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Managing Dell Servers with the Dell KACE K1000 and Dell Open Manage

Managing servers as part of a systems management solution presents unique challenges that need to be addressed differently from client systems. Dell offers a set of freely available tools, called OpenManage, to help manage servers purchased from Dell. These tools deliver remote access management, BIOS and system chassis management, and active hardware system monitoring via SNMP or IPMI. Integrating the OpenManage toolset with the Dell | KACE K1000 Systems Management Appliance provides a comprehensive end-to-end solution for managing Dell servers. This white paper discusses the issues and the capabilities of addressing those issues with the combined OpenManage and Dell KACE offerings.

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Dell KACE M300 Asset Management Appliance, first new product in systems management for small business enables IT managers to spend less time managing, more time innovating

Beta customers report quick deployment and ease-of-use as top level benefits

ROUND ROCK, Texas, July 14, 2011 -- Today, Dell KACE announced an innovative new line of systems management solutions developed specifically for small businesses. Applying its established technology to a new market segment, Dell KACE's latest desktop management product eases the repetitive tasks small business IT departments deal with every day, giving them the freedom to focus on more strategic projects.

Dell KACE's new line of appliances offers small business IT managers an easy, cost-effective and reliable solution for routine IT tasks such as: hardware and software inventory, software license compliance and asset tracking and management. In addition, it gives them increased visibility into their IT network, enabling them to proactively address configuration issues before they undermine security. With a strong focus on ease-of-use, the new appliance is a true "plug-and-play" solution that virtually eliminates the repetitive and time-consuming tasks of software and hardware inventory management.

"I'm excited about the M300 for two reasons. First, it represents the first in a family of new systems management appliances designed specifically for the needs of companies with 50 to 200 computers - and that's never been done before. And, second, our beta customers are telling us that this is a breakthrough product for them. These asset and license management features are - for the first time - immediately accessible to IT generalists in very small organizations," said Rob Meinhardt, general manager of Dell KACE.

For about the price of a laptop computer, the new appliance gives IT administrators visibility into the exact state of their computers, servers and peripheral equipment. Dell KACE designed the Dell KACE M300 Asset Management Appliance with these top small business IT benefits in mind:

Save time and empower productivity - The M300 dashboard allows users to easily check alerts, software license compliance status, recent activity on the network and pending tasks with a quick glance.

Save money - The M300 helps minimize end user downtime with its PC inventory and software license management solution. It also enables customers to fully utilize PC hardware and software assets rather than making unnecessary new purchases.

Ease-of-use - The M300 appliance provides "plug-and-play" deployment—simply plug it in, connect it to the network, and it discovers, maps, and inventories network assets.

Improve service levels - Upon installation, the M300 manages many repetitive tasks associated with IT inventory, thereby allowing IT managers to focus on more strategic issues and projects.

Avoid network security problems - The M300 provides an accurate inventory of assets that companies can use to enforce PC configuration policies to help identify and prevent rogue software from opening security holes.

Recent Dell ACCELEREV corporate research with SMB customers revealed businesses falling within the 50-200-employee range are still using time-intensive methods for tracking hardware and software inventory as well as managing software license compliance. Fifty percent of IT managers interviewed still use spreadsheets to manually track IT assets. The Dell KACE M300 Asset Management continuously monitors software, offering IT personnel the freedom to spend more time on strategic projects and providing a higher level of service to users.

"Prior to deploying the Dell KACE M300 Asset Management Appliance, we spent a significant amount of time manually tracking license compliance. In total, we had three different ‘point solutions' to watch over our entire asset tracking process," said Danny Daniels, IS manager for the city of Menlo Park, Calif. "We brought in the M300 and literally deployed it in under ten minutes -- it's a true 'plug-and-play' product. The Dell KACE appliance can perform multiple asset management-related tasks and because it's so simple to use and so effective, team time has been freed up to focus on other strategic IT projects."

The Dell KACE family of systems management and deployment appliances fulfill the systems management needs for organizations of all sizes, from initial computer deployment to ongoing management and retirement. Dell KACE products are available as both physical and virtual appliances, directly from Dell or through its partners.

Available today, the Dell KACE M300 Asset Management Appliance is priced at $2498, with a one year warranty and recommended maximum of 200 nodes. To learn more about this new appliance designed specifically for small businesses, join Dell KACE's free "Effective IT Inventory and Asset Management for Small Organizations: From Quagmire to Quick Fix" webinar on July 21 at 10:00 AM Pacific/1:00 PM Eastern. 

