I am new to Remote Management Agent (RMA). Is there information to help me get started?
Getting Started with RMA
The purpose of this document is to assist IBM customers and business partners with setting up RMA and IBM Director to remotely manage the POS systems in their retail stores.
- Remote Management Agent (RMA) Version 2.6
- IBM Director Server 5.20.3 with Service Update 4
Introduction to Remote Management Agent (RMA)
IBM Remote Management Agent (RMA) enables end-to-end systems management of store devices and applications. The solution provides remote store-level configuration, monitoring, event management, asset management/inventory, software distribution, file transfer, and power management.
RMA is integrated with IBM Director Server, which provides the ability to perform systems management tasks on all of your IBM assets with one management tool.
The following IBM retail hardware platforms are supported:
- SurePOS 700
- SurePOS 500
- SurePOS 300
- SurePOS 100
- Anyplace Kiosk
- Self Checkout
- Attached retail I/O devices (e.g. POS printer, POS keyboard, etc.)
The operating systems supported by RMA 2.6 are:
- Microsoft Windows 2003 Server SP2
- Microsoft Windows 2003 Server R2 SP2
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP3
- Microsoft Windows Embedded for Point-of-Service (WEPOS) 1.1
- Microsoft Windows Vista for Business SP1
- Microsoft Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 (next generation of WEPOS)
- Microsoft Windows 7 Professional
- SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 11 SP1
- SuSE Linux Enterprise Point of Service (SLEPOS) 11 SP1
- SuSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 SP1
- 4690 V6R2
Additionally, RMA 2.6 supports communication with previous levels of RMA running on the following platforms:
- IRES 2.1.5, which includes RMA 2.3
- 4690 V5R2, which includes RMA 2.2
- 4690 V6R1, which includes RMA 2.4
For more information about RMA and retail systems management, please visit:
Online Demo of RMA
If you would like to get a quick idea of the capabilities of RMA and Director, there is an online flash demo of the product at the following URL:
RMA is provided as a no-charge download for IBM POS systems, and can be downloaded from:
For Microsoft Windows POS systems, RMA can be downloaded and installed either interactively or in silent mode via the command line.
For IRES systems, RMA is shipped with IRES 2.1.5, so there's no need to download it from the RMA download website above.
For SLES, SLED, or SLEPOS, RMA can be downloaded and installed using the instructions provided in the RMA user's guide.
For 4690 V5R2, V6, or higher, RMA is shipped with the operating system, so there's no need to download it from the RMA download website above. Please note for V5R2 that RMA comes on a separate CSD from the base operating system, which must be installed via ASM ("Apply Software Maintenance"). For V6 and higher, RMA is installed along with the base operating system.
Installing and Using RMA
There are many resources available to help you learn to use RMA. The primary reference for RMA is the RMA User's Guide, which can be downloaded from:
For a list of additional resources (documents, education courses, support information, etc.), please refer to the section "Additional Resources" at the end of this article.
Quick-In stall Guide
The "quick-install guide" gives step-by-step instructions for installing RMA and Director. It explains the entire setup process, including Director discovery of the RMA agents. The quick-install guide is now included as the first chapter in the "RMA Cookbook". You can download it from here:
RMA has the ability to manage IBM POS peripherals by using the latest UnifiedPOS (UPOS) driver package, which can be downloaded from:
Note: On 4690, there is no need for the UPOS drivers -- the peripheral instrumentation is built-in to the operating system for use with RMA.
RMA can also report information on the various temperatures, fan speeds, and voltages for IBM POS hardware. This feature requires the installation of the IBM POS Sensor Drivers, which can be downloaded from:
Introduction to IBM Director
IBM Director Server is a powerful suite of tools and utilities that automate many of the processes that are required to manage systems proactively, including asset tracking, preventive maintenance, diagnostic monitoring, troubleshooting, and more.
Director is included at no additional charge with certain IBM System p5™, System i5™, System x™, System z9™, and BladeCenter® servers. The license includes authorizations for the following installations:
- One installation of IBM Director Server
- 20 installations of IBM Director Agent on non-IBM systems
- Unlimited installations of IBM Director Console
For a complete list of IBM Intel®-compatible systems that are entitled to an IBM Director license, see the "IBM Director Hardware and Software Support Guide" on the Director 5.20 resources page:
For more information about IBM Director 5.20, visit:
Downloading IBM Director
IBM Director Server 5.20 can be downloaded from:
Steps to download:
- Under "Choose Software", select "IBM Director 5.20".
- In the "Download Software" section, enter your personal information and server serial number, and click Submit. (If you don't have a server serial number, you can enter anything in this field to continue.)
- On the next page, sign in with your IBM ID. (If you do not have one, you can create one by clicking Register here on this page.)
- On the next page, select "IBM Director for Microsoft Windows and Linux on x86 / Version 5.20" and click Continue.
- On the next page, view the license information, select I agree, then select I confirm.
- On the next page, select both of the following packages to download:
First, select "IBM Director 5.20.3 Server for Windows (full install package)":
Second, select "IBM Director 5.20.3 Service Update 4 for Windows (Update Package)":
IBM Director Documents and Resources
IBM Director 5.20 documentation can be downloaded at:
The above web page includes a collection of documents related to IBM Director. You can download product release notes, product documentation, whitepapers, and redbooks. You can also read about extensions that are available for IBM Director, and participate in the user’s forum for Director.
