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Dell software asset management tool aids licensing compliance

Dell will simplify software asset management with an updated K1000 to keep track of software licensing, and Windows OS and app migration.

IT administrators who want a simplified way to manage licensed software and help with Windows operating systems and app migration may find what they need in an updated management appliance from Dell Inc.

Dell updated today its KACE K1000 Management Appliance, which includes a software titling engine designed for IT admins to easily track their software inventory. It can decrease IT's overall cost when running software audits.

The product now determines how ready an organization's hardware may be for operating system and application migrations and what software packages might be underutilized among an organizations' employees.

As vendors such as Microsoft Corp. provide upgrades to organizations at a faster pace, software asset management becomes particularly important for organizations to keep track of their software licensing agreements.

"The reality is that today, users are comfortable provisioning their own services and devices," said Dennis Drogseth, vice president at Enterprise Management Associates Inc., an IT consulting firm based in Portsmouth, N.H. "All those demands are not only changing the speed where IT needs to provide services and value; it [also] changes the nature of the game of what IT is about," he added.

The KACE K1000 will now be integrated with the Dell Software Application Catalog, a cloud service that tracks 110 million software executables.

"The software catalog is huge for us," said Aaron Weinberg, director of IT for The Kirlin Group, a construction company based in Rockville, Md. The software catalog enables the company to push out upgrades to its end users easier than before, whether end users are based in the company's offices or remote.

The Kirlin Group uses Dell's K1000 and K2000 Deployment Appliance, and has served as a beta tester for Dell's K1000 products. Currently, the company uses the K1000 for inventory asset management, patch updates and help desk reporting, among other uses; it uses the K2000 for migrating its environment from Windows XP to Windows 7.

As IT admins migrate end users to new operating systems and applications, the K1000 will determine how ready an organization's hardware is. This is particularly important as corporations upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7 or Windows 8.

Dell's KACE family of software asset management products compete with Microsoft's System Center IT management tools. Weinberg noted that in comparing System Center and Dell's software asset management tools, his organization found the KACE appliances easier to use and took less time and effort to roll out the product to get it up and running.

Weinberg also noted that K1000 offers unlimited support. This is particularly important for new users and IT departments that cannot afford to add more cost to their budget for support.

"We open a ticket every other month for advanced support," Weinberg said.

In the future, Weinberg would like to see other features incorporated into the K1000, such as support for Hyper-V, more security and IPv6, which are important for his organization.

The K1000 costs $8,900 per 100 nodes, with an additional $31 per managed node. The updated product will be available August 5.

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