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The software distribution capabilities of On Technology's On Command will be used to roll out Windows XP remotely to the council's PCs in July. The tools allow PC configuration and updates to take place without a technician physically attending a user's machine - a key requirement because Sedgefield Council's IT team is relatively small.
Anita Maxwell, the council's head of IT, said, "We have been installing more and more PCs all the time - a 10% increase each year - but our IT department resources have remained static at 11 people since 1991. We needed to move to XP on the desktop and could not see how we would do it.
"It is impossible to quantify the benefits, but without this tool we could not get the job done. We can now rebuild PCs by scheduling the job to be done overnight so users do not have to be swapped onto other machines while the job is done in the IT department."
To use the tool, users must install On Command CCM Server. This provides the central console, which detects all hardware and software present on the Lan. A software agent is copied out to network devices to allow them to communicate with the console.
Once a new PC is plugged into the the network, it can be configured by On Command from the Bios, through operating system, hard drive partitioning, installing applications and patch updates, without the need for a technician to visit.
Sedgefield Council runs 600 PCs, 50 Citrix Windows Terminals, 25 Windows servers and 15 Unix servers. It is running a combination of Windows 2000 and NT on the server.