Today I took delivery of a Dell KACE 2100 appliance. For those who are unfamiliar with this appliance, its main purpose is to image and maintain a constant watch over your network devices’ updates, patches and programs. This unit will allow us to image both Windows and Mac machines over the network, and it will allow us to deploy individual or group updates and programs without needing to touch the end-user machine.
In past years I have used all sorts of imaging and updating systems to some degree of consistency and success. I’m talking about Ghost, DeployStudio, SmartDeploy, and even Microsoft’s RIS and Deployment Services. If I take into account all the time invested in getting the various systems to work correctly and then testing and making sure end-user computers were okay, it took a lot of money to get things working right. Since I am at a new school with a mixed platform I wanted to forgo the testing, setting up, stress, additional coffee money and decided to start shopping around for an all-in-one solution.