About Dell

Dell (NASDAQ: DELL) creates, enhances and integrates technology and services customers count on to provide them reliable, long-term value. Dell provides system-management solutions for customers of all sizes and system complexity. The award-winning Dell KACE family of appliances delivers easy-to-use, comprehensive, and affordable systems management capabilities. Follow the conversation at http://twitter.com/DellKACE.

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Get alerted before the Maintenance/ Warranty Expiry of any Computer using Kbox

1. Create Maintenance Expiry Date field under Asset Tab

2. Create Email Notification using Maintenance Expiry Date field

3. Select "Maintenance Expiry < DATE_ADD(CURDATE(), INTERVAL 30 DAY)" for notification of maintenance expiry in 30 days

On clicking "Create Notification",  Reporting Email Alerts page will be displayed

Select the email alerts and select the run frequency, hourly, daily, weekly or monthly.

You will notice that apostrophe has been added in the front and back of the string of characters you supplied earlier, "DATE_ADD(CURDATE(), INTERVAL 30 DAY)",  Remove the 2 apostrophes as they turn the date into a character string that invalidates arithmetical comparison

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How TO: Track Windows and Office Product Keys

I’ve been getting a lot of request for this in my trainings, so here it is. 
At the end of this post, you will have all the tools you need to track your Windows product keys and Microsoft office product keys. 
They way this works is we find the keys using nirsoft's keyfinder program. 
Next a VBS writes the keys to the registry. 
Finally we tie it all together with custom inventory rules. 

Requirements:Product Finder (now form Nirsfot) 
Here is the link to the portable version
http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/produkey.zip 

First thing we need to do is copy this VBS code into notepad and save it as keys.vbs 

Option Explicit

Dim objFSO			
Dim objTextFile
Dim winKey 
Dim officeKey
Dim strFile
Dim arrKeys
Dim i

Const ForReading = 1
Const winCDLine = "Windows"
Const officeCDLine = "Microsoft Office"
Const noViso = "Visio"
Const officeKeyReg = "offKey"
Const winKeyReg = "winKey"


Set objFSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Set objTextFile = objFSO.OpenTextFile _
    ("keys.csv", ForReading)

'Read the file into the array
strFile = objTextFile.ReadAll
arrKeys = Split(strFile, vbCrLf)

For i = LBound(arrKeys) To UBound(arrKeys)
	'try to find the windows product key
	If(instr(arrkeys(i),winCDLine))Then
		winKey = getKey(arrKeys(i))
		writeReg winKey,winKeyReg	
	End If
	'try to find the office product key
	If(InStr(arrKeys(i),noViso)) Then
	
	ElseIf(InStr(arrKeys(i),officeCDLine)) Then
		officeKey = getKey(arrKeys(i))
		writeReg officeKey,officeKeyReg
	End If
Next

Function getKey(strKeyLine)
Dim temper
Const KeyLoc = 2
Const ProdLoc = 0

temper = Split(strkeyLine,",")
getKey = temper(prodloc) & "_" & temper(KeyLoc)

End function


Sub writeReg(strValue,StrValueName)

Dim strComputer
Dim oReg
Dim wshShell

Const HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE = &H80000002
Const strKeyPath = "SOFTWARE\TVG"
Const strKeyPath64 = "SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\TVG"
Const is64Key = "SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node"

strComputer = "."

Set oReg=GetObject("winmgmts:{impersonationLevel=impersonate}!\\" & _ 
    strComputer & "\root\default:StdRegProv")
Set WshShell = WScript.CreateObject("WScript.Shell")

'check for 64 bit
If(OS64()) Then
	oReg.CreateKey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,strKeyPath64
	oReg.SetStringValue HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,strKeyPath64,strValueName,strValue
Else
	oReg.CreateKey HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,strKeyPath
	oReg.SetStringValue HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE,strKeyPath,strValueName,strValue
End If

End Sub

Function OS64()
Dim objOS
Dim colItems
Dim objItem
Dim strComputer

strComputer = "."
Set objOS = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer & "\root\CIMV2")
Set colItems = objOS.ExecQuery("SELECT OSArchitecture FROM Win32_OperatingSystem")

'this should fail on 32 bit XP
On error resume next
For Each objItem In colItems
	If(IsNull(objItem.OSArchitecture)) Then 
		OS64 = False
	ElseIf(InStr(objItem.OSArchitecture,"64") > 0) Then
		OS64 = True
	Else 
		OS64 = False
	End If
Next
On Error Goto 0

