Symantec releases new Altiris management tools

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Symantec releases new Altiris management tools

Symantec's Altiris subsidiary has released the latest versions of its management tools for client and server systems, adding native support for Apple Macs, centralised power management support, and better integration with other Symantec tools.

Available immediately, Client Management Suite 7.0 and Server Management Suite 7.0 have both been given a major overhaul from the previous releases, with a greater emphasis on workflow, according to the firm.

"What we've seen in the last 18 months is much greater sophistication from customers in terms of administration. But what they're struggling with now is getting things to collaborate properly, so we've worked at better integration for business process automation," said Mark Boggia, director of pre-sales management for endpoint protection at Symantec.

As part of this, both suites now offer better integration with tools such as Symantec's Endpoint Protection and Backup Exec.

Other changes to the management console include a calendar view, and an administration hierarchy, which makes it easier for an administrator to delegate management control of some areas to others.

"If you have a geographically distributed model, Altiris can now scale up for these very large customers," Boggia said.

The calendar view allows admin staff to schedule systems maintenance windows, and get a graphical view of what is going on across the whole enterprise at any given moment.

The Client Management Suite has been remodelled in the way software is distributed and identified in audits, according to Boggia, so that applications are automatically distributed with all of the required components.

With a full native agent for Apple's OS X, Altiris can now manage Macs at the same level as Windows and Linux PCs. This support was added to reflect the growing uptake of Macs, Boggia said, especially in the education sector.

The suite also adds power management support with the ability to set centralised policies governing when systems power down, hibernate or sleep. Integration with Intel's vPro technology allows administrators to power on systems for routine management tasks. Boggia said that the new level of service is comparable with tools available from dedicated power management specialists such as 1E.

The Server Management Suite, meanwhile, has been overhauled with consolidated event management and new scheduling and change management features that tie in with the calendar view from the Symantec Management Console.

"We've struggled in the past to compete against Microsoft's MOM [now System Center Operations Manager], but we feel with this release we're fully able to match them," said Boggia.

The two Altiris suites are available together or separately, and can be downloaded immediately.

Customers using version 6.0 will be given an upgrade path to version 7.0 products, Symantec said.

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