How to Manage Computers

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Introduction

This document will familiarize you with the properties and management of computers in System Frontier.

Managing Computers

When you click on a specific computer name from within a Container or from search results, it will take you to a page with these sections:

  • Summary
  • Hardware
  • Storage
  • Services
  • Processes
  • Scheduled Tasks
  • IIS
  • Tools
  • Event Logs
  • Users & Groups
  • History
All sections provide real-time information, except for Summary, Tools, and History.

Summary

In the Summary, you will see some basic information about the computer:

  • Hostname
  • Environment
  • Manufacturer
  • Description
  • Model
  • Operating System
  • Status
  • Serial Number
  • IP Address
  • Domain/Workgroup
  • LOM (Lights Out Management or LAN On Motherboard)
  • Custom Fields
Summary

There are two Edit buttons on this page that will allow you to provide additional information.

Edit (located under the IP Address section)

When a user adds the computer object initially, whether manually or through the Import API, the fields on this edit page are automatically populated. However, changing the data in these fields and clicking the Save button will allow modifications.

The Edit page from the Computer Summary

Edit (located under the Custom Fields section)

The Custom Field edit button will allow you to provide additional information not already in System Frontier that you may either want to configure manually or by using another 3rd party or in-house product. For example, keying on a unique ID in a CMDB would help facilitate synchronization of Custom Fields data in System Frontier.

Modifying Custom Field information manually

Custom Fields can be assigned and used in the Computer class or unassigned and used within Custom Tools.

Hardware

The information under Hardware is compiled real-time. There is a Refresh button to use that will update data if desired. Details available:

  • FQDN (Fully Qualified Domain Name)
  • Manufacturer
  • Model
  • Processor(s)
  • Speed
  • Memory
  • OS (Operating System)
Hardware

Storage

The information under Storage is delivered in real-time. The Refresh button can update the data. Storage info contains:

  • Name (Volume Name)
  • Label
  • File System
  • Size
  • Free Space
  • % Free
Storage

Services

In the Services section you will see a list of services produced in real-time. This information is shown for each service:

  • Display Name
  • Name
  • Status
  • Startup Type
  • Log On As
  • Description

Because everything is role-based, a Start, Stop, and/or Delete button will be visible only if you have permissions to perform those actions on a service. You can select a service and either start, stop or delete it.

You can refresh and filter results here as well.

Services
Only those services defined by your role-based access will be visible.

Starting or Stopping a Service

When you click the Start or Stop button, you will see a Manage Windows Service confirmation dialog asking you to verify your action.

Starting a Service

After clicking OK, you’ll see the service highlighted along with the new status.

After the Service has Started

Processes

In the Processes section you will see a tree view of running processes in real-time. This tree view depicts a parent/child relationship between processes. Clicking the Refresh button will update this information for each process:

  • Name
  • Process ID
  • CPU %
  • Memory
  • Owner
  • Session ID
  • Path
Processes

Terminating a Process

If you have adequate permission, the circled X next to a process will not be grayed out. This means you have the ability to terminate the process.

Clicking on the X brings up the Kill Process confirmation dialog. If you confirm, the process is terminated.

Kill Process confirmation dialog

Scheduled Tasks

The Scheduled Tasks page shows a real-time view of scheduled tasks that can be managed if you have permission. Again, you may be limited in your actions or view based on your role. As such, visible options will be Create, Start or Stop, Enable or Disable, Delete, and Show Disabled Tasks. You can refresh the task view as well as perform a search to find a task. If you have the ability to edit a scheduled task, the task will be shown as a hyperlink.

The Scheduled Tasks tree structure in the left pane allows easy selection for specific task folders. Details for each task include:

  • Name
  • Status
  • Enabled (enabled or disabled state)
  • Next Run Time
  • Last Run Time
  • Last Task Result
Scheduled Tasks

Starting, Stopping, Enabling, Disabling, or Deleting a Scheduled Task

When you click on a button to Start, Stop, Enable, Disable, or Delete a selected task, you’ll be presented with a dialog box to confirm your action:

Starting a Scheduled Task
Enabling a Scheduled Task
Deleting a Scheduled Task

Creating or Editing a Scheduled Task

If you click on the Create button or the link for a existing task, a wizard will guide you through a series of steps necessary to create or edit the task.

