Dell Consolidates Desktop Tools

The company integrates hardware and software configuration management in the new release of its OpenManage Client Administrator.

Dell on March 15 for the first time will bring integrated hardware and software configuration management to its OpenManage Client Administrator in a new release.

Users working with the lightweight software configuration management tool no longer need to work with separate, multiple Dell utilities to manage desktop hardware and software.

OpenManage Client Administrator 3.0 integrates the functions of Dells OpenManage Client Instrumentation, OpenManage Client Connector, Client Configuration Utility and OpenManage IT Assistant.

The integration is more than just sharing a pane of glass with OpenManage Client Administrator, a jointly developed product with Altiris, according to Ed Reynolds, senior manager of enterprise software marketing at the Round Rock, Texas, company.

"Weve integrated the Dell hardware management agent with the Altiris software management agent, so it deploys as a single agent for the customer. They have one [GUI] for interacting with the client PC whether they are managing software configuration, viewing alerts or flashing BIOS configuration changes," he said.

The integrated offering combines hardware and software inventory data in a single configuration management database, and users can move in context between hardware and software management on the screen, Reynolds added.

Customers can still use the hardware and software management products independently.

Dell addressed the cost and labor-intensive issue of having to update the client by automating installation of the agent, a superset of the existing agent.

"If you have the Dell hardware management agent, it will be an automatic replacement. It knows how to layer in the software instrumentation," said Reynolds.

The new version is available now.


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