Dell Kace K1000 system management appliance review

Dell’s Kace appliances aim to be a more sensible alternative to systems management heavyweights such as Altiris and LANDesk. The K1000 looks a lot better value and in this review, Dave Mitchell finds out if it has the features to match.

Price
£5,660

Dell moved into systems management when it acquired Kace in 2010 and now provides a family of three appliances, each offering a variety of functions. The K1000 reviewed here is targeted at businesses with over 100 staff and focuses on hardware and software inventory, license compliance, software distribution, service desk facilities and patch management.

Dell Kace K1000

The Kace K1000 is designed to provide an out-of-the box management solution and comes supplied as a good-quality PowerEdge R610 1U rack server. Deployment in the lab was straightforward, and we started at the local console to provide the appliance with a fixed IP address.

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Next, we moved over to the well-designed web interface and got things rolling with a quick network IP scan. This provides a list of all discovered systems, and shows whether they are contactable and have SNMP services installed.

The Dell Kace's agentless inventory feature can discover and catalogue all nodes on a network in real time, but we found this doesn't provide any worthwhile information. Without SNMP, all it will show is open ports, whereas SNMP also shows details about the CPUs, system name and network interface traffic statistics.

Dell Kace K1000

A quick network scan locates all your devices, but an agent must be deployed to get any meaningful inventory data.

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An agent will need to be installed for full system information and inventory. This can be run manually on selected IP addresses, or the advanced provisioning option can be used to push the agent to all systems in an IP address range.

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