[ Go to March 1997 Table of Contents ]

NT Enterprise
SMS Alternatives

-- by Tom Henderson and Joseph C. Panettieri

Microsoft may be Goliath on the desktop and server, but it's got several other giants to contend with in the systems management market, including Novell, Intel, McAfee, Seagate and Symantec.

Novell develops ManageWise 2.1 (starting at $795 for five users), which monitors SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) events and can inventory network components. (Novell offers separate tools for electronic software distribution and license control/software metering.) As you might guess, ManageWise (www.novell.com/managewise) is a natural solution for NetWare networks. It's also emerging as a popular tool for mixed NetWare/NT shops, thanks to new agent technology for Microsoft servers.

Intel, meanwhile, is pushing its LANDesk Management Suite 2.5 for networks that use Intel-based PCs and servers (specifically NT and NetWare servers). LANDesk (starting at $750 for five users) supports remote control and inventory, software distribution, server monitoring, metering, centralized alerting, print management and DMI (Desktop Management Interface) management.

McAfee, Seagate and Symantec also develop various desktop management offerings that compete with SMS on some fronts, and complement SMS on others. For instance, McAfee's SaberTools SMS (about $30 per node for a two-year lease) provides software metering, desktop menu management and automated software distribution scripts for SMS. Similarly, Seagate's Desktop Management Suite (starting at $1,495 for 50 nodes) supports electronic software distribution, remote inventory, storage management and integration with SMS.

By contrast, Symantec's Norton Administrator Suite Premiere Edition (starting at $45 per node, depending on network size) lacks SMS integration but boasts software metering capabilities not found in many systems management packages.

Clearly, there is no shortage of alternatives to SMS. You might want to check them out.

Copyright (c) 1997 CMP Media Inc.

Windows Magazine, March 1997, page NT32.

[ Go to March 1997 Table of Contents ]