Our School bought into PowerQuest DeployCenter back in Summer last year to manage the Computer system of about 600+ workstations, and provide a quick means of rolling out machines, and also repairing them should they fail (or students damage them). Up until now, we havent had the time to attempt to use the package to its full potential of remote deployment of images through PowerCasting/UniCasting or the use of Network Boot Disks. On attempting to do so, we have been encountering numerous problems with network card drivers. We have mainly NetGear FA310 and FA311s, as well as more recently Nvidia On-Board Ports on the newest batches of computer systems. We have obtained the latest versions of the drivers, from both Websites and also the Driver Disks we have on site. However, the booting still fails. When trying to create the boot disks, Im finding all sorts of problems with getting the correct drivers.

On contacting Powerquest, we found out that they have now been taken over by Symantec. Since then, I have found while contacting PowerQuest Support, that I have been waiting for many days to get a response whereas before the take-over - responses would usualy be within a working day. To add to this, the support for using the Advanced Features of the package has not exactly been forthcoming. The link for support for further drivers (from within the actual program) is dead, and links you to a "Contact Symantec for support" page. Even then, the support was contact your network card manufacturer for the latest drivers - when I already have these. Recently, I have also noticed that the patching support for PowerQuest has somewhat dried up - the last update was back in Oct/Nov 2003. The Symantec Product Ghost Corporate Edition has now had two releases this year already, from 7.5 to version 8. On downloading a trial version, we also noticed that support for network cards has greatly increased - in both versions, and also that getting support for the Symantec Product is much improved.

To us, it would seem as though we have bought into what has become a discontinued product. Although we can still use the local imaging part of the product, we purchased it for the use of the network fuctionality. We therefore where wondering what is the future of DeployCenter, as it would certainly seem as if the move is now towards the Ghost Corporate Edition product, which we don’t have.

Hope somebody out there can help to point me in the right direction - at a loss now!

Cheers in advance

Stuart Wilkie
ICT Technican @ Westlands Technology College, Torquay
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You are not the first to ask about this situation with DeployCenter/Ghost. I wrote the contacts I have at PowerQuest and received the following response:

At this time, our integration teams are engaged in evaluating all technologies involved and establishing a roadmap for Symantec’s combined offering moving forward. With the combined technologies of Ghost, DeployCenter Library and V2i Builder, Symantec now offers the most complete desktop imaging solution in the market. We will continue to develop best-of-breed products and provide next-generation solutions to our customers under our applicable maintenance and upgrade programs. We will provide more details as the product roadmap and licensing programs are finalized in the coming months.

Most importantly, Symantec is committed to providing an upgrade path for customers, regardless of what the future product(s) will be named or what the exact feature set will look like. If customers have maintenance/upgrade insurance for DeployCenter Library or Ghost software, they will be eligible for an upgrade at no additional charge to the merged imaging solution when it is released. For example:
An existing DeployCenter Library customer who renewed maintenance in December 2003 for one year will receive the merged imaging solution on its release (so long as it is released within that one year period) at no additional charge.
An existing DeployCenter Library customer who does NOT have maintenance will be able to purchase the merged imaging solution at the standard Upgrade price points for that new solution (yet to be determined).
An existing Ghost customer who renewed Ghost maintenance in January 2004 for one year will receive the merged imaging solution on its release (so long as it is released within that one year period) at no additional charge.

Symantec will honor all existing support and maintenance entitlements for our customers. Upon renewal of existing agreements, customers will be transitioned to Symantec-based programs and terms. We believe that the Symantec programs contain similar features and terms that customers have come to expect.

Wiebke Lips
PR Manager
Installation Design, Delivery & Infrastructure, Patch Management & Help Desk Operations
Enterprise Administration Business Unit
Symantec Corporation

Sounds like it will be a bit longer before the picture is clear, but I think you would agree that it is not in Symantec's best interest to upset its new PowerQuest customers. Time will tell...
Answered 03/31/2004 by: bkelly
Red Belt

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