When deploying an enterprise application like BigFix, there are a number of questions that must be answered before deployment begins. Below is a list of commonly asked questions and other information that will aid in the deployment planning process. If you have any questions about these topics, please contact your sales engineer or support technician. In addition, the BigFix Administrator's Guide contains more detailed discussion of deployment issues.

How many BigFix Clients are necessary for your deployment?

  • Each server, laptop, desktop, or any other computer with the BES Agent installed is considered a single BES Client license.
  • Don't forget to include the non-Windows computers, home users, traveling users, and room for growth (additional BigFix Client licenses can easily be added after deployment).
How many BigFix Servers are necessary for your deployment?
  • One is recommended for most deployments.
  • You can separate the administrative rights of different BigFix Console operators to only let them view their own computers - BigFix Administrator's Guide.
  • Some organizations deploy multiple BigFix Consoles for organizational/political reasons, but there will likely be additional hardware and administration costs.
What are the BigFix Server Requirements for your deployment?
  • View the BigFix Server computer requirements.
  • Servers that are more powerful than the recommended specifications can lead to better performance.
  • Certain factors will require a more powerful BigFix Server, such as a higher number of BigFix Console operators (> 50-100).
  • View the potential performance issues in your deployment.
How many BigFix Consoles operators are going to use BigFix?
  • There is no additional license cost for each BigFix Console operator.
  • There tends to be an administration cost per BigFix Console operator (create the user account and password, establish the appropriate management rights for BigFix Client, provide training, etc.).
  • As more simultaneous BigFix Console operators connect to the BigFix Server, there is a performance degradation and a more powerful BigFix Server may be necessary.
  • An additional issue to be addressed is the way BigFix Console privileges will be separated, whether by subnet or location, by active directory, or an another property.
What are the bandwidth limitations within your network?
  • One of the main strengths of BigFix is the ability to work in a variety of environments including in networks with very small bandwidth pipes (4 kbps to 128 kbps).
  • It is recommended to have at least one BigFix Relay per geographic location for bandwidth reasons - BigFix Relay FAQ.
  • It is recommended to throttle the bandwidth usage for BigFix Clients that are connecting on dial-up or slow VPN connections -BigFix bandwidth throttling options (throttle option "B").
  • Consider throttling the bandwidth usage for BigFix Relays downloading files on very slow pipes - BigFix bandwidth throttling options (throttle option "A").
  • Speak with your sales engineer or support technician for more information on lowering the risk of WAN problems within your organization.
Which computers are going to be used as BigFix Relays computers?
  • A BigFix Relay is recommended per 500-1000 BigFix Clients for optimal performance.
  • BigFix Relays are designed to run on shared computers, such as file servers, print servers, SMS servers, AV servers, etc.
  • BigFix Relays are easy to install and uninstall through the BigFix Console.
  • BigFix Clients can be set to automatically find their closest BigFix Relay based on network hops, thereby significantly reducing administration costs.
  • Most BigFix customers use existing infrastructure for BigFix Relays or purchase minimal additional hardware for the BigFix Relays.
  • Desktop computers can be used as BigFix Relays, but it is important that the computer be on all the time and if there is a user working on the BigFix Relay computer, they may experience some small performance issues.
  • It is recommended to have a "Top Level BigFix Relay" to accept incoming connections from other BigFix Relays for deployments over 10,000 or deployments with more than 50 BigFix Relays (although a top level BigFix Relay can be used in smaller deployments).
  • More information available at BigFix Relay FAQ and in the BigFix Administrator's Guide.
How are the BigFix Clients going to be deployed?
  • The recommended method of deploying the BigFix Client to computers is to use whichever method is the standard practice for installing applications or patches at the organization.
  • BigFix customers have used several methods of BigFix Client deployment successfully including third party deployment applications, login scripts, the BigFix Client Deployment tool, and others.
  • More information is available in the BigFix Administrator's Guide.
Do you have policies in place for the security concerns with BigFix?
  • Make sure to keep the site credential files and publisher credential files.
  • Make sure to securely backup the site credentials key files and password.
  • You can revoke access of users no longer authorized to use BigFix.
  • Understand that the key files and their password control access to all the BigFix Clients in the organization.
  • BigFix cannot help if you lose your key files or passwords because the private key files are never sent to BigFix.
  • More information is available in the BigFix Administrator's Guide.
If there are other deployment issues that are not addressed here, check the BigFix Administrator's Guide or contact your sales engineer or support technician.