BigFix Lifecycle Server Automation is built on the BigFix platform. Server Automation uses the key BigFix strengths and advantages. It is also subject to the BigFix architecture capacity considerations and latency. Read the configuration documentation included here to understand how BigFix architecture is relevant to BigFix Lifecycle Server Automation and how you can configure your system for optimum performance. This documentation also describes how Server Automation functionality influences BigFix system performance.

Server Automation provides the capability to sequence Fixlets, Tasks, and Baselines across multiple endpoints. You sequence Fixlets, Tasks, and Baselines across endpoints by creating and running an Automation Plan. Automation Plans are processed by the Automation Plan Engine. When you run an Automation Plan, new actions are created on the BigFix system. An action is created for the Automation Plan and the Automation Plan Engine creates an action for each step in the Automation Plan. When the step has completed the Automation Plan Engine stops the action. In addition, if you schedule an Automation Plan and use the Prefetch downloads feature to download content in advance of the Automation Plan execution, an additional action is created for each step in the Automation Plan that contains a prefetch or download statement. You might need to monitor the number of open actions to ensure that system performance is not adversely affected. In a traditional BigFix environment, open actions are created manually by the console operator. Because the Automation Plan Engine automatically creates open actions, you need to be aware of the potential impact on system performance if there are too many open actions on the system. Similarly, depending on the number of Automation Plans that you create, the Automation Plan Engine can potentially leave a large number of stopped and expired actions. Therefore, you might need to monitor the number of open, closed, and expired actions on the system and take action.

There are some latency and refresh considerations that influence Server Automation behaviour and you need to understand these factors to use Server Automation effectively. For example, when you create an Automation Plan, the Automation Plan is not immediately available in the Automation Plan Engine. Normally, there is a 15-seconds delay because of the refresh interval between Web Reports and the BigFix server.

This documentation assumes that you are familiar with the BigFix platform and architecture and that you are experienced in using BigFix. If you are not familiar with BigFix, read the following BigFix documentation before you read this documentation on Server Automation: