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Configuration management tool reaches for mobile clients

Apr 05, 20042 mins
Data Center

Configuresoft this week is introducing upgraded configuration management software to help companies keep their mobile computers secure.

Configuresoft this week is introducing upgraded configuration management software to help companies keep their mobile computers secure.

The company says Enterprise Configuration Manager 4.5 now includes support for Windows-based laptops, which lets companies check on software configuration and push out patches to machines that aren’t always hooked to a network.

“You have to know what assets you have and what is running on them to make sure you have consistency and adhere to corporate policy,” says Rich Ptak, a partner with consultancy Ptak, Noel & Associates.

He says that task gets more complicated with mobile clients, which might not be connected to the network when new configurations or patches are automatically pushed down to corporate PCs.

The new Mobile Client signals to the network when a machine logs on to it. Once the client makes a connection with the ECM Collector, a database that stores configuration information, an agent passes information about the client such as the machine’s configuration, installed patches and the amount of bandwidth available. The data is compared with set configurations and patch data stored in the Collector. The agent within the Mobile Client can send and receive data using HTTP or Distributed Component Object Model.

Administrators can prescribe what sorts of updates are allowed, based on whether the mobile client has a dial-up, broadband or LAN connection.

The software can be programmed to activate as soon as a client comes online, or can be set to check the machine at determined intervals if it stays connected for an extended time period. The software also maintains an audit trail of the activity between the Mobile Client and the ECM Collector.

The software works with laptops that run Windows NT Server 4.0 and above or Windows NT Workstation 4.0 and above. The ECM Collector runs on SQL Server 2000 and above.

Configuresoft says it plans to expand the capabilities to other mobile devices. The software competes with similar products from Altiris, Marimba Software, Microsoft and Novadigm, which HP recently acquired.

Also new in the Configuresoft product is a set of templates to help manage compliance with federal laws such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Pricing for Enterprise Configuration Manager with remote client management starts at $995 per server and $30 per workstation.