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.

The appliance itself doesn't run the Kontainers as these are farmed out to suitable XP or Vista systems. To test this feature we created a Kontainer for Firefox and pointed the appliance to the installation executable and told it which clients would be hosting it.

We selected systems that could access the Kontainer and the next time their agent contacted the appliance the necessary links were downloaded. As far as local users are concerned they access the application as though running it locally and unless you told them, they probably wouldn't even know it had been virtualised.

Kace5

It looks real to the end user but this copy of Firefox is running in a Virtual Kontainer.

Kace provides plenty of good reporting tools and although you get a pile of predefined reports we found custom ones easy to create. A wizard steps through the process where you pick from a wide range of topics and add rules for each selected entry. You don't need to know anything about SQL query statements but just in case you do, Kace allows you to use these to create reports as well.

With many desktop management software suites in danger of collapsing under their own weight, Kace offers a refreshing alternative. Deployment is a smooth process, the majority of general day-to-day management operations can be easily automated and Kace's Kontainers add a new dimension to the KBox.

(Click here to view an on demand webcast detailing how to increase benefits and reduce complexity through more effective systems management)

Verdict

Compared with heavyweights such as LANDesk and Microsoft’s SMS, we found the KBox 1100 much easier to deploy. It is capable of providing good centralised management and inventory is extremely accurate. The labels make light work of automating many functions and the optional Kontainer module sets the KBox apart from every other solution in this field.

Chassis: 1U Supermicro low profile rack CPU: 2 x 2.33GHz Xeon E5410 Memory: 4GB 667MHz DDR2 Storage: 3 x 250GB Seagate Barracuda SATA hard disks in hot-swap carriers RAID: LSI 3ware 9650SE-4LPML PCI-Express card Network: Gigabit Ethernet Management: Web browser Subscriptions: Annual maintenance/support: 20% of list price Options: 100 users: HelpDesk, £900; Kontainer Module, £2,600 (all ex VAT)

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