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Configuring Central Server - PDQ Deploy

Purpose:
You wish to configure the Central Server feature introduced in PDQ Deploy 13 (requires an Enterprise license). If you are upgrading an existing installation and you have enabled the sharing feature, please read this article first for migration information: Sharing Has Been Superseded By The New Central Server Feature. If you will be converting an existing PDQ Deploy console to Client Mode and have custom packages on that console’s repository and database, please read this article first: Central Server: Migrating Existing Installations that use Custom Packages (pay special attention to the warning in the Purpose statement of that document).

Resolution:
There are three available options when configuring PDQ Deploy:

  1. Local Mode: a standalone console of PDQ Deploy with the repository installed on the same machine, using its own local database. This is the normal installation used in previous versions of PDQ Deploy.
  2. Server Mode: a console of PDQ Deploy used to house the central database and repository. Consoles in Client Mode will connect to this machine through a TCP port.
  3. Client Mode: the console(s) of PDQ Deploy used to connect to the Server’s database and repository. No repository or local database is installed on this machine.

Configuring Central Server will be covered in the following topics:

Feature Overview
Setting up PDQ Deploy Server Mode
Setting up PDQ Deploy Client Mode

Post Installation Addenda:
Important Menu Changes
Background Service and Credentials


Feature Overview:
Central Server addresses the need to share packages between PDQ Deploy consoles by creating a server/client relationship. In this model, the PDQ Deploy consoles in Client Mode initiate all deployments, post-deployment notifications, and Wake-on-LAN events on the PDQ Deploy console running in Server Mode, using the Server’s database and repository. The PDQ Deploy console in Server Mode may also initiate deployments and all other tasks; however, they are initiated in the same way a standalone, locally-installed PDQ Deploy console would.

In the Server/Client relationship, only one server is possible, but there may be multiple client PDQ Deploy consoles. There may be multiple relationships, however, meaning an organization may have multiple server/client relationships, but those relationships are discrete (see notes at the end of this article for more information and limitations).

IMPORTANT:

  • In existing PDQ installations, PDQ Deploy consoles configured in Server Mode will retain all packages, including custom packages. On the other hand, PDQ Deploy consoles configured in Client Mode will not retain any packages, imported or custom. Please see the Central Server: Migrating Existing Installations that use Custom Packages article for instructions on how to migrate packages from Client Mode PDQ consoles to the server, paying close attention to possible issues that will need to be addressed should you export/import schedules.
  • As a corollary to the above, shared packages are also not retained between PDQ Deploy Server/Client Mode consoles. Sharing will be disabled on PDQ consoles where Server or Client Mode is selected and the packages will be retained on the console where they were created. Please see the Sharing Has Been Superseded By The New Central Server Feature article for additional information on how to migrate existing PDQ Deploy consoles.
  • You may receive a warning if the number of active sessions between the client consoles of the PDQ program exceeds the number of licenses that exist for the account. For more information on this warning, please see the Concurrent Connections Exceeded The Licensed Limit article.


Setting up PDQ Deploy Server Mode:
1. Upon installing a new PDQ Deploy console version 13 or greater, you will prompted to complete the post-installation wizard:
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2. 
You will be prompted to enter your PDQ Deploy license, Central Server requires an Enterprise license. Enter the license or browse to the license text file and click OK.
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3.
 Click Next on the License Key window.
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4.
 In the Enterprise Installation Type window, select Server.
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5. 
In the Server Network Configuration window, select the appropriate values.

  • TCP Port: By default, PDQ Deploy will use unassigned port number 6336. If you are using port 6336 within your environment, change this to an unassigned port (for example: 7777, 8181). If Windows Firewall is enabled, check the Create exception in firewall for service executable box to open up the TCP port in Windows Firewall.
  • Server IP Addresses: For a multi-homed PDQ Deploy console machine, select either Listen on all IP addresses (default) or enumerate the Server IP Addresses in the text field. Values are comma-delimited, e.g. 172.16.155.200,10.144.144.42).
  • Background Service User Credentials: These credentials are used to run the PDQ Deploy service. The user must have administrative privileges on the PDQ Deploy server console computer and any Client Mode PDQ Deploy consoles. Credentials must be entered before continuing the Initialize PDQ Deploy wizard.

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NOTE:
The Windows Firewall exception is equivalent to running the following command:

netsh advfirewall firewall add rule name="PDQ Deploy" dir=in action=allow program="C:\Program Files[ (x86)]\Admin Arsenal\PDQ Deploy\PDQDeployService.exe" enable=yes localport=6336 remoteport=6336 protocol=tcp profile=[domain|private]

6. Click Finish to complete the wizard.


Setting up PDQ Deploy Client Mode:

IMPORTANT: If the PDQ Deploy console will be running Client Mode and has or will have PDQ Inventory installed, PDQ Inventory must be at version 12.3 or higher. Prior versions of PDQ Inventory will not integrate with PDQ Deploy consoles running in Client Mode.

1. Upon installing a new PDQ Deploy console version 13 or greater, you will prompted to complete the post-installation wizard:
CS-01.png

2. You will be prompted to enter your PDQ Deploy license, Central Server requires an Enterprise license. Enter the license or browse to the license text file and click OK.
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3. Click Next on the License Key window.
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4. In the Enterprise Installation Type window, select Client and then Next.

IMPORTANT: In order to set up a PDQ Deploy console in Client Mode, a server PDQ Deploy console must already be configured and operational.
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5. In this window, type the name of the PDQ Deploy console operating in Server Mode and the port used by that server.
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6. Click Finish to complete the wizard.


Important Menu Changes:
Changes were made to the PDQ Deploy menu bar to include the Options menu item, which now includes the following:

  • Credentials (previously under File > Preferences > Credentials)
  • Variables (previously under File > Preferences > Variables)
  • Console Users (previously under File > Preferences > Background Service)
  • Central Server (new item with PDQ Deploy 13)
  • Background Service (previously under File > Preferences > Background Service)
  • Preferences (previously under the File menu item)

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Additionally, license information was moved from File > Preferences > License to the Help menu item (Help > License).
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These changes were made to follow industry standards and separate items that need to be saved/applied versus those that do not need to be saved in order to be applied. For example, the Options > Preferences window now contains the Save toolbar item:
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Background Service and Credentials:
PDQ Deploy consoles in Client Mode do not run the background service and therefore do not need access to this option. Instead, the PDQ Deploy clients use the background service running from the Server console.

When running in Server Mode, PDQ Deploy Options > Background Service shows the following window:
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When running in Client Mode, PDQ Deploy Options > Background Service shows the following window since the background service now runs on the PDQ Deploy server console:
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NOTES:

  • While the PDQ Deploy console running in Server Mode performs the majority of tasks initiated from the PDQ Deploy Client Mode consoles, certain limitations apply, such as running Remote Repair and local commands, both of which are performed by the local PDQ Deploy console.
  • It is possible to have multiple PDQ Deploy consoles operating in Server Mode, but it is not possible for a PDQ Deploy console running in Client Mode to connect to more than one server.
  • Connections from a Client to the Server, including the Server's connection to itself, are limited by the number of concurrent client connections as defined by the quantity enumerated in your Enterprise license.
  • When using PDQ Inventory 12.3, post-deployment scans will be initiated on both the PDQ Deploy Server Mode console and the Client Mode console. With PDQ Inventory 13, the post-deployment scans will only be initiated on the Server.

See Also:
Central Server: Migrating Existing Installations that use Custom Packages
Sharing has Been Superseded by the New Central Server Feature
Windows Firewall Ports and Exceptions

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