7.0 ZENworks Configuration Management Introduction

ZENworks Configuration Management (ZCM) is the part of the ZENworks product line that provides centralized configuration management together with imaging, reporting, and remote management of servers and workstations running Linux or Windows. It can also be used to deploy updates to managed devices (not to be confused with ZENworks Patch Management, that is only available for SUSE Linux Enterprise Servers (SLES) but not for Micro Focus Open Enterprise (OES)).

As most customers are using ZCM to mange their Windows desktops Micro Focus Consulting has decided to also use ZCM to configure and manage SLES systems as well as OES systems. While developing the solution special attention has been given to the following questions that typically arise in every project:

  • How to manage different patch levels (frozen patch level) across different staging areas such as test, development, and production?

  • How to incorporate Field Test Files into deployment and management?

  • How to efficiently manage a wide range of configuration settings across a large number of managed systems?

A ZENworks Management Zone (ZCM zone) is used to manage a set of devices and consists of one or more Primary Servers, optional Satellites, and managed devices.

Typically a single ZENworks Primary Server is sufficient to manage the SLES and OES systems in most customer environments and therefore the solution will be illustrated using a ZCM zone with a single ZCM 2020 server on SLES15 SP1. In case you should be using a ZENworks Management Zone with multiple Primary Servers we will discuss what needs to be considered in such a setup where applicable.

Whether or not ZENworks Satellite Servers are required depends on the WAN infrastructure and on what other systems the customer is managing with ZCM. These aspects are beyond the scope of this guide. Typically our solution integrates nicely in any well designed ZCM infrastructure.

When using ZCM to manage Linux devices some thought must be given to the question which structures to use to organize devices and bundles. Linux Bundles and Bundle Groups explains this in more detail and gives recommendations how to organize your ZCM zone.

Updates that are publicly available must be obtained from external sources such as the Micro Focus Customer Center or the SUSE Customer Center by means of subscriptions that result in update bundles being created in the ZENworks Management Zone. Field test files (FTF) provided by engineering to address a specific issue can also be incorporated in the solution.

Ultimately any bundle needs to be assigned to managed devices one way or another to deploy it to the devices.

Updates can either be distributed by a push process (distribution of updates predetermined by the ZCM server) or by a pull process (installation of updates initiated through the ZENworks Adaptive Agent (ZAA) from the system being updated). This is covered in more detail in Managing Pool Bundles, Update Bundles and Update Bundle Groups.

Configuration bundles can be used to easily deploy configuration files to managed devices such as the bindings file that is used to assign user-friendly names to shared disk devices in a multi-path environment.

More sophisticated configuration bundles can be used to modify existing configuration files using the “Edit Text File” actions available in ZCM. One example would be to add the configuration settings to the slp.conf file that are required to turn a server into a SLP Directory Agent.

“Run Script” actions can be used to implement even the most advanced configuration operations in ZCM. Managing Configuration Bundles and Configuration Bundle Groups gives an overview of the most important configuration bundles that are used in literally every Consulting project and how they are deployed.

The bundles discussed in this section are available at the CIF download site. This site also provides some input files for zman. Refer to How To Build Your Own Installation Framework to learn how to use these downloads to build and configure your ZCM zone.