Intel tomorrow will announce an expansion to its LANDesk desktop management suite targeted at the mid-market.
Intels Software Products and Services Division is adding a new asset management service intended to take the burden of installation, management and maintenance of an asset management and inventory tool off the limited IT staffs at midsize companies or on government agencies, according to Robert Naegle, director of market development at the Intel division in Riverton, Utah.
The Intel LANDesk Asset Service provides on-demand asset information gathering over secure connections across the Internet. The service is being delivered by Intel Online Services through their network operations centers and by Intel Systems Integrators and Value Added Resellers.
The service can be ordered and set up remotely over the Internet.
"You go out to a Web site, we set you up with an account that identifies your organization uniquely, and we give you line of code you put into your logon script," said Naegle. "Once the machine logs into the system, it automatically grabs a small agent, downloads it to a machine [and gathers] hardware asset information, configuration information and so on and then uploads it to server in secure mode."
The inventory data is stored at the network operations center or data center in a SQL Server database. Whenever the user wants to update the inventory data, they can pull down an agent to their desktop which performs an inventory update. Administrators can then go to a Web site to view reports. The reports provide a summary machine-by-machine, and provide more detailed information on application versions and revisions and more detailed inventory data.
"It collects both hardware and software inventory. The software is very detailed. It looks at executable files and DLL, as well as hardware memory, drive space and CPU," said Gunnar Gardarsson, a network engineer at Alvaka Networks Inc. in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Alvaka, a VAR reselling the service to their customers, finds the ability to set up the service without having to install software at a customers site very useful. But its even more useful for "those Microsoft software audits," said Gardarsson. "It gives you a pretty good overview on how many of your computers have Windows 98, etc. It shows a pie chart with so many NTs, so many 98s etc. You can drill down from those to see who exactly has what."
Intel charges $7 per node per month for the service, which is available now.
The other new LANDesk addition, the Intel Instant Support Suite, is "a new take on the old remote control model," said Naegle.
The remote PC management tool, intended for internal help desk operations, is designed to reduce the cost of owning and administering remote control software.
The software resides on a server that is Web accessible by end users. The server downloads a 300Kb agent to the end users machine, registers the user in the help desk console as a supportable device, and then the help desk operator can then take over the end users machine. When the connection is closed the agent is deleted from the users machine.
The server software runs on a Windows NT or Windows 2000 server, and it supports any Windows PC. It is priced at $7,995 per console and will be available at the end of the month.