My name is Sendhil Jayachandran and I'm the product manager of the KBOX 2000. I'd like to leverage this forum to gather new feature / enhancement requests for the KBOX 2000. Please use this thread to let us know what you would like to see added to the product.

Thanks!
Sendhil
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I would like to see the scripting engine from the 1000 series added to the 2000 with some tweaks. Currently I have something like 50 scripted installs on my 2000, the only difference between most of them is I have to change the computername by 3 digits representing a cost center. I do this through a combination of using wsname.exe (3rd party tool supplied with the kbox, and some other scripting tricks.) I end up doing this over 2 reboots because I'm not using the sysprep for the rename/joindomain.
Answered 12/17/2009 by: lindsamw
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I also like to see the K1100 inventory linked to the k2100 inventory. 99% of the computers that make use of the k2100 do have a k1100 client.

To be honest, finding a machine in de inventory of the k1100 is much easier while its not based on pure mac & ip adresses.
Answered 12/22/2009 by: wesjuhdabomb
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To be honest, finding a machine in de inventory of the k1100 is much easier while its not based on pure mac & ip adresses.

Very true.

Also - As we said at the conference during a 2100 class, being able to upload items to the 2100 RSA's would be huge!
Answered 12/22/2009 by: dtuttle
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Where is the option to do a multicast deployment? And also a schedule deployment?

Please Sendhill respond...
Answered 01/04/2010 by: k2100
Yellow Belt

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Yep, where is multicasting... Is there a roadmap om the site?
Answered 01/04/2010 by: pief
Senior Yellow Belt

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Thank for the feedback, everyone. The KBOX 2000 team is continuously seeking ways to improve performance of the product, both in terms of the speed of a single deployment and scalability.

While we have looked at multicast, we don't feel that it is the only way to improve scalability. It brings a number of network configuration issues that ex-Ghost customers who now use the KBOX 2000 can attest to.

With that said, I'd like to understand your scalability needs better. How many parallel deployments are you seeking to make at one time?

Thanks!
Sendhil
Answered 01/05/2010 by: sendhil
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As an ex-altiris customer I would like to see a scheduled deploy. So lets say i have to deploy 200 computers. Then i would like to have some function like: deploy (for example) 5 computers, if finished deploy the next 5 computers and so on. Because I know it is not possible to deploy 200 computers at once.

About multicasting. Its clearly some users would like to have the function. Isn't it a possibility to turn the option on or off? So the users that would like to use the functionality can turn it on.
Answered 01/05/2010 by: wesjuhdabomb
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As an ex-Altiris customer, I can say the biggest problem with the KBOX 2000 is its lack of client interactivity during the imaging process and the utter lack of a real inventory. A few suggestions:
  • The current inventory in the 2000 is nearly worthless. Tie the 2000-series into the 1000-series' inventory, and allow me to pass commands or groups of computers / MAC addresses to the 2000-series console from the 1000-series console. I should be able to pull up a group of computers from my 1000-series console and initiate an imaging or other 2000 event. I'm doing this now by hand with a MySQL query, when the 1000-series could easily pass the MAC address list of a view via an HTTP POST string.
  • The 2000 needs WOL, desperately. Again, pulling from the 1000 inventory.
  • The 2000 should be able to send commands to a client PC's 1000 agent, such as restart, shutdown, etc.
  • The WinPE-based PXE booting environment is bloated and slow for imaging. While I understand and even appreciate its need and features for scripted installs, imaging is a very simplified process that should be possible through a Linux-based PXE boot image.
We're a K-12 school, and we often reimage computers several times a year. The 2000 series seems more oriented towards first-time deployments. Follow-on imaging or scripted installs is a painful process. To give you an idea of how we used Altiris Deployment Solution:
  • Altiris DS uses an agent on the local PC to provide a significant amount of interactivity - from the DS console I can use that agent to perform imaging-related actions such as WOL, shutdown/restart, or capturing personality.
  • The DS console maintains a relatively static inventory of computers. Basic hardware and software information is captured by the agent and is available in the console for use in filters as well as imaging tasks, such as post-imaging jobs that can rename computers to what they were, put them back in the correct OU, etc.
  • New computers that PXE-boot show up in the console in a special area for "new computers" - from there I can rename them to match what they should be and image them, or I can ignore or delete them, or I can block them in the PXE boot tool.
  • I can select a group of computers and initiate an imaging or scripted install event, at which time Altiris asks me to schedule it. The schedule can be "Right Now", or it can be sometime in the future. When the time is reached for said event, Altiris will either reboot the computer if it's turned on (optionally prompting the user with a countdown and cancel options) or wake up the computer if it's turned off. I can see the status of the computer right from the console, including whether or not someone is logged on to it at that moment.
  • During the entire imagine process, the console is updated with information from the client as to its progress. It tells me when its on or off, when its started applying the image and when its finished, etc. It even reports back error status to the console if the job fails.
  • Altiris boots into a Linux-based PXE environment (there are DOS and WinPE options too) and applies a block-level image in about 7 minutes. I understand the benefits of file-level imaging and am willing to wait longer for those benefits, but my average KBOX image takes 30 - 40 minutes to apply over a Gigabit ethernet connection, longer when I'm doing a lab and my link is saturated.
The above process represents a mature and reliable product that allows me to image groups of computers on a regular basis without having to leave my desk or pull up a VNC console to check on their status. Other than imaging time, these aren't grand features that require significant engineering like multicasting, it's just a fully thought-out process-based approach to imaging computers that the KBOX 2000 seems to lack. I equate the current state of the 2000's process to little more than an easy form of RIS. I honestly don't think it would take much to implement such features in the 2000, particularly if you based them around having a 1000-agent on the computer and a database connection to a 1000-series box. If anything, this would be a selling point for people considering the 2000 to also purchase a 1000 box, which I feel is the real powerhouse in the KACE line.

