Duplicate Virtual Computers

(imported topic written by bvickers91)

I’ve got an issue with duplicate computers showing up in the console, but it is only with our virtual servers. We have an ever growing VMWare ESX environment, so I’m not sure if it has something to do with moving the servers between hosts or not. Sometimes I am able to see a difference in CPU in the console, but most of the time there appears to be no difference.

This is playing havoc with our sites, because when a “new” computer is added to the console, it doesn’t get added to the correct site (Test, Production, DR, etc.) and we have to manually move it.

I’m on, including all relays and clients.

Is there something that we need to configure just on the VM’s?

Also, all the history of fixlets and actions appears to be with the older/offline computers. If I remove the offline ones, is all that history going to be gone as well?

(imported comment written by bvickers91)

Update…I had this happen to another one of our virtual servers. The only fixlet that was deployed was MS09-001 and the server was rebooted.

I’ve now got two servers listed in the console and the new one has no historical information associated with it and it’s not a member of the appropriate site. All the historical information is listed with the original one that is showing offline. The VM is still on the same ESX host as it was prior to the fixlet and reboot.

All of my affected VM’s are running Server 2003 R2.

(imported comment written by BenKus)

Hi bvickers,

BigFix Agents are identified by a unique ComputerID stored in the registry. If this ID is lost or if multiple computers share the same ID, a new ID is issued and the computer will appear to be a “duplicate” in the BES Console. To prevent this from happening, you will need to make sure:

  • Computers don’t share the same ComputerID – See instructions at http://support.bigfix.com/cgi-bin/kbdirect.pl?id=127 for more details.
  • Make sure that the computer’s registry (in particular HKLM\Software\BigFix) doesn’t get restored to a previous state (such as if you ran a VM for a while and then restored to previous state). If you do this, it will reset the sequence numbers and trigger the agent to reset its computer ID.

Note that this behavior is by-design because if you restore a backup of a system or you restore to a previous snapshot of a VM, the history is invalidated because you might have reversed some of the actions in BigFix and the fact that it says an action was completed could be confusing/misleading. Note that in any case, the agent’s relevant Fixlets should be accurate at all times.

If you want to make sure you remove old duplicates, we have a tool to make this easier (you can run this periodically from the Task scheduler if you would like): http://support.bigfix.com/bes/install/downloadutility.html#besduplicateremoval