ServersNew Software Distribution Features in Topaz (Part 2)

New Software Distribution Features in Topaz (Part 2)

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by Dana Daugherty

Currently, there are 8
new software distribution features included with Topaz. This
is the second part of a two-part article that focuses on these
new features.

While this new version of SMS 2.0 is still
in beta, at this time the new Topaz software distribution
features include:

Currently, there are eight new software distribution features
included with Topaz, the new beta release of SMS 2.0. This the
second of a two-part article from Dana Daugherty that focuses on
these new features.

Delta replication. This new feature
provides the ability to automatically replicate only the
source package files that have changed. SMS 2.0 must
replicate a complete source folder when only one file is
modified. So for example: My package is 500 MB in size. I need
only to update a wrapper file with a size of 100 K. I have 50
distribution points, some connected by 128K WAN links. SMS 2.0
does not have the capability to only replicate the 100 K
wrapper file. It is all or nothing.  

Support for MSI packages. Windows
Installer (MSI) technology is the new standard in application
setup packaging. Msiexec.exe is a OS resident service that is
responsible for managing the installation of Windows Installer
package files. The package files use the .msi extension. SMS
2.0 did not do a good job of properly supporting MSI packages.
Microsoft took MSI package distribution into consideration
when developing Topaz.

Installer support features added in Topaz include:  

Package creation directly from .msi
. This functionality has actually been added to the
Create Package from Definition Wizard.  

Package elevation for MSI packages. The
Topaz desktop and mobile clients request that the operating
system run the MSI package with elevated rights. 

Mobile Client support. The mobile client
is designed for traveling and home-based users. Topaz contains
several features to support software distribution to traveling
and home-based users: 

Background Intelligent Transfer Service
BITS supports these features:

Download and execute. As it sounds, the
client downloads a complete package and then executes it
rather than attempting to execute it over a slow link.

Byte-level checkpoint restarts. This
feature allows clients that connect for a short, inconsistent
amount of time to begin downloading a package from the point
where the last byte was copied during the last download
session as opposed to starting over with the download.

Bandwidth throttling. The mobile client
adjusts its bandwidth usage based on what is available.
Supporting BITS features requires the following: 

Roaming is the ability for a mobile
client to be managed by a management point that is local to
the site the client is visiting. The mobile client requires
management points for sending and receiving information in
using Microsoft Message Queue Service (MMQS). The client can
then be directed to a local distribution point..

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