In any event, I'm grudgingly using the 2000-series VM for imaging, pushing through these lack of features in an attempt to make the best use of our investment. However, I haven't yet decommissioned my Altiris VM, and if the 2000-series appliance doesn't improve throughout this year, I will likely revert back to Altiris DS for my imaging and just use the 1000-series appliance.

- Steven
Answered 01/07/2010 by: sdickenson
Senior Yellow Belt

  • As a fellow former Altiris user who doesn't see an answer to this question I would like to know if any of his fantastic feedback was adopted. Since I'm looking for exactly the same capabilities and functionality 5 years later
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As we are a school, we dont have the skills as what the private sector would have so i would love to see a lot more scripts included and also ready made software installs for scripted installations, A classic example would be IE7, IE8 and we would have the time or the skills to test packages.
Also other things like being able to set the computer name of a brand new build from the kbox for scripted and image installs. I suppose the ultimate goal would be for it to be almost zero touch!
Answered 01/08/2010 by: mattygarland
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@mattygarland:

If you google on "silent install ie7" or something like that. You will find the command line switches to install software silently. Then you can add a post installation task with for example ie7 with that command switches.
Answered 01/08/2010 by: wesjuhdabomb
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@mattygarland - You can set the computername, its in the scripted install. Also they include an example using wsname.exe in the postinstall tasks.

@everyone else - I agree there needs to be more interoperability between the 1000/2000. I also think they 2000 needs to support the same alternative locations that the 1000 supports. I currently manage ~ 2000 computers across 40 different physical locations. Some of those locations have very small bandwidth due to their remoteness. That being the case I have pulled most of my post install tasks off of the 2000 and put them as managed installs on the 1000, due to the 1000 being able to use alternate download locations easily. I know the 2000 does RSA's, but that implies I have something to physically run it on, which I don't. So now I have to buy 35+ servers/workstations to run the RSA, when really if the 2000 supported alternate locations, I would be fine.
Answered 01/08/2010 by: lindsamw
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Oh another thing I would like to see, and I wouldn't imagine is too hard, a tool for scripted installs similar to what they have for kbox images, where you can make an iso of it for a non networked PC. I would use it for networked PC's, mainly because the RSA's don't seem to be able to handle more than 4 or 5 computers at once, and my techs often need to image 20-80 machines at once.
Answered 01/08/2010 by: lindsamw
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Thanks for all the feedback so far, everyone. The KBOX 2000 product team will be sure to discuss all of these points. To customers who haven't participated yet, please voice your thoughts, thanks!
Answered 01/08/2010 by: sendhil
Senior Yellow Belt

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Try the VMware edition of the RSA, it can handle up to +- 30 clients.
Answered 01/10/2010 by: wesjuhdabomb
Orange Belt

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As Ken Ross, Sendhil, and I discussed at the last KACE User Konference I have a very strong desire for the Kbox 1000 & Kbox 2000 to talk to each other! I really would like (need is just slightly too strong of a word) the 1000 & 2000 to dynamically communicate. The 2000 should be able to query to 1000 with a MAC address and the 1000 should respond with a Host Name (and vica versa), so that I don't need to manually enter the MAC address for each and every single 2000 seat license. This would also allow me to track my 2000 seat licenses via a 1000 label.

I understand there's a (roughly) 3 month development time difference between 1000 & 2000 changes so the sooner this gets into the pipeline for changes the better!

- Eric
Answered 01/14/2010 by: ericwalrod
Senior Yellow Belt

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Thanks to everyone for the feedback so far. I'm glad that many of the feedback points for improvement are well-matched to the road map priorities that we have for this year. Improved integration with the KBOX 1000, ease of use through process automation, and performance improvements are areas of focus for the product team. Feel free to let me know if you'd like to voice your experience in more depth through a feedback session via phone/WebEx. If there's enough interest, I'll arrange something.

