Getting to ZEN Works - The Challenge

  • I have started a personal crusade to bridge the divide between Zen Works and FOG. From the various questions I have asked a particular I.T Admin, I can ascertain the following:

    1. Zen Works is expensive to set up (many technician billable hours) tens of thousands so far and counting
    2. Imaging is SLOW! over 60 minutes for 20Gig Image
    3. Dedicated hardware (so far they have two servers)


    It has some ‘big ticket’ items which is the reasons this particular admin moved away from fog (which I installed to get them out of a pinch when they had 350 hosts to image ASAP). Those items are;

    1. Software inventory
    2. Remote desktop to host off the same interface
    3. Windows update patch management
    4. ‘bundling software’ neither I nor he know what that is…
    5. image manipulation post image upload

    SO FAR

    Just because I am a spiteful pr*ck - I have taken an acer aspire 5735z laptop (the kind that Moses had when he downloaded the ten commandments) with fedora 15 and Fog 0.32. Fog was setup and ready to image / deploy in side 5 hours, within 3 days, I could accomplish 1., 2., and 3. from the above list out of the fog interface by making some changes to the php and the database.

    I am way out of my depth when it comes to 4 and 5 above.

    I seriously consider FOG to be a much better product than Zen. Can ANYONE explain to me what point 4 is above? and where would one start for point 5?

  • I would assume bundling software is just ZEN Works’s fancy way of saying “install software post-image”.
    If this is true, FOG would be able to accomplish this through snapins (you could even do it with batch, vbscript, and csv files on network storage if you really wanted to - that’s how my company does it right now).

    As for point 5, I’m guessing they are talking about mounting and editing the image being stored on the server. Doing that… I’m not so sure. It looks like this forum has some insight into it:
    (I believe FOG stores images as the .img file type? Or possibly .img.000, but I’m not sure how or if it differs)

    I would love to hear some steps about how you got the software inventory into the fog interface, if you have the time to help out. I’m looking into doing that myself, but I know nothing about php, and a limited amount about sql.