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Desktop Management Enlightenment

With ZENworks for Desktops' application distribution, you can install applications on your workstations automatically rather than manually. And you can assign applications both to users and to specific workstations. The applications are self-healing, so if a workstation fails to run one, ZENworks re-installs it automatically.

You can also take inventory of your desktop hardware and software resources and run inventory-related reports. The product's imaging feature, meanwhile, lets you capture an image of a workstation and deploy that profile to other workstations.

We run ZENworks for Desktops at the University of WisconsinMadison's Computer-Aided Engineering Center to help manage more than 300 Windows 2000 workstations scattered around various computer labs. ZENworks for Desktops handles the university's Windows policies, applications and workstation user accounts. We're running version 3.2 of the product and plan to upgrade to version 4 this summer--after months of tests. Novell also now sells a single suite--ZENworks 6--that rolls ZENworks for Desktops 4 and all other ZENworks products into one.

Meditation and Installation

So how do you deploy ZENworks for Desktops? First, map out a plan. That means deciding whether to use the product's inventory tool, and if so, which databases you'll deploy, and whether to use Novell's server-management product, ZENworks for Servers. You also must decide whether to support client machines that don't run NetWare Client32. If so, you'll need ZENworks for Desktops' middle-tier server component.

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