Altiris Upgrades Lifecycle Management Suite

Web-based infrastructure gives the tool a competitive edge.

Altiris Inc. next week will brave the unlucky travel dates and declining attendance at Networld + Interop in Atlanta to introduce a new release of its integrated asset management suite.

The suite, which integrates inventory, application metering, asset control, contract management and Total Cost of Ownership modules, sports a new common Web console and redesigned user interface intended to simplify the tracking of hardware and software assets.

The Web-based infrastructure embedded in the latest release reduces implementation time for the suite, giving it a competitive advantage over competing tools from Peregrine Systems Inc., in San Diego, and Tangram Enterprise Solutions Inc., of Cary N.C., said Duane Newman, product manager in Lindon, Utah.

The lifecycle management suite provides functions for discovering assets and their hardware and software configurations, determining the cost of those assets, metering usage frequency for applications, tracking hardware leases and software licenses, linking assets to individuals or groups, and comparing the total cost of ownership of one hardware brand versus another.

Also new in version 5.6 of the suite is the ability to extend the suite through customization to track additional asset types that can be tied in to other IT information. "If you want to track compressors, instead of dumping them in with IT-specific assets, you can create a group for them and track them separately and assign them to groups or cost centers," described Newman.

Altiris also extended the ability of the metering component to deny application usage. "If companies want to deny games or applications for a particular group, you can do that by time of day, by group or by collection of computers," said Newman.

With the new release, available October 1, prices will increase for some of the components of the suite by about 10 or 15 percent, officials said. The suite is $58 per managed node in quantities of 10 to 99 nodes, with volume discounts available.