I don't really know what to call this feature request, but I'd love to be able to run a set of tasks in a certain order. I'm using the K2000 to set up a very empty installation of Windows 7. I then want the K1000 to run this set of tasks in this order:

* Install all the latest Dell drivers and BIOS updates.
* Reboot.
* Install all the available OS patches.
* Reboot.
* Install all my managed installs.
* Reboot.
* Patch, patch and patch some more until everything is up to date.
* Reboot.
* Run some scripts.
* Reboot.

Right now, I find myself constantly logging in to the K1000 to see where I'm at and to manually run the next step. Setting up a series of tasks to run sequentially would be a great feature.

Thanks,
Ben
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You can prioritize software distributions now using the "Order" field. What you are requesting is currently possible. You'll need to setup a series of smart labels and possibly custom software inventory items, but this is definitely possible.
Answered 09/26/2011 by: airwolf
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I have the managed installs set to run in a certain order, but I still have to manually kick off the scripts, Dell driver updates and patches.

I know I can schedule the Dell driver updates and patches, but what I really want is to take my new PC and set one process running that does everything in one step (and as quickly as possible).

I've also wondered what would happen if KACE is trying to run managed installs, patching, driver updates and scripts all at the same time. I like the idea of being able to run everything sequentially in an order I define.
Answered 09/26/2011 by: benmills
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I have the managed installs set to run in a certain order, but I still have to manually kick off the scripts, Dell driver updates and patches.
Updates and patches shouldn't need to be kicked off manually. And scripts can be scheduled in several ways (e.g. daily, hourly, every login, first login, etc.).
...what I really want is to take my new PC and set one process running that does everything in one step (and as quickly as possible)
I wouldn't consider anything requiring 5 reboots as you've described to be "one step". You can accomplish your goal with the current release; the trick is configuring everything to that end. You just need to setup your smart labels properly and you'll be in business.
* Install all the latest Dell drivers and BIOS updates.
* Reboot.
* Install all the available OS patches.
* Reboot.
* Install all my managed installs.
* Reboot.
* Patch, patch and patch some more until everything is up to date.
* Reboot.
* Run some scripts.
* Reboot.

As I said, this can all be done if you setup smart labels appropriately. For example, a Smart Label to deploy OS patches should only apply to machines that have already run Dell driver and BIOS updates... A smart label to deploy managed installs should only apply to machines that have all available OS patches... A smart label to "patch, patch, and patch some more" should only apply to machines that have already finished all previous steps.... And so on, and so forth.

I think you're also kind of missing the point of the K2000. You don't need to do any of this in the K1000. Using the K2000 to throw a naked Windows 7 install on your machines is like driving 20mph in a Lambourghini... open up the throttle a bit! The K2000 can do all of this for you without having to involve the K1000. You may want to use the K1000 for the latest patches, but managed installs, scripts, etc. should be post-installation tasks in the K2000.
Answered 09/26/2011 by: airwolf
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Interesting info. I have 2 questions for you:

1. From what I read (and have experienced), when installing Windows 7 via the K2000, any post installation tasks that require a reboot result in any subsequent post installation tasks not running. It doesn't pick up where it left off after the reboot. I guess this used to work in XP, but not with Windows 7. The "fix" is to run any tasks that require reboots as your last post install task, but that gets tricky when trying to install things like service packs and some managed installs where you don't have the option to suppress a reboot. If it weren't for this limitation, I think I'd definitely be using the K2000 to do more.

2. How can I create a smart label to determine if my Dell updates have run on the PC? Same question for whether the machine is fully patched.

Thanks,
Ben
Answered 09/26/2011 by: benmills
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1. We reboot several times, but we're using custom scripts to do subsequent reboot tasks. You shouldn't have to install service packs - just get the latest ISO from MS with the SP slipstreamed in. There are also other ways to slipstream updates into the ISO so they don't have to be dealt with post-install.

2. You'd have to write some complex queries to accomplish this. It helps to be familiar with SQL or have a DBA on staff.
Answered 09/26/2011 by: airwolf
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Sounds like this is possible, but complex.

I'd definitely love to see the ability to run a sequential set of tasks on both the K1000 and K2000 (with reboots not interrupting anything).

Thanks for the feedback.

Ben
Answered 09/26/2011 by: benmills
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I agree it would be a nice feature if they'd streamline it a bit. I just didn't want you to hold your breath (they DO respond to requests, but this would probably be a huge undertaking - even if they decided to do it today you probably wouldn't see the result for 1-2 years). Nearly anything is possible with the K1000/K2000... it's just a matter of complexity.
Answered 09/26/2011 by: airwolf
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The K1000 approach is to keep it simple. You can take a bunch of simple things and string them together with logic, but the K1000 itself has no concept of these tasks being related.

The basic construct for each simple activity is:
1. identify the group of machines in question
2. Assign and schedule a task for that group
3. repeat if needed

Usually step 1 can be completed by a smart label that keys off something in the inventory of the machine. IME, when that item doesn't exist you can ALWAYS create a custom inventory rule.

Every step in the proposed chain meets this simple construct. I also like that this means a machine can enter the process at any step and complete the cycle.

Where it may be breaking down for you is the ability to force it through the steps quickly -- with minimal delays. In an automated way, this can be mitigated by agressively scheduling certain tasks. For example, if you had dell drivers and bios update schedules running throughout the day but only set to target a specific group of machines ("new" machines) then this schedule is only going to be active when needed. Of course, you have the option of manually intervening at any point if needed.
Answered 09/29/2011 by: GillySpy
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