the following requirements, which are inherent to enterprise-Q:
  1. Automatically initiate/distribute, in an orderly manner, Tivoli-related activities
  2. Automatically track and report these activities
  3. Automatically retry failures at the appropriate moment (i.e. when the Endpoint logs into its Gateway, which is the most likely time for success)
  4. Preferably, provide these capabilities using a user-friendly web interface
Our Tivoli experience shows that Endpoint deployment/management activities typically hinge on a finite, well-defined set of target data elements. For instance, some customers may rely on their computer naming convention to determine which computers should have the Endpoint installed and how to group like-computers. Similarly, other customers may rely on their desktop IP addressing scheme, or their Windows Domain architecture for installing or grouping like-systems.

The following list identifies common target data elements upon which most Endpoint deployment/management decisions are based:
  • Computer Name
  • Windows Domain
  • Windows Username
  • DNS Domain
  • IP Gateway
  • IP Address
  • Operating System
  • Endpoint Label
  • Endpoint Gateway
  • Endpoint Interpreter Type
  • Endpoint Version
These target data elements may be used to decide how to proceed regarding the deployment to and managment of each desktop. Before decisions can be made, processing criteria must be established. In particular, for each objective described above, criteria must be established to dictate how to proceed under certain conditions.

Criteria can be specified in the form of one or more 'if' statements. For example, a customer may exclude certain systems from being processed using the following 'if' statements:
  • If the Target's computer name starts with 'SVR', then exclude it from processing.
  • If the Target's IP address is in, then exclude it from processing.
  • Otherwise, include the Target for further processing.
In enterprise-Q parlance, the above series of 'if' statements constitute a rule. Capital Software has developed a user interface for creating and managing rules. Furthermore, we have defined one or more rules for each of the objectives described above.

Endpoint Installation Rules defined by Capital Software include:
  1. Exclude Rule - Specifies whether or not the Target should have the Endpoint installed.
  2. Proxy Rule Specifies the Proxy Endpoint used to install the Endpoint on the Target.
  3. Account Rule Specifies the Target account and password used to install the Endpoint on the Target.
  4. Gateway Rule Specifies the Endpoint's Tivoli Gateway assignment.
  5. Option Set Rule Specifies the Option Set used to install the Endpoint on the Target. An Option Set includes items such as the installation directory, UDP attempts, UDP interval, etc.
Endpoint Login Rules defined by Capital Software include:
  1. Exclude Rule Specifies whether or not to exclude the Endpoint from further processing.
  2. Upgrade Rule Specifies the conditions under which to upgrade the Endpoint.
  3. Migrate Rule Specifies the conditions under which to migrate the Endpoint to another Gateway.
  4. Policy Region Rule Specifies which Policy Region to place the Endpoint.
  5. Subscribe Rule Specifies the Profile Managers to which the Endpoint should be subscribed.
To demonstrate how easy it is to use the enterprise-Q Rapid Deployment capabilities, here is an example of the Policy Region Rule:

When an Endpoint logs into its Gateway, the enterprise-Q server receives a message containing target data elements as described earlier. The EPLogin transaction executes and each Endpoint Login rule is processed using the data elements passed. In this example, when the Policy Region Rule is processed, the Endpoint's Gateway is used to determine which Policy Region the Endpoint belongs. If a change is needed, the enterprise-Q 'Link Target' transaction is queued, which, when subsequently executed (automatically), moves the Endpoint to the new Policy Region.

Every Tivoli customer has a unique environment and, as a result, will have specific criteria (i.e. rules) for deploying and managing Endpoints. enterprise-Q provides a flexible, scalable, out-of-the-box solution that should meet the needs of most Tivoli customers. The remainder of these pages describe Tivoli Rapid Deployment using enterprise-Q in more detail so that you can start deploying and managing Endpoints successfully today.

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