Adopted: Specifying an Installed Agent Upgrade

IT Asset Management (Cloud)

If the FlexNet Inventory Agent has been deployed automatically through inventory beacons, it manages its own self-updates to align with the version currently specified as part of the policy downloaded to all managed devices. Use the procedure described in this topic to define which version is authorized for use on specified platforms.

Even when there is an update to the central application server, the upgrade mechanism for FlexNet Inventory Agents is turned off. This permits operators with Administrator level rights the freedom to manage the upgrade of deployed FlexNet Inventory Agents independently of upgrades to other parts of the system.

Keep in mind that the self-update mechanism works either way:
  • In the most common case, if you specify a later version for FlexNet Inventory Agent than the one currently running on a target inventory device, you are specifying an upgrade.
  • If you specify an earlier version for FlexNet Inventory Agent than the one currently running on a target inventory device, you are specifying a downgrade. This mechanism can be used to roll back a version of FlexNet Inventory Agent, if this ever becomes necessary.
Tip: Instances of FlexNet Inventory Agent installed on platforms that you do not select are unchanged through policy, and remain at their current installed versions, neither upgraded nor downgraded.
Because non-selected platforms are completely unaffected by the current setting, you can use (and re-use) these controls to work through scenarios such as:
  • Release version X to Windows devices when the team administering Windows has completed their testing. Weeks later perhaps, when the Linux team finishes their testing, a new setting on this page authorizes version X for the Linux platform, while other platforms are unaffected.
  • You roll out a new version across all platforms, but then find an issue affecting only Solaris platforms. A setting that selects only the two Solaris platforms, and chooses an earlier, known good version of FlexNet Inventory Agent, automatically rolls back the FlexNet Inventory Agent on all devices running Solaris. Later, when a new version is available that addresses the issue, you can authorize that repaired version for the Solaris platforms, as well as for any other platforms you wish.
You may change these settings frequently to manage scenarios like the above; but in general, you should leave an interval of at least 48 hours between changes, and longer if you have devices with intermittent connectivity (such as notebooks carried by road warriors). This allows time for each specification to complete this roll-out process:
  1. Each inventory beacon, by default, checks every 15 minutes for policy updates and any related installation packages. If you have a hierarchy of inventory beacons, new files must trickle down from one to the next.
  2. Each installation of FlexNet Inventory Agent checks at a random time once every 12 hours for any policy updates. Of course, mobile devices that are away from the office may need to wait for a return to full connectivity.
  3. On affected platforms, FlexNet Inventory Agent must download any necessary installation packages, self-update, and resume operations.
  4. On your global schedule, each FlexNet Inventory Agent collects and uploads inventory from connected devices.
  5. Overnight (by default), there is a full inventory import and compliance calculation.
  6. Thereafter you can check deployed versions in the FlexNet Inventory Agent Status page (Inventory > Inventory > FlexNet Inventory Agent Status).
Tip: This inventory setting grants permission (through policy) to the FlexNet Inventory Agents to perform self-upgrades or downgrades to the specified version. The setting, therefore, can only be put into effect on those platforms where the FlexNet Inventory Agent includes self-update functionality. Currently, FlexNet Inventory Agents on Debian or Ubuntu Linux do not include self-update functionality. On these platforms, you can do any of:
  • Deploy new versions of FlexNet Inventory Agent manually
  • Use your preferred third-party deployment tool to publish updates to FlexNet Inventory Agents
  • Uninstall the old version(s) of FlexNet Inventory Agent, and once again target the devices for adoption through IT Asset Management.
For supported platforms, the available controls in the web interface let you choose a method of management ranging from preventing self-updates entirely, through specifying the version to run on each platform type, to allowing continuous updates to the latest version.
Tip: If you are adopting a UNIX-like server for Oracle inventory gathering by the installed FlexNet Inventory Agent, be sure to set the version of FlexNet Inventory Agent to 13.0.1 or later for this platform type. Earlier releases of the FlexNet Inventory Agent may fail to collect Oracle inventory on servers where permissions prevent global access to Oracle directories or files.

To specify the required version of FlexNet Inventory Agent on selected platforms:

  1. Go to the Inventory Settings page (Data Collection > IT Assets Inventory Tasks > Inventory Settings).
    The Inventory Settings page is displayed, provided that your operator account is in the administrator group.
  2. Scroll down to the Inventory agent for automatic deployment section.
  3. For Upgrade mode, choose one of the following:
    • Do not upgrade automatically — There are no automated self-upgrades of FlexNet Inventory Agent on any platform. You take responsibility for upgrades using separate technologies or methods. With this choice, you may click Save immediately.
    • Upgrade selected platforms to specific version — With this choice, additional controls are revealed. Continue with the following steps.
  4. For Version to deploy, set the target version of FlexNet Inventory Agent that should be used for upgrades on the platforms you will select next:
    • nn.nn.nn (latest) — The most recent release available on the application server is marked with (latest) in brackets. Only on the platforms you select in the next control, the FlexNet Inventory Agent self-upgrades to the latest version once this has been downloaded to an accessible inventory beacon.
    • nn.nn.nn — All upgrade packages currently available on the application server are listed. You may select any version, later or earlier than one currently deployed on target inventory devices running the operating systems you target in Platform options.
  5. For Platform options, select (check) at least one, or several, or all of the available platforms.
  6. When you are satisfied with your settings, click Save.
Your changes are saved in the compliance database, overwriting the previous settings. The roll-out of your new specification starts, as described above. This new policy setting is directed only to your selected platforms, leaving other platforms with their previous settings saved locally on the inventory devices, but no longer visible in the web interface.

IT Asset Management (Cloud)