Intel extends LANDesk Manager to mobile devices

Intel is extending LANDesk Management Suite, Version 6.6 for desktop systems, to include management of mobile devices.

Intel is extending LANDesk Management Suite, Version 6.6 for desktop systems, to include management of mobile devices.

The additional applications, known as Mobile Manager, are being licensed from XcelleNet, an independent software and device management vendor. The applications will include XcelleNet's Afaria suite of applications, including Inventory Manager, Session Manager and Software Manager.

One industry analyst said that with the downturn in the economy, Intel was not interested in developing the mobile technology on its own and, after a look at the available technology in the market, selected XcelleNet.

"[Judging] from Giga client feedback, it was the right choice. XcelleNet came out on top in terms of customer satisfaction and number of customers using their product," said Ken Smiley, a director at Giga.

Mobile Manager will ship on 10 September, and will be available at launch for the Palm OS and Pocket PC devices.

The suite will enable LAN managers to schedule and retrieve device information such as battery level, OS version, radio signal strength, model, and serial number.

On the application side, Mobile Manager can be used to check device resources before sending an application, to distribute software updates, and to monitor applications for corrupted and out-of-date files.

Session management features include the generation of helpdesk alerts and a feature called CheckPoint Restart, which restarts a software download where it left off if interrupted.

Mobile Manager puts Intel ahead of Microsoft, whose plans call for including mobile management features in the next version of its desktop management application, SMS 2003. A beta of SMS 2003, codenamed Topaz, will ship in a few weeks to 60 early adopters, said Bill Anderson, lead product manager for Topaz, but he would not speculate on when the final version would ship. That would depend on input from beta users.

However, when it does ship it will include mobile management features for laptops only, with a client component for Windows CE, Pocket PC, and XP embedded slated to ship "a few months after that", Anderson claimed.

SMS 2003 will include such features as Check Point Restart and bandwidth throttling. Bandwidth throttling juggles and allocates bandwidth if a user is both downloading e-mail and receiving a software update from the network at the same time.

The Pocket PC and Windows CE components will include a 140KB client at ship time and will offer other developers a set of open APIs to add additional management features.

Microsoft will add a mobile proxy to the application that will give managers a single window, single infrastructure and a single set of operational processes, Anderson said. Users will have to purchase additional client access licences, but the mobile component will not be sold as a separate product.

Novell's management suite, ZenWorks, includes mobile management following the purchase of Calisto software last year.

While the major system management players such as Tivoli and Computer Associates also have mobile management features, those products are usually have a higher initial cost and, in the case of Tivoli, would require an enterprise to invest in the entire Tivoli framework.

Tivoli will embed its Handheld Device Manager into core IBM/Tivoli enterprise management technology. This will enable customers to implement distributed software tasks, inventory for asset management, and perform configuration on a much wider range of wireless devices.

In April, CA incorporated systems management to its wireless reach - beyond monitoring wireless resources and application availability - by introducing Unicenter Wireless Network Management and Unicenter Mobile Device Management products.

Unicenter Wireless Network Management gives customers discovery of wireless access points and LAN devices, event and performance information, and intrusion detection protection, said CA officials.

Unicenter Mobile Device Management offers configuration, virus defences, automated software distribution and configuration of PalmOS, BlackBerry, and PocketPC. Both products are available and integrate with CA's flagship Unicenter systems management platform.

Pricing for Intel's Mobile Manager begins at $64 (£42) per seat with volume discounts available for 100 or more seats.

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