I have been holding off commenting on KPM as I know very little about it and I can't seem to find much on it, I have asked for a Tech Jam session on it that could hopefully help us.
For the last two weeks I have immersed myself in the world of KPM trying to use it as I hoping to speed configuration up of newly deployed machines as more and more of my customers replace old XP and Vista machines with Windows 7.
These policies seems to work best when you use them with Custom Fields, I'm also making new View Filters specifically just for these policies as the normal day to day ones that I use I sometimes change. The first set of Policies I made was a Domain Policy for each customer that sets the agent credentials and policies for patch configurations. I also made some global policies to deal with common configuration settings.Something I would like to know is how overlapping policies will work and if the a similar "Approve, Pending Approval and Deny" system that is in use for Patch Management is in place to prevent the settings from flip flopping.
Something that I have found that is a bit alarming is that some policies I made appear to drop settings. When it happened the first time I thought I was going nuts or something. The Windows Update section being the most common one to get auto deselected. The only way I found (so far) to prevent it from dropping my settings is to make a change and immediately save the change before making any more changes which can be very tedious.
I haven't updated my Kaseya server in the last month so I will update it this weekend and hope it fixes this issue...
We were told about KPM a long time before it was due for release and awaited it's arrival with some degree of anticipation. When it arrived it was, well if I'm honest, not really finished.
However it's the only new module of late that we won't be uninstalling at some point as the guys that do our roll outs agree it saves them a shed load of of time and has been an excellent addition to the core program.
It's still really buggy and there are regular updates to it and there are some glaring omissions, auditing being my main source of annoyance. There are stupid little bugs, try changing a patch schedule then try to save the change, why no active save button? You can get round it by ticking boxes like delete patch file then save retick and save again but it's annoying.
Would definitely recommend that people use it, your system needs to be setup well with views and like HardKnox says using custom fields is also invaluable and if you can overlook the odd bug and assume that Kaseya will eventually fix these and add the missing parts it will become part of the missing ingredients of the Kaseya cake.
If you are still loosing any settings after the update, we'd really like to know about it. If you could open a support ticket with the details of the setting getting lost, we'll be more than happy to look into it for you and get you all fixed up. Have a great day!
I'm glad to hear that KPM is able to save you some time and hopefully make your life easier. You mentioned some little bugs that I'd like to get some more information about.
The Scheduling of a Patch Schedule is actually one that you mentioned, but when you click the Schedule button in the dialog window we actually are saving the schedule to the Policy right then, so there is no need to click Save on the main window after adding a schedule. We have realized that there are some inconsistencies that users are getting confused with, so we are going to address the save button illuminating in a future release.
You also mentioned that we omitted auditing, could you be more specific to what you are referring to? You have the ability to schedule a baseline audit, system audit, and latest audit using the "Audit Schedule" section. If there is something that we missed, let me know and I'll see what we can do about getting it into a future release.
Thank you again for your feedback. Have a great day!
Ryan, thanks for the reply. You got me on the auditing, has it always been there? I don't use on a day to day basis like I used to but would swear it wasn't there when the product first arrived. What does annoy me about the auditing is the inability to spread the audits over a working week. I can make all the changes to the scheduler and tell it to start at 0900 on a Monday until 1700 on a Friday but to omit 1700 - 0900 and it schedules them all on the same day. When you have a small number of clients this is OK but when you start to get 1000's of workstations it becomes a nightmare to apply without breaking things down to small groups and setting on different days.
Not having the save button is more confusing that anything, it's there in some parts but not relevant in others.
I think the biggest omission however is not being able to set the event log collection. I can set alerts and perform all the usual tasks after collecting but have to manually set the log collection.
You are right, the Auditing wasn't something that shipped with the initial release of the product. It was hotfixed out since it was such a glaring omission on our part (we didn't want to have to wait for another release so we pushed it out shortly after it initially released).
You are right about the Event Log Settings, and that is going to be addressed in a future release (we're working on it right now actually)... so look forward to that coming with the next release of Policy Management.
As for being able to schedule things, you should be able to set a Distribution Window in the scheduler to get things to occur over a period of time. I actually just had to talk to the guy in charge of the scheduler to make sure things are really going to do what they are supposed to do, but he said that if you pick a "weekly" schedule, and check days Monday-Friday, and add a distribution window of 5 days, then it will run once a week and distribute those agents across the week. If you have any problems with that, just let me know and we can get with you to make sure it properly works.
