Systems Management Question
Thoughts on KACE v8?
11/28/2017 2304 views
I spun up a sandbox vm of KACE v8 and while it does offer some enhancements, I have to say that I'm mildly disappointed. While I do believe the product is moving in the right direction, the pacing seems to have been extremely slow between products 7 and 8. There seems to be fewer enhancements between major editions, or I'm setting my expectations too high.
Some of my criticisms based a cursory overview
1. The new theme. It's way too bright, and there doesn't appear to be away to manually select themes. Maybe this should be a feature request, but I really appreciate the theme in version 7 even if the colors aren't what I'd choose, I feel the new theme is going to be migraine inducing.
2. The introduction of contracts is a great idea, but I feel that it leaves too little in flexibility in regards to customization. There are 3 default contract types - hardware, software, other. I built a custom asset "contract-test" but realized there's no method to add it to the list of available contract types. I don't feel the current list of supported types covers the scope at which I would find it functional. E.g. If I sort by contract type "other" it's going to yield results for all contracts with that type. It would be nice to allow the ability to create additional contract types so that if I only want to display results from MSPs, ISPs, and other business channel relationships, I have the flexibility to not only create the form/format I want the data collected in, but the ability to filter those results exclusively. I could use the advanced search but I don't want to create a host of custom fields in the default contract types otherwise it becomes convoluted when building contract assets.
3. Scripting still doesn't have a "better" advanced scheduler. For example, I may only want to schedule a script or task to run once against one machine at a specific time. I don't want the scheduler to run continuously every x minutes/hours/days/weeks, etc. Significantly important when trying to schedule tasks to run at certain periods of the day without requiring interaction.
4. Still no quick tasks/actions in inventory for agent devices, e.g. reboot, release/renew, force logout, etc. I do see that there are some "additional actions" features but it looks like it pertains to mobile devices which is odd considering mobility was removed from the K1K in version 5 or 6 - so that is interesting.
5. No expanded vendor support from Dell though I have to assume this is planned or coming since the acquisition by Quest. It would be nice to see support for HP/Lenovo/Toshiba, etc.
Features or enhancements I dig
1. Contracts, yes I did gripe about this a bit but I love the idea. I currently use custom assets to handle contracts but I love the expanded functionality the new assets provide. I just wish there was extra flexibility.
2. User archiving - this has been a long time coming. I'm tired of micromanaging user accounts in the kbox.
3. WYSIWYG editor for the KB with HTML support. I played around with this briefly and it greatly enhances the KB. While it's not as flexible as some other apps or KB systems, it's a great general improvement over the previous version.
4. The new asset management dashboard seems promising, though it's hard to say how it may actually work after upgrading. At a glance, it looks nice in the sandbox appliance.
So what are others thoughts about v8? I have my gripes (mostly petty) and actually the biggest is the new theme, but overall I'm content with the product. It seems to be growing albeit slowly.