Vendors advance server and desktop management

* CA, Everdream and LANDesk improve systems management software

Several vendors have made announcements in server and desktop management in recent weeks, and I thought I’d highlight them in today’s article. Interestingly, some of the announcements have a security flavor.

Computer Associates shipped Unicenter Desktop DNA release 11. This product automates the migration of a PC’s personality, or customized user settings and preferences, when doing a PC refresh, operating system upgrade or PC recovery operation. One of the new features of release 11 is the ability to schedule incremental captures of PC information. So if you’re planning on an operating system migration or large-scale PC refresh, you can collect the DNA of the PCs a little bit at a time, to minimize the impact on the infrastructure.

Another new feature, one that could be useful for compliance, is Desktop DNA’s ability to maintain the original file properties when doing a migration. For example, rather than changing the file creation date to the date of the migration, as other products do, Desktop DNA keeps the original creation date of the file. These are just a few of the changes in the new release.

Everdream, a hosted and managed PC services company, recently announced the availability of two new services, Everdream Network Scanning and Everdream Remote Assist. The Network Scanning service scans a network to inventory all devices. This information can be used for inventory purposes as well as identifying potential security vulnerabilities. Remote Assist allows Everdream’s customers’ IT staffs to securely and remotely access PCs on their networks. Plus, the company’s Virus Protection now provides a complete history of virus activity for each asset.

LANDesk shipped its Security Suite, which extends LANDesk’s device configuration capabilities by integrating security functionality. The suite includes spyware detection and removal, patch management, a Security Threat Analyzer, application security features and Connection Control Manager. The Security Threat Analyzer looks for potential vulnerabilities by verifying group memberships, verifying firewall status for Internet connections, and restricting anonymous users.

Those are some of the recent announcements in desktop and server management. By no means is this a comprehensive list of announcements in these areas, but these show the diversity of problems that vendors are solving for their customers. It’s interesting that vendors are beginning to address the security issues that are integral parts of managing the desktop and servers, as well as securing the enterprise by managing access from these access points. Integration of security beyond just patch management is promising, as vendors look to provide products that go beyond configuration to deal with broader security issues.

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