Altiris 6 unifies its code base for .Net

The new, 130M Altiris 6 infrastructure for IT lifecycle management has been rewritten in the C++ language for use with the Microsoft .Net architecture.

'Our goal is software without a user manual,' said Steve Morton, vice president for product management at Altiris Inc. of Lindon, Utah.

'All the information comes to a single console,' Morton said, although there are three segments for managing client and mobile assets, servers and other networked assets. The network administrator can call up 1,100 kinds of Web-based reports about user rights, configuration, deployment, hardware and software migration, licensing, periodic backup, patch management and other topics.

The company recently bought Wise Solutions Inc. so that it can test new software versions and patches for potential conflicts. 'We call it preflight testing,' Morton said. For safety, a system snapshot is taken to roll back to a previous state if something goes wrong during an update.

Altiris' automated patch capability applies only to Microsoft Windows 2000 and 2003 Server environments, although its software agents can monitor Linux, Unix, Mac OS, Palm OS and Pocket PC network environments. Linux patching might be added later, Morton said. Altiris 6 can monitor and change settings on switches and routers, but it cannot patch their software.

The new version is faster than the 5.x version at, for example, inventorying networked assets at customizable intervals. 'It backs up with minimum redundancy,' Norton said.

A discovery agent can check for any new hardware or software, but Altiris 6 cannot yet wipe the hard drives of systems that are being retired.

'The client agents are lightweight, about 5M,' Morton said.

Altiris 6 runs under Win Server 2000 or 2003 and requires Microsoft SQL Server, whose licensing is not included in the $80 per-node price for a perpetual license of the Client Management Suite portion. The other Altiris modules are priced per managed device; Altiris 5.x users will get free upgrades.


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