Upgrading Windows client software automatically

Overview
To automatically upgrade the client on all of the Windows devices, you use the System policy. Windows devices receive a delta upgrade package if the install cache is still present on the device. This package is smaller than the full installation package. Otherwise, the device receives the full installation package.
You can upgrade the client using multiple ways. The method you should use depends on your environment and goals. For example, you might have a large number of clients or groups, or devices that run different versions of the client.
Some methods can take up to 30 minutes. Therefore, you may want to upgrade client software when most users are not logged on to their devices.
Methods to upgrade the client software
Method
When to use
When not to use
Client Upgrade (Recommended for smaller environments)
  • When you have a smaller number of clients, such as 5,000 clients or fewer.
  • When you need to schedule the upgrade to occur when it will not interrupt users' work.
  • When you use the cloud console and not a third-party application to deploy the client installation package.
  • When you need to upgrade either Windows clients, but not Mac clients.
  • When you want a simple upgrade method.
  • When you have a larger number of clients. This method does not scale well.
  • When you have a lot of groups.
  • When you have a complicated upgrade schedule where you need a lot of granularity.
  • When you need to upgrade Mac clients.
Export a client installation package (Recommended for larger environments)
  • When you deploy the client installation package manually instead of using the cloud console.
  • When you deploy the client installation package with an existing third-party deployment application instead of with the cloud console. To use this method, you should have this infrastructure already in place.
  • When you need to upgrade Mac clients. The Mac client does not upgrade automatically. Users must uninstall and then reinstall the client installation package.
  • When you normally use the cloud console to update the clients.
Client upgrade best practices
Use the following best practices for automatic upgrade:
  • Test the upgrade process before you attempt to upgrade a large number of devices in your production network. If you do not have a test network, you can create a test group within your production network. For this kind of test, you add a few non-critical clients to the test group and then upgrade them by policy.
  • To reduce bandwidth during peak hours, schedule the upgrade for after hours.
  • The upgrade can only install the Application Hardening feature on client devices when the following conditions are met:
    • You must enable
      Maintain existing client features when updating
      when you run
      Upgrade Clients with Package
      . This setting is enabled by default.
    • The device cannot have the Symantec Data Center Security agent installed.
    • The Antimalware (Virus and Spyware Protection) feature is currently installed and selected for upgrade.
Step 1: Configure the client upgrade settings
  1. In the cloud console, go to
    Policies
    >
    Default System Policy
    .
  2. Under
    Client Upgrade Settings
    , select the toggle next to
    Allow Client Upgrade
    to enable it.
  3. Select
    Show Advanced
    to further configure upgrade settings.
  4. To apply the policy to the device group that you want to upgrade, select
    Apply
    .
Step 2: Configure the LiveUpdate server
You must have LiveUpdate configured to use either a Symantec LiveUpdate server or one that you install.
Step 3: Restart the device after upgrade
The device must be restarted after the upgrade. By default, the clients restart after installation. You can configure the restart options in the Device Integrity policy to control how the clients in a group restart after the client upgrade.
Step 4: Verify that the client software installed correctly
After the upgrade completes, you can check the version to confirm a successful upgrade in one of the following ways:
  • In the cloud console, go to
    Devices > Device Groups
    , select the appropriate group from the list. Select
    Show Filters
    , and then filter the list by version.
  • On the
    Home
    page >
    Home
    tab, go to
    IT Operations
    >
    Client Version Distribution
    widget.
  • On the Windows client interface, go to
    Help > About
    .