[COVID-19] First steps with BMC Client Management (BCM) agentless remote control

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    Client Management (BCM) is a client/server system providing the ability to take control, distribute software, patch, perform inventory, deploy Windows Operating Systems and many other functionalities. Most importantly, this functionality is available for devices on the LAN and also for devices that are on the WAN.

    It has never been easier to take control of devices that are on the WAN by using the remote control on request: simply send an invite to a user to take control of their computer.

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    Simple Architecture for easy remote control of remote workers

     

    It is composed of:

    • A master server that is connected to a database
    • Consoles to connect to the master server and perform all operations available. The console can run from the LAN and/or from the WAN.
    • Relays to link devices with the master server. Relays help limit bandwidth usage, enable access to devices in the WAN if set in a DMZ, and they reduce the activity and the amount of communications that otherwise the master would have to manage. Having a relay in a DMZ enables agentless remote control of devices in the WAN.
    • Devices which can be discovered by the asset discovery module or devices being controlled by the remote control on request invitations.

     

    Note: The optional installation of a BMC Client Management Client on a device allows additional functionality such as detailed inventories, remote control recording, software distribution, compliance management, and patch management. Agent installation is not required to take control of devices. It is possible to send the user a request to take control of their device, whether the device is in the LAN or in the WAN.

     

    The following covers the easiest setup possible, as it is described in the schema above: 1 master installed using the free SQL Server Express database, one relay in the DMZ and agentless devices. In this scenario, the web start console can also be accessed from the WAN.

     

     

    1- Install the master

    The easiest and fastest way to setup is a Windows Server Master and the included SQL Server Express database, but this has some limitation: the master and the database will be installed on the same device which limits the installation to 500 relays and clients. The limitations won't apply to the remote control on request though, which makes it usable for a much wider scale.

     

    Follow this KA for more information on how to set this up: Client Management: The easiest - How to install a master withe the included SQL Server Express. This KA also covers the installation of the console on the master and its first connection to the master.

     

    Note: BCM supports the following database types: SQL Server Express, SQL Server, Oracle or postgres.

     

    2- Connect the console to the master

    There are three different types of consoles to connect to the master: the heavy, the web start, and the web console. For this step, the heavy console that was installed on the master or the web start console can be used to configure the rollouts dedicated to taking control of unmanaged devices: Client Management: How to connect to the master using the Web start console - INCLUDES VIDEO

     

    3- Set-up the DMZ Relay

    In order to ensure secure remote access, it is necessary to set a DMZ relay.

    Note: It is possible to use the master to take control of unmanaged devices, but it is not recommend because putting the master directly on the internet puts it at risk.

    To use the agentless remote control it should be sufficient to open the agent ports on the DMZ (1610 and 1611 by default).

    The following KA helps setting up a regular relay: Client Management: How to create and deploy Agent Rollouts to relays.

     

    4- Remote control a device

    Once a relay is available on the internet, then admins can generate and send invites to end-users to connect to their devices:

    - Connect to the web console: Client Management: How to connect to the master using the Web console.

    - Create the invites and take control of the devices: Client Management: How to take control on request (agentless)

     

    Note:

    If there are also BCM Clients on the WAN, there would be extra configuration to set the DMZ relay. More information in the following KA: Client Management: Managing Devices Across the Internet with Client Management.