How does managed client consume a Patch Management Solution license for 7.5, 7.6, 8.0, 8.1.x, and 8.5.x?

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Article ID: 180699

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Updated On:

Products

Patch Management Solution for Windows Management Platform (Formerly known as Notification Server)

Issue/Introduction

For other solution licensing, see the Altiris Licensing - Technical FAQ

Resolution

Client runs the initial 'Windows System Assessment Scan,' creating the STPatchAssessment.log file and sends the Patch Inventory back to the SMP for processing.Patch Management requires the Altiris Agent download and install the following to function properly:

  • Software Update Plug-in: Patch Agent
  • Patch Install Tools: Contains additional tools and libraries for custom actions used by patch installation
    • Package downloaded from SolutionSam.com during the Import Patch Data for Windows (PMImport) download
    • Package Guid: 832C527C-B9C9-46FB-B1F1-2F35434FF90D
  • Windows System Assessment Scan: Patch Management inventories gathered on the client and returned to the Management Server
    • Package downloaded from SolutionSam.com during the Import Patch Data for Windows (PMImport) download
    • Package Guid: 6D417916-467C-46A7-A870-6D86D9345B61

License consumption:

  • Target the Client with the 'Software Update Plug-in Install' policy
  • The Software Update Plug-in installed on the Client and 'Send Basic Inventory' returns the plug-in is in place.
  • The SMP targets the client for deployment of the 'Patch Windows System Assessment Scan' package download
    • The scan process provides the Client the STPatchAssement.xml, the catalog.xml files and other files needed for scanning 
    • These necessary files are created, along with several other needed files, on the Client in the default install directory: C:\Program Files\Altiris\Altiris Agent\Agents\SoftwareManagement\Software Delivery\{6D417916-467C-46A7-A870-6D86D9345B61}\cache
  • This initial returned scan pulls a license from the node pool from Patch Management Solution for the Client.
  • The 'Patch Install Tools' package is downloaded/refreshed upon Software Update Cycle initiation during the Applying_Updates stage
  • Note: The Altiris Agent may have the Software Update Plug-in installed, but if the Windows System Assessment Scan package is not completely downloaded and running, then no license will be allotted and Patch Inventories will not be processed from that client. Additionally, if the Patch Install Tools package is not able to download; the Software Update Cycle will not proceed and the updates will return to Scheduled status having not been executed.

License count exceeded: Clients that have pulled a valid license will continue to return Patch Inventories. However, newly added clients will not return Patch Inventories if they do not have a valid license.

License Annual Upgrade Protection (AUP) expiration: Pre-existing software bulletins, listed in the Patch Remediation Center (PRC) will be available for enabling and deployment of their related software updates. The Notification Server will no longer be able to download updated versions of the PMImport.cab file. Software update policies and inventory rule scans will continue to function. However, it will not be possible to obtain updates for new bulletins and their corresponding inventory rules due to the inability to update the pmimport.cab. If a newer version of the solution is installed, it will not function until AUP is renewed.

  • Note for versions 8.5 RU2, RU3, and RU4: "Software Update Installation" tasks can not be scheduled to managed client computers while the AUP is expired - patching is possible only using distributed Patch Update policies
  • See Sample client jobs with a Windows Software Update Installation task for more information on using jobs and tasks to deploy software updates with pre and post installation task options.

License recovery: Retired computers will release a license. 

  • Go to the Console > Manage > Computers > All Computers, or other Filter housing the Client
  • Highlight the Client > Right-click > Edit; change Asset's Status drop down to Retired
  • Select Apply and then OK
  • Wait for the 'NS.Internal Licensing Refresh Item' scheduled task to run, or run manually on the SMP Server, for that will refund the licenses

Advisory: All managed clients will continue to utilize a Patch License, for the product is coded that managed clients could potentially be patched in the future. 

  • If the Software Update Plug-in was inadvertently deployed, and the Patch License needs to be recovered; work through the following:
    • Target the client(s) with the Software Update Plug-in Uninstall Policy and ensure it is ON - Scheduled for ASAP and daily
    • Allow for the Software Update Plug-in to be uninstalled 
    • Go to the Console > Manage > Computers; delete the client(s) that hold a Patch License to be freed up
    • Allow for the client(s) to Update Configuration and check back into the SMP to return current Inventory and retrieve current licenses for other solutions.

Note: If the Client needs to be managed, yet the license needs to be refunded, work through the following:

  • Run the Software Update Plug-in Uninstall to the desired Client and ensure it doesn't get targeted for the Software Update Plug-in Install
  • Delete the Client from the Console > Manage > Computer > All Computers
  • Allow for the Client's Send Basic Inventory to run and that will repopulate the Client and restore management; however, the historical task and other archived data will be lost

Troubleshooting Licensing Issues: Patch Management Licensing and Client Inventories fail to return to the Notification Server