If(Err <> 0) Then 
	OS64 = False
End if
End Function
 
Next thing we need to do is go to the scripting module and a new script. 
For script type select Online Shell Script. 
Choose a label, select windows as the operating system and set the script to run as local system. 
Next upload produkey.cfg, produkey.exe (both found in the nirsoft folder, make sure you unzip) and keys.vbs as dependencies. 
For the script text enter the following 2 lines. 
ProduKey.exe /windowskeys 1 /officekeys 1 /iekeys 0 /sqlkeys 0 /exchangekeys 0 /extractedition 1 /scomma keys.csv
cscript.exe keys.vbs


Last thing we need to do is change the script name from script.sh to script.bat (just below the script text). 

Now that we have the keys in the registry we can start creating the custom inventory rules. 
Go to the software module and add a new item. 
Call the first one “Windows Product Key” 
Select all your windows operating systems for supported OSs. 
Finally here is the syntax for the custom inventory rule: 
RegistryValueReturn(HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\TVG,winKey,TEXT)

Go ahead and save the software. 
Next add another item but this time call it "Microsoft Office Key" 
Highlight all the windows OSs again. 
Here is the syntax for the second piece of software. 
RegistryValueReturn(HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\TVG,offKey,TEXT)


At this point you could also create additional software records, for example one for each office key. 
That way depending on the key you would have a unique software title. This way you could use the KBOXs built in asset management module and do licence compliance. 

Below are two reports that you can use to see what machines have what keys installed. 
Office report: 
SELECT M.NAME,
       SUBSTRING_INDEX(MCI.STR_FIELD_VALUE,'_',1) AS OFFICE_VERSION,
       SUBSTRING_INDEX(MCI.STR_FIELD_VALUE,'_',-1) AS PRODUCT_KEY
FROM   SOFTWARE S,
       MACHINE_CUSTOM_INVENTORY MCI,
       MACHINE M
WHERE  MCI.SOFTWARE_ID = S.ID 
       AND M.ID = MCI.ID
       AND S.DISPLAY_NAME = 'Microsoft Office Key'
ORDER  BY OFFICE_VERSION,
          PRODUCT_KEY


Windows report: 
SELECT M.NAME,
       SUBSTRING_INDEX(MCI.STR_FIELD_VALUE,'_',1) AS WINDOWS_VERSION,
       SUBSTRING_INDEX(MCI.STR_FIELD_VALUE,'_',-1) AS PRODUCT_KEY
FROM   SOFTWARE S,
       MACHINE_CUSTOM_INVENTORY MCI,
       MACHINE M 
WHERE  MCI.SOFTWARE_ID = S.ID 
       AND M.ID = MCI.ID 
       AND S.DISPLAY_NAME = 'Windows Product Key'
ORDER  BY WINDOWS_VERSION,
          PRODUCT_KEY


I hope this is useful. 
Thanks to vacuna for helping me put this together. 
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KACE Native Imaging Toolkit K2000 v.3.4 ONLY

KACE Native Imaging Toolkit

***This article is outdated and should no longer be used.  All users wanting to use Native Imaging should upgrade to k2000 version 3.5 or higher.  Article is left here for legacy purposes only.

 

Legacy deployment tools have their own proprietary image formats.  Legacy tools usually require the installation of OS vendor servers from Microsoft or Apple to take advantage of the standard images; which have obsoleted legacy proprietary formats.  The Limted Release* of the KACE Native Imaging Toolkit, also referred to as knit, allows unfettered use of WIM and DMG images directly from the K2000 itslef.  This give our customers the ability to pick the right tool for the job while retaining the K2000's easy-to-use centralized capture and decntralized deployment architecture.  Customers who have time-sesitive deployments may wish to try the KACE Native Imaging Toolkit.  Native images can be faster to deploy in some circumstances.

You can download KNIT here (KACE support credentials required).  Full documentation is included.
This is for K2000, v. 3.4 ONLY.

This video series will go in depth of all the processes necessary to implement the KACE Native Imaging Toolkit on your K2000 and is similar to the documentation.

 

 

* Limited Release tools are our way of giving customers access to KACE innovation more quickly.  Limited Release tools are free add-ons customers can download from the KACE support website and add to their product.  You can think of them as "concept cars" containing features we may integrate into the product at a future date. If you like to have multiple tools at hand to tackle a problem and use your technical judgement on which tool is appropriate in a particular circumstance, you are likely to get value out of Limited Release tools.

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