New features in Altiris Client Management Suite from Symantec

Uploaded by davidstrom2007 on 18.09.2009

Hello and welcome to another episode of WebInformant dot tv. My name is David Strom. Today we look
at some of the new features found in Altiris Client Management Suite from Symantec V7.
If you aren't familiar with Symantec’s CMS, take a look at the introductory video on how
the product can automate common support and inventory tasks on my Web site.
There are lots of things that have been added to this version but we will focus on three
of the more important ones: more sophisticated software delivery options, additional patch
management features, and integrated remote control using PC Anywhere. Let's show each
of these to give you a feeling of the power of this software. We have been looking at
the inventory of machines across our network.
One of the improvements is the ability to be more parsimonious with how software is
applied to each client, so we don't have to duplicate bits that are already present on
the machine. We can also install software in virtual layers for better security. Here
you see the managed software delivery wizard that shows the layering option.
We can set up fairly complex delivery options with this wizard and incorporate various relationships
and dependencies so we make sure any software prerequisites are installed first on the last
screen in the wizard. Then we can run the task and you can see that the QuickFacts package
has been delivered to all of our clients. Our second feature is a new and improved patch
management portal, as you can see here. On one screen you can track licenses, vulnerabilities,
and computers that have failed any of the required updates that fit your compliance
profile. There are also separate sections for Mac and Linux machines too.
There are lots of details about how to bring your clients into compliance with licensing
and remove vulnerabilities. If we go to the Microsoft Updates/Needed Updates, you can
see this screen of a list of the patches we need to apply to our Windows clients
As we scroll down the menu options, you can even see which clients are missing the Altiris
patch plug in and which need to be restarted for the patches to be correctly applied. New
to this version is the ability to apply updates to Mac clients, as you can see here, when
we go through the process of adding Firefox browsing software to this machine through
a Quick Delivery option.
Our third principal feature is the ability to remotely control any of our clients. There
are actually two different ways we can do this. The first is by using PC Anywhere. This
replaces the Carbon Copy program that had been a part of previous versions of the Altiris
product for some time. We can start up a session right from the management console, as you
can see here by going into Actions/Remote Mgmt/Remote Control and typing in a computer
name or IP address we want to connect to. Once we authenticate, you can see our remote
connection to a Mac desktop in a few seconds and verify that Firefox has been downloaded
to it.
The second way of remote management is using what is called real-time management where
we don't actually do any remote control but can fix a bunch of different problems, such
as registry and configuration errors, as you can see here by going into the appropriate
screen in the resource manager:
One nice thing that is now included in Symantec’s CMS is the ability to set up a PC Anywhere
Access Server on a corporate DMZ to support multiple remote connections, without having
to negotiate firewalls but still maintain secure connections.
This just scratches the surface of this product but gives you an idea of its power and how
Symantec continues to expand its functionality. As I mentioned in the first video, this is
a very complex product that will require a great deal of specialized training to fully
use these and other features. But the payoff is better support of your end user population
and automating numerous configuration tasks across your enterprise desktops. Thanks for
watching this episode on Web Informant dot tv and do send me any emailed comments to
david at strom dot com.