I am currently looking at an environment servicing around 16,000 desktop clients and around 400 windows servers.

There is currently a substancial investment in Altiris licensing however the current implementation has a number of issues whereby it looks like the only option may be to redesign the infrastructure servers and start from scratch. At the same time it has been suggested that our enterprise agreement with Microsoft may allow us to use SCCM2007 instead.

I have a lot of experience with SMS 2003 and am slightly uncomfortable about the levels of support and high number of service packs and revisions made by Symantec. There seems to be a lot of patches released for Altiris that break previously fixed issues and there is very little documentation relating to scalability.

Can anyone with knowledge of both SCCM 2007 and Altiris give me some unbiased advice?

We require Asset inventory, Remote Control and software distribution for 2000 and XP clients.

Ideally we are looking to centralise (and virtualise) as much infrastructure as possible.

Any help or advise would be much appreciated!

Cheers

Aidan

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Don't fall for any yellow box marketing!  We are currently running SMS 2003 SP3 and Altiris version (who cares?); I'll let you guess which one works best.  While Altiris can provide some things that SMS can't, it's been nothing but problems since we started to roll it out.  We are only using it for Asset Management, and so far it's just been a bad experience.

Down with Altiris, up with SCCM/SMS!
Answered 03/28/2008 by: blake182
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Altiris DS worked great but then they came out with NS and I've been hearing people crying all over the place crying about NS. I think one thing MS is doing right with SMS is not modifying the core architecture all that much so the code base is heavily battle tested. I think Altiris is sleek by giving you nice wizards to do things but SMS is a very customizable framework that can be just as capable but you don't get all the little training wheel wizards to help you out.

Answered 03/28/2008 by: kkaminsk
Eighth Degree Black Belt

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I'd highly recommend skipping Altiris if you can. We're using SMS  2003 for our PC environment, and it works well. However, we have about 1000 Windows CE thin clients from HP that can't really be serviced by SMS. For those, we're using Altiris Deployment Solution to do remote control, software and settings changes.

My primary complaint about Altiris is the lack of in-depth documentation, followed by the requirement to bolt on a huge amount of add-ons if you want any reporting. SMS is nice because you have access to any report you could ever want, right out of the box. I've been writing my own queries that pull data from Altiris directly whenever I want things like update completion percentages, etc. To me, it seems like it's missing too many features.

Answered 03/31/2008 by: etorbenson
Yellow Belt

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Hi Blake

I find myself in much the same position as aidanbree...you made some statements about Altiris CMS causing issues. Could you please enlighten me as to what these were so that I can take them into account as well?

Many Thanks
Jacques

Answered 05/26/2008 by: jloubser
Yellow Belt

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I think the biggest thing SCCM has going for it is the documentation.  Check out the .CHM for SCCM.. it's massive and covers pretty much anythng you want to do with the product.  In addition to that, there's a pile of stuff on M$'s site, plus third party blogs and forums out the wazoo.
SCCM R2 (due any day) is going to better integrate Softgrid as well.. they have a plan for the product and they're not afraid to throw money at it until it works.

Answered 05/27/2008 by: turbokitty
Sixth Degree Black Belt

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Greetings! I would like to rise this issue, because since now there is SCCM 2012 comming and Altiris has been updated to 7.1 SP1 release. Does anyone have any deeper experience both of them?

With SCCM 2012, many things changes, like more dynamic software distiribution which allows to set different rules and triggers to distribution policy. Basically you anymore don´t have to know the computer name, you just create user roles and distribution rules for advertisements. You can always publish the same application as App-V on a user´s secondary computer.

After a few year experience of SCCM, I started to evaluate Altiris. I have very little experience of it today in my lab, and I´ve saw a few presentations of it.

It seems for me that both of this products provide pretty much same features, the main question is - which is more reliable?

Answered 02/13/2012 by: yannara
Blue Belt

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I think Microsoft learned big time from SMS 2.0 lack of stability at RTM. You have to also also look at how SCCM 2012 was held back a year for more feature development / bug fixing. The betas I've played with have been very stable in my mind.

I haven't been touching Altiris at all anymore so I cannot comment on the product. I can say in my local market SCCM would be the dominant platform.

Answered 02/24/2012 by: kkaminsk
Eighth Degree Black Belt

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I have been using Altiris CMS v7.0 for the last 18 months. Since day 1 it has been a pain in the ass. Bugs galore, unreliable. I felt like I was beta testing it. I've had a look at the interface of the latest version but i'm not impressed at all. If I had a choice now I would stay well clear of it. I've never been on a support line for any other product as much as this. I've no idea what SCCM is like but if anything as bad as altiris then we're in trouble..

Answered 03/02/2012 by: Joebhoy
Yellow Belt

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