Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions about the Service

Technical Questions

Is there a limit to how many University-owned workstations that I can add to IBM BigFix?
At this time, there is no limit on the number of IBM BigFix licenses that an individual unit may use.
After I sign up, does SysMan manage my workstations for me?
No. As stated in the Memo of Understanding, the SysMan Team does not take responsibility for managing your workstations, and the SysMan Team will not deploy any actions that will modify your systems. You will continue to be responsible for the workstations that you manage.
Can I still be the administrator of my machines?
When you become a SysMan administrator you have full access rights to the machines in your designated area.
Can I install my own software packages?
Yes, you can install your own software packages using the IBM BigFix console through the Software Distribution Wizard.
Does SysMan provide software packages that I can deploy to my clients?
SysMan does maintain common software packages on a best-effort basis though the SysMan Software Sharing service component.
How does software licensing work with SysMan and IBM BigFix?
You are responsible for making sure that you are properly licensed for any software packages that you deploy through IBM BigFix. SysMan does not provide software licensing services.
What operating systems can the IBM BigFix client be installed on?
A list of supported operating systems is available at the bottom of the Getting Started page.
What are the recommended power-saving settings?

For student computer labs and classrooms, we suggest using settings similar to what are use in CLM:

Podium or Presentation Computers

For all other student computer lab and classroom computers

When no user is logged in:

  •  Turn Off Monitor after 15 minutes of no use
  • Turn Off Hard Disks after 20 minutes of no use
  • System Standby after 30 minutes of no use

When a user is logged in:

  • Turn Off Monitor after 120 minutes of no use
  • Force logout of the user after 180 minutes of no use

When no user is logged in:

  • Turn Off Monitor after 5 minutes of no use
  • Turn Off Hard Disks after 10 minutes of no use
  • System Standby after 15 minutes of no use

When a user is logged in:

  • Turn Off Monitor after 45 minutes of no use
  • Force logout of the user after 30 minutes of no use

For faculty and staff computers, we recommend using User Decided Power Management Program

How did the SysMan service get started?
In Spring 2009, Information Technology Services (ITS), the Office of Physical Plant (OPP), and the Applied Research Lab (ARL) participated in a proof-of-concept with BigFix Inc. to determine BigFix's ability to decrease Penn State computer power consumption when using the BigFix Systems Management Platform. BigFix was evaluated for its usefulness in conserving power while maintaining or increasing the manageability of the computers.
For several weeks, the BigFix platform was used to monitor the power consumption and usage of approximately 5,800 computers throughout Penn State. Energy reduction settings were then applied to a subset of the computers through the BigFix platform and power consumption was monitored for several more weeks. A significant power consumption difference was documented between the computers that had the power-saving setting applied and the control group that did not.
In addition to the power-saving results, it was also found that the system management features of the BigFix Systems Management Platform were very robust and useful for saving time performing system management and maintenance.
BigFix was acquired by IBM in July 2010, and in Feburary 2011 the BigFix product was renamed to IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager (TEM). In 2013, IBM rebranded TEM as IBM Endpoint Manager (IEM), and in 2015, renamed the product back to IBM BigFix.
How do I add a workstation to my SysMan division in IBM BigFix?
You can add a workstation to your SysMan division by obtaining the both the IBM BigFix agent and the division installer and installing those two files to the client machine. The installers are located in \\udrive.win.psu.edu\sysman. The IBM BigFix client software is located in the _Installers folder and your division installer is located in your division’s folder. Both of these installers must be run on the workstation before it will be added to your division. It usually takes between 10 and 30 minutes for the workstations to appear in the console after the BigFix client has been installed.
Can I install the IBM BigFix agent software in disk images that I use for OS deployment?

Yes, but in order for the client to work correctly you must reset the client prior to sealing your image. Instructions for doing this can be found in the links below:
Windows
Mac

How do I connect to the terminal server?
Please refer to the SharePoint site here. (Members Only) 
Does the client detect all software that is installed on a machine or just software installed by IBM BigFix?
You can see all software installed on the system regardless of how it was installed. It doesn’t have to be installed by BigFix for BigFix to see it.
Can IBM BigFix clients communicate with the server when they are outside the Penn State network and connected to the internet?
Yes. Our infrastructure setup includes Internet-facing relays that allow endpoints to communicate with BigFix and perform actions while connected to the Internet. Please be aware that clients may be less responsive when they are on slower connections or behind a NAT device, such as a home router.
Why is it taking so long for my clients to begin running an action that I deployed?
In most cases, a firewall is blocking traffic from the BigFix server to the client. Please verify that you have correctly set firewall exceptions for both hardware firewalls as well as the workstation's software firewall, if it has one. If your clients continue to be unresponsive and you believe your firewall settings are correct, please contact us via this form for support.
What are the firewall rules need to be added for proper communication?
Please refer to the SharePoint site here. (Members Only)
How do I change my IBM BigFix console operator password?
Please refer to the SharePoint site here. (Members Only)

Didn't Find an Answer?

The SysMan Team maintains a comprehensive Documentation Library (Members Only) with step-by-step procedural documents for getting started with the service, performing common tasks, troubleshooting, as well as following recommended best practices.

If you're having trouble resolving an issue with any of the services that SysMan provides, please contact us via this form.

SysMan participants also have access to additional support documents on the SysMan SharePoint site (Members Only).

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Last Updated December 3, 2015