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Snapshot Intelligence overcomes a number of the disadvantages traditionally associated with snapshots. With Snapshot Intelligence, Ivanti Automation ensures that Job and Agent Histories always match the actual Agent state; and it remembers all the Jobs that it has executed on an Agent, even when they have become obsolete after the use of a snapshot. These Jobs are then made available to be reapplied. The most recent change path can be reapplied automatically, or another change path can be manually selected to be reapplied (providing it started from the snapshot moment).

Have the Agent's history automatically matched to their actual state

When snapshots are used as a backup and recovery mechanism, reverting to a snapshot returns the Agent to the state it was in when the snapshot was taken. Changes that were made after the snapshot moment were lost. This made it necessary to perform additional Jobs to get the Agent back to the state it was in immediately prior to the problem. When a snapshot is reverted, this often results in inconsistencies between the actual computer state and any tracked change history in a database. Snapshot Intelligence allows Ivanti Automation to detect when a snapshot has been applied on an Agent, and automatically changes that Agent's change history so that it once again matches the Agent's actual state.

Automatically reapply the last change path

You can configure Ivanti Automation to reapply the last change path automatically after a snapshot has been applied. This brings the computer back to its most recent state, rather than the state it had when you last created a snapshot. This effectively closes the time gap between the snapshot moment and the desired state to which the Agent needs to return.

Manually select a change path to be reapplied

Ivanti Automation remembers all change paths that have been implemented on an Agent, even after they have become obsolete. When an Agent has reverted to a snapshot, you can view previous change paths and reapply a change path of your choice. You can also save a change path as a new Module. These options make it possible to create a selection of target states, all based on the same snapshot as a starting point.

Manually choose additional Jobs to execute after reverting to snapshot

When you use snapshots as a backup and recovery mechanism, reverting to a snapshot returns an Agent to the state it was in when the snapshot was taken. Any changes that you made after the snapshot moment are lost. This makes it necessary to perform additional Jobs, to get the Agent back to the state it was in immediately prior to the snapshot moment.

Snapshot Intelligence makes it possible to reapply a set of Jobs that have become obsolete. This change path can be selected manually (on the Agent's Snapshot Intelligence tab), so that you can determine exactly which Jobs to reapply. This option also effectively allows you to switch between different Agent states, based on one snapshot starting point.

Automatically execute additional Jobs after reverting to snapshot

Ivanti Automation can be configured to automatically reapply the last change path, so that each Agent is brought back to its most recent state automatically. The Jobs effectively form an appendix to the snapshot. This is particularly useful in environments using disk virtualization (such as Provisioning Server), as it reduces the frequency with which the snapshots themselves need to be updated.

Configuration

  • Ivanti Automation always automatically matches Job and Agent Histories to the actual state of the Agents. No configuration is required.
  • The Global Setting When use snapshot is detected determines what Ivanti Automation will do when an Agent reverts to snapshot. You can make exceptions to this setting for specific Teams and Agents.
    • Enabled Snapshot processing: To manage snapshots and be able to revert the Agent to the same state as it had before the snapshot was taken, Ivanti Automation logs the change path of the Agent on its Snapshot Intelligence tab when the use of a snapshot is detected. The Job history of the Agent is cleaned up accordingly. This is the default setting. However, in environments in which it is not necessary to manage snapshots, for example in environments using disk virtualization (such as Citrix Provisioning Server), in which a snapshot of an Agent is created each time a user logs on, this behavior may not always be desirable. By clearing this option, you can disable the processing of detected snapshots.
    • When use of snapshot is detected: do nothing: Ivanti Automation will simply clean up the Histories, but will undertake no further action. This is the default setting. Before executing any new Jobs on the Agent, you can manually select a change path to reapply (on the Agent's Snapshot Intelligence tab). The selected change path can be any change path from the Agent's past, not necessarily the last one.
    • When use of snapshot is detected: Reapply last change path: Ivanti Automation will always reapply the last change path on an Agents on which a snapshot is detected. This brings the computer back to its most recent state, rather than the state it had when you last created a snapshot. This effectively closes the time gap between the snapshot moment and the desired state to which the Agent needs to return. This option is essential when applying changes to a standard image combined with disk virtualization. Normally, these changes are lost after rebooting the computer (i.e. the standard image will be reapplied by the use of disk virtualization).
    • Skip shutdown and reboot Tasks: these types of Tasks are excluded from any change path. This is necessary for Agents that boot from snapshot (read-only virtual disk), because otherwise they would end up in a loop. This option should be cleared on regular Agents on which software is installed, for example, because that will require a reboot.
  • All change paths that can be chosen from the current point in time are shown on the Change Tree tab on the Agent's Snapshot Intelligence tab. Change paths that do not follow on from the snapshot moment are not available for selection.
  • Manually selected change paths can be edited before being reapplied, so that specific Tasks or types of Tasks can be excluded.
  • On the Change Tree tab, use the button Toggle Change Path to select the beginning and end of the change path to be reapplied.
    • scissorsmarks a change set.
    • flag grey marks the current state of the agent.
    • Each Job is marked with a symbol indicating the Job status.
  • In the history of a specific Job, clear the option Show Agents that are marked obsolete for this Job by Snapshot Intelligence to hide Agents for which this Job has become obsolete because the Agent has reverted to a snapshot. This option is also available for query result overviews per Task.
  • When a change path has been selected to be reapplied, and the Tasks within that path have been selected or cleared, the selected Tasks can be saved as a Module for use at any time and on any Agent.
  • On the Change Tree tab, expand or collapse the entire change tree by right-clicking the column header Description and choosing Collapse all or Expand all.
  • Change paths consist of Ivanti Automation Jobs. Changes implemented outside of Ivanti Automation cannot be detected, nor reapplied.
  • There are three locations where you can see when snapshots were detected: on the Agent's Audit Trail tab, at Administration > Audit Trail (in the Description column), and on the Agent's Snapshot Intelligence tab under Used Snapshots.
  • The Snapshot Intelligence tab appears in the Agent Properties window when that Agent first reverts to a snapshot. After that, the tab remains visible.
  • Because of database changes, the Job History will become unavailable if you downgrade from Ivanti Automation 2015 to a lower version. As a result, Snapshot Intelligence change paths that were made in Ivanti Automation will become useless.

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