The Sys Admin Guide to Preparing Deployments During Time-Off

So you’re going to be out of the office for a few days. With the coming holidays, you’re probably taking a few days off here and there at the end of this month. But you know the entire company is depending on you, sys admin. 

Often time off means playing catch-up when you get back. With a little planning you can keep on top of things and avoid the onslaught of catch-up work. So how do you make sure your computers stay up-to-date on their patches? 

Scheduling Deployments

Schedule out deployments throughout your time-off. Scheduling is also a great way to keep up on maintenance or just get deployments done during off-hours such as rebooting all machines in the evening. 

To schedule a deployment, you can either use one of the many packages in the Package Library or use your own package. You will need to have PDQ Deploy Pro mode or higher…so get  a 14-day trial license key to cover you over your time-off.

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In the tree on the left select the package you want to schedule and click Deploy > New Schedule. Then you’ll be at the scheduling window.

deployment scheduling window

First, you’ll want to make sure you set the schedule type. You can have your deployment go off once, or if you want to repeat a deployment (such as the reboot) you can have it set to deploy on an interval (every three days) or set it to run every Wednesday night, whatever your heart desires. You can even schedule deployments to go off when a computer comes online by using a Heartbeat Schedule.

Auto Deployments

What if another critical Flash update comes out while you’re on vacation? You can’t deploy something that hasn’t even come out yet…or can you? If a new update for an application in the Package Library comes out (such as Flash, Java, Chrome and so much more), you can set up PDQ Deploy to send that update out for you. You’ll come back in Monday morning and the work will already be done. 

To set up an Auto Deployment open your Package Library in the left tree and select package(s) to deploy. Click Add Auto Deployment > Create New Schedule.


Now that you have your schedule created, use the triggers tab to set what event you would like to trigger the deployment. Your options are similar to those found when scheduling a package (see above). Go through the other tabs to add deployment targets and to check your settings and make changes appropriate to your environment. 

Once you click ok, you’ll notice within Schedules tab sidebar an Approval setting which you can click to change between immediate, manually, or even on an automatic approval.

Auto_Deployments_-_Approval

Should a new updated package become available, based on your Approval Policy the newly updated package will be automatically put into your schedule.

You can also attach multiple deployments to the same schedule (double-click on an existing Auto Deployment schedules and click the Packages tab) or create a new schedule to stagger your deployment triggers if you desire. 

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Note: Note: While we stand behind our Package Library 100%, you may want to do a handful of test deployments before sending them out to all machines to ensure the newest application version will work in your particular environment.