Just in case you missed part one in this series you may want to go back and check it out for a little background info on what this is all about.
This is part two of a multi-part blog. In later blogs I will go into more detail about how Normalize CM is beneficial. In this, the second of the series, I am going to walk you through installing Normalize CM in what BDNA refers to as a complex hierarchy. By “complex” they mean what just about all of us have in the real world. Part one showed how to install in a simple, likely a lab, environment. Of course, what fun is running a cool product like this in a lab? Go ahead and install in production, doing so is fully supported by BDNA and if you decide you don’t like it there’s a clean uninstaller.
In this post I am going to attempt to cover as many various install scenarios as possible in a single blog post. There’s no way I will possibly cover each and every various setup that may be out there. For this blog I am going to assume you have a multi-tiered SCCM 2007 environment with a central site and at least one child primary site. For the most part I am covering this as if SQL is installed locally on the central site but I will touch on remote SQL as well. I can’t fully demo remote SQL because I do not have it.
If this doesn’t help you get everything up and running hit me up offline and I can get you in touch with a technical resource that can get the help you need.
Obviously the first thing you need to do is download the installation media. You can get that from http://sccm.bdna.com/ The demo version allows you to normalize up to 1000 clients.
Once you have to download go ahead and run the installer, I suggest doing so on your central site server.
On the first two screens simply click next and “I agree” to the standard licensing agreements that come with all software. After you agree to the license terms you are prompted for an install location. Personally I never install anything in the default C:\Program Files\… so I just select E:\BDNA but I’m sure if you are reading this you know where you want to install software on your server.
Now to the good stuff. On the 4th screen you will see a list of pre-reqs that will be installed if needed. This is where some people start getting a little confused. Being that we are utilizing SCCM data we already have SQL running somewhere, likely even on the server we are installing Normalize on, so I suggest you select “Use Existing SQL server”. If you do not the installer will automatically install SQL express which I wouldn’t recommend doing on your SCCM site server.
The next screen will ask for your registration info. BDNA most likely sent you that when you registered to download the demo but just in case you don’t have it handy you can request it from this screen. It’s important that you enter the company name and activation key exactly like they were sent to you from BDNA. I believe this is case sensitive.
Next you will be asked to download the catalog. This is the heart of Normalize CM. It uses the Technopedia catalog that BDNA has been compiling for years in order to normalize over 190,000 software titles and 200,000 hardware models. The catalog download can take several minutes, you may want to go get a cup of coffee while you wait. Once you have completed the catalog download proceed to the next step which will simply ask you to create a new database or use existing. Being that this is a new install select create a new database and click next.
If you read part one of this series, about now, you are probably saying to yourself, “He’s told us all of this before.” You are correct, I have told you all of this before in the previous post. At this point things start to get a little different.
This step asks where to create the BDNA database. This is the database that contains the contains the normalize matching engine and the encrypted catalog.
As I stated earlier I am assuming you have SQL locally on your SCCM central site server. If you have remote SQL that’s fine too. You will need to have rights to create a SQL database on the SQL server. I know that can be tricky for some of you who have to deal with DBA’s but BDNA does give you the option the install SQL express.
You should enter your SQL server name here. You’ll also need to enter user credentials of an account that has rights to create the SQL database. Lastly you need to enter an account that has access to SCCM. You can use your SCCM Admin account if you’d like. In my case I’m just using a service account that I use for many various tasks in SCCM. Proceed to the next screen.
Here you’ll need to enter the name of your central site server. If you have roles split across multiple servers enter the server that has the SMS provider installed. The user account on this screen should have has local admin rights on that server. You can most likely use the same SCCM Admin or service account used in the previous step.
The next screen should be automatically populated with all of the info it needs. You should simple use the “test” button to verify everything is working before proceeding.
Now you going to be presented with the server configuration page. There’s a lot going on here but don’t get intimidated. It’s not difficult really, this is how BDNA is making the solution fit into any SCCM environment.
The first thing you’ll need to do is click “install certificate” and follow the simple instructions there to install the BDNA certificate file into the SCCM console. This step needs to be performed locally on each primary site server. It can’t be done from the console connected to the central site server. You can simply leave setup on this screen, hop over into the SCCM console, import the certificate and come back to this setup.
After you have the certificate(s) installed and you are back at the server configuration screen you simply select your central site and validate the settings as shown here.
This is where things can get a bit confusing. Since we don’t have clients at this central site we won’t select to normalize it. Once you’ve validated the settings on the central site do the same for the primary site(s). The click “Install Selected Servers”
Once everything is “done” here you can proceed to the last step of the installer.
On this step the installer is simply letting you know what it’s about to do. You just need to execute it and wait. It can take quite awhile for this step to complete. You’ll see it making progress along the way. Once it has completed setup gives you a nice little message letting you know it’s done.
Now that setup has completed the Normalize CM console is automatically opened. It’s here that you’d setup a schedule to normalize your data. I do it each night. On the first run Normalize can be fairly intensive on your server so I’d suggest you do that off hours if possible. On subsequent normalizations only deltas are processed so the load is much lower.
It’s also on this screen where licensed users can schedule catalog sync. That’s not available in the demo version. From what I’ve seen BDNA updates the catalog several times per week.
That’s all there is to it. Look for my upcoming blogs that will detail how the normalized data has made my job as an SCCM Admin easier.