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Automated RCU updates


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I was just reading the Retrospect manual on (RCU) updating clients and the current procedure sounds unnecessarily and inconveniently "manual":


From the manual:

NOTE: It is a good idea to update all clients

even if you know some of them are turned off.

You can later repeat this operation without

affecting the clients that are already updated.


I'd like to suggest that you automate this process--how about allowing the server admin to set up an automated update? This would work great in conjunction with proactive backup, so that clients would be guaranteed to be updated at the next backup. This would be a more efficient option than having the server admin manually keep restarting & rerunning the "Update client" process over and over in the hope that clients are on & connected, hoping that all the them will eventually receive the update.


*** Some suggested options ***


1) Update clients after the next backup. Would work for scheduled clients or proactive updates (note: "after" is safer than "before" as it guarantees that the clients have been backed up first).


2) Update clients at a scheduled time (2AM, daily, weekly, etc.)

[would sequentially update all visible clients at the scheduled time iff they haven't already been updated. Could add some randomization to spread things out]


3) Update continuously

[keep trying to update all known clients as they become visible. Sort of a proactive update. I like the idea of doing a backup first, #1]


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  • 1 month later...

I just did my first client "mass update" (i.e. updating 36 Windows clients from the main RMS server) and it was pretty slick. After testing the process and version with a couple of individual clients and the latest RCU, it only took a few minutes and no manual effort to update the entire set.


I would still suggest (as I had in my earlier post) that you provide an automated way to do these updates. Of my entire client set, eight machines weren't available. I'll have to back and manually try to do "mass updates" again and again until everybody is updated, hoping that machines will be on. It would be a lot nicer if I could do a "proactive" update, having RMS continuously monitor for the presence of clients and update the client software as they come on-line.


And although the process is pretty quick, I'm also thinking of Symantec's AntiVirus software (corporate, with server and clients), where the main server can randomly "spread out" the client and virus updates over a specified windows (e.g. [1PM] +/- [4] hours) to avoid loading down the network and PCs. It might be worth thinking about something like for proactive backups *and* proactive updates to spread the load over time & space.

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