Dell Kace M300 Asset Management Appliance Aimed at SMBs

By Nathan Eddy  |  Posted 2011-07-15

Dell Kace announced a line of systems management products developed specifically for small to medium-size businesses, including tools for hardware and software inventory, software license compliance and asset tracking and management. In addition, businesses get increased visibility into their IT network, which helps them address configuration issues.

The M300 dashboard allows users to check alerts, software license compliance status, recent activity on the network and pending tasks, while also providing an inventory of assets that companies can use to enforce PC configuration policies to help identify and prevent rogue software from opening security holes. The appliance is priced at $2,498, with a one-year warranty and recommended maximum of 200 nodes.

The platform is also designed to help minimize end-user downtime with its PC inventory and software license management solution, and it provides "plug-and-play" deployment-users just plug it in, connect it to the network, and it discovers, maps and inventories network assets. Upon installation, the M300 manages many repetitive tasks associated with IT inventory, which the company said will allow IT managers to focus on more strategic issues and projects.

"I'm excited about the M300 for two reasons. First, it represents the first in a family of new systems management appliances designed specifically for the needs of companies with 50 to 200 computers-and that's never been done before," said Rob Meinhardt, general manager of Dell Kace. "And, second, our beta customers are telling us that this is a breakthrough product for them. These asset and license management features are-for the first time-immediately accessible to IT generalists in very small organizations."

Recent Dell Accelerev corporate research with SMB customers revealed businesses falling within the 50 to 200 employee range are still using time-intensive methods for tracking hardware and software inventory as well as managing software license compliance. Fifty percent of IT managers interviewed still use spreadsheets to manually track IT assets, according to the report.

"Prior to deploying the M300 asset management appliance, we spent a significant amount of time manually tracking license compliance. In total, we had three different 'point solutions' to watch over our entire asset tracking process," said Danny Daniels, IS manager for the city of Menlo Park, Calif. "We brought in the M300 and literally deployed it in under 10 minutes-it's a true 'plug-and-play' product. The appliance can perform multiple asset management-related tasks, and because it's so simple to use and so effective, team time has been freed up to focus on other strategic IT projects."

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