• United States

Readers’ choice: desktop management

Nov 19, 20034 mins
Data Center

* Readers give top picks in desktop management tools

As you may remember, a few weeks ago I asked readers to tell me their favorite management tools from a variety of categories. Our readers’ choices for desktop management include some products that are well known and some that are not so well known.

The first tool is a repeat favorite: Novell’s ZENworks. One reader recommends ZENworks for Desktops 4 and ZENworks for Servers 3. He cites the “reliability, stability, performance and security of NetWare and other Novell products… Novell has always been very responsive to the needs of their customers and their products shine above and beyond their competitors’.”

A reader from the education sector says:

“ZENworks simplifies the desktop administration. We can selectively lock down aspects of the Windows OS by user or group and not have to worry about what we will see (or not see) each time we boot a computer… ‘Set it and forget it’ is the term I like to use when I talk about ZfS (ZENworks for Servers). Patch management and server configuration happens invisibly to the user and behind the scene.”

Vision64 from Metrix Systems was another recommendation. Our reader likes the fact that “Vision64 can manage heterogeneous environments. Although it has features which you can find in almost every desktop management solution (software distribution, OSD, inventory, remote control, self-healing, Wake on LAN) it is better than other tools on the market… Vision64 is quite easy to install and does not use much server resources. Adding a new company site to your desktop management installation takes you five minutes… It is very reliable.” He goes on to say that it is “rule based, so adding new clients or changing their role in the company will (be) automatically detected.” 

RealVNC is a recommended remote-control desktop management tool. “It performs the single task of remote control very well. It is very inexpensive,” says our reader. He continues, “In general, I have found that single purpose tools are less expensive, easier to use and more reliable.”

One reader submitted TCO!stream suite from Medialand as a favorite desktop management tool:

“After struggling with SMS and always having something go wrong, debating whether to expend the effort to take Tivoli to the desktop, we finally decided on TCO!stream. It does everything, and it’s really simple to install and operate.”

A selection of tools from Sysinternals was recommended by another reader. He says, “I’ve been the most impressed by the open-source tools that Sysinternals has released. Filemon, Regmon, and TCPView are my favorite GUI-based tools. PsTools and Handle are my favorite command-line tools by these guys.”

Here’s what another reader had to say about Dameware NT Utilities: “A truly amazing (and inexpensive) package for network administration and remote desktop administration. This package paid for itself within a day, and we use it daily!… The remote control is especially handy because it can remotely install and configure the client on the user’s PC. Tech support has been excellent, although mostly unnecessary.”

Symantec Antivirus Corporate Edition 8.1 was recommended by a reader: “It can now scan your network and tell you which machines have AV software (even competitors’) and which don’t. It has never been easier to manage your antivirus clients.”

NetSupport Manager is a product that was recommended by readers who work in educational environments. One says:

“I would have to say that the best purchase we have made in recent years is NetSupport TCO… With TCO, we are able to keep up with all of our machines from a centrally managed location. We can deploy software, take control of remote computers, and track any number of changes to the machines to help us identify problems… To this day we are still finding numerous uses for it because it is so flexible. I shudder to think what we would be doing without it.”

Another user says, “we have had no problem with the product. Installing was well documented, and support was great and still is.”