We all know the reasons for staying on top of company assets — lifecycle management, tracking and licensing compliance, to name just a few — but how to do it is another matter. As with most inventory tools, the trick is finding a product that provides needed information without requiring a week of training before you can see the data. LANDesk Inventory Manager strikes this balance.
Let’s look at some of LANDesk Inventory Manager’s key strengths: It reports in great detail without venturing into information overload. Administrators can view all installed software several ways, from browsing installed programs and features to reporting the presence of other programs using customized criteria. And user information is well represented through the reporting of local user accounts, the machine’s primary owner and associated Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) information.
Reporting tools are simple and flexible to use. There are countless ways to sift through and report data (charts included), and reports can be easily generated to a given network location in PDF format.
LANDesk Management Console, the software’s central point of management, is easy to navigate and facilitates all administration from a single, intuitive utility. Should the organization purchase other client management offerings from LANDesk, they will snap into this same console, allowing administrators to hit the ground running.
Rollout of the LANDesk client agent is flexible and can be accomplished by using a stand-alone offline package; by using the Advance Agent option, which lets the client trickle down from the server to conserve bandwidth; or by pushing it directly from the server in real time. During testing, I did not have to open any ports or make any other firewall modifications to allow client deployment — a huge plus.
The management console on the server is rock-solid, and few issues arose with installed clients. Of the errors encountered (specifically, “Runtime Error with clientdbutil.exe”), all occurred on older machines running 32-bit Windows XP, an operating system that fewer and fewer companies still use.
LANDesk doesn’t skimp on support. There is a library of documentation and several helpful wizards, including one that launches with the Management Console itself, offering step-by-step instructions for common administrative tasks. Additionally, LANDesk has a strong support presence online that details virtually every step of client and server administration.