You can use Desktop Central to complete different tasks like scanning for patches and inventory. However, to complete tasks like installing patches, changing the wallpaper of desktops in all the computers in your network, sending custom messages to users in your network, and installing software applications you must create configurations and deploy them to the computers in your network.
The following sections provide information required to configure various Windows-application settings, security settings, display settings, and firewall settings for Windows users and computers:
- Defining user configurations: This section provides information about various user-based configurations that you can deploy using Desktop Central and the steps to define them.
- Defining computer configurations: This section provides information about various computer-based configurations that you can deploy using Desktop Central and the steps to define them.
- Configuring collections: This section provides information about defining a collection of configurations and steps required to deploy them simultaneously to several users or computers.
- Defining targets: This section provides information about defining targets to which you want to deploy configurations or collections.
- Configuring execution settings: This section provides information about configuring execution settings while defining a configuration. Desktop Central enables you to automate the redeployment process through the Execution Settings option.
- Managing configurations and collections: This section provides information about managing defined configurations. It gives you information about the following:
- Various configuration statuses displayed on the Desktop Central server
- Modifying configurations or collections
- Viewing the status of the defined configurations or collections
- Suspending deployment
- Resuming suspended deployments
- Viewing configuration reports: This section provides information about viewing a detailed report about configurations that you define and deploy using Desktop Central. You can also view the status of each configuration in this report.
- Viewing system-uptime reports: This section provides the details of uptime and downtime of computers during a specific period.
Configurations can be defined for computers or users. You can define a configuration from scratch or use predefined configuration templates. You can also create a group of configurations and deploy them as a collection.
Defining configurations is a four-step process. It comprises the following steps:
- Enter a name and description for the configuration
- Define the configuration. This includes setting the following:
- Package settings
- Deployment settings
- Define a target
- Configure execution settings
After you define a configuration, you must apply it to specific computers in your network.
When you deploy a configuration using Desktop Central, the configuration settings along with the required files will be stored in the Desktop Central server. Desktop Central agents, which are installed in the client computers in your network, will contact the Desktop Central server to collect this information and apply the configurations to specific client computers. The agents will contact the server during the following intervals to collect the required information:
- User-specific configurations: When a user logs on and every 90 minutes thereafter till the user logs out of the domain
- Computer-specific configurations: When a computer is started and every 90 minutes thereafter till the system is shut down
Re-applying Failed Configurations
When you deploy a configuration to client computers, the deployment could fail in a few computers due to various reasons. In such cases, you can re-deploy the configuration. Desktop Central enables you to automate the redeployment process through the Execution Settings option. This option enables you to do the following:
- Specify whether you want the agent to try to apply this configuration in the computers in which the deployment of the configuration failed
- Choose the number of times you want the agent to try deploying a configuration. You can also specify how many times, out of the number of times that you have specified, you want the configuration to be deployed when:
- Users log on
- Computers complete the 90-minute refresh cycle
Based on the specified input, configurations will be re-deployed on the computers on which the deployment failed till either of the following takes place:
- Deployment is successful
- Maximum retry count is reached
You can change the retry count using the Change Retry Count button. However, this button is not visible in the summary of suspended configurations. For more information, see Defining Execution Settings
Desktop Central does not take backup of the settings that you make when you create configurations. Therefore, it is very important that you remember the settings you have made. In most cases, you cannot revert the configuration. However, you can modify the settings that you had made earlier and re-deploy the configuration.
You can modify configurations and re-deploy them in the following scenarios:
- Assume that you have deployed a configuration to install a software application. You can revert and change it to enable uninstallation of the software application. You must modify the configuration by changing the following:
- Operation type from Install to Uninstall
- Type of package
The package must have an uninstall string.
- When you want to revert a configuration related to a security policy, you can modify the policy and change the settings as required. For example, assume that you have created a configuration to disable the option to change the wallpaper on the desktop of a computer. You can modify the configuration and change the policy to enable the option to change the wall paper, before re-deploying the policy.