How to perform a mass update rollout?

Created 2008-10-10 by Florian Riedl

A mass rollout in the scope of this topic is any case where the product is rolled out to more than 5 to 10 machines and this rollout is to be automated. This is described in detail in the Article How to perform a mass rollout?. We now want to take a look at the procedure that needs to be done after you have done a mass rollout before and now want to update MonitorWare Agent to the current version.

Automated Rollout

The basic idea behind a mass rollout is to create the intended configuration on a master (or baseline) system. This system holds the complete configuration that is later to be applied to all other systems. Once that system is fully configured, the configuration will be transferred to all others. For this case, it means you have to update this system first, alter the configuration there if necessary and then export it.

The actual transfer is done with simple operating system tools. The complete configuration is stored in the the registry. Thus, it can be exported to a file. This can be done with the client. In the menu, select “Computer”, then select “Export Settings to Registry File”. A new dialog comes up where the file name can be specified. Once this is done, the specified file contains an exact snapshot of that machine’s configuration.

This snapshot can then be copied to all other machines and put into their registries with the help of regedit.exe.

An example batch file to update, configure and run the service on “other” servers might be:

net stop "AdisconMonitoreWareAgent"

copy /Y \\server\share\mwagent.exe c:\some-local-dir
copy /Y \\server\share\mwagent.pem c:\some-local-dir
regedit /s \\server\share\update.reg
net start "AdisconMonitoreWareAgent"

The file “update.reg” would be the registry file that had been exported with the configuration client. Copying this file is optional, but recommended. In this configuration file, the new license key could be included as well as configuration changes.

Of course, the batch file could also operate off a CD – a good example for DMZ systems which might not have Windows networking connectivity to a home server.

Please note that the above batch file fully installs the product – there is no need to run the setup program at all. All that is needed to distribute the service i.e. mwagent.exe and its helper dlls, which are the core service. For a locked-down environment, this also means there is no need to allow incoming connections over Windows RPC or NETBIOS for an engine only install.

Please note that, in the example above, "c:\some-local-dir" actually is the directory where the product is being installed. The commands "net stop" and "net start" do first STOP the service before copying the new files and then START it again after everything is finished.

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