Corps unifies PC management

The Marine Corps is using PC management software to make sure its 70,000 servers and desktop and notebook PCs worldwide are headed to the same destination'the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet.

The Corps is keeping track of its servicewide software infrastructure with BelManage from Belarc Inc. of Maynard, Mass. The software automatically checks thousands of computers daily and informs Marine officials of applications that have been added.

Lt. Col. Frank Brady, head of the Corps' CIO branch, said the feature would 'detect variants from the software baseline' as the Marines eliminate applications while preparing to cut over to the NMCI early next year.

Under the $6.9 billion NMCI program, 200 Navy and Marine Corps networks will be consolidated into a single intranet.

Since last fall, a team of Marine Corps IT workers has visited commands across the country, identifying legacy applications that are redundant, incompatible with Microsoft Windows 2000 or unsuitable for the enterprise. When the team began its work in September 2001, it faced 7,876 apps in use by Corps personnel. By this summer, the team had disposed of all but 432 of the apps, smoothing the way for the Corps to log on to NMCI.

IT officials have used BelManage to keep track of the software that the Corps is using as it readies itself to join the network.

'It gives us a better picture of the software investment out there,' Brady said. 'It's integral to the NMCI effort. The legacy app thing has been a big challenge.'

One to the next

The team is checking software licenses to make sure the apps they keep can be shifted to an enterprise license.

BelManage also has helped the Marines improve the management of their software licenses and plan the Windows 2000 upgrade to NMCI.

'We are using BelManage to get a handle on our legacy software applications and to help consolidate our servers throughout our worldwide network.' Brady said. 'We have even used it to find unauthorized applications and operating systems running on our computers. The Belarc tool is most helpful in the enforcement of our emerging software baseline.'

Brady said the Corps plans to use BelManage to collect data about smaller software licenses at bases and commands throughout the service and move to enterprise licenses wherever possible.

BelManage updates an Oracle database each time it checks the Marine Corps' 70,000 computers and servers. IT personnel gain access to the data by logging on to an intranet.

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