LANDesk Upgrades Desktop Management Suite

LANDesk's namesake desktop management suite is now capable of performing a complete operating system deployment.

LANDesk Software Ltd. Monday launched the latest release of its namesake desktop management suite that incorporates operating system deployment.

LANDesk Management Suite, originally developed by Intel but spun out into a separate company last fall, is now capable of performing a complete operating system deployment, taking into account all necessary infrastructure considerations, according to officials at the Salt Lake City company.

Although LANDesk Software had previously bundled in a third-party image capture tool to help speed desktop migrations, the new home-grown image capture capability is more integrated with other technologies in the suite to "make it a complete process," said LANDesk spokesman Robert Naegle.

At the same time, version 6.62 of the management suite can work with existing third-party image capture tools already in use at the customer site, which Naegle believes is unique.

"Its image tool agnostic. You can take a Ghost or Alteris image and deploy them. You dont have to recreate or save new images. Most deployment tools require that the image was built using their system," he said.

The move to either bundle third-party OS deployment capability or home-grown OS deployment into desktop management is part of a trend among desktop management providers, believes Gartner Group Inc.s Michael Silver, vice president and research director in Stamford, Conn. "If its not deployed in a managed way, its likely the desktop will never be managed. Wed expect other vendors to go that tack as well. Over time it will become a base requirement," he said.

The OS deployment capability supports the Pre-boot Execution Environment (PXE), and it includes a proxy that allows a PXE request to be transferred across a subnet. That capability eliminates the requirement to install a deployment server on each subnet that contains managed desktops.

The OS deployment function takes advantage of the suites scripting capability to automate the system preparation process and application deployment that is integrated with OS deployment.

LANDesk Software also integrated its patented Targeted Multicast technology into the OS deployment, for more efficient deployment across multiple subnets. The targeted multicasting reduces the amount of bandwidth consumed in a large deployment by only sending a new image once for each subnet.

The new suite release, which also adds support for Windows 2000 and Windows XP, is available now. It is priced at $75 per managed desktop.