I am an IT admin for a company with about 150 Windows 98 and XP workstations, some mobile laptops, plus a handful of Windows 2000 servers. The workstations are scattered among 24 remote offices.
Administering these resources can be a nightmare. Inventory, software administration, technical support, etc., are made exponentially more difficult when your assets are spread out over thousands of square miles. Luckily, all these remote locations are connected via 64k frame relay (yes, that's slow, but cheap) in a hub-and-spoke configuration, to the central office.
I have been using remote control software to configure machines. This saves a lot of time, but leaves much to be desired as a solution for the aforementioned administration tasks. I have researched system management suites from companies such as Altiris, Computer Associates, Microsoft, Novadigm, IBM and more. Some of the packages are designed for enterprises with thousands of computers. Prices vary wildly, and all claim to do basically the same things.
I would like to discover which system management solutions (not limited to the above list) could possibly be a good fit for an organization the size of mine. Thank you for your consideration.
This was first published in May 2003