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Configuring maintenance window policies for managed Mac computers

Client Management Suite for Mac

A maintenance window is a scheduled time and duration when maintenance operations can be performed on a managed computer. A maintenance operation is one that has an effect like the following:

  • Changes the state of a computer.

  • Causes the computer to restart.

  • Interferes with a user's ability to operate the computer.

Maintenance operations include installing software, installing operating system patches, or running a virus scan.

A maintenance window policy defines one or more maintenance windows and is applied to a resource target in the same way as any other policy. These policies provide the maximum flexibility for assigning maintenance windows to computers, without complicating the management of agent settings. If multiple maintenance window policies apply to a single computer, changes to the computer are permitted during any of the maintenance windows.

See About configuring the Symantec Management Agent for Mac

Using maintenance windows lets you schedule maintenance work on managed computers with minimal effect on workflow and productivity. Also, you can schedule maintenance work on critical servers at different times so no two servers are ever restarted at the same time. You can schedule a maintenance window for certain times such as daily, weekly, or monthly. The maintenance window can be available indefinitely or restricted to a particular date range.

When you apply a maintenance window to a managed computer, maintenance tasks can only be carried out on them in the scheduled time period. Maintenance tasks include actions such as patches and software deliveries. Symantec Management Agents can download software delivery packages any time, but associated programs can be run only during the maintenance windows.

The Symantec Management Agent processes the policy and provides the functionality that solutions use to determine whether a maintenance window is currently open. Functionality is also provided to allow solutions to inform Notification Server that a maintenance task has been performed.

Many tasks can be combined into a single job. At times it may take longer to complete all tasks in a job than a maintenance window allows for. If the agent has already initiated a task when a maintenance window expires, the maintenance window is automatically extended until the entire job is completed.

You can create and modify the maintenance window policies that you need and apply them to the appropriate targets. The default maintenance window policy is applied to all managed computers.

To configure maintenance window policies for managed Mac computers

  1. In the Symantec Management Console, on the Settings menu, click Agents/Plug-ins > Maintenance Windows.

  2. In the left pane, in the Maintenance Windows folder, do one of the following:

    • To create a new maintenance window policy, right-click Maintenance Window, and then click New > Maintenance Window.

    • To modify an existing maintenance window policy, click the policy that you want to edit.

  3. In the right pane, in the Time zone drop-down list, select the appropriate option:

    Use agent time

    The times are specified without time zone information and are applied at the local time at each managed computer. Maintenance windows open and close at different times depending on the time zones of the managed computers.

    Use server time

    The times are specified with time zone information, where the time zone offset is that of the server's time zone where the policy is defined. The maintenance windows open simultaneously irrespective of time zones and are compensated for daylight saving.

    This option ensures that maintenance windows are always coordinated with the specified local time on the server where the policy is created.

    Coordinate using UTC

    The times are specified with time zone information, where the time zone offset is 0. The maintenance windows open simultaneously irrespective of time zones. Daylight savings time does not affect maintenance windows.

    The time zone applies to all of the maintenance windows that are specified in this policy.

  4. If you want the policy to take effect on a particular date, rather than as soon as it is enabled, you can set a start date. In the upper right corner, click Advanced and in the Advanced Options dialog box, set the start date and end date, and then click OK.

    Start

    The date that the policy takes effect. The policy must be enabled in the same way as any other policy. You can enable the policy at any time before or after the start date.

    End

    If you want the policy to be available for a limited period of time, set the appropriate end date. The policy is unavailable after this date, whether or not it is enabled.

    This setting is optional. If no end date is specified, the policy is available indefinitely.

  5. Create the maintenance windows that you want to include in the policy.

  6. In each maintenance window, under Daily Times, specify the start time of the maintenance window. You must also specify either the end time or the duration in the corresponding boxes.

  7. Under Repeat Schedule, in the Repeat every drop-down list, select a schedule and then specify the appropriate schedule filters:

    No repeat

    The maintenance window is open only once, on the day that it is applied to the managed computer.

    Day

    The maintenance window is open every day.

    Week

    Specify the weekdays on which the maintenance window is open.

    Month (week view)

    Specify the days of the week and the weeks of the month on which the maintenance window is open.

    Month (date view)

    Specify the dates of the month on which the maintenance window is open.

    Yearly (week view)

    Specify the days of the week, the weeks of the month, and the months on which the maintenance window is open.

    Year (date view)

    Specify the dates of the month and the months on which the maintenance window is open.

  8. Under Applied To, specify the maintenance window policy target.

    You can select an existing organizational group, filter, or resource target. You can also select individual resources.

    See Specifying the targets of a policy or task

    Details of the selected items are displayed in the grid. You can view the list by targets, resources, computers, or users, and make any necessary additions and deletions.

  9. Click Save changes.