Thanks again,
Sendhil
Answered 01/15/2010 by: sendhil
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Yesterday I did some more testing.
I liked the fact that the remote site detects startup options that are given in the k2100. (deploy system, enter mac adress, deploy image 'X'). Only as i expected, wake on lan did not work.

It would be really nice for the remote site to have build in wol functions. When I set a wol in the k2100, the remote site extends that wol so that you are sure the laptop you choose will go on.
Answered 01/27/2010 by: wesjuhdabomb
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ORIGINAL: wesjuhdabomb

I also like to see the K1100 inventory linked to the k2100 inventory. 99% of the computers that make use of the k2100 do have a k1100 client.

To be honest, finding a machine in de inventory of the k1100 is much easier while its not based on pure mac & ip adresses.





I agree. I would also like to be able to have the inventory linked as well. It takes a little longer trying to find the computer purely on a mac and IP addresses. I would really like to be able to see the actual computer name and such like in the KBox 1000.
Answered 02/03/2010 by: ustacp
Second Degree Blue Belt

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ORIGINAL: wesjuhdabomb

As an ex-altiris customer I would like to see a scheduled deploy. So lets say i have to deploy 200 computers. Then i would like to have some function like: deploy (for example) 5 computers, if finished deploy the next 5 computers and so on. Because I know it is not possible to deploy 200 computers at once.

About multicasting. Its clearly some users would like to have the function. Isn't it a possibility to turn the option on or off? So the users that would like to use the functionality can turn it on.


That would be a really nice feature as well. We are looking to dive more into the imaging side of things with Windows 7.
Answered 02/03/2010 by: ustacp
Second Degree Blue Belt

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I would like to see the graphical boot manager become compatible with Lenovo PCs. I was told that it had something to do with Lenovo’s BIOS, but you would think Kace could figure out a way to do it. Right now, we have to set it to the basic setting because Lenovo will not allow the Graphical setting to boot from the hard drive upon timing out. The bad thing about the basic manager is that it is not password protected. Therefore, we had to turn the Boot Manager Timeout down to 1 second so that users do not have much time to be able PXE Boot into the KBox. That could be bad. Alternatively, incorporate a password into the Basic Boot Manger. I can just see an end user somehow getting into the PXE setting and re-imaging their PC on accident. That could be bad.
Answered 02/03/2010 by: ustacp
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@ustacp:

We use a management vlan to image our workstations.

So end users don't even get the pxe screen, because it is not set in the dhcp.
This does mean that a computer needs to be moved from its place when it needs an image.
Answered 02/04/2010 by: wesjuhdabomb
Orange Belt

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ORIGINAL: wesjuhdabomb

@ustacp:

We use a management vlan to image our workstations.

So end users don't even get the pxe screen, because it is not set in the dhcp.
This does mean that a computer needs to be moved from its place when it needs an image.




We were actually thinking of doing the same thing for new computers that come in but we want to start refreshing computers on a schedule to keep them running at their peak. This would be done between our daily "3am-6am" windows. We would like to do this a few times a year. As we all know, wanting to do something and actually finding the time to do it, is a whole other story. Therefore, the computer will still be at their desks.
Answered 02/05/2010 by: ustacp
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Mulitcast in our school enviornment is almost a must for us. We have many labs of 20-30 machines that are very customized for each teacher. Some of the customization goes into the screens and toolbars of individual programs. I agree with another posting that this could be available as an option. That way those who don't find it necessary could turn it off, yet those who need it could run it.
Answered 02/16/2010 by: pkobe
Yellow Belt

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The KACE product demo's and information all talk about how the Kbox combined with the RSA is a "Total Solution" where many competitors fall short, and require the use of third party tools - KBOX supposedly does it all.
Due to the strict limitation of the RSA being a Deployment ONLY device, incapable of receiving images directly from clients that leaves a huge gap we will have to fill with another product.

The point of the RSA is to relieve stress on WAN links for imaging, but its not much of a relief if it only works in one direction.

As it stands today if I had a group of machines in a remote location that I wanted to take an image of, and distribute that image, I would have to upload the image from the remote site (sending large amounts of data across a wan link) only to get it to the KBOX to immediately turn around and push it back to the RSA at the same remote site. This is a terrible waste of network bandwidth. (and disk space on the KBOX if the image is never to be used at another site)

I would LOVE to see all the tools able to interact with the RSA (Media Manager, Driver Harvest, USMT) but I see the ability for the RSA to at least accept an image directly from a client workstation as a bare minimum.
Answered 05/05/2010 by: azarett
Yellow Belt

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We would really like to see multicast or parallel deployment (about 30 computers in a lab).
Also it would be great if we could save images to a secondary drive (virtual kbox with a drive d for images)
Thanks
Answered 05/05/2010 by: pkobe
Yellow Belt

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Sendhil


I would agree with most of the people in here.

