Author Topic: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console  (Read 12215 times)

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Offline Jan Suchan

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Hello everybody,

Today, we are releasing the beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console.
See the original post with an Alpha version announcement for all the details.


What's new (from Alpha version)?
  • MSI is now available as an AV installation package option
  • New type of Reports
    • Tasks overview
    • Top 10 devices with failed tasks
    • Device overview
  • Console installer now supports upgrade of a previous version

What has been fixed (from Alpha version)?
  • “Agent” (component which brings mirror functionality and will bring remote deployment in the future) is now AVAST branded
  • “Agent” uninstallation properly uninstalls Avast Antivirus client

Known bugs / limitations
  • Download of AV Installation package doesn't work for the first time, use “please restart the download“ link (will be fixed very soon)
  • “Agent” is digitally signed by AVG
  • Unable to uninstall AV component one-by-one (license issue)

Where to get installer?
Please note: This is not an antivirus installer. You are about to install a solution for management of your devices,
a management console through which you will be able to download and install the antivirus.


Step1. Choose a console type
  • Docker image - available via Docker hub
    • This type is multi-platform and requires more advanced IT admin skills
    • Follow the instructions on how to run the console
  • Windows installer - available to download here
    • Open the .exe file and go through all the installation steps
    • We are highly recommend install into Virtual Machine or test environment
Step2. Get your trial license
  • Download a trial license file.
  • This license has an expiration period of 40 days.
  • You can upload this file once inside the console (both Docker and Windows).
Step3. Sign-up to the console and upload the trial license
  • Sign-up and create your company account
  • Once on the dashboard you can upload the above-mentioned trial license file
  • Click the “add devices” button to download the installer of agent


We would appreciate any feedback from your side, not only obvious bugs but also any comments regarding things that doesn't make sense from your point of view, or any suggestion for improvements.

One last thing we want to share a little secret with you - this version of the Management Console will be available also as a Cloud version.

Thank you and looking forward to your feedback.
Jan
« Last Edit: April 06, 2017, 02:05:46 PM by Jan Suchan »
Jan Suchan
Avast Business Lead Developer

Offline christoph52

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 07:03:14 PM »
Hi Jan,

I've just installed the Beta version.

The Windows d/l link at the Docker hub shows to: http://bconprem.d.avast.com/avast/bconprem/afb-on-premise.exe
The link in your post points to: http://bconprem.d.avast.com/avast/bconprem/avast_business_mc_setup.exe
I've installed the windows installer from Docker description - but I cannot create an MSI file.
The main pages (on the right side) are translated, the menu on the left side remains in English.
After running the avast_business_mc_setup.exe setup, MSI files can be created and menu is translated as well!
Where can I see the console version number?

As I wanted to create a new mail address (for notifications), I've skipped the SMTP settings during the setup.
How can I add them after the installation?



After the Beta phase - will this replace the regular SOA?
Christoph
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 08:29:32 PM by christoph52 »

Offline Jan Suchan

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 03:19:17 PM »
Hi Christoph,

The link at the Docker hub was wrong, we forgot to update it. Thanks for letting us know. The correct one is http://bconprem.d.avast.com/avast/bconprem/avast_business_mc_setup.exe (so the one you used to install the Console second time). Version number is currently not displayed, it is something we would like to add an we already have it in the current development sprint. :)

Regarding SMTP - it is currently not possible to change it from UI, you must edit the configuration file manually. It is located here:
C:\Program Files\AVAST Software\Management Console\console\config\application.yml (assuming you used the default installation path).

You need to add the following section (for example to the end of file) with correct values. Keep in mind that for indentation exactly 2 spaces must be used.

