Upgrading Inventory Beacons

IT Asset Management (Cloud)

Each upgrade to IT Asset Management also brings updates to the inventory beacons, and the process can be fully automated.

The cloud implementation of IT Asset Management is updated at least monthly. Each update for the central application server also delivers updates to the inventory beacon software designed to keep the two synchronized.
Tip: Upgrading your inventory beacons also automatically updates the FlexNet inventory core components installed on each inventory beacon and used for zero footprint inventory collection. However, this process does not upgrade:
  • FlexNet Inventory Agents installed locally on inventory targets (either through 'adoption' or third-party deployment) and collecting policy from an inventory beacon
  • Copies of the lightweight FlexNet Inventory Scanner that you deployed to custom locations.
For more information about authorizing upgrades to your FlexNet Inventory Agents, see Upgrading the FlexNet Inventory Agent.
If you have special requirements for managing upgrades of FlexNet Beacon on your inventory beacons, you can change the update rules. For example:
  • You may be satisfied to allow updates to be applied automatically to some (or all) of your inventory beacons. If you choose the fully automatic option, the inventory beacons update themselves silently and automatically.
  • Or you may require that, even for these subsystems, they must first be deployed to a test environment and then approved for production. If you choose to control the process manually, there are notifications to let you know when a new release of the inventory beacon software is available for testing and approval for use in production.
IT Asset Management gives you the flexibility to define global settings that apply to all your inventory beacons, or to manage exceptions (or manage every inventory beacon individually if you so choose).
Tip: Best practice is to set each individual inventory beacon to Always use the approved version (currently release-number). Then set your global preference to either of:
  • Always use the latest version (currently release-number) to allow fully automatic upgrades across your estate
  • The latest approved release of the inventory beacon software to manually approve each release.
After an upgrade, the inventory beacon resumes operation with its previous configuration settings, so that there is no need to re-register an upgraded inventory beacon.
Tip: Preserved configuration settings include custom locations that you may have created for individual stand-alone inventory beacons to use for their Distribution Folder (DATADIR). These custom settings are preserved in the registry through automatic or manual upgrades of the FlexNet Beacon software.

What happens during an upgrade?

  1. Once you approve an upgrade for the inventory beacon (or, for fully automatic upgrades, once a new version is available), the new software is downloaded from the central application server to the inventory beacon.
  2. The inventory beacon prevents new tasks being added to its to-do list. (This includes discovery, installing inventory agents, inventory collection, imports of business data, and so on.) It finishes any tasks that are currently running, keeping the upgrade as the lowest priority of its current to-do list.
  3. When the upgrade is ready to start, if the inventory beacon interface is open, an alert appears asking the operator to close the user interface. When the operator exits the user interface, the upgrade automatically resumes.
    Note: The upgrade cannot proceed while the user interface is open on the inventory beacon.
  4. The inventory beacon notifies the central application server that it is commencing the upgrade (Upgrade started (time-and-date)). You can see this status value in the properties for the individual beacon, by navigating to Discovery & Inventory > Beacons, and clicking Edit for the inventory beacon in question. You need to refresh the page to see subsequent changes in status.
  5. The inventory beacon triggers Windows Installer to update the software, preserving its current configuration information.
  6. When the update is completed successfully, the inventory beacon sends its Up to date status to the application server, re-opens its to-do list, and resumes normal operation. In contrast, if the upgrade failed:
    • Assuming that it is still functional, the inventory beacon uploads the status Upgrade failed (View details) (time-and-date).
    • The to-do list remains blocked (until the issue is resolved).
    • You cannot update the inventory beacon simply by making changes on the application server using the compliance browser. Instead, you can change the settings for this inventory beacon in the compliance browser, but you must then visit the inventory beacon and manually trigger its update (see Register an Inventory Beacon).

Migrating beacon connections

If you plan to migrate an inventory beacon to a new server, you need to take extra actions to migrate the beacon connections as well. As each beacon connection has a unique GUID, the new connections created on the migrated new beacon will have GUIDs different from the ones created on the old beacon, which will lead to duplicate licenses being created by both the old and new connections.

To avoid this issue, you can take either of the following approaches to properly migrate a beacon connection right after the inventory beacon is installed on the new server:
  • Approach A: Deleting the old connection and relinking contracts and purchase orders
    1. Delete the old connection. The contracts and purchase orders linked to the licenses gathered from the old connection will be lost.
    2. Relink contracts and purchase orders to the corresponding licenses gathered from the new connection.
  • Approach B: Editing the connection GUID
    Note: You will not need to relink contracts and purchase orders by taking this approach.
    1. On the new inventory beacon, disable the new connection. (See Disabling a Connection for instructions about how to disable a connection.)
    2. Delete the new connection. (See Inventory Data Tab for instructions about how to delete a connection.)
    3. On the old inventory beacon, find the GUID of the old connection in the config.xml file and record this GUID.
    4. Disable the old connection on the old inventory beacon.
    5. On the new inventory beacon, edit the config.xml file to replace the GUID of the new connection with the GUID of the old connection.
    6. Enable the old connection on the new inventory beacon. (You can enable a connection by scheduling it. See Scheduling a Connection. )

IT Asset Management (Cloud)