Intel Corp. last week announced an expansion to its LANDesk desktop management suite targeted at the midmarket.
The companys 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 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 its network operations centers and by Intel systems integrators and VARs.
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 a line of code you put into your log-on script," said Naegle. "Once the machine logs in to 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 the server in secure mode."
The inventory data is stored at the network operations center or data center in a SQL Server database. When users want to update the inventory data, they can download an agent to a desktop that performs an inventory update. Managers can then go to a Web site to view reports. The reports offer a summary, as well as more detailed information on application versions and revisions and a more detailed inventory.
"It collects both hardware and software inventory. 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 that offers the service, 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.
A second new LANDesk offering, Intel Instant Support Suite, is aimed at internal help desk operations. The software resides on a server that is accessible by end users via the Web. The server downloads a 300KB agent to the users machine and registers the machine in the help desk console as a supportable device. The server software runs on a Windows NT or Windows 2000 server and supports any PC running Windows. It is priced at $7,995 per console and will be available at months end.