Verismic issues update 26/9/14

Latest on the Verismic Power Manager issues affecting Windows 7 Labs:

Policy change for term time

All labs (bar those that were opted out) are now on the term-time policy, meaning they will not shut down automatically during teaching ours regardless of the ongoing issues described below.

Shutdown issues

The server upgrade has not completely resolved the client shutdown issues. However, we have implemented a workaround that will allow clients to shut down in most cases. The exceptions will be when an application installation has not closed down all instances of processes such as msiexec or wscript (this is rare but can happen). We are continuing to press Verismic for a proper fix to this.

Wake-on-LAN issues

Unfortunately the server upgrade has introduced an issue with Wake-on-LAN. WoL magic packets are no longer being successfully sent to 802.1x networks, but are being sent to non-802.1x networks.

We are working with Verismic to find a solution to this.

Client upgrades

Until a suitable resolution to the WoL issue can be found we will not upgrade the clients to match the new server version so as to avoid the need for a client roll-back. The shutdown workaround described above does not require the clients to be on the new version to take effect.

Once we are happy that the server is working correctly again, we will deploy the new client silently to all labs, either via SCCM or Verismic’s own mechanism.

 

If you have any queries regarding any of the above, please contact the IT Service Desk via IT.Services@lboro.ac.uk.

Verismic Power Management issues – unscheduled server and client upgrade required

Resolution to lab PCs not shutting down

What is happening

An upgrade is required to the Verismic Power Manager server and clients on lab PCs. This is in order to resolve several issues, most notably PCs not shutting down when inactive.

This issue has prevented PCs from shutting down or rebooting when scheduled to do so. As a result, in some labs software has not installed as a previous update required a reboot. This is in addition to the financial and environmental impact of such an issue.

We therefore wish to resolve this issue in time for the start of term.

How will the works affect me?

No work is required on your part, and the risk of impact of the server or client upgrade is minimal.

Once the clients have upgraded, lab PCs should shut down as per their power policy. From tomorrow, this will be set to the term-time policy (PCs only shutdown on a schedule outside of teaching hours) unless a lab has been given another power policy by request.

Timescales

On Friday morning (26th) we will backup and upgrade the server. Following appropriate testing, we will then allow Verismic to update lab clients from Friday afternoon onwards via the standard Verismic client update mechanism. These updates are completely silent and do not impact users.

We will closely monitor the system during the next week to assess the success of this update in fixing these issues.

Further information

Please contact the IT Service Desk: it.services@lboro.ac.uk<mailto:it.services@lboro.ac.uk>, 01509 222333.

Advance notice of decommissioning of DeployStudio and old Verismic Power Manager servers

Decommissioning of deploy-serv and labs-mgmt

What is happening

The following servers will shortly be decommissioned as their systems will cease to be supported after the start of term:

  • Deploy-serv: DeployStudio server used for Multi-Boot iMac Lab deployment prior to this academic year (now replaced by the Casper Suite).
  • Labs-mgmt: Management server for Verismic Power Manager v3, which has been superseded by v4 for the new academic year.

Neither of these servers are required for the Windows 7 Service or MBiL Service from the start of the 2014/15 academic year. The 2013/14 equivalent models cease to be supported from the start of the new term.

How will the works affect me?

All labs should be migrated to the appropriate 2014/15 build by the start of term.

Should any lab remain on the 2013/14 build beyond then, the decommissioning of these servers will not have any impact on the live services. However, it will not be possible to restore computers to last year’s model once these servers have been turned off.

Timescales

Both servers will be turned off on Monday 6th October. The servers will remain in this state for two weeks before being fully decommissioned on Monday 20th October. After that point it will not be possible to restore any data from them.

Further information

Please contact the IT Service Desk: it.services@lboro.ac.uk<mailto:it.services@lboro.ac.uk>, 01509 222333.

SCCM-Distro5 almost full

Please delete any intermediary images that you no longer require, especially those distributed via sccm-distro5. The images volume on distro5 is over 95% full and this may cause problems to those members of IT staff who are still completing their images.

