Using self-organizing multicast with software distribution

Ivanti self-organizing multicast technology makes it possible to distribute large packages to many users across the network with a minimum of network traffic. Self-organizing multicast features require no additional hardware or software infrastructure, and require no router configurations to allow multicast packets. You get the extraordinary benefits of multicast technology with none of its traditional headaches.

Self-organizing multicast is designed to work with your existing software distribution packages. When you use self-organizing multicast, you can easily distribute software, even in WAN environments with multiple hops and low connection speeds. Self-organizing multicast uses HTTP for delivery from a Web site to a volunteer subnet representative. Endpoint Manager's inventory scanner provides all the subnet information to the multicast service.

When compared to conventional software distribution methods, self-organizing multicast significantly reduces the time and bandwidth needed to deliver software packages. Instead of sending a package across the wire for each device, only one transfer is made for each subnet. Bandwidth savings increase as the number of devices on each subnet increases.

Ivanti® Endpoint Manager supports multicast for Windows and Macintosh OS X distributions. Additionally, you can multicast OS provisioning images.

Here is the self-organizing multicast workflow:

  1. A task using multicast begins and targeted devices look for an existing multicast session for that task on their subnet. If there isn't one, a device offers to become the multicast domain representative for that task. The representative on each subnet starts downloading.
  2. Other devices receive the task, see that there is an existing multicast session for that task, and wait for the multicast domain representative's session start delay to pass (the default is one minute). The multicast domain representatives begin multicasting to their subnets.
  3. Devices receiving the task after the multicast session has begun join the multicast and start caching multicast data. At the end of the multicast they ask their peers for the parts they missed.
To enable multicast in the Distribution and Patch agent setting
  1. Click Tools > Security and Compliance > Agent settings.
  2. In the Agent settings tree, right-click Distribution and Patch and click New, or double click an existing Distribution and Patch agent setting.
  3. On the Network settings page, select Use multicast. If necessary change the Delay. This is how long the device that volunteered to be a multicast domain representative for a task will wait before multicasting the distribution job to peers on its subnet.
  4. Save your changes.
  5. Devices already using the distribution agent setting you modified will receive your changes the next time they run the vulnerability scanner, usually within 24 hours.

    You can also create a new distribution agent setting and associate it with tasks that you want, temporarily overriding the device's default distribution setting. Do this from the task's Agent settings page.

Copying files to the local distribution cache folder

You have the option of copying one or more files to the local distribution cache folder. This doesn't install the file or do anything else with it. This can be useful when you know users will need to install a package soon and you don't want them to have to wait for the download.

To copy files to the local distribution cache folder
  1. Right-click package you want copied and click Create scheduled task.
  2. In the scheduled task window, right-click the task you created and click Properties.
  3. On the Task settings page in the Download options section, click Pre-cache (download for a future task or portal-initiated action).
  4. Finish scheduling the task.