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Rollout: Kace KBox 1000/2000 Series Appliances

The Upshot


Claim
Kace aims to simplify desktop and server management. Its appliances provide core automation, inventory and audit capabilities, as well as OS and application provisioning. With the appliance form factor, Google-like search features and use of machine-task labels, Kace claims to make deployment and operation a snap..
Context
Kace is targeting small and midsize enterprises looking for simplified desktop and server management. The company squares off against Altiris, Microsoft's SMS, LANdesk and Novell Networks' ZEN.
Credibility
Kace's KBox 1000 Series and the 2000 Series appliances are easier to install than competing software products. Their basic management capabilities are good and can be augmented with add-on modules. But at present, Kace's product line is best suited to desktop management.

Kace KBox 1000/2000 Series Appliances

What's worse than the expense of managing desktops and servers? How about the expense of not managing them? The four-year TCO of an unmanaged desktop is about $4,455, compared to $2,850 for a managed one, according to a 2005 Gartner report.

Kace, a new player to the IT management market, wants to help small and midsize enterprises get on the right side of that TCO equation: Its appliance-based product line aims to make deployment and operation simple and inexpensive. Throw in a Web-based interface and an easy-to-use "label" approach to tracking machines and assigning functions, and Kace's KBox line starts to look good.

However, unlike more mature products from companies such as Altiris (Symantec) and LANdesk, Kace's appliances aren't fully baked for server management or software provisioning and deployment. Although the marketing literature talks up server management, the products are really oriented toward the desktop.

What's In The Box

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