Code: [Select]
email:
  smtp:
    host: 127.0.0.1 # change accordingly
    port: 25 # change accordingly
    username: "" # fill, if needed
    password: "" # fill, if needed
    auth: false # whether authenticated access should be used

To answer your question about replacing SOA - yes, we would highly recommend to switch to this new solution as it is built with new technology, supports the latest version of AV and being improved every day.
Jan Suchan
Avast Business Lead Developer

Offline Security14

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2017, 03:22:57 PM »
first impression:
- compared with the alpha version install the agent/client is OK. In alfa client (avg cc) couldn't  installed. Now apparently the same client but in Avast colors installation is OK.
- it is terribly slow - response of console (google chrome)
- several freeze client application in one day
- console can not in cz language (AFB cloud also not yet)
- not to able mass deployment. In the forum it says that it will be ... so maybe?
- i can not configure the installation package. Do I have to install all components.
- clients can turn update via mirror server, but I don't know how it works -  how can I configure mirror (server location, actualization server hierarchy etc.). As I understand I can specify any device to mirror. But I can not specify which group / device can ask the device for the updates. I can not determine how to apply updates when this device is not available (internet, other mirror).
- can't another user permissions than "account adminidstrator". It is envisaged multilevel administration?
- console has a few features to be able to replace current EA console, It isn't suitable for larger networks (100+) now.
- console has a few features compared with competing solutions (device protection - usb, active directory support, web content filtering, dynamic groups etc.) - comparable cost/benefit ratio.

Offline Martin Svoboda

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2017, 02:40:00 PM »
first impression:
- compared with the alpha version install the agent/client is OK. In alfa client (avg cc) couldn't  installed. Now apparently the same client but in Avast colors installation is OK.
- it is terribly slow - response of console (google chrome)
- several freeze client application in one day
- console can not in cz language (AFB cloud also not yet)
- not to able mass deployment. In the forum it says that it will be ... so maybe?
- i can not configure the installation package. Do I have to install all components.
- clients can turn update via mirror server, but I don't know how it works -  how can I configure mirror (server location, actualization server hierarchy etc.). As I understand I can specify any device to mirror. But I can not specify which group / device can ask the device for the updates. I can not determine how to apply updates when this device is not available (internet, other mirror).
- can't another user permissions than "account adminidstrator". It is envisaged multilevel administration?
- console has a few features to be able to replace current EA console, It isn't suitable for larger networks (100+) now.
- console has a few features compared with competing solutions (device protection - usb, active directory support, web content filtering, dynamic groups etc.) - comparable cost/benefit ratio.

Hi, thanks for the feedback.

  • regarding the remote deploy, if that is what you mean by "mass deployment" - this is already in the roadmap as one of top priority
  • configuration of components before the installation - also already on our list, however without any ETA
  • mirror - thanks for info. We will improve the description and think about the UX around this feature.
  • more user roles - this one is also on top of our roadmap

In terms of missing features - our development working tirelessly to bringing new features continuously (same style like for Avast for Business)

Thank you
Senior Product manager | Avast Business

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Offline contact158

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2017, 11:23:37 AM »
So I installed this new console on a test machine and below you have my feedback:

- the installation process is in English. Will it be translated into French?

- When I downloaded the client from the console, it is under AVG logo -> a bit confusing for customers.

- During the installation process, when asked for an SSL certificate, I tick the radio button 'I don't have SSL certificate' and then when I open the console my browser says the certificate is not secured for this browser (I tried with Chrome and Opera).

- The uninstallation of other Avast products worked but is it also possible to uninstall automatically other AV programs from competitors?

- We absolutely need the remote deployment otherwise we cannot sell this program to companies with up to 30 machines...

- Will it be possible to download reports/ send reports in PDF/CSV format?

- Will it be possible to create several administrator accounts?

- Where are log files?

- Will it be possible to create personnalized installation package (installation package in which we can choose which Avast shield we want to install) ?

- Will it be possible to remotely uninstall Avast client from the console?

- In case the customer is changing the machine in which the console is install (because this machine is broken or out of date) will it be possible to save the settings of this current console to install it in another machine ?

- I see it is possible to configure SMTP from the installation process but in case the customer is changing his SMTP settings later, will it be possible to change the SMTP settings directly from the console ?

Thank you for creating this console. I am aware of all the big job it should be to create it and please don't take badly what I will write now, but usually when a company create a new product, this new product has extra features that were not existing in the previous products but here I cannot see what are the extra features of this new console. So what the goals of this new console ?

Thank you!

Offline sedjaawos

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2017, 02:08:16 PM »
There is my feedback:

I can't update my MAC's via mirror. My MAC's are connected only to domain.

I want full packages for remote install.

