Enabling Dynamic Endpoint Management with Automation

Today’s businesses require greater agility and high-availability of supported IT services. Employees expect services to be eminently available “on-demand” and require prompt access to critical applications and data in order to respond to rapidly changing market conditions. Rising to the challenge of delivering a wide variety of reliable IT services on-request has led to the development of new technology concepts such as virtualization, enterprise mobility, and cloud computing. As these emerging technologies grow in adoption, methods for delivering, securing and managing them must also evolve to meet expanding requirements.

Traditional methods for managing IT resources, including servers, desktops, laptops, and mobile devices are the core precepts of client management. Put simply, client management encompasses all the endpoint management processes necessary to ensure systems meet business requirements from their initialdeployment through their final retirement. A number of disparate management services comprise client management. The most critical of these include: system deployment, application provisioning, patching, change and configuration management, security and compliance, problem and incident management, and backup and disaster recovery. Because of the breadth of administrative tasks required for these individual services and the extensive number of endpoints managed by typical medium and large-sized organizations, support for client management cannot be achieved by manual process alone. Since a majority of client management activities are eminently repeatable, these procedures are ideal for automation. The more IT processes are automated, the more time support staffs regain to focus on IT improvements and business-focused projects. Fortunately, a number of automated management solutions are available in the market today. Many of these are point solutions only designed to address one or a few endpoint management challenges. More effective, however, are automated suites that provide a broad range of automation services to achieve the breadth of client management requirements.

The FrontRange HEAT Client Management solution is specifically designed to addresschallenges in both traditional and emerging endpoint management requirements. The HEAT Client Managementsolution suite offers a unified management solution for supporting physical, virtual, and mobile devices, thin clients, and servers across the enterprise. With a web-accessible interface and role-based access and authentication, the product set allows IT professionals easy access and customized views of the entire support stack from a centralized location. Wizard-based tasks and an end-user self-service portal are included to greatly simplify administrative tasks.

Addressing core endpoint management requirements, HEAT Client Management provides asset management, system provisioning services, software and configuration management, remote control, patch management, security assurance, and backup automation. For asset and inventory management, the solution set discovers all IP-addressable hardware components and integrates with CMDB implementation for a consolidated and holistic enterprise view. Image-based and/or “pre-scripted unattended build” system deployment is also included to enable the bare-metal provisioning of physical and virtual endpoints. The solution’s “Software Factory” provides integrated operating system, application, patch and driver packaging with 170 pre-defined wizard driven commands included out-of-the-box to simplify software delivery. Security assurance reports and alarms ensure endpoints meet compliance objectives, and both vulnerability and malware scans prevent endpoints from being compromised. Backup and restoration features are also included to assist in data and configuration migrations and to facilitate disaster recovery.

Going beyond traditional management processes, HEAT Client Management provides advanced capabilities specifically developed to address emerging management challenges. For instance, the platform includes virtualization aware monitoring and maintenance features. VMs are discovered and can be fully and easily provisioned with the same interface used for deployment to physical endpoints. Application virtualization packaging and provisioning capabilities are also included as well as full support for Citrix XenApp implementations. Personality migration automation enables a smooth transition of user states to and from virtual and physical endpoint or between different operating environments. Additionally, a dashboard is provided, which achieves full software release monitoring and management functionality. Wizard-based queries identify software dependencies and appropriate package installation order prior to deployment, and individual release packages can be modified to meet unique endpoint requirements. Also, the status of software package delivery is tracked and clearly reported on the dashboard interface.

In order to address emerging requirements the FrontRange solution also provides easy-to-use integrations with third-party solutions, greatly enhancing the extensibility of the platform. Taken as a whole, the HEAT Client Management suiteoffers a comprehensive and consolidated platform for achieving both traditional client management requirements and emerging technologies, allowing organizations to provide the management resources necessary for enterprises to succeed in meeting evolving IT requirements.