In an attempt to add value to the hardware it sells, Compaq Computer today, Oct. 29, starts shipping the Altiris eXpress Compaq Client Mgmt Solution to make the client hardware it ships easier to manage remotely.
Compaq hardware devices - from the iPaq Pocket PC to its standard laptop and desktops - will ship with agent software on them that can submit key data to the Altiris eXpress Web-based management console. The agent allows the management console to inventory the clients assets whenever needed. It reports information about the processor, memory and software that is running on the client, and can even alert the console system if the client is overheating and about to malfunction, said Tyler Smith, Altiris vice president of marketing.
Altiris sells eXpress on its own, and has co-developed with Compaq additional management features to administer Compaq hardware.
The eXpress Compaq Client Mgmt Solution can manage any Windows-based clients, Smith said, including those shipped by competitor Dell Computer. But the management features are richer for the Compaq hardware, he said. For example, they can determine the current level of battery charge in a portable device, he noted.
The management software is also capable of "looking out and seeing all systems where a particular device driver update is applicable," and then downloading that driver to the clients, said Richard Ashe, Compaqs product management manager. "Previously, hardware and software management were separate consoles. Now theyre combined," he said.
Through that combined console, a desktop administrator can tell whether a client machine is suitable for upgrade to Windows XP, one of the key inventory issues with older PCs whose users are seeking an operating system upgrade, Ashe said.
Because the management interface is browser-based, an IT manager could check the most recent Compaq diagnostics - from desktops and laptops to handhelds - on an Internet-connected device, such as a handheld iPaq.
In addition to the core Altiris Compaq Client Mgmt Solution, Altiris offers add-on applications focused on inventory and asset management that track the interoperability-compliance of loaded applications and devices on a given client. Deployment Solution helps manage a memory upgrade or application distribution to a set of clients, and Helpdesk Solution streamlines helpdesk function. The products may be purchased separately or as a suite.
The Altiris-Compag management software can also work with Microsofts System Management Software for managing servers and clients. The eXpress Compaq Client Mgmt Solution "can publish information to the SMS database," Ashe said.