March 14, 2005
Net Support LtdProduct:
from $63 per user
- Ease of Use:
- Value for Money:
- Overall Rating:
The system provides very detailed inventory information as well as good software distribution capabilities.
It needs Microsoft SQL Server, which may not be the server of choice for some sites.
A useful system that is particularly strong on inventory features.
The software has three components, a server, an administration console and the client software installed on the systems to be managed. The server requires Microsoft SQL Server; the administration console will run on Windows NT 4.0 and above, and can be on the same system as the database if required.
The system has a remote install facility, which allows the administrator to install the client software on remote machines without having to be present at the location.
A major function in the DNA suite is its software distribution capability. This lets software be packaged in sets of files and commands before being transferred to target systems. Once the client software receives the package, it will carry out the instructions, installing and updating files as required.
The system has been extended to cope with software installations that normally require user input. It can record keystrokes and mouse movements during an installation and save them for later use. This information is then packaged with the software and distributed as a package. Distributing packages to large numbers of client machines can sometimes cause network performance problems, and NetSupport has addressed this by introducing its "Warehouse" concept. "Warehouses" are client machines that receive packages from the server and redistribute them to target systems nearby. As well as reducing traffic in large local networks by breaking them up into smaller sub-networks, this facility is also useful where there are several local networks in remote locations linked through VPN tunnels.
The hardware and software inventory reporting provides useful summary information, but it is also possible to drill down to extremely detailed information. The system also allows data to be entered manually, for systems not normally connected to the network.
The system also provides application metering to check licensed software usage. It can not only report details of software installations by machine, but also usage times and duration. DNA can also restrict, monitor and report details of internet use in a similar way.
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