RealTime IT News

HP's Configuration Festival

If you're an IT manager charged with making sure hundreds or even thousands of personal computers are running tip-top, chances are good your staff has better things to do than to flit from machine to machine for updates.

That's where HP's  OpenView Client Configuration Manager 2.0 comes in.

The new, Premium Edition version of the client software, the core of which was acquired in HP's purchase of Novadigm more than two years ago, boasts more features and configuration coverage for managing devices in medium-sized companies or departments within larger enterprises.

Company officials plan to unveil the upgraded software at a "Taking Care of Business" product launch in New York City today. At the event, HP executives will also unveil a new line of PCs and a high-end workstation.

But the news is more business as usual as the company seeks to advance its product line even while it retrenches its corporate structure under CEO Mark Hurd.

To that end, OpenView Client Configuration Manager 2.0 does all of the things 1.0 did: automated discovery and inventory, operating system deployment and migration, patch management, software usage metering and hardware configuration management for Windows-based desktops, notebooks, workstations and HP thin clients.

However, there are some new and/or improved tricks in this bag.

The new software includes BIOS (basic input/output system) settings management, automated BIOS and driver updates, alert monitoring and power management.

The latest version also deploys and migrates operating systems from remote locations; automates the capture and deployment of operating system, applications and user settings between different PCs or operating systems; and tracks software usage across the enterprise to manage licensing costs.

With better performance on every IT manager's wish list, the Client Configuration Manager 2.0 also scales to twice that of version 1.0.

Moreover, a free add-on to HP OpenView Client Configuration Manager supports Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT), which will sit in the firmware of select HP desktop models healing the devices.

In a first for HP, all commercial HP laptops, desktops, and workstations are shipping with a preloaded HP OpenView Configuration Management agent.

Having a preloaded agent reduces the costs associated with managing PCs, because it saves IT admins from the task of loading agents on machines.

HP OpenView Client Configuration Manager 2.0 Premium Edition is expected to be available from HP and its channel partners this month for $75 per seat license.

Such client configuration software is gaining traction in the market as admins increasingly seek to save the time and money associated with working on tasks that can be automated.

Microsoft   Novell and LANDesk also make products that compete in this multi-million-dollar segment of the management software market.