The Information Technology domain is expanding in terms of both hardware and software. New innovative technological developments are available in the market now and then. The organizations need to carefully manage and analyze the implementation of client devices and software. In order to manage the hardware and software, centralized administration is vital. The network administrator requires a single-point access to validate and configure antivirus, spywares, intrusion detection systems, and various security patches. As there are numerous tools available for this purpose, evaluation between these three tools is in consideration:
- LAN Sweeper,
- Manage Engine Desktop Central
- Express Matrix
LAN Sweeper is an efficient network inventory tool with a significant advantage of no cost. The LAN Sweeper 3.1 is a free tool, integrated with rich applications. Moreover, the network administrator can use the console to manage the systems off-site. Likewise, administrator can access administrative shares, reboot the system, sending Echo request and much more. All these features are availed, without installing any software agent or patch on servers or workstations of the network. In order to initialize LAN Sweeper on the network, the program executes from a user’s log-on script. However, there are some pre-requisites including SQL database, IIS (Internet Information Server), operating system Microsoft Windows XP or later and .net framework 2.0 or later. After installation, some codes are added to ‘lsclient.exe’, as a part of user log-on script, specifying the name of the LAN Sweeper server as a runtime parameter. Moreover, the client software activates whenever user logs in the system and operates silently, extracting information from Windows Management Instrumentation and registry. The database saves the gathered data. After the process of data collection, network administrator can access the reporting website of LAN Sweeper to review summary of all the investigated systems along with warning and alerts. Moreover, network administrator can configure warning and alerts as per the security policies of the organization. Moreover, there are more options to gain in depth analysis of a workstation such as echo request, trace route, remote scan for inventory, execute ‘run as’ command, remote reboot and much more. If executive reports are required with more administrative options, premium version is also available which is not free of charge.
The next tool named as “Adventnet ManageEngine Desktop Central” is a web-based remote access tool that allows remote configurations, patch management, remote software installation, remote inventory management, remote desktop sharing, active directory reports service pack installation and much more. Moreover, this tool operates on more than 1000 network nodes from a single-point of operation and provides automated desktop management life cycle. The automation involves simple configurations along with complex configurations of various applications. Furthermore, this tool also provides support for work-group, active directory, and directory services environment. The tool provides automation of installing common software, security patches, and required service packs remotely. Likewise, the tool also supports system configuration such as desktop shortcuts, printer sharing, allowing or restricting USB access, applying security policies, software and hardware inventory auditing, discovering unwanted program operation and much more. In addition, this tool is not free of cost; annual subscription is available for this tool (Beisse, 2013).
The last tool that will be under consideration is express matrix IT asset management tool. This tool also provides a broad range of features aiding in data accuracy, quality reporting, IT asset management, and excellent support. The express matrix tool provides extensive license compliance options for preparing software audits along with automated compliance monitoring. Moreover, the software usage metering provides in depth statistics, in order to eliminate applications that are not in use. The hardware inventory option provides options to track and manage workstations and servers throughout the hardware life cycle. Moreover, this option also provides summary level and detailed reports.
Criteria for Evaluation
The six key factors are essential when selecting appropriate software as per the business requirements. In order to make a decision to be successful, information gathering from the vendors is an essential process. The first factor relates to the functionality of the software. The software must have the required functionality to fit the business procedures. Although any software that is popular, it does not necessarily mean, it fits the business requirements. The second factor is related to technology. Organizations must ensure that the software will support the emerging technology trends for the future. In addition, the integration of the newly purchased software with the legacy-computing environment is also considered. The third factor relates to the software vendor and the reputation of the vendor in the market. The task for purchasing and implementing software do not mean that the vendor has completed is job. In fact, a good relationship is required with the vendor so that they can continue to enhance the functionality and efficiency of the product. However, vendors charge for providing maintenance and support, a good relationship will keep them motivated. The fourth task is the implementation phase. It is crucial to hire the right vendor, in order to implement the selected software. The fifth task is regarding maintenance and support. The organizations ensure that the maintenance and bug fixes for the newly implemented software are conducted in a timely manner. Sixth task is related to the total cost of ownership. The three components that make up this phase are software license, implementation services and software maintenance (Zain, Mohd, and El-Qawasmeh, 2011).
Beisse, 2013 F. A Guide to Computer User Support for Help Desk and Support Specialists, 5th Ed. Course Technology, Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.
Zain, J. M., W. M. W. Mohd, and E. El-Qawasmeh. Software Engineering and Computer Systems, Part I: Second International Conference, ICSECS 2011, Kuantan, Malaysia, June 27-29, 2011. Proceedings. Springer, 2011. Print.