Symantecs Ghost 8.0 Corporate Edition, released last month, handily tracks basic hardware and software inventory, and it has plenty of new features to make operating system and software deployments easier than previous versions. Version 8.0 of Ghost—which is almost a household word for creating and managing PC images—is a significant upgrade, but Symantec has even bigger plans for the product that IT managers should anticipate, probably early next year.
I used Ghost 8.0 to collect inventory information such as processor speed and the amount of RAM in my test system at eWEEK Labs. The information made it easier for me to make decisions about which machines to upgrade to Windows XP and which machines would need additional memory.
Integrating inventory information into Ghost 8.0 will likely reduce the need for IT managers to get a separate inventory management tool. However, the inventory information that Ghost 8.0 provided in my tests showed that IT managers should consider using more specialized tools to obtain detailed inventory management.
Symantecs recent acquisitions of PowerQuest and ON Technology indicate that big moves are likely ahead for the Ghost product line. I will be watching for new products that result from the merger of the near- legendary PartitionMagic disk partition management software and ONs enterprise management software.