LANDesk Management Suite
LANDesk Software Ltd.
$75 per node
A well-established product with excellent management options.
It does have some stringent system software requirements.
This is a comprehensive management product with an established track record.
This product offers a comprehensive set of applications to assist network admins keep their networks running. Its inventory control, software distribution, licence compliance monitoring and remote control facilities cope with most requirements, and there are enough reporting options to provide comprehensive management information and audit trails.
Landesk has fairly stringent system requirements, needing Windows .NET Framework 1.1, ASP.NET 1.1, IIS and the latest Data Access components, as well as Windows 2000 Server with Service Pack 4 or above. Landesk has thoughtfully provided a comprehensive check routine to see whether its requirements are met before installation. But, even after satisfying these requirements, we still had problems installing the management software on our fully patched Windows 2000 Server.
We managed to resolve the issue and finish installation by consulting Landesk's online forums. Landesk also fell foul of one of our resident anti-virus scanners when it tried to install client software on one of our test machines. This was resolved by disabling the scanner's heuristic detection system. The client remote control software also conflicts with Windows XP's built-in firewall.
After the installation snags, we were pleasantly surprised by the Management Console user interface, which was clear and uncluttered, and easy to use. The inventory management and software licensing and monitoring features regularly collect information from the clients, letting the network administrator determine exactly what is on the network.
A comprehensive alerting system is available to warn of any unplanned activities, such as remote control sessions, and all activities are routinely written to the alert history log.
The remote control facility is adequate and works well in practice, and although its file transfer operations were slow, they would be acceptable for occasional use, with the bulk of any data transfers being carried out during software distribution operations.