Asset Management

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2003-06-23 Print this article Print

Asset Management

Unicenter Asset Management 4.0, which shipped in April, is priced at $65 per seat for a single license. Version 4.0 boasts much simpler installation and, more importantly, a number of new wizards that eased our configuration of complex jobs. IT managers of midsize-to-large operations, especially those that span a wide range of hardware and software platforms, should consider using Unicenter Asset Management.

Unicenter Asset Management 4.0
Unicenter Asset Management tracks hardware and software details across a wide variety of hardware platforms and operating systems. Computer Associates has done a good job of overcoming some of the biggest barriers to using the product, by simplifying the installation process and including configuration wizards and a Web-based monitoring console.
  • PRO: Comprehensive inventory of hardware and software across a heterogeneous range of systems likely to be found in a midsize-to-large enterprise.

  • CON: Wizards made it easy to create confusion by implementing too-detailed groups—IT managers will need to keep tabs on novice users to rein in potential misuse of the feature.

    IBMs Tivoli Configuration Manager • Tally Systems TS.Census
    IBMs comparably priced competitor, Tivoli Configuration Manager, is an inventory/software distribution product that gives Unicenter Asset Management and Unicenter Software Delivery a run for the money. We advise IT managers to evaluate the products and service offerings that come from IBM and CA to determine which product will provide the best fit at the right price.

    We installed Unicenter Asset Management in a test network with a mix of systems running Windows 2000 and Server 2003, Novell Inc.s NetWare, Red Hat Inc.s Linux, and Sun Microsystems Inc.s Solaris. The testbed also included a collection of Windows XP and 2000 Professional systems as well as Hewlett-Packard Co. iPaq handheld devices.

    The new express installation procedure enabled us to load Unicenter Asset Management and create management domains with little effort. Once the product was installed, it was easy to deploy Unicenter Asset Management agents to machines in the LAN using simple scripts.

    Unicenter Asset Management 4.0 includes new wizards that simplified many tasks that were sometimes quite daunting in the previous version. For example, we used the grouping wizard to quickly create and rearrange collections of computers so that it was easier for us to track hardware and software assets for specific machines.

    Although it was easy to create groups, we found that it was also possible to get carried away with the feature. Here we identified the dual edge of CAs ease-of-use sword. Because the group creation wizard is powerful, novice users of the system could easily create a confusing jumble of computer collections. The configuration and task wizards make it much easier to delegate management tasks to lower-level staff, but IT managers should set strict limits and use the tools in Unicenter Asset Management to keep a tight rein on which staffers get full access to the product.

    We used the new Web-based console to get access to the Unicenter Asset Management console. The console let us get a quick take on the status of inventory jobs and spot-check individual asset information for particular machines. This is a handy addition to the product and a compelling reason to consider upgrading.

    Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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