The latest update to Dell’s Kace K2000 Deployment Appliance is a lot more significant than its name – v3.6 – might suggest, said Ken Drachnik, Director of Marketing, Dell Software. It’s been around a year since the last upgrade, and customers have been waiting impatiently, he said.
“This is a big release for us. It includes the most requested feature by our installed base, multicasting.”
Multicasting enables customers to deploy images on up to 250 multiple systems simultaneously, accelerating deployments by at least 40%. It uses less bandwidth and is more reliable, said Jason Tolu, Senior Product Marketing Manager, which should appeal to the larger enterprise market.
The midmarket currently accounts for 80% of the Kace business. “Now we have a better story for the large enterprise market.”
The appliance, available now, will enable customers to move off Windows XP. “Most of our clients are going from XP to 7,” said Tolu. “In the enterprise space, most people are staying at 7, and maybe will skip 8, like Vista, and go to 9 or whatever.”
The “lights out” feature is also expected to be well-received. “This is something IT managers can fire and forget,” said Drachnik.
Dell still makes most of its money the old-fashioned way, selling hardware, and despite going private to get out from under Wall Street’s thumb, its path to becoming a solution vendor just got a little rockier with the pending sale of IBM’s x86 server business to Lenovo. Software is currently a small part of Dell’s portfolio, but Technology Business Research believes it bolsters Dell’s solutions play and will contribute to long-term corporate revenue growth in the next two years. ‘Although Software does not yet contribute significantly to corporate revenue (Software revenue of $310 million during 2Q13 compared to corporate revenue of $14.5 billion), TBR believes that Dell Software will be a pivotal piece of the company’s turnaround, providing the foundation for software and services growth over the next two years.”
Kace, which opened its doors in 2003 and was acquired by Dell in early 2010, has flourished under its new owners with its products available in 50-plus countries, in 10-plus languages. Its revenues have increased 5X since acquisition, and its products manage 4 million nodes at more than 9,000 customers’ sites. Now a part of the Dell Endpoint Systems Management group, it said 83% of its customers have reported ROI in six months, and 56% reported full product deployment in less than one week.
Tolu said that moving forward Dell will continue to upgrade the Kace user interface for all products to make them easier to use, starting with the K1000 later this year, followed by the K2000. There will also be remote control for administration.
There will be a lot of product news next quarter, added Drachnik. The group has been doing a lot of work behind the scenes, especially since the Quest acquisition and the increased focus on mobility, and the results will start coming out shortly, he said.
Under The Hood
The latest version of Dell KACE K2000 Endpoint Systems Management Solution, K2000 v3.6 Deployment Appliance, speeds Windows migrations and simplifies large-scale system deployments, strengthening systems management across multiple platforms and different device types. New features include:
-multicasting enables customers to deploy images on up to 250 multiple systems simultaneously, accelerating deployments by at least 40%; additionally, bandwidth consumption is reduced significantly because the same image data is transferred to multiple clients only once over the network. Integration of multicasting with the new task engine provides greater automation while providing administrators with real-time feedback during multicast sessions;
-Task Engine automates and controls complex deployment tasks, including multiple reboots; integration with multicasting improves migration and deployment reliability and efficiency. By automating scheduling and sequencing, the new task engine enables true “lights-off” operation, which lets IT administrators run deployments after hours to reduce administrative overhead and minimize user disruptions.
It is available now for a list price of $4,500, which includes 100 managed nodes and supports operating systems for Microsoft Windows tablets, laptops, desktops and servers as well as Apple laptops and desktops. Existing K2000 customers can upgrade to the latest version at no additional cost.