Prepare a network and a set of client and server computers that simulate your production environment as closely as possible. Consider including similar domain models, localized versions of SMS, code pages, localized client operating systems, applications, network links, and roaming scenarios. Apply the ICP using the plans and procedures that you created in the design phase. You might consider performing the tests repeatedly in this environment while you refine your procedures and discover and resolve any identified issues.
Select a portion of your production system that is safe to use for testing but typical enough to represent your production system. Ensure that you do not use a domain managed by multiple sites that you do not want to include in the pilot. Ensure that you are in close proximity to test computers so you can easily reconfigure them. Deploy the ICP during this phase using the plan you create in the design phase including any improvements that you identify in the testing phase. If you observe problems that were not identified in the design phase, adjust your procedures and design accordingly.
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ICP Deployment Best Practices
Some aspects of SMS ICP deployment can be done in a variety of ways, but generally, each has a preferred approach that provides the best results.
Use similar code pages
You must use the same code page for all your SMS sites. You must ensure that all sites in a hierarchy can process inventory from all sites below them in the hierarchy, so you must ensure that all code page issues are resolved before applying the ICP. This includes ensuring that the operating system language files are properly installed on all site servers and that all SQL Server computers are using either ANSI 1252 or ISO 8859-1 code page. Ensure that the Automatic ANSI to OEM conversion check box is cleared on all computers running SQL Server.
Resolve any CAP problems
Occasionally, permissions problems or other issues can affect the availability of CAPs, especially those remote from the site server itself, which prevents the Site Component Manager service, the Inbox Manager Assistant service, or both from properly servicing the CAPs. Ensure that the CAPs are working properly before installing the ICP. Viewing the status system and log for the Inbox Manager Assistant and Site Component Manager can be helpful.
Apply the ICP hotfixes
ICPs have version numbers that are a version higher than the U.S. English release they upgrade. Great care must be taken to keep hotfixes at the correct version. For more information, see the "Applying updates" section earlier in this chapter.
Peer support from your fellow SMS administrators is an excellent source of knowledge and of solutions based on real-world experience. If you hear from other SMS administrators that an ICP can cause problems under some circumstances, research the issue to decide whether you will apply the ICP. Conduct your own testing and be cautious for any problems you have heard about. If you do observe the problem, then you can contact product support to confirm or deny the issue, and to receive any fixes or workarounds that might be required.
Check the client component versions
You can gather SMS hardware inventory to report data about each Legacy Client component during your SMS ICP client deployment. For each component, the current and pending version is reported in addition to the current state, such as Not Available, Installed, or Reboot Required. This is the same information that is reported on the client in the Systems Management Properties dialog box, when you click the Systems Management icon in Control Panel. SMS gathers this data during hardware inventory, and it can be displayed in the Resource Explorer under the SMS Client State group class.
You can also query WMI for useful information. The class that the client component version data is available from is SMS_G_System_SMS_CLIENT in the root\SMS\site_<sitecode> namespace. The useful properties of the class are:
ResourceID - a numeric value that can be used to relate the instances to instances for the same resource in other SMS classes
Component - "Remote Control," for example
Version - "2.50.2485.1400" for a version of SMS 2003 SP1 ICP1. Your version number will vary.
State - "Installed"
Apply the ICP to a test computer and determine the actual version number from Systems Management in Control Panel.
You can directly check the registry entries collected by this technique by using Registry Editor or a similar program.
Determine the size of client component upgrades
To assess the effect of client component upgrades at large sites or over slow links, it is important to determine the size of the client component upgrades. Multiply the size of the upgrade in MB by the number of clients to be upgraded to determine the total network effect. Divide the resulting number by the capacity of the link, in time, to estimate the length of time required for all clients to be upgraded.
You can measure the size of client component upgrades in various terms, including the size of the files transferred, the increase in disk space used, and the increase in memory used. However, usually the most important issue is the effect on the network of deploying the ICP, especially because you might be doing hundreds or thousands of clients in a short period of time.
Using Network Monitor to determine upgrade size If you need more precise information, then the best approach to determining the size of client component upgrades is to measure the network traffic. To access Network Monitor you must first install it from the SMS compact disc. After installation, click Start, then click Microsoft Network Monitor, and then click Network Monitor.
In a test environment, set up a site server and client with the previous version relative to the ICP you want to install. Configure all site server settings to match those used on your production SMS site server. Then, upgrade the site server, and monitor the upgrade until you are certain the client files on the CAP have been upgraded. You can then start a Network Monitor capture session.
To start a Network Monitor capture session
Start Network Monitor.
On the Capture menu, click Buffer Settings.
The Capture Buffer Settings dialog box appears.
In the Buffer Size (MB) box, click 16, and then click OK.
Configure a capture session to capture network traffic only between your server and the client computer running Windows NT Workstation 4.0 SP6a or with Windows XP Professional.
On the Capture menu, click Start.
When the capture starts, start the client upgrade by using the client installation method that your site's clients will use. Monitor the client upgrade processing, but do not monitor network traffic, until the client is completely upgraded. You can use the Systems Management icon in Control Panel to monitor the upgrade process. When it is completed, return to Network Monitor to stop the capture and analyze the network traffic.
To analyze the network traffic
In the right pane of Network Monitor, the total number of frames transmitted and the total number of bytes captured is displayed.
In the Session Statistics pane, displayed in the left middle-window pane, the session traffic between the client and the server is displayed. This indicates how much data, in bytes, was sent from the server to the client, and how much information the client sent back to the server.
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