Feeds

Dell's Kace control freak ARMed for SMBs

Cover your assets

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Runs Linux, does only Windows

The M300's software stack is a little bit different from its K1000 and K2000 brethren, too. For one thing, Dell didn't just take the existing asset management features in the first two Kace appliances and snip it out, but redid the code based on what the company has learned over the years.

The code is still written in a mix of C, C++, PHP, JavaScript, and HTML, but it is different code. And instead of running on BSD and MySQL, this appliance runs the code on Linux and stores data within a PostgreSQL database.

The agent software that gets plunked on PCs and servers so they can be snooped is the same, and so is Kace's proprietary Agent Messaging Protocol. This links devices back to the appliance over the internal corporate network or through VPN running out on the Internet for portable machines. The VPN link can also be used to allow a service provider to remotely manage servers and PCs for an SMB.

The M300 appliance is restricted to monitoring no more than 200 devices. And unlike the larger Kace appliances, it cannot work with Linux or Mac OS machines. Kacin thinks there is little need to manage Linux on desktops out there among corporations.

But he says it is possible that Mac shops – or departments like graphics and design within larger companies where Macs dominate – could compel Dell to make a variant of the M300 that just handles Mac OS devices.

Counting windows

But at the moment, the M300 is restricted to spying on desktops and laptops running Windows XP Professional, Windows Vista Business, Enterprise and Ultimate, and Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate. On servers, the M300 can hook into Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008 (both the initial and R2 updates) in the Web, Standard, and Enterprise editions.

At $1,999 plus a mandatory one-year maintenance and support contract that costs $499, the M300 is a bit pricey for the typical SMB skinflint. But it seems reasonable that Dell will do a PC-server-M300 bundle at some point on its website, through its direct sales force, and through its channel partners.

What Dell really needs to do – and it cannot yet do according to Kacin – is ship a pallet of PCs and an M300 appliance out of the Dell factory with all of the relevant data about the PCs and their software stacks preconfigured into the M300.

The M300 can use the warranty tags on each Dell PC to get additional information about support for each device into the M300, something that cannot be done with PCs and servers from other vendors at this point.

The idea, says Kacin, is for the M300 to pay for itself by watching what software end users have installed on their machines and what software they actually use. The M300 will therefore help companies better assess what they need and pay for itself through savings in the software budget.

Moreover, because the Kace agent software constantly reports back to the management appliance, the minute end users do something that messes up their PC or a server, system admins will be able to see what they were up to in terms of adding or updating software when something went wrong, helping streamline the debugging process.

The device has been in beta with a few dozen customers and is currently only available in the United States. Dell is right now doing the assessment of what it will take in terms of language support and other internationalization features so it can be sold in the EMEA and Asia/Pacific regions. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?