Diskeeper Administrator Quick Start
Tim Warner, Microsoft MVP in Cloud and Datacenter Management
Here's the situation: Sluggish application performance on one or more of your Windows servers had become so bad as to require intervention. You purchased a license for Condusiv® Diskeeper Server and observed such an amazing performance improvement that you want to deploy Diskeeper® on all your physical servers.
"But how can I centrally manage the application?" you wonder. And then you see that Condusiv makes Diskeeper Administrator. Bingo!
Diskeeper Administrator gives you centralized control over all your managed servers. The solution enables you to deploy, configure and manage Diskeeper Server, Diskeeper Professional for desktop workstations, SSDkeeper Server, SSDkeeper Professional and some very early versions of V-locity for virtual machines (VMs).
Note: (V-locity and V-locity Management Console should be used for virtual servers)
For now, though, let's learn how to deploy and configure Diskeeper Administrator.
In addition to purchasing a Diskeeper Administrator license, you should consider a volume-license purchase of Diskeeper Server to save money.
Diskeeper Administrator runs as a Windows service and is a client/server application that uses Microsoft SQL Server for back-end data storage. For a smooth installation experience, I suggest, but not required, having a SQL Server database engine instance already available on the network. Diskeeper Administrator supports the following database versions:
- SQL Server 2005
- SQL Server 2008
- SQL Server 2012
You can use the free Express Edition if you want; in fact, the Diskeeper Administrator installer can automatically install SQL Server 2012 Express Edition. Notably, more recent SQL Server versions are not yet supported.
Like any client/server application, you need to keep firewall rules in mind. Diskeeper Administrator uses the following Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) ports:
- 1434 (for SQL Server)
All your managed servers should have file and printer sharing enabled, which opens TCP ports 139 and 445, and exposes the ADMIN$ administrative share that is used for Diskeeper push installation. In addition, you should open ports 31038 or 31058 to facilitate management traffic. More details on port use is available in the DK Administrator’s online help.
Diskeeper Administrator Install and Setup
The Diskeeper Administrator installer is basically an InstallShield wizard "click-click-next" routine. The real work begins after you lay down the application binaries and start Diskeeper Administrator for the first time.
Speaking of Windows Server, you can install Diskeeper Administrator on any version from Windows Server 2008 R2 to Windows Server 2016, as well as Windows Client versions from Windows 7 to Windows 10. My environment runs Windows Server 2016 exclusively, and Diskeeper products all run just fine.
On first launch of the Diskeeper Administrator console (it's an honest-to-goodness Windows desktop application and not a browser portal), you'll see the following requirements dialog:
Figure 2. Take care of these requirements!
Our first order of post-installation business is to set up our database connection. In Figure 3 you see the user interface; note that Diskeeper Administrator can automate database setup if you're willing to use SQL Server Express Edition.
Figure 3. Configuring a database connection.
For business use, however, you should have a fully functional SQL Server instance available; Figure 4 shows that screen.
Figure 4. Connecting to an existing SQL Server instance.
Let's take a "big picture" look at the Diskeeper Administrator console, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5. Diskeeper Administrator console.
The Quick Launch bar consists of the following sections:
- Getting Started: Documentation/tutorial guidance
- Dashboard: Overview of your managed computers
- Manage Computers and Custom Groups: Install and uninstall Diskeeper, administer configuration and deployment policies
- Apply Policies: Bind configuration and deployment policies to computer groups
- Reports: Display defragmentation/optimization benefits, application compliance status
- Job Queue: Show pending, running, or completed Diskeeper Administrator tasks
- Configure: Edit database connection settings, specify program behavior preferences
Deploy Diskeeper Professional
Let's walk through the process of push-installing Diskeeper Professional to some of our infrastructure systems. Note that this process is exactly the same for deploying Diskeeper Server as well as SSDkeeper. First, you'll want to make sure that you have:
- Diskeeper Professional binaries
- Diskeeper Professional license files
You can manage your licenses in Administrator by navigating to Manage Computers and Software > Manage Software Licensing.
Here is the deployment workflow we'll use:
- Define a configuration policy that governs how Diskeeper Professional behaves on managed computers
- Define a deployment policy that actually performs the installation
- Apply both policies to a computer group
In Diskeeper Administrator, navigate to Manage Computers and Software > Manage Configuration Policies. In the Manage Configuration Policies window, open the Actions menu and select New Configuration Policy. You can see this interface in Figure 6.
Figure 6. Defining a configuration policy.
Essentially, the configuration policy defines two properties (default properties are the ones most widely used):
- Which drives (volumes) the policy should be applied to
- Precisely which Diskeeper features should be enabled, and how they should be set
Next, Open the Manage Deployment Policies node and choose Actions > New Deployment Policy. Note that you can deploy other Condusiv Diskeeper products besides Diskeeper Professional, but we're limiting our consideration to Diskeeper.
Figure 7. Defining a deployment policy.
As you can see in Figure 7, you need to browse to the network location where you've shared the Diskeeper Professional setup executable. The Deployment Policy Wizard also allows you to specify a license activation method and program installation location.
Okay! We're just about ready. Navigate to Apply Policies to Groups > Apply Polices and locate the Active Directory container or organizational unit (OU) that contains your target server computer accounts.
Next, click Properties to select your previously created configuration and deployment policies. make sure Enable Automatic Deployment and Enable Automatic Configuration are checked, and then click Apply. You can see this in action in Figure 8.
Figure 8. Deploying Diskeeper polices to Active Directory computers.
Head over to the Dashboard to get a handle on how your newly managed computers are doing. As you can see in Figure 9, we need to reboot our two Windows Server 2016 managed nodes before they will be fully managed by Diskeeper Administrator.
Figure 9. Diskeeper Administrator dashboard.
You may need to generate reports for any of the following reasons:
- To justify the Diskeeper expenditure
- To demonstrate tangible server performance improvements
- To maintain compliance with service-level agreements (SLAs)
In Diskeeper Administrator, navigate to Reports > Reports, and select Create Report from the Actions menu. Figure 10 shows you the data points you can gather, including Diskeeper performance and managed computer licensing details.
Figure 10. Creating a Diskeeper report.
Your saved reports are stored by default in the Reports window in Diskeeper Administrator. You can view the report details in the Administrator console or print out a copy, as shown in Figure 11.
Figure 11. Printing a Diskeeper summary report.
Another reporting option is the new “Time Saved” Benefits Dashboard which show how many I/Os are eliminated from going to storage plus the I/O time saved from this.Next Steps
So…there you have it! Now you can go to bed at peace each night knowing your infrastructure servers' storage subsystem is fully optimized. We'll leave you with some hand-selected resources to help you further your Diskeeper education.
Thank you to Tim Warner, Microsoft MVP in Cloud and Datacenter Management, for this Diskeeper Administrator Quick Start Guide