Documentation forSolarWinds Service Desk

Agent installation for mass deployment

On this page

Navigation

Setup > Discovery & Assets > Installation.

Deploy the Discovery Agent across your network

Before you mass deploy the Discovery Agent across your organization, you should complete a single deployment. For instructions on single deployment, see one of the following sections:

Agents cannot run on Linux machines.

After the single deployment is complete, you can perform a mass deployment using one of the following methods.

Use the Active Directory Group policy option

SolarWinds recommends using Active Directory as your deployment method. This method requires Domain Logon, enabling each user to be an administrator on their device. This method also prevents the Discovery Agent from starting automatically.

For a Windows enterprise deployment use the Active Directory Group Policy Option (GPO) to deploy the Discovery Agent automatically on all computers that join the domain.

  1. Open the Active Directory users and computers tool.

  2. Download the Discovery Agent setup file and save it to your local computer.

  3. Copy the agent setup file to shared network folder (for example, \\NETLOGON).

  4. Create a new batch file that deploys the agent on the computer that joins the domain (if the agent was not previously deployed). Below is an example.

    @echo off
    REM === Agent already deployed on the computer?
    if exist "C:\Program Files\Solarwinds Discovery Agent\agent\src\mini_kernel\service.*" goto END
    if exist "C:\Program Files (x86)\Solarwinds Discovery Agent\agent\src\mini_kernel\service.*" goto END
    REM === Deploying agent in silent mode
    "\\SERVER\FOLDER\Solarwinds_Discovery_Agent_{Installer_version}_installer.exe" --mode unattended
    REM === Script done
    :END
  5. Modify the contents of the batch file:

    1. Ensure that SERVER and FOLDER are your server name and shared folder name, respectively (for example, \SERVERETLOGON).

    2. Verify that the agent setup file is located on the shared folder.

  6. Save the batch file on your desktop as deploySAM.bat.

  7. Copy and paste the deploySAM.bat from your desktop to the Script Startup folder.

    After the computer starts, the deploySAM.bat executes and deploys the Discovery Agent if it was not previously installed on the local computer.

Use a domain logon script

If you plan to use a domain logon script for a Windows enterprise deployment, SolarWinds recommends deploying the Discovery Agent on all computers that log onto the domain.

Your local user accounts must have local administrator rights on their computers to use the domain logon script procedure.

  1. Download the Discovery Agent setup file and save it to your local computer.

  2. Copy the agent setup file to a shared network folder (for example, \\NETLOGON).

  3. Ensure your logon script contains the proper arguments. You can modify your existing script or use the script below.

    The script runs when a computer logs on to the domain. The script then checks whether the agent previously deployed. If the agent is not deployed, the script deploys the agent.

    • To modify your existing script:

      • Ensure that it contains the silent install switch. For more information, see Microsoft KB on GPO in Windows Server.

      • Ensure that SERVER and FOLDER are your server name and shared folder name, respectively (for example, \SERVERETLOGON).

      • Verify that the agent setup file is located on the shared folder.

    • To use the script below, click COPY.

      @echo off
      REM === Agent already deployed on the computer?
      if exist "C:\Program Files\Solarwinds Discovery Agent\agent\src\mini_kernel\service.*" goto END
      if exist "C:\Program Files (x86)\Solarwinds Discovery Agent\agent\src\mini_kernel\service.*" goto END
      REM === Deploying agent in silent mode
      "\\SERVER\FOLDER\Solarwinds_Discovery_Agent_{Installer_version}_installer.exe" --mode unattended
      REM === Script done
      :END

Deploy with Microsoft Intune

Before you can add a Win32 app to Microsoft Intune, you must prepare the app using the Microsoft Win32 Content Prep Tool.

Deploy using an MSI EXE file

You can use an MSI file to deploy the agent to other computers. SolarWinds suggests that you use an MSI Wrapper tool to convert the Discovery Agent EXE file to an MSI file.

It is possible to convert the Discovery agent EXE file to an MSI and push the file using Intune (part of Microsoft Endpoint Manager or some other similar method. However, SolarWinds does not support this method.

Several MSI wrappers are available online. They may provide instructions on how to convert an EXE file to an MSI file. For example, Getting started - MSI Wrapper Convert EXE to MSI package (exemsi.com) explains the process using a Firefox executable.

You can also use optional command line parameters for a silent installation.

Conversion tool settings

Follow the instructions included with the tool. In some wrapping tools you are not required to customize properties, parameters, or actions.

The following settings may be useful in creating an MSI file:

  • Visibility of MSI Package: Visible

  • Visibility of wrapped installer: Hidden

  • Security context for launching the executable: Installing User

  • Elevation when launching the executable: Always elevate

  • MSI installation context: Auto

  • Application Id: Look up and then select SolarWinds Discovery Agent

  • Upgrade code: Create New

  • For an optional silent installation, set the parameter for Install arguments to: --mode unattended

After you build the MSI file using your selected tool, use the tool to distribute the Discovery Agent to all targeted computers in your environment.

Force an inventory refresh for the Discovery Agent

After you enable the Discovery Agent, the agent inventory automatically updates every 24 hours. The agent runs as a Windows service and triggers a refresh based on that schedule.

To optimize for outbound bandwidth utilization, the agents randomize the next inventory refresh within a 24-hour timeframe. This process prevents all agents from reporting at the same time.

Optionally, you can force the agent on a targeted machine to manually push an update. To push the update, open a Command Prompt window and run the following commands or copy the code into the prompt. If the prompt does not return an error message, the procedure completed successfully.

"c:\Program Files (x86)\Solarwinds Discovery Agent\agent\ruby\bin\ruby.exe" "c:\Program Files (x86)\Solarwinds Discovery Agent\agent\src\mini_kernel\cmd.rb" -f

Related topics

Discovery Agent installation