As part of its recent move into the business desktop arena, Linux desktop distributor Xandros Inc. is launching an enterprise beta trial for its Xandros Desktop Management Server.
xDMS is a graphical-based remote management program thats designed to enable administrators to deploy, configure and update an extensive network of Linux desktops without the need to retain or train an expensive staff of networking experts.
Specifically, xDMS will enable network administrators to set up software repositories from multiple sources; create custom configurations from “golden PC” configurations; perform remote, unattended OS installs and updates either on command or on a schedule; and monitor these tasks and their schedules from a central location.
In a prepared statement, Dr. Frederick H. Berenstein, chairman and chief technology officer of Ottawa-based Xandros, said, “The same pioneering ease that we brought to the Linux desktop has now been applied to enterprise deployment, xDMS is the perfect complement to our Xandros Business Desktop OS. Enterprises now have a total desktop solution that goes toe-to-toe with Windows features and ease of use at a fraction of the cost.”
Berenstein claimed that xDMS is built to the highest standards for corporate security. The xDMS Repository Builder is kept locally behind a corporate firewall, but, even so, SSL encryption is employed for all transmissions over the local network.
While the promise of a centralized Linux desktop management program is a good one, Xandros already faces competition. “While interesting, this addresses only the Linux portion of an organizations infrastructure,” said Dan Kusnetzky, vice president for system software research at International Data Corp. “As such, it would be competitive with offerings from Red Hat [Inc.]. Novell [Ximian and SuSE], IBM [Tivoli] and Computer Associates [International Inc.], which have broader offerings that address the needs of a multivendor, heterogeneous IT infrastructure.”
Enterprise IT managers who want to test xDMS can go to the beta site, where they will answer a questionnaire describing their existing environment and reasons for potential deployment. Xandros is looking to test xDMS for a diversity of user requirements in corporate, educational and governmental settings. A minimum of 50 networked nodes is required.
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