IIS

If the IIS role feature has been installed on the computer, you’ll be able to manage application pools and websites on the computer. This Information is shown in real-time:

For Application Pools:

  • Name
  • Status
  • .NET CLR Version
  • Managed Pipeline Mode

For Websites:

  • Name
  • ID
  • Status

You can Start, Stop, or Recycle an application pool:

Managing IIS Application Pools

And, you can Start, Stop, or Restart websites:

Managing IIS Websites
You can select multiple application pools or websites to Start/Stop/Recycle/Restart at the same time.

Tools

The Tools page features built-in tools, like these:

  • Reboot this computer
  • Ping this computer
  • Check uptime for this computer
  • Remote Desktop

In addition, your Custom Tools are available. A tool can only be accessed if the user has permission via their role, with the exception of Ping this computer and Check uptime for this computer. Those two tools exist for all users since they are inert commands. The ability to filter your Custom Tools will come in handy especially as the number of tools increase.

Tools

Rebooting a Computer

Click the Reboot this computer icon and a dialog will appear, prompting you to enter the reason for the reboot. The reason is entered into the target computer’s event log as well as System Frontier’s History Log. Clicking OK will reboot the computer.

Rebooting a Computer

Pinging a Computer

You can check basic network connectivity by clicking on the Ping this computer icon:

Clicking on the Ping this computer icon shows ping results above and left of the icons

Checking Uptime on a Computer

Display the uptime by clicking on the Check uptime for this computer icon:

Clicking on the Check uptime for this computer icon shows uptime results above and left of the icons

Remoting to the Desktop on a Computer

With the Remote Desktop tool you can connect to the desktop via Hostname or by IP Address. The standard Remote Desktop utility is used (mstsc) and the interface is displayed after clicking on Remote Desktop. Two linked options make it easy to directly RDP connect by hostname or IP address.

Using Custom Tools

Custom Tools are tools that help you resolve issues, perform actions, or gather information. They can be created using:

  • PowerShell
  • Batch (.bat, .cmd)
  • VBScript
  • Python
  • SSH Shell
  • other command line script utilities

When you run a Custom Tool in the Tools section, you are presented with a web interface that pre-populates the target computer name. Clicking Run executes the script using System Frontier’s job engine and runs remotely on the System Frontier management server.

Running a Custom Tool

Results are returned via the Job Detail page

Custom Tool results are returned
The Custom Tool output can be basic text or HTML, which gives you great flexibility in the way your data is presented. The creator of the script may format the output appearance as desired.

Event Logs

The Event Logs section allows you to select and view real-time event logs on the target computer. Due to role-based access, users will only see those event logs for which they have permissions. Thus, you can configure permissions so that members of an application team can only view the application log, if you wish.

Event Logs

Opening the application logs, for example, shows this:

  • Level
  • Date
  • Source
  • Event ID
  • Message
Viewing event logs

In this view, you are able to refresh, sort, filter events, and set the number of log entries that you want to view on each page.

When you begin typing in the Filter events box, your filtered results start appearing as you type.

Users & Groups

You are able to see the local groups and users on a target computer in the Users & Groups section.

Users & Groups

If a group has an expand arrow next to it, you can click and view members of that group. If it doesn’t, then that group has no members.

Viewing local group members
The Administrators group members can only be viewed if the user has permissions within System Frontier.

Reset Password

Clicking on the icon under the Reset Password column will allow you to reset a local user password.

Resetting a password for a local user account

Unlock Account

If an account is locked out, an icon will be visible under the Locked out? column. Clicking the icon under that column will bestow upon you the excitement of unlocking a local account.

Enable Account

You will see an icon under the Disabled? column if a local account is currently disabled. Clicking the icon will bring up the dialog prompt that will let you enable that account.

Enabling a local user account

History

Every single action performed within System Frontier is logged. This helps you with auditing and tracking down who may have run an action on a target computer. You can refresh, filter events, sort, and select the number of items to show per page.

History

An event will show when it occurred, what action was taken, by whom, and from which computer, among other things. Additionally, the output from a custom tool is also available.

Custom Tool results are stored in a History Event

How to Add and Import Computers

Computers may be added manually or by using the Import API.


Be sure to read the User Guide for more information.

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