Share This:

Introduction

 

I recently deployed the beautiful and fresh feeling ARS, ITSM, SmartIT and MyIT into my VM and whilst doing so recorded my notes about the experience, issues encountered and also recommendations for improvement so that hopefully this guide will be of benefit to others implementing this as a new install.

 

Overall, the process was very smooth and the installers are very efficient and simple to manage. Ultimately I had a fully functional ARS/ITSM/SmartIT installation within only a few hours!

 

VM (Virtual Machine) Configuration

 

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2
  • 16Gb Allocated
  • Dual Core CPU Allocated.
  • Host PC VMWare Workstation: 9.0.4 build-1945795
  • Host PC (Physical): Dell Precision M6600 Laptop
  • Host PC (Specification): Intel Core i7-2760QM CPU @ 2.40Ghz with 32Gb DDR3 RAM.

 

Downloading the Installers from EPD

 

  1. It was fairly hard to find the specific installers amongst the many many folders, it would be nice to have some 'Quick Filters' on this page which list our most common product suites, showing a folder containing all the relevant installers.
  2. Requesting the downloads via FTP was impressive, an email arrived with a unique link within minutes, allowing me to get the downloads started via my FTP client.

 

Installing ARS (Action Request System) 9.0

Full Installation time - 15 minutes

 

  1. I was prompted when I wish to store the 'Smart Reporting' database and chose to store the tables within the same 'ARSystem' DB - What are the implications of storing the Smart Reporting database within the core ARS database, would this substantially increase the overall size?

  2. I was prompted to enter the port for Smart Reporting, it might be nice to default this in the installer to 8181 rather than expecting the user to populate it.

  3. Smart Reporting is not automatically setup after installation, I couldn't access it from the Application List as it reported 4 'Potential issues'. I would like to see the installer automatically setting this up for the end-user, including Onboarding, Mid Tier Path and User Credential setup.

  4. I notice that a new 'Windows Service' is added in Windows for Smart Reporting, ,however it has been named 'BMCSmartReporting', to maintain consistency with the other three services that are installed by ARS we should rename this service accordingly, i.e. "BMC Remedy Smart Reporting".

  5. The Mid Tier Config screen has a flashing animated GIF "New!" image within the left-hand menus, I raised this issue earlier and fortunately Product Management have already confirmed that it will be removed within the next release.

  6. I noticed that within the ARS 'Server Information' form, upon installation the server OOTB is enabled as a 'Server Group Member', this isn't right as the OOTB server installation should default to non-server group member.

 

Installing Atrium Core 9.0

Full Installation time - 35 minutes

 

  1. I had forgotten to license the AR Server after the installation completed, and the Atrium Core installer alerted me to this. As a feature suggestion, why not add a button to the installer at this stage called 'Request Trial License', when clicked it opens a small popup where you enter your Support ID and password, then click 'Submit' and you're then informed that an email will arrive with your trial license, or even better it retrieves a trial license in realtime via the online licensing server?

  2. The installer hung for a long time (5 minutes) on the 'Validating Tomcat Information' screen with no indication as to what it was doing, this screen appears prior to actually starting the installation.

  3. I received a Tomcat Settings Validation Warning concerning the configuration of Tomcat (MaxPermSize), yet the instance of TomCat was installed by ARS, therefore it would make more sense to implement this config setting into the OOTB ARS installation of Tomcat?

  4. The installer hung for quite some time (10 minutes+) with the task "WSC Post Install Executor...starting Tomcat". I checked the service within the 'Services.msc' and Tomcat was running, so I am unsure of the reason for the hang.

 

Installing Atrium Integrator 9.0

Full Installation time - 5 minutes

 

  1. No issues experienced at all, a very smooth process.

 

Installing ITSM Suite 9.0

Full Installation time 60 minutes

 

  1. After clicking 'Next' after selection of the elements to install, I noticed an 'installing task' which was missing a localised text element called 'installValidation.installSelections.description', therefore it appeared as just illustrated.

  2. The currency should not default to USD (US dollars), instead the user should be prompted to select their default currency and our assumption should not be that the user is US based.

 

Installing Service Request Management 9.0

Full Installation time - 50 minutes

 

  1. For quite some time, the status displayed "Task Progress...executing" which isn't very informative - it would be very useful if more information were output so that detailed progress is shown to the end-user installer.

 

Installing Service Level Management 9.0

Full Installation time - 17 minutes

 

  1. No issues experienced at all, a very smooth process.

 

Installing ARS Developer/Client tools 9.0

Full Installation time - 2 minutes

 

  1. The installer didn't prompt me to choose which elements I wanted to install, the user seems to be forced to install all elements which is contrary to my memory of the past installers for client tools.

