Greetings fellow deployers
At this time our company of 700 on site desktops is using WSUS for MS updates, manual Access DB for software and hardware inventory, Active directory for software installations and admin studio for repackaging. I have been granted the green signal to shop and price a comprehensive desktop management suite. If anyone is willing to share their experience with their Management product it would be greatly appreciated.
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ditch Access DB hardware/software inventory and use spiceworks it's totally free to use and is ad supported (console in browser). you can pay for an ad free version too, but they really are unobtrusive and relate to what you have on screen. Personally i use this with AD for software installations and some freeby repackaging kit when i struggle to find an MSI. Pretty low cost solution overall.
Answered 02/26/2010 by: squeakstar
Orange Senior Belt

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Steve,

It would be worth you looking at Microsoft SCCM 2007. It can manage your assets, patches, software deployments - pretty much everything you need.
There's a free trial version you can download for testing, as well as some virtual labs here.

Thanks,

Dunnpy
Answered 02/26/2010 by: dunnpy
Red Belt

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SCCM is the safe and supported choice (although sometimes Microsoft support is more bane than boon.) But you might consider some other alternatives. I'm actually a fan of Bigfix, it's insanely effective for patch management, doesn't require PKI for internet client management, and has extremely, extremely responsive reporting. The only (and rather large) downside to Bigfix is that whoever is administering it should pick up the Relevance language to make full use of the system. Even if you don't though, there's tons and tons of pregenerated content and a few wizards that will generate software deployments for you.

It's also very cheap and ridiculously easy to implement (at least last time I priced it out.)
Answered 02/26/2010 by: Jsaylor
Second Degree Blue Belt

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SCCM is crazy expensive - unless you have an EA agreement that includes the client CALs. The best solution for the money, by far, is the KBOX solution. They offer a free trial - you should check it out. The KBOX integrates several systems into a single component: help desk, hardware/software inventory, asset management, scripting, managed installations, vulnerability scanning, software patching (third party and MS)... The KBOX is the best thing that has ever happened to my organization's IT infrastructure.
Answered 02/26/2010 by: airwolf
Tenth Degree Black Belt

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Depending on what you mean by 'comprehensive desktop management suite' the project I've released may be of interest. It uses the WSUS infrastructure to release 3rd party updates. It's free and open source: http://www.localupdatepublisher.com.

To be clear and for full disclosure, I'm the author of this project.
Bryan
Answered 03/01/2010 by: bryandam
Yellow Belt

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Last year we implemented a cloud based tool called Everdream. http://www.everdream.com/

What we like most is that there is no back end infrastructure to support and you only have to pay for the modules you want to use.
Answered 03/01/2010 by: Upgrade
Yellow Belt

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The vendors we've looked at so far are Altiris, MS, and Kace. BTW Kace has recently been aquired by Dell. I'm trying to find a decent matrix that compares some of desktop management suites features, if u got 1 let me know. If I end up finding something useful I'll be sure to post it thx
Answered 03/02/2010 by: skislowski
Senior Yellow Belt

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