Troubleshooting distribution failures [Web console]

Software distribution provides the ability to distribute packages to a large number of devices at once. If there is a problem with the package, or the software being deployed conflicts with already existing software, a task can cause problems on thousands of devices at once. When planning a deployment using software distribution, take care to not create an overwhelming number of problems.

Before deploying a new package, test it with some test systems. Ideally, these test systems should include all of the operating systems and applications that are used in your environment. Once the package is deployed, confirm that all of the systems and applications are still working as expected.

Once the package has been validated against test systems, do a limited deployment. Target a small number of devices in your environment. When deciding how many devices to target, the rule of thumb is not to target more devices than your help desk can handle. Once the package has been deployed to these devices, test the system for a couple of days to see if users encounter any problems.

After the initial deployment, you can begin rolling out the software to other devices in the enterprise. The speed at which these rollouts occur should be based upon how much device variety the enterprise has and how much of a load you can handle in troubleshooting problems on target devices.

Here are some other problems you might encounter.

Scheduled task can't find package

If the scheduled task indicates that the package can't be located, make sure that the package can be viewed from the device.

If the package is URL-based, you can check to make sure it is accessible by using a Web browser. Remember, if your DNS is set up to resolve the package, you'll need to verify that the package has been distributed to all of the Web servers.

If the package can be viewed from the device but still does not download properly, the problem may be that the URL- or UNC-based package share doesn't allow anonymous access. Check the permissions on the UNC or URL share and make sure it allows anonymous access. For UNC locations, make sure it has properly been configured as a null session share.

Bandwidth detection doesn't work

One of the most common problems that can occur is having PDS set up for bandwidth detection. In device setup, one of the common base agent options is to choose between PDS and ICMP for device bandwidth detection. When a device is configured to use PDS for bandwidth detection, it will only detect between RAS and non-RAS connections. So, if you configure a distribution to only work with high speed connection and the package installs on a computer with a WAN connection, check to make sure it is configured to use ICMP and not PDS.