Thank you.

Verismic Power Manager issues

We have identified issues with Windows 7 Service lab PCs not waking up or shutting down correctly recently. This has been caused by two separate issues:

Issue 1: PCs not waking up

This has been identified as a server conflict with Symantec Endpoint Protection. This issue has now been resolved and an exception added to Symantec to prevent a recurrence. WoL should now be working normally.

Issue 2: PCs not shutting down/rebooting automatically

Verismic clients appear to be incorrectly identifying that a software installation is taking place and therefore not shutting down when the PC is not in use. This issue appears to be affecting a large number of Windows 7 Service lab PCs. Verismic support have identified this as a bug in the client and we are continuing to press them for a fix as soon as possible.

As an aside, we will be reverting all labs to their term-time power policies this Friday afternoon (26th Sept) as per usual.

If you require any further information regarding this, please contact the IT Service Desk.

Lanschool – End of Support

ITS will no longer deploy and support the LanSchool Software. It is being replaced with Impero.

There was a bug with our version of Lanschool and this year’s IE11 build which meant we would have to pay and upgrade to the latest version of LanSchool to resolve the issue.

It has been decided to just use Impero as its a better product and means ITS are only supporting one classroom management tool.

The DMS Team are currently uninstalling Lanschool and rolling out Impero to:

ITS Lab – YY09
ITS Lab – YY09A
ITS Lab – U007
ITS Lab – PilkLab-CAD
3rd Party Lab – MMLAb
3rd Party Lab – S163
3rd Party Lab – RT026
3rd Party Lab – N002

Extra Licensing capacity has been purchased for the above Labs so they can run this software.

For more information on Impero go to:
https://www.imperosoftware.co.uk/

Advanced Notice of Change to Labs Wallpaper

At 8am tomorrow (Friday 19th September) the desktop wallpaper will be changed to one requested by the Marketing Department in support of the Open Day. This wallpaper will remain live until Tuesday 23rd September.
This will be immediately followed by a wallpaper promoting the Programme Representative elections as requested by the Students Union. This wallpaper will be displayed until the 3rd October.

After this the wallpaper will revert to the default for the Windows 7 service, unless we receive any further requests.

Labs that have had desktop wallpapers applied by School IT Staff will not be affected by this change. For information on how to opt-out of centrally applied wallpapers, please see \ws2.lboro.ac.ukDesktopResourceWindowsW7labsProceduresSetting the desktop wallpaper in a School lab.docx.

Staff Image Change – Current SCCM Slowness

The staff image has been taking a long time to finish, putting extra load on the servers.  As a result of often finishing after 1am there are duplicate records in SCCM and no applications will install while a duplicate record exists.  We are checking this frequently and can resolve them by removing the duplicates in the morning.

In order to speed up the imaging we are changing the staff image to use multicast at the end of today. This will not affect running task sequences. You will notice a 5 minute countdown when the image is downloaded via multicast from now on.

The current slow image and application deployment issue on the SCCM servers is ongoing, however, the above change should help while IT staff are imaging batches of staff machines.

Also, the staff image has been reported to freeze at the software updates section which means there are too many updates to go on.  We are therefore rolling out an updated staff image with some of these updates installed on Friday 18th September 08:00 – 8:30  – this will also speed up the staff image task sequence deployment.

Please do not use the Windows 7 Service 2014-15 LIVE task sequence or the task sequence template at this time. 

Acrobat Pro XI and XQuartz fixes released for 2014 MBiL Mac OS

During testing we have identified two issues in the 2014 core of the MBiL Mac OS:

  • Adobe Acrobat Pro XI acting as a trial version and prompting for license activation (previously reported on this blog)
  • XQuartz prompting to install an update on launch of itself or any X11 application

Fixes for both of these issues have been identified and have been added to the core Configurations. All sub-Configurations of these will automatically inherit these changes.

The fixes have also been deployed to all existing 2014 MBiL Macs which were imaged using Casper prior to the above changes. Macs therefore do not need to be re-imaged in order to receive these fixes.