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11/11/2010
09:28 PM
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Zenworks 11 Update Consolidates Endpoint Governance

Novell's Zenworks 11 suite combines identity, security, patch, and asset management onto a single pane of glass with a web-based management console.

Novell is consolidating key endpoint management functions into its Zenworks 11 suite. Unlike some other approaches, it is location-specific, user-identity sensitive, and security minded.

For example, if a user changes from a secure location to a wireless open network, Zenworks knows to enforce encryption on any data sent from the user's change of scene.

Novell has been competing in the end-user management market by trying to move beyond single-function approaches, such as desktop security or end-user identity, to an approach that represents more complete governance over the endpoint from a single pane of glass.

Zenworks 11 became available in customer preview Nov. 11 and is due out as a generally available product in January. Version 11 is a web-based management console that combines the functions of four different products in the Zenworks suite: Asset Management, Configuration Management, Patch Management, and Endpoint Security management.

Asset Management knows the hardware and software characteristics of end-user devices, tracks licenses and software being used, and develops trend lines on that use. Configuration Management captures individual device configuration and knows best practices in setting up parameters on individual devices. It is helpful in Windows 7 migrations by transferring personal settings from an XP or Windows Vista machine to Windows 7. Without Configuration Management, a Windows 7 migration might require 20 hours of setup and integration with Active Directory, says Grant Ho, director of product and solutions marketing.

Patch Management allows the IT manager to spot vulnerabilities on end-user devices, push out automated patches to many devices, whether Windows or Linux, and ensure patch compliance from a single pane of glass, said Gil Cattelain, product marketing manager.

Endpoint Security Management is based on an individual's identity and role and whether the device is being used in a secure location. The use of a laptop at Starbucks, for example, causes the Endpoint Security Management agent on the computer to enforce use of VPN encryption. IT managers can control what USBs or types of devices an end user may access on the PC. When data is added to a removable device, Endpoint Security Management can enforce a rule that the data be encrypted. Applications can be designated as not allowed to go out on the Internet to retrieve information. And the software allows the security provisions on a computer to be protected from tampering by end users.

Many of these new capabilities are the results of Novell's acquisition of Senforce Technologies, a network security software maker, in 2007, Cattelain noted.

On Nov. 11, Novell launched its new Service Desk application, which helps automate service desk representatives in a way that meets the standards of version 3 of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL 3).

While operating as a suite, the Zenworks products are priced separately. Asset Management is priced at $33 per user; Configuration Management, $69; Patch Management, $18; Endpoint Security Management, $37. The full version of Service Desk is priced at $2,399 per service representative/technician.

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