Kace Networks KBox 1100 review

Kace aims to deliver a complete desktop and asset management solution in a box. In this review we put that claim to the test and find out more about its unique application virtualisation option.

Kace Networks KBox 1100 appliance
Price
£6,400

Kace Networks aims to offer a slicker alternative as its KBox appliances are designed to provide an out-of-the box solution that combines a wide range of standard management features and more than a few unique options.

On review is the KBox 1100 with the base system providing hardware and software inventory, asset and application management, software distribution and licence metering. Nothing radical here but the KBox steps out of the crowd with its patch management plus optional help desk functions and application virtualisation.

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We found deployment in the lab straightforward and after loading a licence file were presented with a well designed web interface. Your first task is to deploy agents to all managed systems and we achieved this for Windows XP, Vista, 7, Server 2003 and Server 2008 systems. Agent deployment can be run manually or you can use the advanced provision option to push the agent to all systems in an IP address range.

Before going any further it is worthwhile creating KBox labels. These are group headings that represent anything from physical locations, user groups, servers, inventory details and so on. Labels can be created using the search and filter tools so they have dynamic content.

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We had no problems with these and created labels that contained, for example, systems with low disk space or a minimum amount of memory. Labels can be teamed up with the KBox scripting so for our low disk space label members we could use a script to fire up a disk defrag job on all new entries.

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We also used labels to tie in with the KBox broadcast alerting system. Email notification is supported but broadcasts provide immediate notification of problems detected. We assigned an alert to our low disk space label and all systems in this group immediately received pop up warning messages in their System Tray.

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