Dell KACE appliance targets system admins

The tech giant offers turnkey software compliance and warranty management, all in one box.

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Dell has updated its line of systems management technologies with the release of the Dell KACE K1000 Management Appliance.

Retaining the KACE brand acquired by Dell at the start of 2010, this latest system combines dedicated hardware and software in a single box' designed to allow systems administrators to audit and manage software license compliance issues, inventories and assets.

Building the idea there is some kind of global wastage' occurring on the desktop, Dell said businesses were losing millions of pounds each year through unused or under-utilised software licenses.

Highlighting the downtime arising from fixing security breaches due to malware and removing unapproved software on end user systems, Dell is hoping to justify the need for its control box' appliances. The company claims they are capable of harvesting and re-allocating unused or under-utilised software assets, protecting against litigation risks and equipping customers with tools to effectively avoid license violations.

This latest Dell appliance is also intended to address license management, with features to help users track software installation statistics, automatically distribute and patch software and run reports on software usage.

"As a result of our merger with Dell last year, KACE is now adding features that enable organisations who run Dell computers in their IT environment to eliminate manual tasks, such as researching warranty information, downloading hardware drivers and managing Dell images," said Rob Meinhardt, president of Dell KACE.

"In addition, we're rapidly adding new features, such as advanced software license compliance that are available for Windows, Mac and Linux end-points."

Tony Lock, an analyst from Freeform Dynamics, added: "Software licensing is one of those tasks with which organisations have struggled for many years, if not decades."

"The fast pace at which software can now be updated, new licensing models taken up, or software drop out of use makes this much harder than many people think. In my experience, companies that don't have this in place will spend considerably more time and effort managing the problems as well as potentially exposing themselves to risks and service delivery challenges."

In terms of functionality, Dell KACE Appliances are built with a new web-based reporting engine, accessible from any browser-equipped device. Dell specified the new engine would generate custom reports to help identify license compliance violations or unapproved software installations.

The company also noted a new warranty status tool, which system administrators can use to create policies addressing warranty expiration issues related to managed assets. This option, if implemented correctly, should allow administrators to quickly determine whether they should refresh assets, buy extended warranty or retire assets all together.

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