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Desktop Management Product Analysis Roundup

• Reporting: Without a solid reporting engine, forget effective and efficient desktop management. We looked at the depth of both software and hardware scans as well as presentation, and ran reports ranging from high level across the entire organization to a per-machine basis. Hardware reports let you determine whether PCs are up to task for the next major OS release, how much disk space employees use and which departments are most in need of upgrades. Software reports can show version numbers, who has what installed and who is using select pieces of software. Because we knew our test clients' hardware configuration, we could determine the accuracy of inventory reports. We also kept strict control over what software was installed on the clients to check inventory and license monitoring.

Product Roll Call

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We were disappointed with the reporting on systems with hyperthreading-enabled Xeon processors. We installed test products on boxes with dual Xeons. LANDesk and iPass reported these as having only two processors. OnDemand and Vector showed four. Microsoft showed three processors in CPU Slot 1 and one processor in CPU Slot 2. Altiris showed two processors in some reports, and four in others. Tally reported two "Pentium 4 Xeon with HT Technology." Which was correct? Technically, everyone and no one. Hyperthreading turns a single physical Xeon processor into two actual Xeon processors. What we wanted to see in a report was, "2 physical processors, 4 logical." Tally came closest in reporting this correctly.

Note that all products require agent software installed on every node for full functionality.

Vendors at a Glance

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