Offline Martin Svoboda

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2017, 05:28:51 PM »
Thank you for feedback contact158. Here are my comments:

- the installation process is in English. Will it be translated into French?
Yes in the future.

- When I downloaded the client from the console, it is under AVG logo -> a bit confusing for customers.
In final version there will be avast brand only.

- The uninstallation of other Avast products worked but is it also possible to uninstall automatically other AV programs from competitors?
It is something that we planning to add.

- We absolutely need the remote deployment otherwise we cannot sell this program to companies with up to 30 machines...
It is on the top of our list.

- Will it be possible to download reports/ send reports in PDF/CSV format?
Yes PDF will be available, csv later.

- Will it be possible to create several administrator accounts?
This one is also on top of our roadmap.

- Will it be possible to create personnalized installation package (installation package in which we can choose which Avast shield we want to install) ?
Already on our list, however without any ETA. What is your ideal flow? I mean right now you can disable/enable components with the settings template once AV installation is done. Is that wrong order or can you please explain little bit closely why this should be part of the installation package? Thanks

- Will it be possible to remotely uninstall Avast client from the console?
What exactly do you mean? If you delete device from the console, it will automatically uninstall AV from that device - you do not have to do that manually.

- In case the customer is changing the machine in which the console is install (because this machine is broken or out of date) will it be possible to save the settings of this current console to install it in another machine ?
Will think about that. May I ask, how often this happening? Or is there any other real scenario which requires to export/import all settings?

- I see it is possible to configure SMTP from the installation process but in case the customer is changing his SMTP settings later, will it be possible to change the SMTP settings directly from the console ?
It will be part of the Console.

Senior Product manager | Avast Business

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Offline contact158(1)

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2017, 11:21:18 AM »
Hello Martin

Thank you for your reply.

Regarding the possibility to uninstall automatically AV programs from competitors:
Great news that you plan to have it in this new console! Because it will be a really important key to win new customers. What is often a limit for new customers to switch antivirus is the fact that they have to completely uninstall the previous AV and then install the new one. If Avast is able to uninstall AV from competitors we "skip" the uninstallation step so customers will win time.

Regarding the remote deployment:
Remote deployment from the console is absolutely crucial. The reason why we sold very few cloud version of Avast it is because of the absence of remote deployment. Without remote deployment, we will also have low sales of this console. The reason is simple: you are a customer and you have 20 PCs, you have the choice between Avast Pro or AfB Endpoint Security. For these 2 products you will have to go on each computers to install it but Avast Pro is less expensive than AfB Endpoint Security. So taking into consideration that it will take you the same amount of time to do the installation, you will choose the least expensive product -> so Avast Pro. And if you have more than 20 PCs you don't even consider doing installation on every computers, you want a remote deployment installation.

Regarding the possibility to create personnalized installation package:
So based on what I understand with this new console, I will have to first install the console, then go on each computers to install the client and after that go back to the console to disable the Avast shield I don't want to install. Please take into consideration that in SMBs not all the computers are at the same place, so most of the time we install the console on the server which is in the boss office, then we will need to go on every offices to install the client, then we will need to go back to the boss office to disable the Avast shield from the console. I know that by going back and forward I will make some sport and lose weight :-) but I think it will be better and we will win some time if we can create a personnalized installation package directly from the console and then go to every computers to do the installation (if we cannot get the remote deployment).

Regarding the possibility to reinstall the console on a new machine without losing the settings:
It is very important! Just imagine if a customer install the console on a Windows Server 2003 and he bought a license file for 3 years. In 2 years he will probably need to replace this old obsolète machine by a new server and if we told him: "sorry but you also have to completely reinstall all your antivirus because it is not possible to save the settings". What a waste of time! It is not convenient at all. You have also the case of customers who install the console on the boss computer but the boss finds out after 3 months that managing his antivirus is time consuming and he asks one of his employee to do it so it is necessary to reinstall the console on this employee customer. It might be strange situation to you but me who is reselling Avast since many years I can say you that this situation happens quite often...

