Unattended Installation of Inventory Beacons

IT Asset Management (Cloud)
You can arrange for installation of inventory beacons by another person, or by your preferred deployment method. You can install inventory beacons by physically interacting on the beacon machine itself, as described in Installing an Inventory Beacon. But you may need a highly repeatable process; or if the inventory beacon is located a long way away, you may subcontract the actual installation to another party, or you may need to set up for automated installation using your preferred deployment and installation tools. This procedure allows those possibilities.
Tip: Remember that installation of an inventory beacon requires administrator privileges.
You can make your preparations from any convenient computer, using your web browser logged into IT Asset Management.

To configure unattended installations for inventory beacons:

  1. In the web interface for IT Asset Management, navigate to Discovery & Inventory > Beacons.
    The Beacons page lists all available inventory beacons so far registered in your system.
  2. Click Configure a beacon.
    The Configure a Beacon page appears.
  3. Does this inventory beacon connect directly to the central application server, or does it report to another inventory beacon in your hierarchy?
    • If this inventory beacon reports to the central application server, skip the Parent beacon field, ensuring that it is empty.
    • If this inventory beacon reports to another inventory beacon in your hierarchy, identify that higher beacon in the Parent beacon field:
    1. If you already know its name, enter (part of) the name in the field; but if you are not sure, leave the field blank.
    2. Click Search.
      A fly-down lists the available inventory beacons (matching your text entry, if you used one).
    3. Ensure that the appropriate parent beacon is selected (with the check box on its left end), and click Select.
      The inventory beacon name appears in the Parent beacon control.
  4. Click Generate a unique ID.
    A new identification code for the beacon appears in the Unique ID field. This ID is automatically assigned to the beacon as it is installed, later.
    Tip: This scenario, preparing for unattended installation, is the only scenario where this Generate a unique ID button is used. In all other cases, the beacon's UID is created within the installation process, and is supplied to this page through the registration process.
  5. In the Name field, add a friendly name by which you would like to identify this new beacon in future lists in IT Asset Management.
  6. Choose an Upgrade mode for this beacon. You can manage the future upgrade behavior of each inventory beacon individually by choosing from:
    • Always use the latest version (currently versionNumber)Future upgrades (after 2014 R2) to the central application server also deliver updated inventory beacon software to match. With this option, that updated FlexNet Beacon software is automatically deployed to this beacon (wherever it may be in the hierarchy), and it will automatically update itself at that time. (Notice that this setting overrides any global limit, for which see the next option.)
    • Always use the approved version (currently versionNumber)A global limit to the version of the inventory beacons for production use can be set in the Beacon settings section of the Inventory Settings page, by choosing an option for Beacon version approved for use. (Notice that this global preference can also be set to Always use the latest version (currently versionNumber). When that is selected in the web interface, on inventory beacons, the first two of these choices are identical in effect.)
    • Do not upgrade automatically — This inventory beacon will sit at its current installed version until you return to this page and change this option.
    • Choose a specific version — When you select this, an additional Specific version control appears. Use this to choose from the versions available on the central application server.
  7. For Configuration status, select Enabled for normal operation.
    Tip: With this control, selecting Disabled stops the inventory beacon executing the centrally-determined rules for discovery and inventory gathering by remote execution or with installed FlexNet inventory agents. Other beacon functionality, such as downloading updated rules and settings, collecting and uploading third-party inventory, Active Directory data, or business information (in short, any connections defined on the inventory beacon itself), continue unchanged.
  8. Click Download configuration.
  9. Use the web browser dialog to save the configuration file to a convenient location.
    It is best practice not to rename the configuration file, which is named for the ID generated for each individual inventory beacon.
  10. Optionally, you may transmit the configuration file to the person who can attend the remote inventory beacon, telling them to download the installer for the inventory beacon (as described below) and run the command line shown below for automation.
  11. Optionally, for unattended (automated) installation, use the following to prepare your preferred installation tool or method:
    1. In the Discovery & Inventory menu, under the Network group, select Beacons.
    2. Click Deploy a beacon.
      The Deploy a Beacon page appears. Ensure that the default Download a beacon section of the page is open.
    3. Click Download a beacon.
    4. Use the web browser dialog to save the inventory beacon installer to a convenient directory on your computer.
    5. The values that a human operator would enter in the installation wizard may be recorded in an answer file for unattended installation. Each unique set of answers must be in a separate answer file. This means you are likely to have a distinct answer file for installation of each inventory beacon. You may name the answer file by any convention you choose, but consider including the UID for the inventory beacon it matches. For more information about the answer file, see Answer File for Unattended Installations.
    6. Prepare your chosen installation technology to download the following to the proposed inventory beacon:
    7. Have your installer execute the following command line, with your actual values after deployment substituted for the placeholders:
      InstallBeacon.ps1 path\beaconInstaller path\answerFile path\configFile
      Note: Enclose any path and file name that contains white space in double quotation marks. The parameters are space separated and of course the order is critical. If you download all files to the same folder, no path details are required. If any files are in separate folders, the absolute path including the drive name must be specified.
  12. If a child inventory beacon requires credentials to contact its parent inventory beacon, these must be entered in the FlexNet Beacon interface. (Any inventory beacons that upload to the central application server must have this configuration specified in the web interface of IT Asset Management, and collect details from the downloaded configuration file.)
  13. In the web interface for IT Asset Management, monitor the list of inventory beacons for a status change on this inventory beacon, from Never reported to Operating normally.
If you define rules in the web interface that affect the subnet managed by this inventory beacon, it automatically performs the actions and uploads the results. If you have other requirements of this beacon, such as connecting to third party inventory sources, or importing business information, these connections must be configured through the inventory beacon interface.

IT Asset Management (Cloud)