IT management firmKace released this week an enhanced version of its Kbox 1000series systems management appliances.
While previous versions of the Kbox supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and 4, a key component of the latest Kbox release is enhanced support for Red HatEnterprise Linux 5.0, which gives access to a line of turnkey IT automationapplications that provide lifecycle management of laptops, desktops and othernetwork devices.
The product enhancements target what Kace CEO Rob Meinhardt described as “the Fortune100,000 market.” He said the largest 100,000 worldwide companies following theFortune 1,000 firms are growing exponentially.
“We’re the first in this space. We’re trying to bring asset management to thosemid-market companies without an IT department,” Meinhardt told TechNewsWorld.”Mid-market companies can’t afford what’s out there. We want to bring assetmanagement to everybody else.”
Large corporations such as General Motors already have great softwaresolutions in place, he said, adding that mid-market companies are not so well prepared for assetmanagement.
Tracking Through the Lifecycle
Asset management provides IT departments with tools to track and manage computerhardware and related equipment. IT departments have to managecomputer assets that include desktops, servers and software along with non-computerassets, such as high-value mobile phones, telecom equipment and PDAs, according to Kace.
Until now, these departments in mid-market companies have not been fully equippedwith the technology to track the increasing number of these assets or to efficientlymanage them through their lifecycle.
The Kbox Asset Management Module unifies and automates IT assets from deployment to retirement.
This increases efficiency, visibility and control while reducing costs, accordingto Meinhardt.
Focus on Integration
Meinhardt said the Kbox series now is focusing attention on integrating essentialasset management capabilities. The upgrade will give customers expanded licensecompliance capabilities to drive more efficient use of IT budget dollars.
The Kace Asset Management Module, embedded in the Kbox 1000 Series SystemsManagement Appliances, is part of an integrated inventory, asset andconfiguration management solution. It automates management of the entireasset lifecycle.
The module and configuration management database (CMDB) now integrateslicense compliance along with usage metering and management features. Thisallows customers to assess their compliance with vendor licensing policies.
“There is a lot of value in bringing all the pieces of asset management together,”said Meinhardt. “For example, if a company wanted to do an audit of its hardware’sphysical layout, it could do this in our Kbox appliance without needing a separateproduct.”
The Kbox 1000 Series appliances include support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0, aleading platform for open source computing.
Customers using Kbox 1000 can now leverage the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.0capabilities. These include new, fully integrated server and storage virtualizationfunctionality.
In the Details
The Asset Management Module improves a company’s ability to handle security audits.Its physical asset tracking and configuration management capabilities improvesecurity at the physical layer and within the systems themselves.
Comprehensive physical asset tracking assures that valuable IT resources remaincompany property. This reduces the potential for property and data loss. Inaddition, configuration management and historical change information equips ITmanagers with the information to make certain that machines are secure.
According to Kace, new features in Kbox close the loop for IT managementorganizations by providing a complete notification and alert engine that can triggeralerts based on configuration changes, license compliance or key milestone dates inlicense agreements, lease agreements or other contracts.
Free Use Offer
Many companies are always looking for point solutions on the best productcombinations, noted Meinhardt.
Kace is extending a prerelease promotional offer of a free AssetManagement Module upgrade to existing and new Kbox 1000 Series appliances customers, as well as newcustomers who sign on by March 31, 2007, he said.
After the free offer ends, new customers will pay US$3,375 for the module and thefirst 100 nodes. Additional nodes can be purchased separately.
Volume pricing applies beyond the first 100 nodes.