Troubleshooting distribution failures

Software distribution lets you 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, you could cause problems for thousands of devices at once. When planning a deployment using software distribution, take care to not overwhelm the help desk.

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, let the software sit 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 on the variety of devices the enterprise has and the load your help desk can handle.

In the console, the right panel in the Scheduled tasks window displays the task status. If you click Failed under the task, you can see devices that failed the job and the resulting messages and logs. The status and errors are logged to the following files:

  • If the error occurred while attempting to access the package, the error is logged in the AICLIENT.LOG file.
  • If the error occurred while processing the package (for example, copying files), the error is logged in the INST32.LOG file.
  • The SDCLIENT.LOG file contains general summary information about each installation request received from the core server.

These log files are stored on each device.

For more information see this community article: How to troubleshoot a software distribution job.