Intel Maximizes Windows Management

LANDesk 6.5 adds life cycle control of Microsoft desktops, mobile devices.

Intel Corp., looking to help it users get more out of their Windows environments, next week will introduce the Total Management Initiative, aimed at giving users better control of desktops along with improved usability, installation and reporting.

As part of the initiative, which is geared toward providing complete life cycle management for Microsoft Corp.s desktops and mobile devices, the Santa Clara, Calif., vendor will introduce a major new release of its LANDesk Management Suite, according to sources familiar with the companys plans.

Version 6.5 of the suite adds support for Microsofts Active Directory, giving users the choice of using either Active Directory or Novell Inc.s Novell Directory Services to manage desktops.

By using either directory service option, desktop administrators can create policies for access for different groups. "You can do distributions by means of knowing who you are and what you should have access to," said Ronni Colville, an analyst at Gartner Inc., in Stamford, Conn.

Intel, in the new release, which is now in beta testing, adds the ability to manage remote desktops or mobile devices over slow-speed connections. Intel also has incorporated several usability enhancements that simplify installation and management reporting.

Intel addressed installation issues by giving users managing 5,000 or more end nodes free access to a technical account manager for the first three months.

Greater usability is welcome news to LANDesk users such as Alex Kiss, operations manager for Lufthansa AGs systems network at Chicagos OHare International Airport. Kiss said his group manages some 4,000 desktops locally and 600 to 700 more across North America and South America, and the unit could benefit from most of Intels improvements, including the new mobile management capabilities. Kiss said he does not currently use LANDesk to manage traveling users because the slow dial-up connections make it too difficult to support.

Beyond the new LANDesk release, Intel formed a partnership with PowerQuest Corp., of Orem, Utah, to provide additional migration aids in moving to a new desktop or operating system.

The combination of PowerQuests PowerDeploy Suite and the LANDesk Management Suite is designed to let IT professionals automate the deployment of operating systems using a minimum of system resources while preserving end-user system environments and minimizing end-user involvement, officials said.

An existing relationship with Callisto Software Inc., of Wheaton, Ill., provides LANDesk users with the ability to manage mobile users.

The new release of LANDesk Management Suite is due later this year.