Novell ZENworks v10
Strengths: Covers most operating systems; nice asset management and patch management tool.
Weaknesses: Limited compliance and risk-reporting capabilities.
Verdict: Definitely review this option for your asset and patch management needs.
SummaryZENworks Configuration Management Enterprise Edition v10 is a bundle of integrated software that uses policy-based automation to configure, secure and track endpoints across their lifecycles. The solution consists of several modules, including configuration, patch, asset and endpoint security management.
The software suite supports most operating systems - with Windows 7 support on the way. The implementation process is very simple with an easy-to-use menu driven by a question-and-answer process. The server-side application load takes about 20 minutes. This is an agent-based solution, and agents can be deployed through various automated distribution options.
The patch management component requires a subscription service and currently includes 70-plus vendors. The patch management functionality is nice, and reporting is detailed and intuitive enough to deploy patches right from a report if you wish. In addition, reports are available to prove compliance with patch management policy mandates.
The software distribution capability was what one would expect. We found some nice capabilities in this module, such as its ability to build out a .MSI package without having to possess any programming knowledge. Additionally, there were some nice tools already available from a pulldown menu to allow users to do various pre- or post-deployment tasks.
The policy management component allows users to set up various policies for the endpoint. Users could create, distribute, enforce and monitor security policies on endpoint devices. Users can also set up specific bookmarks within browser configurations.
Email alerting is available, but requires an external simple mail transfer protocol (SMTP) forwarder. Reporting and centralized logging were very good. There were simple asset and inventory reports available with the base system. ZENworks Reporting Server delivers advanced reporting capabilities and links to remediation tools.