We are looking for a automated deployment tool that can push the OS to a newly added raw PC and then push any third party software and patches that we may use.

All of this should be accomplished with little human interaction.

Our environment has 750+ windows workstations (NT/2k/XP) with a mix of win2k and NT4.0 Servers. We also need to push updates and patches to remote laptops that randomly connect to our network.

I have looked at the following packages so far:

IBM Deployment Manager
Microsoft System Management Server
OS Installer
TrackIt Deploy
Argon Client Management Services
Symantec DeployCenter Library

I am new to this technology and really don't have a clue to which package I should investigate further.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated...
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I've used SMS 1.2, SMS 2.0, and Altiris and I really like Altiris. I've used it in an environment with 1200 to 1400 PCs. You can setup "jobs" that will push down an image, and then push down all types of software that you've packaged. Their 3 day training class was also supurb! I'm not sure how it compares to the other software you listed because it was in the environment when I started, so I waasn't involved in the decision making or comparison processes.
Answered 05/13/2004 by: usachrisk
Purple Belt

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My manager looked a little into Altiris before I came on-board and said it was very expensive. Same with Marimba.....Over 100k for our environment.

I was hoping to find something alot less expensive.....

I read the review of LanDesk Management Suite 8.0, has anyone here deployed this system? Would it serve our needs as listed above?

Thanks again.
Answered 05/13/2004 by: k9naber
Yellow Belt

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Have you looked at Powerquest. I've used at previous site and it's great.
Answered 06/03/2004 by: sylsimp
Yellow Belt

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Personally I can accomplish 90% of my deployment tasks in Active Directory alone.
Answered 06/03/2004 by: cdupuis
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Following along the lines of cdupuis' comment: do you already have an Active Directory to work with?

If not, that is the direction I would choose to move, and where I would invest effort and money. Whether you have an AD or not, get the NT4 workstations upgraded up to Win2K or XP.

With an AD and Win2K or better workstations, you can use RIS to deploy your operating systems. You can use AD Group Policy to deploy your software and patches. You can use SUS to deploy patches and service packs to your workstation OS's.

You would, however, need to also choose a solution for repackaging your 3rd party applications into .msi format, since Group Policy can only deploy software that is in .msi.

The other investment, of course, is in the learning curve to get all of the above going.

If you already have an AD, you can get to where you need to be much faster and cheaper, and you might - depending on your budget - have money left to consider additional tools.

Craig --<>.
Answered 06/04/2004 by: craig16229
Third Degree Brown Belt

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Well I highly suggest using Altiris. I have used it in a large bank to deploy across Australia (About the size of the continental USA) and it did remote builds really well using Ghost images and also handles the app deployment extremely well. Its expensive but its worth it.

AD and GPO deployment is free though and also works very well.
Answered 06/09/2004 by: MSIMaker
Second Degree Black Belt

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Criston Precision V5 is managing laptop in a very simple way. Check www.criston.com
Answered 06/10/2004 by: Fabi
Yellow Belt

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I found Unicenter Software Delivery to be a great toolset.

However, as with all tools, there is some learning needed to be done to use the product efficiently, but once you master it it really works like a charm.

The best choice is to get someone that's familiar with it to give you hands-on training.

It's not cheap, but great to work with.
Answered 06/17/2004 by: cmonig
Yellow Belt

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One that isn't on your list is Empirum,

It's the only one that can really do it all OS deployment, appdeply and Patch updates.
Personal Data backup and very easy to use.
Answered 06/24/2004 by: aktiveradio
Senior Yellow Belt

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I must agree with Cmonig - I am using USD 4.0 in my company. Problem is, that it provides so many capabilities that U have study really tight to be able to do something. But after U spend some time with learning, U will find out it is really powerfull, specially in combination with other Computer Associates tools like ServiceDesk, AssetManagement or Remote Control.

URL: www.ca.com - Unicenter products
Answered 06/25/2004 by: Soulin
Senior Yellow Belt

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