Desktop Management Tools
IT Helpdesk and Desktop Support utilizes Microsoft's System Center for remote management of PC's and also utilizes Casper Suite for Macs. These tools help provide for image deployment, software installations, remote management, patch management, reporting and other administrative tasks. System Center is covered under the Campus Agreement and therefore comes at a reduced cost. Casper Suites is funded by the IT Division and TFAC.
Updates and Patches
Desktop Support will assist you in keeping your computer patched by deploying updates through the management tools.
The IT Division is utilizes a third party patch management solution. This product installs Windows, Mac, and individual application (e.g. Adobe Reader, browsers) updates. It also allows computers taken off campus to be automatically updated remotely. Commercial vendors and the open source community routinely publish security patches and this system allows us to protect lab and office computers more effectively from vulnerabilities.
Things you will notice on your machine:
Windows computers – a shield with the letter P will be present in the lower task tray
Macs - the top ribbon bar will have the shield with a letter P located by the time
Computers will automatically power-on most nights for updates
How often will your machine be updated?
- It depends on how frequently updates are available from manufactures and open source communities
- Most patches will be deployed automatically over three nights after a day or so of testing. This approach allows us to monitor patch rollouts to help ensure the whole campus is not impacted by a poorly engineered update
Here is an example of the sequencing based on Microsoft’s typical Patch Tuesday cycle:
- First phase of patches goes to machines that end with the number 9 (e.g. SUxxxx-xxxx9) on Thursday night (technically early Friday morning)
- Second phase would be installed on the Sunday night (technically early Monday morning) to computers that end in 2 and all of QBB managed machines (e.g. SUxxxx-xxxx2, SU025xxx-xxxxx)
- Final phase will be on Monday night (technically early Tuesday morning) for the rest of campus
For any questions or concerns please feel free to contact the Helpdesk.
Management tools will be used by ITS groups to remote control customers computers. This allows both the technician and the customer to see the screen, enabling better and quicker customer service. Permission from the customer will be obtained before a remote control session is started.
While a remote control session is in progress on Windows, an information-bar is displayed letting the customer know that a session is underway and who is controlling their computer.
While a remote control session is in progress on a Mac, a small 'Sharing' icon will be displayed on the menu bar.
System Center has a "Software Center" program that will allow customers to install certain applications and patches. To access: Start - All Programs - System Center 2012 - Software Center
Casper Suite has a "Self Service" program that ill allow customers to install certain applications. To access: Go - Applications - Self Service