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Top 5 or 10 Desktop Management Tools!

By jsamuelson ·
What do y'all use, how much does it cost and does it really work? What do you use for tracking Help Desk requests on a budget -- and we're not talking Heat or Remedy being in the budget!? Is there a better product for imaging than Norton Ghost? What do people use for server tools i.e. to notify Admins when something is badly wrong? Is there a good, solid, reliable product that can back up critical system files without imaging the entire hard drive to conserve on server storage space? What's out there, and what do you recommend? I work in a healthcare environment so money is a definite issue -- along with IT being widely regarded as a necessary if expensive evil. Thanks.

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Advice

by BFilmFan In reply to Top 5 or 10 Desktop Manag ...

Could look at TrackIt, which has a small Help Desk package.

http://www.itsolutions.intuit.com/default.asp

No, there really isn't a better imaging package than Ghost in my opinion.

What server operating systems are we discussing managing and backing up? There are a number of different methods and tools depending on the OS. Need more information to assist you.

Also, recall that HIPAA comes into play with health care and you will have some special requirements to meet.

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Thanks

by jsamuelson In reply to Advice

... we've considered Ghost however the price tag is considerably higher what with having to buy a license each time an image is deployed. For server management, we have 25 NT 2003 servers so it's MS across the board in a SAN environment. For server utilities, what would you use for sending out a page or cel phone notifiation that something is down, for example? Or to diagnose the error codes. We've had a T1 line go down twice within the past month but errors on the server side didn't exactly pinpoint the problem (if you catch that drift). Thank you again,

Julie

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T-1 down

by northbikerjr In reply to Thanks

Okay j, here is the deal.
T-1 going down is not good. Your provider should call you when it goes down if they are a good company. I would consider switching providers. I have had too many bad experiance with poor providers and T-1's.

We use ghost, yes the licensing model sucks now. When we first purchased ghost it was unlimited. There are other licensing issues in using ghost too. Really, you are not suppose to ghost oem software version of MS windows xp. You must have a full license. Of course this is crappy, but MS states it in the EULA.

There is www.acronis.com. They might be a little cheaper. I don't know, we are locked into ghost and I know it works well.

Monitoring
http://www.ipsentry.com/ Site license approx 395+195 for NT Event log monitoring. If you want http web monitor its another $195.File and directory monitoring $155. Check it out, it can email you, page you, pretty much do whatever you need. We tested many packages and found this one to be the cheapest and really easy to use and maintain. It is probably not the leading edge, but works great for us. We use it to monitor 7 servers plus Internet connections.

Looking for a product to manage your workstations/assets.
We use http://www.assetnavigator.com/. They were really the only SQL solution under 1K that I could find and their product works very well. There are a few hiccups with it, but it has worked great since we purchased. OF course they could have increased their licensing costs.

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Notification

by PMidnite In reply to Thanks

Have you looked at a program called "Servers Alive"? I use it to monitor connections and Servers. It is inexpensive and it just works.

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by mike In reply to Advice

For helpdesk we use Track-it as well and it has a host of options and can scale or be small. Starts at about $700 and goes from there.

For basic network monitoring I have heard good things about IPMonitor and Ipswitch WhatsUp products , again reasonably priced.

For the imaging issue, not really sure of an alternative to ghost...

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Track_It Question

by Support Monkey In reply to

Wasn't Track-It sold or is for sale? I rolled out Track-It at my last employer and it did wonders. We were a mid sized shop with a need for a replacement for Remedy. Track-It supplied us with a Knowegebase, Purchasing tool, HelpDesk Tool (its primary use) and a desktop Auditing tool. It was great, I only had to go to the well once! I'm now at a new job and I probably will go with Track-It again.

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Track-It is now a Quicken product

by arley.beyond In reply to Track_It Question

BlueWater sold out to Quicken. So Track-It now comes from Quicken.

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Quicken - Intuit

by Support Monkey In reply to Track-It is now a Quicken ...

It's actually for sale again from what I hear. it was Intuit that bought it from Blue Ocean, they own (Quicken and Quick books). I heard that Intuit was selling them again. I'm a little aprehensive to buy it now because of the instability of the company.

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Here is my response....

by thestonez In reply to Advice

I like Acronis TrueImage better than Ghost and find it is more reliable (restorations on Ghost have been less than 100% reliable IMO). As for Help Desk software there is a litany of options. GWI, HEAT, HP's Service Desk, Magic Solutions, etc. Just thought I'd chime in.

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More Advice

by rkuhn In reply to Top 5 or 10 Desktop Manag ...

For smaller operations, I've used:

www.ilient.com

and found it to work for HelpDesk software. But only for smaller operations.

The free version is for 2 admins and 100 users (I think). After that, it costs but is still affordable.

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