 

Setup & Onboarding Smart Reporting 9.0

Manual configuration time - 15 minutes

 

  1. The Onboarding Tool doesn't allow a blank ARS administrator password which is how I have setup my VM, this should be changed and the option given to the customer as to whether a password has been applied or not to their ARS accounts.

  2. The Onboarding dialog is fairly confusing and the field labels aren't clear as to which data they relate to. The Smart Reporting credentials should be pre-populated 'siadmin', otherwise these options are confusing for those unfamiliar with Smart Reporting.

  3. I would default the field for ARS Port to "0" to save the end-user some time in populating it - they can always change it to match a custom port if they have set one.

  4. During the onboarding process (whilst it was running) my Web Browser crashed, it was not clear as to whether the onboarding continues in the background (server side) or whether it requires the client? Upon restarting the onboarding, I was told 'Unable to create customer'. The operation should be entirely server-side once initiated, that way it isn't dependent on the user keeping their web browser open.

  5. I would like to see this Onboarding screen improved by introduce some additional fields which ask for the Mid Tier configuration credentials, the onboarding tool could then automatically populate the required fields in the Mid Tier config for you.

 

Installing the Smart IT Social Patch 9.0

Full Installation time - 15 minutes

 

  1. The AR System Admin User Name ('Demo') was auto-populated, this didn't happen in any other installer, this should be altered to be consistent with the other installers.

  2. The installer hung for a few minutes on the 'CI Unavailability' task.

  3. I believe that the installer restarted ARS, it should warn the end-user of this otherwise unexpected and potentially unplanned downtime of a system would be experienced.

  4. Upon completion, this installer doesn't state how long that it took (unlike all other installers). This statistic should be added to the completion summary for consistency with other installers.

 

Installing Smart IT 1.1 & MyIT 2.5

Full Installation time - 32 minutes

 

  1. There are two spelling mistakes (and grammar issues) in the Installer error message presented when you enter an invalid DB password "Exception was occured during the validation: Failed to perform RDBMS's validatation", the errors are in the spelling of "Occurred" and "validation" and the instance of "was" should be removed.

  2. With the recent issues concerning MongoDB and it's OOTB credential vulnerabilities, the 'MongoDB Authentication Required' should be defaulted to 'Checked'.

  3. Upon install completion, this installer doesn't state how long that it took (unlike all other installers). This statistic should be added to the completion summary for consistency with other installers.

  4. The installer completed with a warning: "LOG EVENT {Description=[-XX:MaxPermSize already set" which I assume was thrown because I had already manually set this parameter earlier in the installation process. I assumed that this could be ignored.

  5. After installation had completed, MongoDB was not stable and this seems related to the fact that the server did not have a Paging File configured. If this is required, the installer should highlight it as a pre-requisite during installation. Adding a Paging File to the Windows Server resolved the instability of MongoDB.

  6. I had chosen during installation for Smart IT to use the same TomCat instance as the Mid Tier running on the same server, however this caused the Mid Tier Tomcat instance to run out of RAM. The installer should alert the user that the Heap allocation should be increased if the user selects to use an 'Existing' instance of Tomcat.

 

Overall/Summary of Installation

 

  1. The rebranding of the installers looks good, however the 'tasks' on the left-hand side of the installers need moving down at least 50-100 pixels because they're too close to the BMC logo. They should also be left-aligned to the lefthand side of the BMC Logo.

  2. A 'Detailed' or 'Debug' panel (slide out style) for the installers would be incredibly beneficial for professionals to be able to see what the installer is actually doing at any time. It is frustrating when the installer hangs without any indication as to what it is doing.

  3. It would be nice if pressing 'Return' whilst configuring the installers was a shortcut for clicking 'Next'.

  4. The installation of the latest ARS/ITSM 9 together with Smart IT 1.1/MyIT 2.2 causes an issue with loading RKM articles via the Data Management utility - I have raised this as a defect but to work-around this issue, disable the following Filters:
    1. CAI:EVT:Outbound_Submit_StartFilterAPI_Async_LocalSmartIT

    2. RKM:KAM:CAI_UpdateSocialCloud_Create

    3. RKM:LKA:SendKnowledgeArticleToSocial

 

Overall, great work by the ARS/ITSM/SmartIT/MyIT teams for bringing these installers to their current level, they're substantially improved since the old installers of 7.x and the process is now far quicker too - within less than a day, I had a fully functional VM!

 

I hope that this guide is useful and look forward to feedback/comments.