LANDesk Simplifies Remote Laptop Administration

The appliance helps keep the laptops of mobile workers up to date.

LANDesk Software is turning to hardware to help its customers more easily manage mobile laptops and remote PCs over the Internet.

The new LANDesk Management Gateway Appliance, which will be announced Oct. 24 and delivered with a new release of the LDMS (LANDesk Management Suite), allows administrators to more easily manage laptops and PCs outside the corporate firewall, without having to implement a VPN.

"This securely brokers the connection between a managed client and LDMS," said Nathan McLain, product manager for LANDesk, in South Jordan, Utah. Using Secure Socket Layer encryption, "Our pipe is encrypted across the whole route."

With the appliance, LANDesk is looking to simplify remote administration, which has typically been executed over a VPN link.

"If Im a user and I log into my network via a VPN, there is no way to know whether my computer is updated. With the gateway, we make sure every time that person is on the Internet, the management gateway can pull down all the [appropriate] updates," McLain said.


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Through the gateway, users can collect inventory and asset management data, monitor software license usage, use remote control capabilities to troubleshoot problems, scan for vulnerabilities and remediate them, manage security configurations and distribute software updates and patches.

When the mobile user connects to the Internet, the management agent in the PC or laptop sees the connection, pings the gateway and establishes a secure connection with the gateway, which in turn brokers the connection between the back-end management suite and the client. Any updates or other work that needs to be done is executed. If there arent any updates or changes to be made, the gateway wont open a connection.

The appliance, which uses a hardened Linux kernel, includes dual Gigabit Ethernet NICs, a 2.4GHz processor and 1GB of RAM. It can broker up to 5,000 concurrent connections.

The appliance is due Nov. 15 and is priced at $3,000.


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