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Dell Kace Updates K1000 Management Appliance

The company formerly known as Kace now known as Dell Kace after its acquisition by Dell earlier this year, has released version 5.1 of its K1000 Management Appliance. The new version has enhanced power management and service desk capabilities. In addition, the company enhanced its Smart Label labeling technology, which lets users logically define groups, to add support for hierarchies and to apply labels dynamically based on search criteria and which can automatically place labels on new assets that the device discovers.

Brian Bowman, systems administrator at Moss Point School District on the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, particularly likes the service desk enhancements, which are now included in the base product. These help him leverage what he currently owns rather than having to ask for additional funding. In addition, he expects to save money with the Power Management for Green IT power settings feature, which lets him shut off machines that aren't being used. "If you have 2,000 machines, all running 24/7, you can imagine our electric bill is quite high," he says. While the district had used a script to perform that function before, the new feature also allows users to stop the automatic shutoff if they're in the middle of something, which the script had not allowed them to do. "If they were in the middle of something, they'd totally lose it," he says.

The service desk capabilities have also been enhanced to support the Information Technology Infrastructure Library V3 framework, adds Rob Meinhardt, Dell Kace president. Previously, the company had called the functionality "Help Desk," but is now calling it "Service Desk" because it includes workflow capabilities such as the ability to  sequence a series of tasks, build in approvals, include reporting and alerting and then manage it all as a single entity. Because ITIL focuses on a service-based model, this takes care of problems before they occur and lets the systems administrator be more proactive.

In addition, Dell has added more wizards to make it easier for users to configure options in the operating system, including being able to enforce them by putting them back if a user tries to change them. The power feature includes predefined reports that display energy savings, which organizations can use to qualify for utility rebates. Users could save up to $77,260 per year for 1,000 desktops, and up to $9,490 per year for 1000 laptops.

Kace 5.1 is available now with up to 100 nodes for $8900, a reduced price from the previous version that also includes modules such as help desk and security that were previously sold separately. Support for additional nodes costs $31 and is priced in tiers. Both Windows and Macintosh systems are supported.