We need Multicast as Educational Environments have various labs etc that need to be deployed in a limited maintenance period. If this cannot be done by KACE 2000, is there a way to integrate Ghost to just do the multi cast deployment and after that KACE Post installation tasks are carried up ?? Mind you the disk based imaging is a great quality of deployment however getting the image first time there is an issue. I am talking about 60 - 110 Gigs of images in size.

Second thing is the PXE boot environments are quite big in size to load. I mean talking about 200 + MB on Windows and almost 5 Gigs on MAC ?? Why can't we edit the stuff inside the images ? or otherwise there should be an option to install PXE stuff on to a hard disk itself as it takes ages to boot.

Integration of KACE 1000 and 2000 should be such that the scripts can be imported both ways. So there should be a functionality to get this enabled if u have both the appliances. This would help in expanding for future. May be have a central share to store all the scripts from where both systems can read them.

Naming computers using a third party utility such as WSNAMES isn't the way to future. If KACE holds the asset / machine information of the PC then it should also be able to change the computer name looking at its own database without using text files etc. The whole point of having a centralized management area would be to go away from old school methods etc.

Just a history about our environment. We have a combination of PCs and MACs. We have dual boot labs (Ubuntu/windows) and also OSX and Windows. Total fleet of our computers (Students and Staff) is about 15000.

SCCM is introducing multicast options in the next version so I would strongly suggest that this is seriously looked at in KACE.

Thanks
Answered 09/17/2010 by: chonky
Yellow Belt

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I'm a trainer at Dell KACE, but I share this from my own personal experience (i.e. not speaking on behalf of Kace here).

RE: the topic of scheduled deployments- for those of you with both KBOXes I'll share what I've found to be somewhat useful in some environments. You'll want to adjust this to fit your needs, and maybe plan it over a few days...
  1. Using the BIOS management tools from the varios vendors (Dell, HP, Lenovo) I'll remotely deploy the Boot Order to have PXE as first in the boot order, Enable Wake on lan (WOL)
  2. Next I'll set up multiple labels on my K1000 to include 20-30 machines each.
  3. Then on my 2000 target all of the MACs with my scripted install or image.
  4. Next using the WOL feature of the K1000 make sure all machines are online at the starting time.
  5. Using the scripting features on the 1000 schedule a reboot job ("shutdown -r -f -t 0") starting with the first group about an hour after the WOL command sent (in case some of those started imaging) and subsequent jobs about every hour or two (depending on the size of your install/image and network saturation, etc.- do a test to see what timeframe works for your network).


RE: Integrating the two boxes- consider using something like a "Breadcrumb"to do this for now:
  1. Step 1- have a postinstall BAT task write a registry key (Example: REG ADD "HKLM\SOFTWARE\COMPANY NAME" /v Accounting /t REG_SZ /d 1)
  2. Step 2- Add a custom inventory rule on the K1000 to detect the key laid down by your image (Example: RegistryValueEquals(HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\COMPANY NAME, Accounting, 1) )
  3. Step 3- Create a Smart Label to detect the presence of the "Software Title"
  4. Step 4- Target your managed install, script, patch, whatever at the Smart Label.

Hope this helps someone!
Answered 09/17/2010 by: cblake
Red Belt

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My K2000 still does not list Windows 7 as one of the options in several places. I just did an update.

Status?

Bob Frakes
Answered 10/06/2010 by: bfrakes
Purple Belt

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dear all
hi
i have kbox 2000 with trial license , but when i change it and add new license , i still seeing expire license page
please help me
Answered 10/09/2010 by: jkhosro
Yellow Belt

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bfrakes- Win7 is supported and I image with it on a daily basis. Make sure you're using the latest build of the media manager (download the new one from your KBOX), and make sure you are using the new KBE Boot environment.
Answered 10/10/2010 by: cblake
Red Belt

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jkhosro- Please contact your sales person or Support Engineer that was assigned when you signed up for the trial- they should be able to get you new keys.
Answered 10/10/2010 by: cblake
Red Belt

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Another feature I would like to see (and I know there are others who have asked about this in different forums) is the ability to add non-Windows discs as Source CDs to then turn into Boot Environments. This would be useful for adding things like Hiren's Boot CD, Derik's Boot and Nuke CD, Kaspersky's Rescue Disc, or any other WinPE/WinRE or Linux/BSD-based ISO disc. I realize size is an issue when loading the OS over the wire (PXE), but any LiveCD or WinPE environment should be small enough to work.

Thanks,
Eric
Answered 10/14/2010 by: ericwalrod
Senior Yellow Belt

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