My previous blog comparing Adaptiva OneSite and 1E Nomad raised some questions and I’ve been researching the answers. In this blog I’ll suggest 10 questions that everyone should ask about these products before they use them. Adaptiva OneSite and 1E Nomad comparision.
Q1: Will it eliminate all my Distribution Points?
OneSite – Yes, eliminates all DPs
Nomad – No, DPs are still required
OneSite doesn’t use DPs at all. OneSite server acquires packages directly from the Site server, and serves out the first copy directly to the first client. All subsequent downloads are from one client to another.
Nomad elects one client as the Master client for each subnet, which must have a DP available from which it copies packages. According to Mark Cochrane of vNext, “Our original architecture relied on 700 servers, with Nomad we have dropped that to 300″.
Q2: Can it prevent WAN congestion?
OneSite – Yes, monitors routers to prevent congestion
Nomad – No, uses a ping method that reacts to congestion after it has occurred
OneSite works by measuring the length of data queues on the routers and sends a chunk of data only when the queue is nearly empty. This prevents network congestion even before it happens.
According to 1E, Nomad clients ping the DP after every 4 seconds and slow down their copying if the responses get delayed. Usually pings get across the WAN very easily. If pings are getting delayed, it is a strong sign that network congestion has already happened.
Q3: Will it compress data sent over the WAN
OneSite – Yes, compresses packages before sending over the WAN
Nomad – No, copies full packages
The OneSite server compresses each package while acquiring it, and publishes a highly compressed copy of it. This compressed copy is then sent across the WAN.
In my testing, I created an AutoCAD package with all prerequisites, with a total size 3 GB. OneSite compressed it down to 2 GB before sending over the WAN, and then re-expanded it into the client cache.
Nomad Master clients copy full expanded packages directly from the DP, so there is no compression.
Q4: Can it do byte level differencing?
OneSite – Yes, automatically performs byte level differencing
Nomad – No, there is no byte level differencing
Byte level differencing is especially useful for images. In my testing, when I added some files to an image, OneSite automatically sent out only a small diff file instead of sending the whole image.
Nomad has to resend the whole image after any changes have been made.
UPDATE : Latest version of Nomad has added support for byte level differencing. I haven’t tested it. Please verify and confirm.
Q5: Is it really Peer to Peer?
OneSite – Yes, one client sends to only one other client
Nomad – No, master client behaves like a BDP
OneSite clients arrange themselves in a daisy chain and each client sends the package to the next and so on. Each client actually sends the package to only one other client. It behaves like a true Peer to Peer system.
In case of Nomad, one of the clients on each subnet gets elected as the Master, all other clients connect to it and start copying files over SMB. This is very similar to how a BDP actually works.
Q6: Will it manage client caches?
OneSite – Yes, caching file system
Nomad – No, separate tools are provided
OneSite contains a caching file system driver, which creates a virtual SAN in each branch office. It automatically manages the client caches for the whole branch office, and there is never a need to manage the cache manually.
Nomad starts deleting packages based on package priority when the disk is more than 90% full. But this can lead to deletion of useful packages, so tools have been provided which administrators can run manually to delete useless packages.
Q7: Can it support PXE in branch offices?
OneSite – Yes, Peer to Peer PXE built-in, no extra purchase or install required.
Nomad – Yes, PXE Lite with purchase of Enterprise edition and consulting services.
OneSite includes Peer to Peer PXE built-in.
According to Adaptiva, “P2P PXE is included with your basic One Site license – there are no additional licensing costs, and no consulting services that need to be purchased”.
OneSite’s P2P PXE doesn’t require any installation: “No servers or server roles are required. No router changes are required. No DHCP server configuration changes are required. There is nothing to install, or configure, in any of your branch offices, period.”
Nomad branch and PXE Lite are sold together as Nomad Enterprise, which also requires purchase of professional services for deployment. According to 1E, “this tool is also a bit complex to set up initially, hence the need for a services engagement in production”.
This is probably because PXELiteServer.EXE needs to be installed on 2 – 3 machines on each subnet of every branch office in order for the solution to work.
According to 1E, “There’s also a web service which is used by PXE Lite Server to interface with the ConfigMgr database; there’s a stored procedure which is installed into the ConfigMgr database (for the use of the web service, unsurprisingly)”.
Q8: Will it give me visibility into downloads?
OneSite – Yes, 40 real-time web reports built in, shows WAN and LAN costs, etc.
Nomad – No reporting, but client side console can be used to look at downloads happening on a single machine.
OneSite automatically creates about 40 real-time web reports during installation. These display real time data about all downloads that are taking place, per collection, per package, per AD site, etc., including the WAN and LAN costs for each download.
Nomad provides a console that can be used for visibility into a single client machine, but there is no central reporting feature provided.
Q9: What kind of SCCM data can it manage?
OneSite – Packages, Policy, Hardware inventory, Software inventory, Software metering, Status messages
Nomad – Packages
OneSite is meant to be a solution for all kinds of SCCM data, including SCCM Policy, all types of Inventory data, and Status messages, in addition to Packages.
Nomad manages only SCCM Packages.
Q10: Does it support package encryption?
OneSite – Yes, packages can be encrypted with a 128-bit security key
Nomad – No, there is no support for package encryption
OneSite contains a built-in encryption engine that will encrypt packages using a 128-bit encryption key. Clients can host the packages and share them with other clients, but only those clients will be able to use the packages which have been targeted with an advertisement.
Nomad does not support package encryption.
Update 26-Sept-2012 : I’ve seen some other post which claims my post is the comparison between “1E’s Nomad 2012 and Adaptiva OneSite” The author of that post must have at least cross checked the release date of my post i.e 7-Sep-2011 and the release date of Nomad 2012 🙂 . As per myITforum post, 25 July 2012, 1E, the global leader in IT efficiency software, today announced the launch ofNomad 2012™.
I didn’t had enough time to get this post updated with the comparison between 1E Nomad 2012 and the latest version of Adaptiva OneSite. I’m happy that 1E Nomad team taken my comparisons seriously and improved their product 🙂 . Always test, test and test before buy any product 🙂 so that you’ll come to know which one is better product 🙂