An especially good resource for IBM Director is the IBM Redbook titled "Implementing IBM Director 5.20" which can be downloaded from here:
What's New in RMA 2.6?
RMA 2.6 was released in April 2010 and introduced the following new features for managing your POS systems:
- Support for Windows 7 Professional
- New “RMA File Transfer" task to allow easier transfer of files to/from your stores
- Power management for 4690 terminals
- Support for master agents that use DHCP instead of static IP
- Logging all Director-to-RMA connection activity for easier connection troubleshooting
- Enhanced inventory data for Linux/4690, with more consistent presentation for multi-OS environments
- Improved usability for RMA data capture / diagnostic collection
- Checkpoint / restart for RMA software distribution, data capture
- Prioritized event fetching to ensure important events are handled first
- Managed Object consolidation when multiple RMA instances exist on a single system
- Support for UPOS 1.13.1
- New OPOS Systems Management Support
- Support for new 4820 displays
What's New in RMA 2.5?
RMA 2.5 was released in May 2009 and included the following new features:
- Support for POSReady 2009 (next generation of WEPOS)
- Support for SuSE Linux Enterprise Desktop (SLED) 11 -- including the ability to inventory and monitor the system via SFCB-based instrumentation, and Linux CIM event forwarders (allowing RMA to receive events from Linux UPOS drivers, sensor drivers, etc.)
- "Deep Sleep" (S3) support to enhance remote power management (for Windows systems only)
- Inventory reporting for installed patches and security updates (for Windows systems only)
- Enhanced security with new "Enterprise Store Authorization Manager" to secure remote connections
- Performance and scalability improvements for large enterprises
- Support for Retail Extensions on 64-bit Director Server (on Windows 2003 Server 64-bit)
- Support for latest retail hardware and drivers (newest SurePOS 300 models, newest printer and cash drawer models, UPOS 1.12, etc.)
RMA 2.5 was refreshed later in 2009 and included the following additional features for V2R5:
- Inventory monitoring capability
- Windows event log integration -- allows RMA to forward events from the Windows event log (system, security, or application event logs) to IBM Director
- Enhanced security between MA and GA's to prevent unwanted connections to GA's in your stores
What's New in RMA 2.4?
RMA 2.4 was released in December 2008 and included the following new features:
- Power management -- shutdown, restart, and wake up your POS terminals (note: waking not yet supported on 4690)
- Enhanced ability to connect to your stores via an improved NAT-routable RMA interface
- Support for modular POS keyboards
- Support for enhanced POS printers, models 4610-2CR and 4610-2NR
- Support for 4690 V6
- Improved memory usage for RMA data capture
RMA 2.4 support for 4690 V6 includes:
- Software distribution via ASM ("Apply Software Maintenance")
- Software inventory
- Enhanced event management for 4690
- Expanded peripheral device manageability for 4690 terminal-attached devices
- Support for "resource monitors" task on 4690
- Ability to run the master agent on the controller
What's New in RMA 2.3?
RMA 2.3 was released in April 2008 and included the following new features:
- Full integration with IBM Director's "resource monitors" task
- Event forwarders for UPOS peripheral devices, Windows SMART events, and POS Sensor Drivers
- Enhanced logging for troubleshooting RMA
- Director 5.20.2 with service update 2 required for RMA 2.3
- Support for Windows Vista for Business
- Support for WEPOS 1.1 for both master agents and general agents
In addition to the RMA user's guide and the Director resources described above, the following resources are available to help you learn how to install and use RMA and IBM Director:
- (NEW!) RMA Cookbook. The goal for this document is to give you loads of examples for setting up and using RMA to inventory, monitor, and update your POS systems -- on Windows, 4690, and Linux. It's an "educational tool" to help you learn how to use the solution. You can download it from here:
- (NEW!) Importable Thresholds and Event Action Plans. To make it easier to set up thresholds to monitor your POS hardware, IBM publishes predefined threshold plans and event action plans that are ready to be imported into Director. These samples for RMA are available for select hardware models, and can be downloaded from the following URL:
- RMA Education Online. The following education courses for RMA are available free of charge:
RE3030 - Installing Remote Management Agent (RMA). This is a 50-minute video on how to install RMA and IBM Director.
RE3020 - Remote Management Agent Technical Education. Basic technical overview of RMA.
RE7080 - Using Systems Management to Sell IBM Retail Solutions. For business partners and IBM employees.
To access these and other education courses, use the URL's below:
IBM Business Partners:
The RMA courses can be found at the above education websites, listed under "Retail Store Solutions", "Online Learning", "Software --> Systems Management".
- Search the RSS Knowledge Base. Go to the main RSS support site, located here:
Enter keywords to search the knowledge base, as shown below:
- TechLine. If you still need help after using the resources above, you can always ask a question about RMA using the “Ask a Retail Question” area of the RSS support page:
You can expect a timely response from an IBM pre-sales support representative. On the main support site, scroll down to the “Ask a Retail Question” section, as shown below: