BladeLogic Server Automation 8.6 is out. And a lot of things have changed. I just downloaded the HUGE installer from EPD, installed it and started working with it. And i must say, i am particularly impressed with the new One-Click Installer, the Welcome screen and the now integrated Health and Value Dashboards.

For me as a person that builds demo environments, and i guess the same counts for people running PoC's or rolling out BSA at a customer, these three new features are making our life so much easier.

In the Pre-8.6 era, installation of BSA more or less was as follows:

  • Download several installers and scripts
  • Install an agent to the appserver machine
  • Create the OM database
  • Create the OM schema
  • Install the appserver
  • Create the fileserver
  • Install at least one RCP client
  • Install the Compliance Content
  • Install a couple of ZipKits
  • Install the Dashboards
  • Configure the Unified Agent Installer
  • Roll out agents to targets

A lot of steps. When you do it a lot you do it on the automatic pilot, but still...


Now, with the arrival of BSA 8.6, everything has changed. This is how it works now:

  • Make sure you have your database setup
  • Download the BSA 8.6 and agent installers. Yes it's big but hold on, the best is yet to come.
  • Run Setup.exe and follow the Wizard

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  • Enter your database details

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  • And click Install

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That's all there is to it. Three steps! Now, according to the installer, the installation will take more or less one hour. On my modest test environment on the BDC Demo Cloud (Windows 2008R2, SQL Server 2008R2, 2CPU, 8Gb memory, all virtual) the complete installation took less than 30 minutes and this is what you get:

  • Application Server, File Server, PXE and TFTP Servers and RCP client installed and configured.
  • Compliance Content installed for all policies and platforms.
  • Sample ZipKits installed for application deployment, common operations and compliance on Windows and Linux.
  • Unified Agent Installer configured for all platforms. You will still need to configure the credentials, but you can do that from the Welcome page. I'll get to that later.
  • Health and Value Dashboards installed, configured and running.


And then there is the Welcome page.

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It has never been so easy to start with BSA.

To enroll your servers? Just click the Enroll Servers link and import your CSV file. I use a CSV file i exported from my DNS server.

Deploy Agents? The Install RSCD Agents link launches a Wizard that configures the Unified Agent Installer and deploys your agents. I still remember when you had to go into Infrastructure Management and create Remote Host Authentications, etc. All gone. You can still do it that way, but i prefer the Quick Start wizard on the Welcome Page.

To run Compliance? Just click the Discover and Compliance links for the template you want.

Deploy Applications? The ZipKits are already loaded and linked on the Welcome Page.

Direct links to the Heath and value Dashboards.


And i can go on and on for Provisioning, Patching, etc. As late Michael Levey, host of the "Amazing Discoveries" infomercial series would say: "This is AMAZING!!"


I remember when i was running Proof of Concepts working for BladeLogic we used to have a test case where we stated that the product needed to be up and running in less than 2 hours. We did this because the compatition back then usually needed a couple of days and and a handful of engineers to make their product work. Now, with the One-Click Installer and the Welcome Page, we can change that test criteria to "The product needs to be up and running in less than 45 minutes".


Big, big kudos to the team that made this possible.