Herding Cats: Dell K1000 Reins In Chromebooks, Servers

Although it’s only a dot release, Dell KACE K1000 Systems Management Appliance 6.3, including what calls the first-to-market support, and agentless inventory and monitoring for integrated server management, is intended to address a number of major challenges identified in a new survey. Key findings of the survey of approximately 700 IT professionals included:

-in addition to traditional computing devices, 96% of those surveyed had printing devices, 84% had mobile devices, 78% had telephonic devices and 53% had audio visual devices connected to their networks;

-nearly 90% expect the total number or the total types of devices requiring management to increase in the next three years;

-more than 50% had three or more systems management tools, 67% wanted to use fewer systems;

-security, the ability to monitor device/application performance and asset management were the top three concerns for addressing increased types and numbers of devices; and,

-more than 60% were sure or suspected that there were unknown devices or applications connected to their networks.

Really, just 60%-plus thought they might have unknown devices or applications connected to their networks? I thought , the unsanctioned use of IT products and services, was getting a lot more interest than that. According to a variety of sources, most IT (83%) and non-IT (81%) staff admit using non-approved SaaS apps. Although somewhat dated, a 2013 PWC survey reported that 50% of IT managers said that half of their budget is wasted on managing Shadow IT.

The Chromebook and rudimentary server support are expected to get the most interest, said Bill Odell, VP Marketing, Dell Software, Endpoint Systems Management. “Our perspective is there is a sea change happening in systems management.”

Chromebook use is exploding, especially in the ’s core market, education, he said. And server support extends Dell’s systems management footprint beyond its traditional PCs, notebooks and tablets.

Odell said predictions have 20 billion devices – i.e. computers and non-computer devices, switches, routers, power supplies – connected to corporate networks by 2020. “These are things connected to the network that IT management needs to be concerned with.” IT management would like to have tools to manage this, preferably from a single pane of glass, he added.

Pretty much of an “introductory monitoring solution”, the server capability should draw a lot of interest, according to Jason Tolu, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Dell . “About 20% of our customer base does not have a monitoring solution in place… as well as the 65% who are not happy with their existing monitoring solution”, he said.

Odell calls the server extension essentially release 1.0, and you’ll see additional releases that will allow people to do more. He said Dell doesn’t talk about things on the Kace road map, but the company: will continue to do enhancements to support a broader selection of non-computer devices, and integrating Kace more into Dell software solutions.

The Fiddly Bits (& Bytes)

The KACE K1000 is a major step forward in providing “anypoint” management under a single pane of glass, says Dell.

Benefits include:

-integration of Chromebook data greatly simplifies daily administrative, security and systems management of Chrome devices;

-agentless asset management of Windows systems enables companies to easily manage server hardware and software without worrying about agent-based performance concerns;

-integrated server log monitoring offers greater oversight without requiring extensive training or special expertise; and,

-greater visibility through enhanced agentless technology produces actionable insights into a broad spectrum of non-computer devices, such as printers, projectors, network routers and switches—all from a single console.

It also streamlines patch management with real-time and roll-up status reporting. Additional enhancements include service desk improvements, greater integration with Dell Enterprise Mobility Management via Single Sign-On and software asset management extensions for supporting more license types as well as an inventory of applications installed within Microsoft App-V.

Available as a physical, virtual or hosted appliance, Dell KACE K1000 pricing is $8,900 for the physical or virtual appliance and 100 managed systems – computers or servers. The K1000 as a Service is available for $6.50 per managed computer per month. An additional charge of $2,000 supports up to 200 licenses for server monitoring. The license cost for managing Chromebooks and non-computing devices is $1,250 for up to 250 devices.

Author: Steve Wexler

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