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Novell ZENworks Configuration Management 11 Standard Edition review

We test the latest version of the best known network management suite to see how it stacks up.

Novell ZENworks integrates with your normal network authentication scheme. As long as your Novell password is kept synchronised with your network password (this happens automatically unless there's a problem) the user is automatically logged into the ZENworks management zone when they log into their workstation in the normal way. So any settings you apply in ZENworks will be applied at logon (or when the user agent refreshes its connection to the server).

The range of things you can use ZENworks for is impressively comprehensive. As well as discovering your devices, you can remotely control or view clients without the user knowing what you're up to, if you want (though you'd need a pretty good reason, of course). As you'd expect with this kind of support tool, you can also transfer files, inventory the software installed on your clients (automatically checking it for compliance against licensing information) and even create and push system images.

Using the policies tool, you can create configuration and security policies. Configuration policies can be applied to both Windows and, as long as you use either SuSe or Red Hat, Linux too. From the ZENworks console you can among other things - specify clients' power management settings, printer access, remote management policies and even Windows Group Policy. However, if you want to specify Group Policy on the whole domain, as opposed to local policy, you'll need to import policies from Active Directory. You can't create or edit AD Group Policy using ZENworks.

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