This solution offers a suite of products under an asset management banner, comprising inventory, app- lication metering, asset control, contract management and TCO management. Support for Mac OS has recently been added.
The inventory part of the package centralizes the process of asset management into a single repository. It does this by automatic discovery of computers on the network. It reports on detail such as CPU make and model, memory, hard drive size and usage, as well as other system information and software.
Installation first requires getting the Altiris Express Notification Server up and running. It also requires SQL Server or Microsoft Desktop Engine, which is installed and configured automatically.
Although this was trouble-free, it did take a long time to finish. For a time it seemed as if the whole thing had crashed, but we persevered and it finally came good.
The console requires Internet Explorer 5.5 or greater, and as this put on a fresh install of Windows 2000 Advanced Server we had to upgrade the browser to get the full effect. (The vendor thoughtfully put the browser on the disk).
The Notification Server requires a server with a Pentium III 800MHz processor or greater and a minimum of 512Mb of memory to run properly, although luckily the agent requirements were a lot less demanding.
The console screen was then fired up and displayed a series of tasks to be fulfilled by the administrator via the quick-start web page. The first task was to get client software installed on our test network.
Unlike most of the other products in this test, this could push installations onto clients rather than someone having to walk around and install manually. It was a simple case of typing in the domain and waiting for the server to go about its business.
Once all the test machines had been inventoried, the data could be viewed by individual machine or by a graphical report. Filters and drill-down methods allowed us to get a reasonably granular view of what was, and was not, licensed on the test network.
This solution would suit the network administrator looking for an easy route into asset management, as the console is very self-explanatory and will guide you through what needs to be accomplished.