OS Deployment, Management and Update

Introduction

The Challenges of OS Provisioning and Management

For many organizations today, operating systems provisioning and maintenance is a tedious, time-consuming and error-prone task that gobbles up your IT staff's precious time. As your IT environment continues to get larger and more complex, manual processes and point solutions become increasingly unsustainable.

Are you ready for a more effective solution? Review the questions below. If you answer yes to more than one or two, this e-book is for you. It explains how the Quest® KACE Systems Deployment Appliance (SDA) streamlines OS imaging and deployment, and demonstrates how two very different organizations, Green Clinic and San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools, are using the KACE SDA to save valuable IT time, reduce costs and improve productivity enterprise-wide.

Signs That You Need a More Effective Solution

To see if your organization is ready for a more effective approach to OS provisioning and management, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do users — or management — complain that it takes too long to configure and deploy new systems?
  • Do you need to provision multiple operating systems, including both Windows and Mac?
  • Are you struggling to ensure that drivers are up to date across all devices on your network?
  • Do you wish you had a way to automatically deploy hundreds or thousands of systems running a variety of operating systems?
  • Do you need to be able to create and maintain more gold master images, efficiently and without errors?
  • Do you dread OS migrations, knowing you'll be putting in long days and weekends to achieve only limited success?
  • Does your team have difficulty prepping multiple machines for rollout of new applications?
  • Are you spending too much time and money traveling in order to maintain remote systems across wide geographical areas?
  • Do deployments overwhelm available network bandwidth, dragging down performance and productivity?

If these challenges sound all too familiar, read on to learn about a solution that will help you overcome all of them, and more.

Streamline OS Imaging and Deployment with The KACE SDA

The KACE Systems Deployment Appliance streamlines initial provisioning and ongoing administration of master system images and driver updates across multiple operating systems, so you can easily ensure that all your connected systems remain up to date and secure. Because of its all-in-one, appliance-based form factor, the KACE SDA dramatically reduces complexity, deploys quickly and minimizes ongoing maintenance, reducing total cost of ownership (TCO).

Save Time with Automated Imaging, Deployment and Management

The KACE SDA simplifies and automates image and driver management by:

  • Collecting detailed hardware inventory on target systems
  • Storing all deployment assets in one easy-to-manage, secure location
  • Streamlining the capture and management of hardware-independent images
  • Automatically downloading and deploying the latest drivers
  • Enabling true lights-off deployment with a task engine that controls the order of deployment tasks, handles reboots seamlessly and ensures that the KACE SDA server is updated in real time
  • Automating pre- and post-deployment tasks, such as RAID and BIOS configuration, and application and scripted installation
  • Enabling centralized systems deployment and recovery via a web-based console

Reduce Costs with Efficient Network Deployments and Remote Site Management

The KACE SDA simplifies large-scale systems deployments and remote site management by:

  • Enabling provisioning of deployment assets over the network, even for bare-metal machines
  • Sending the same bits of deployment data simultaneously to multiple devices (multicasting) to greatly increase speed and reliability while reducing network bandwidth consumption
  • Enabling remote repair and recovery of systems using native Windows and Mac tools (including native imaging tools)
  • Enabling deployment of disk images, operating systems, drivers and applications at remote sites via virtual remote appliances, without requiring dedicated, on-site hardware or staff

Keep Users Happy and Productive with Faster, More Accurate OS Migrations

An OS migration requires not only installation of the new OS but also the preservation of user-specific settings and files. The KACE SDA ensures accurate Windows user state migration by centrally capturing, storing and deploying these settings and files. Moreover, it enforces compliance by excluding files by type and location, and offers a single-step offline migration.

Learn how real customers are benefitting

Of course, the real measure of any solution is how it actually works in practice. Therefore, the next sections explore exactly how two KACE customers are saving time and money and achieving their strategic goals by streamlining OS deployment, management and updates with the KACE SDA.

Enhancing Compliance and Care with Highly Available IT

Green Clinic streamlines systems deployment, management and HIPAA compliance.

When Green Clinic deployed an electronic medical records (EMR) system, the KACE SDA made quick work of getting the application into doctors' hands. While manual deployment methods would have required weeks of effort, the KACE SDA enabled the IT team to image and deploy all 155 laptops in just one day, saving 80 hours of overtime valued at $20,000, in just one project.

And the KACE SDA continues to deliver value, improving application performance and enhancing user productivity by enabling IT staff to easily push out fresh OS installs and quickly rebuild machines. Plus, by using the KACE Systems Management Appliance with the KACE SDA, Green Clinic is able to manage network and remote devices seamlessly in accordance with HIPAA requirements.

Saving Valuable IT Time with Automated OS Imaging and Deployment

San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools streamlines image management and OS migration with the KACE SDA.

The small IT team at the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools (SBCSS) was spending nearly a full day to bring each of its 2,000 computers into the lab and update it. Now, with the KACE SDA providing automated imaging and easy installation of images over the network, IT staff can deploy both PCs and Macs in minutes, almost unattended.

By pairing the KACE SDA with the KACE Systems Management Appliance, SBCSS was able to replace seven different products. For example, when Windows XP neared its end of life, the IT team used the KACE SMA to find all machines running the old OS and report on their readiness for upgrade, and then used the KACE SDA to move user profiles to the upgraded machines.

Why choose KACE?

As we've seen, the KACE SDA is an easy-to-use yet powerful solution that streamlines OS deployment, management and updates, enabling IT staff to be more efficient, reducing operational costs, and improving end-user productivity and satisfaction. And it integrates seamlessly with the KACE Systems Management Appliance (SMA) to deliver complete systems lifecycle management.

But how does it stack up to the other options on the market? Well, a recent Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) analysis found that KACE appliances equal or exceed the functionality of competitors' solutions — and when total infrastructure expenses are factored in, the KACE solution can also cost significantly less.

Equally important, the KACE solutions save significant amounts of valuable IT time by simplifying image management and automating driver updates for both Windows and Mac systems — delivering full support for today's multi-OS environments. In fact, the KACE SDA out-performs competitors in a number of areas, including remote site support, remote system recovery and device discovery. The all-in-one KACE SDA can automatically detect and synchronize with all available clients on a network, without the need to install local software on each client. Other software-based solutions, on the other hand, require a dedicated server to act as the central console and a client agent to be installed on each of the supported systems. And KACE appliances are purpose-built for growing organizations and do not need expensive professional services, dedicated hardware or heavily trained staff to function effectively.

In addition, the KACE SDA:

  • Enables easy file-based deployments — simply click and drag applications from its comprehensive library
  • Maintains user settings during OS migrations
  • Provides provisioning capabilities for both Windows and Mac deployments
  • Requires dramatically less master image storage capacity

About Quest

At Quest, our purpose is to solve complex problems with simple solutions. We accomplish this with a philosophy focused on great products, great service and an overall goal of being simple to do business with. Our vision is to deliver technology that eliminates the need to choose between efficiency and effectiveness, which means you and your organization can spend less time on IT administration and more time on business innovation.