Also are you going to add new features to this new console? Because for the moment this console seems to be a simplified version of Avast Enterprise Administration and it means that me, my resellers and my customers will have to get used to a new console with exactly the same features as the previous console but with no extra benefits. So we will waste time because the features will not be placed at the same place as in Enterprise Administration but we will have no extra benefits from this console. Do you understand me? As an Avast reseller, if there is no extra features to bring values to this new console, it will be perceived by my resellers and customers as a waste of time..

I'm sorry that all my feedback is based on the seller point of view but I guess that your goal at the end is to sell this console to as many customers as possible :-)

Offline Martin Svoboda

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2017, 02:50:33 PM »
You are perfectly right contact158 and I appreciate your provided context - it is really important to us understand the real goal (not just to see a label of a feature)... and see entire situation... The better we can understand your situations the better we would be able to  address these needs by developing the right solution.

You can consider the current state as rock solid foundation which was a necessary step (from the technological point of view) from the long-term perspective.

Yes, we have a list of features on our roadmap which will be added to both cloud and on-premise version of the Console. Except for the features that I already commented, we want to bring you guys more information about the activity on endpoints, more insights in general, so you will have a better understanding and therefore making better-informed decisions/actions.

Please take into consideration that in SMBs not all the computers are at the same place, so most of the time we install the console on the server which is in the boss office, then we will need to go on every offices to install the client, then we will need to go back to the boss office to disable the Avast shield from the console. I know that by going back and forward I will make some sport and lose weight :-)
Hmmm, maybe instead of remote deploy we can deliver sport-tracker with every purchase and until you reach at least 1000 steps you won't be able to install AV to endpoints. Therefore not only protecting company data we can also help you to get in shape :D (just kidding)
Senior Product manager | Avast Business

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Offline Asyn

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2017, 02:54:08 PM »
A question from a customer: Will Software Updater be included..?
Win 8.1 [x64] - Avast PremSec 20.8.2427.B#2 [UI.560] - CC 5.71 - EEK - FF ESR 68.12 [NS/AOS/uBO/PB] - TB 68.12 - SB/CP/SL/DU.BC
Deutschsprachiger Bereich -> Avast Wissenswertes (Downloads, Anleitungen & Infos): https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=60523.0

Offline Martin Svoboda

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2017, 02:59:46 PM »
A question from a customer: Will Software Updater be included..?

Yes 8) It will be presented on AV. Integration with console (full control and settings) will follow.
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Offline Asyn

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2017, 03:03:12 PM »
A question from a customer: Will Software Updater be included..?
Yes 8) It will be presented on AV. Integration with console (full control and settings) will follow.
Sounds good, thanks Martin. :) Cheers.
Win 8.1 [x64] - Avast PremSec 20.8.2427.B#2 [UI.560] - CC 5.71 - EEK - FF ESR 68.12 [NS/AOS/uBO/PB] - TB 68.12 - SB/CP/SL/DU.BC
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Offline .: Mac :.

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2017, 08:41:02 PM »
Have it up in test machine now. Very much similar to the current Avast for Business cloud console.

Some questions on the functionality:

1) Will it be possible to have 2nd level mirrors as in current AEA? This is handy for branch offices.
2) Will there be a possibility to use Active Directory for client discovery/deploy as in current AEA?
3) The installer downloads from cloudcare.avg.com, is this a re-branded AVG console or derived from the existing Avast for Business product?


Cheers,
Mac
« Last Edit: April 23, 2017, 08:47:50 PM by .: Mac :. »
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Offline Martin Svoboda

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Re: Beta version of the new on-premise Avast Business Management Console
« Reply #14 on: April 28, 2017, 05:03:30 PM »
Have it up in test machine now. Very much similar to the current Avast for Business cloud console.

Some questions on the functionality:

1) Will it be possible to have 2nd level mirrors as in current AEA? This is handy for branch offices.
2) Will there be a possibility to use Active Directory for client discovery/deploy as in current AEA?
3) The installer downloads from cloudcare.avg.com, is this a re-branded AVG console or derived from the existing Avast for Business product?


Cheers,
Mac

Hi Mac,

1, 2 - we will consider this
3 - New On-premise console is derived from the existing Avast for Business and using some components from CloudCare, such as Agent. The download from cloudcare.avg.com is the temporary solution for the beta.
Senior Product manager | Avast Business

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