PMC 2.0 Quick Start Guide
PMC Device Management provides simple and powerful device management for RX300 & RX-RDP thin clients. PMC does NOT support RX-HDX (Citrix) thin client.
PMC licensing information
PMC is NComputing's device management software for RX300 and RX-RDP devices. Number of available PMC licenses depends on managed device model and associated AMP (Annual Maintenance Program) status:
- Each RX-RDP device comes with a perpetual license for the PMC software and first-year complimentary software maintenance update (AMP for RX-RDP). After the first-year complimentary AMP for RX-RDP has expired then the RX-RDP device can only receive firmware updates from PMC. Furthermore, extended AMP for RX-RDP licenses must be purchased and allocated to each RX-RDP device to allow PMC to push firmware update.
- The RX300 device requires a separate purchase of either AMP for vSpace Pro or AMP for VERDE VDI to receive the PMC software license for that device.
- Once PMC is registered to NComputing Management Portal, it will auto-detect the PMC licensing allowance for RX-RDP and RX300 devices that have been connected to PMC.
pmc device management key features:
- Manage your installation over local and wide-area networks, behind firewalls and NAT-routers
- Automatic discover, check-in, flexible configuration & provisioning of new devices making the deployment easy.
- Schedule firmware updates and manage all your devices from a web browser.
- Provision device profiles and push configurations to individual or grouped devices.
- Advanced hierarchical device grouping and device profile assignment for cross organizational deployment.
- Deployed as a virtual appliance compatible with industry-standard hypervisors.
- Dashboard with auto-refreshing summary info.
- Detailed event logging with filtering capability.
- Supported NComputing devices including RX300 and RX-RDP.
General Information and Installation Instructions:
Following are the important points to consider before and during PMC installations:
- After uploading the PMC virtual appliance to a hypervisor care must be taken to ensure that the virtual Ethernet interface is connected to a virtual network which is bridged with the hypervisor’s physical network interface. This network interface must be accessible by the managed devices. Connecting the PMC virtual appliance to hypervisor’s NAT-network or host-only network will prevent the managed devices from connecting to PMC.
- After being uploaded to a hypervisor and started for the first the PMC virtual appliance will obtain an IP address from a DHCP server. NComputing strongly recommends to assign a static IP address (or at least to create a DHCP reservation) for the PMC appliance. This is to ensure that PMC will always appear in the network with the same IP address. PMC virtual appliance automatically starts a TUI (text-based user interface) on its virtual console (which is accessible through hypervisor’s administration interface). TUI allows the configuration of PMC virtual appliance’s network interfaces.
- PMC’s web-based user interface can be accessed from any modern web browser through the ‘https://<PMC_address>/pmc’ URL, where <PMC_address> must be replaced with the proper address of the PMC virtual appliance, as shown in the TUI.
- The PMC component delivering the web-based user interface is preconfigured with a self-signed SSL certificate. An exception for the PMC URL should be created in the web browser used for accessing PMC’s web-based interface.
- PMC virtual appliance must be activated with the NComputing Management Portal before it will be used for managing any devices. The activation page will appear when the web-based user interface will be opened for the first time.
- The built-in PMC user account with administrative privileges is ‘pmcadmin’. The password is ‘pmcadmin’ too.
- The devices to become manageable must obtain the address of the PMC appliance (the URL of the PMC Management Server) to connect to. The address/URL can be specified manually in the Management section of RX300 and RX-RDP Setup GUI as the ‘Use following PMC address’ parameter.
- To automate the PMC server discovery the DHCP option 207 can be used. This DHCP option should provide a string value containing the URL in form of ‘https://<PMC_address>’, where <PMC_address> must be replaced with the proper IP address of the PMC virtual appliance.
- As HTTPS protocol will be used by the devices for communication with PMC the TCP 443 port must be opened on all firewalls located between the managed devices and the PMC appliance.
- The managed devices repeatedly send to PMC small portions of information – so called heartbeats. This happens every 30 seconds. Heartbeats allow PMC to keep track of devices which are online and also give the devices the information about PMC availability. In responses to heartbeats PMC sends to devices requests to execute management actions. Because of this approach the devices may react with some delay (up to 30 seconds) to management actions performed in PMC.
Known Issues and workarounds:
- When new (not yet registered) devices will connect to PMC for the first time PMC may not yet have the AMP information associated with the managed devices. Clicking the ‘Refresh’ button under ‘Administration > Licensing’ in PMC’s web-based user interface will force PMC to report to Management Portal serial numbers of all connected devices. Management Portal will register the new devices and return to PMC the associated licensing information. This will allow PMC to display the devices on the lists.
- After changing in the TUI the IP address of PMC appliance’s network interface the ‘Base URL of this PMC server in your network’ (under ‘Administration > Server settings’ in PMC’s web-based user interface) will still contain the old IP address. This happens because the PMC Management Server component only adjusts the ‘Base URL’ to match the current IP address at system boot-up.
Workaround: Rebooting the PMC virtual appliance after changing the IP address in the TUI resolves the issue. The ‘Base URL’ can be changed directly on the ‘Administration > Server settings’ page of PMC web-based interface too. In this case PMC appliance reboot will not be necessary.
- Firmware updates fail on RX300 devices running the 3.1.3 firmware.
This issue happens because the RX300 3.1.3 firmware was not yet ready for firmware downloads through the HTTPS protocol, which is the default communication protocol used by PMC.
Workaround: The below steps must be followed to update the 3.1.3 firmware to a newer version:
- Connect with an SSH client (e.g. PuTTY) to the IP address of the PMC appliance and logon as the 'root' user with 'pmcadmin' password.
- Invoke the following command to stop the network firewall on PMC appliance:
systemctl stop firewalld
- In PMC’s web-based user interface, under ‘Administration > Server settings’, change the 'Base URL of this PMC server in your network' to use the HTTP protocol and port 8080, like: http://192.168.2.10:8080. Double click the URL to edit it. Use the real IP address of the PMC appliance instead of 192.168.2.10 from the above example.
After this change PMC will create the firmware download URLs using the modified ‘Base URL’. This will allow the devices running the 3.1.3 firmware to successfully download and update the firmware.
To revert the changes after completing firmware updates on all devices do the following:
- Invoke the following command to start the network firewall again:
systemctl start firewalld
- Revert the ‘Base URL of this PMC server in your network’ setting to its original value (containing the HTTPS protocol and no port number, like: https://192.168.2.10).
- Attempt to save edited device configuration for ‘Audio output priority’ or to store device configuration as a profile can fail with ‘Validation of device configuration has failed’ error message.
Workaround: If the managed device displays in its local GUI the ‘Audio output priority’ list with the ‘Audio’ item spelled with uppercase ‘A’ then resetting the device to factory defaults should resolve the issue. To reset the device to factory defaults do the following:
- With the device GUI visible on the screen press [Ctrl]-[Win]-[F12] to open the ‘rx-terminal’ window.
- Invoke the ‘reset-to-factory’ command.
Note: This issue was specific to RX300 device with firmware version 3.2.7 or older. Newer RX300 firmware versions correct this issue automatically during firmware update. NComputing strongly recommends updating all devices to latest available firmware version before starting managing them from PMC.
- PMC-697 – Unexpected error while importing PCM 1.1.0 appliance into XenServer 7.0.
Note: This message can be safely ignored.