Have a great day!
yes i agree that it needs the event log collections.
it still needs to schedule agent procedures properly so it doesn't have the potential to bring down everyone servers. I've had this debate so many times it's not funny with no resolution.
HardKnox in answer to your original question - is it ready - my experience with KPM has been a frustrating series of bug findings. My latest one is that the settings don't apply to agents unless I select machines and click re-process policies.
I too really want to see this product deployed on our VSA to a point where I can forget about it. Unfortunately I can only hope that this latest bug is the last.
Did you submit a support ticket for your issue? We'd love to see what is going on with your system. If you do have a support ticket, let me know what it is so I can grab it and get you all fixed up :).
i agree with ghettomaster. we tried to use it which just resulted in 34 support tickets being created. it was decided to leave it for a while till it had matured
@Ryan Smith Could you update us on when we could expect to see a TechJam video on this? It would give us a better idea on if the "issues" we find are actual issues or if we are not using it correctly. It seems to be pretty straightforward to use but I don't want to judge its usefulness before you guys give us a proper rundown on how it is suppose to be used.
A possible undocumented KPM feature I found setting up a new Patch Management file share is that you have to manually configure one machine for this first before applying the policy to the whole machine group or your Patch Status Test will fail. I found if I did not manually configure the fileshare (UNC Path, Agent name and File Path) that the "File Share Do not delete" text file does not get auto generated when a policy with the Patch files share gets applied.
Also if you make any related manual changes after you applied a policy to say the Patch Management file share setting for an agent it gets marked as "Out of Compliance" and you have to use the "Clear Override" option before the policy settings will get reapplied. This bit sort of makes sense but it would be nice to see what setting are being managed by a KPM policy with a warning when you change the setting that the policy will no longer apply to the agent. I suppose that would be considered a feature request instead of an obvious oversight... [;P]
I don't know what a TechJam video is, but I've asked Kevin to weigh in on that to let you know.
I wasn't aware of the issue with Patch Management deployment issue. It sounds like a bug to me, but it also sounds like you've found a workaround? Although Policy Management does integrate with the other modules (like Patch), we unfortunately haven't become experts in all of the other modules yet, so I'm not exactly sure what you are talking about with the "File Share Do not delete" text file not getting auto generated. From what it sounds like, I would call it a bug... and if that's the case, then I'd definitely recommend that you open a support ticket with some more information so we can get to the bottom of the issue.
The changes made "manually" to a machine are an indication that you want to override whatever might have been setup on the machine by Policy Management. When it does that, we mark the agent as "out of compliance" because if any settings in the Policy change, we won't apply those new settings to that agent because you've indicated that they are a "one-off" special case that shouldn't comply with the Policy. You are right though, to remove that and get Policy to reapply settings, you have to manually clear the override for that agent. And you are also right that it would be really great if we could warn you before you make a change, that it will make the agent fall out of compliance with a Policy. What you are talking about is a "two-way" communication, where Policy knows what is going on with the modules, and the modules know what is going on with Policy. At this time, we don't have that kind of communication between the modules and Policy Management. Unfortunately... there aren't any plans to improve the communication in the next release, but I will put it on the list as a feature request so that it doesn't get lost.
Hopefully that has helped a little bit. I will make sure Kevin weighs in on the TechJam video, or if I hear anything about it... I'll make sure to let you know. Have a great day!
Hey guys, the reason Ryan isn't aware of the Techjams is because those are run by Support. Support pulls in engineering only when necessary, so they can keep working on the product. Usually we just feed and water the engineers through the keyhole in their offices, and limit their sun exposure. Kidding of course, but Ryan is one of our world class engineers. The more he finds value in working directly with you guys here, the more likely we are to get more and more Kaseya engineers in here. :) (personal goal of mine.)
HardKnoXCould you update us on when we could expect to see a TechJam video on this?
There is a Policy Management TechJam session scheduled for 21-Jun-12. The TechJam schedule is pretty full, as you can see here.
@Ryan - I did submit a ticket. CS096425. Brandon in KPM development was creating a hotfix for me and I see this morning he has released it) so I am off to see if it worked. Will post an update here once i have tested it a bit.