How to Setup Location Awareness in CA Client Automation (formerly CA IT Client Manager)

Document ID : KB000029045
Last Modified Date : 14/02/2018
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Background:   

Location Awareness is used to point your agents to a local Scalability Server based on factors like IP Address and priority.

Reasons to Use:

  • For network traffic optimization, you may want machines pointing to the closest Scalability Server.
  • Redundancy; if one SS is down you can point your agents to a 2nd SS automatically.
  • Load balancing; to control how many machines report into various Scalability Servers (SS)

Typical Asset Focus:

  • Laptops that travel between facilities or outside of your corporate office.
  • Machines set up at a central location and then deployed to different areas of the company as needed where a new IP address will be in effect.
  • Machines deployed for the first time in a new local environment.

History:

Before CA IT Client Manager (ITCM) version 12.8 was released, Location Awareness was only implemented via custom external scripts provided and supported by CA technical Services professionals.

Starting with ITCM release 12.8,  Location Awareness is part of the Base product in Configuration Policies and is supported by CA technical Support.

 

Implementation:

Location Awareness is set up using Configuration Policies located in the DSM Explorer under (Control panel > Configuration > Configuration Policy >'Policy Name')

The policy settings can be configured at the Enterprise Manager (EM) level and replicated down to all Domain Managers (DMs) or created locally on DMs.

They can be implemented as part of the 'Default Computer Policy', however Support recommends creating one or more custom policies to do this .

These policies can be applied generically to computer/dynamic groups (preferred) or individual machines rather than just to the 'all computers' group. In fact, most large implementations will never put these policies on the 'All Computers' group as no Domain Manager or Scalability Server machines should ever have this type of policy applied to it because it's invalid to redirect a Domain or Scalability Servers' agent anywhere but to itself. (Enterprise servers are treated like agents in this case since Enterprise Managers do not have their own Scalability Server built in and their agents MUST report elsewhere).

 

PROCEDURE:

1.  Right-click on Configuration Policy and select New Policy

Give the Policy a name and save it (for this Techdoc the policy will be called 'Location Awareness')

Expand the policy you have created and browse to the following location:

Location Awareness > DSM > Agent > Common Agent > Common > Location Awareness

Policy.jpg

 

2.   Enable Location Location Awareness - change the Enabled Value from False to True.

 

3.   Click on the Locations 

          This will open a New Window :

modify.jpg

 

4.   From the Modify Settings Windows select Add Row

      This will highlight a row and let you start adding data.

      To add data you can do it 2 ways:

  •    Double click on a column location
  •    Right-Click on a column location and select 'Modify'

 

What the different columns are for :

         ?  Location Name  -      The name of Location Awareness Rule , can be any name, but should be meaningful. (example Scalability Name/Wireless/Priority)

         ?  Priority -                  Location Awareness allows the same Address Range to be pointed to different SS's, in case the 1st SS's is not contactable, so the

                                            priority tells the IP Range which SS to try first, second, third....etc.  Priority has to be set between 1-9999, with 1 being the highest

                                            priority.

         ?  Address Range   -     Allows you to select a range of IP address.  ** Warning - Many companies have one range for Wired and a separate one for Wireless

                                           and/or VPN ** 

         ?  Scalability Server-    The Scalability Server (or Domain Manager) that you want the agent pointed to. 

         ?  Subnet Scan   -       A subnet to look for a Scalability Server to point the agent to. (if this is used it will ignore the Scalability Server field).

         ?  Script -                   Name of the DMS script to run that will figure out what Scalability Server the agent should be pointed to.)

 

 NOTE: Most of the time you will use several of these items, but never all of them in one line.

 

5.  Keep adding Rows until you have all your locations/subnets/ranges specified.

       You might want to have a default location(for example the DM)  for any machines that don't fall into any other rule or for future safety if subnets are added.

       To accomplish this, set the Address Range to * and the priority to 99999(the lowest priority), and Scalability Server name the Domain Manager

       name, then you can check the  agents that subsequently point to this machine and see if a a new Rule needs to be created to move them elsewhere.        

6.  Once you have completed the policy, Seal it and Apply to whatever Group/machine(s) you want and it will begin working for all assets it's applied to (via group

        inheritance or via direct application) as soon as the policy is applied.

  • Location Awareness policy should be applied to a group of 'Agent only' machines
  • Location Awareness policies should NEVER be applied to any Domain Manager or  Scalability Server systems as it could break them. The best way to avoid this is to always apply these policies to computer groups that have queries attached (Dynamic Groups) which exclude any machine if it is a Domain Manager or Scalability Server in addition to any other criteria you define.
  • If your agents are centrally managed to Scalability Servers (Via other Configuration Policies leveraging the 'Set ServerAddress' setting), Location Awareness will not change their locations. This is by design. 

 

Example:

  L2Rules.jpg

This example  has 5 Rules using Location-Name:  Location-Wired(W)/Wireless(WL)-Scalability Name, but you can select any name you want for your company.

  • Location1-WL-SS1        
  • Location2-W-SS3
  • Fallback
  • Location1-WL-SS2
  • Location2-W-SS4

 

For Wireless machines in Location 1 with a IP Range of 141.202.1.*: 

Do to the priority setup, they will attempt to contact Scalibility1 (priority 1) ,

if that fails they will try Scalability2 (priority 10) and then if that fails they will try The Fallback Server(priority 99999) (in this case the DM)

 NOTE: The fact that the machines are wireless is technically irrelevant; that differentiation is purely arbitrary based on a pretend environment where only wireless machines exist in that IP range.

 

For Wired machines in Location 2 with IP Range 151.203.5.*

Do to the priority setup, they will attempt to contact Scalibility3(priority 1) ,

if that fails they will try Scalability4 (priority 10) and then if that fails they will try The Fallback Server(priority 99999) (in this case the DM) 

  NOTE: The fact that the machines are wired is technically irrelevant; that differentiation is purely arbitrary based on a pretend environment where only hard wired machines exist in that IP range.

 

All other Ranges:

Any machines not in any other Range will go try the Fallback Scalability server(in this case the Domain Manager).

  

FAQ's

  •   Location Awareness activation should be immediate upon application since it is handled by configuration policies.
  •   There is a 100 rule limit in ITCM by default, but Techdoc TEC619043 explains how to extend that limit