Apple Updates its Remote Software

The Macintosh-maker gives network administrators a revised way to manage their clients and clusters with added support for installing, upgrading and booting up.

Apple Computer Wednesday beefed up its network software lineup with an incremental upgrade to its Apple Remote Desktop platform.

The software lets network administrators distribute and install software, copy files, gather asset management information and remotely control system settings over the network.

The new administration software plays right into the Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker's recent emphasis on the networking capabilities of its Mac OS 10.2.x "Jaguar" server operating system and various hardware devices like Xserve.

New to v.1.2 are features such as Remote Software Installation, which lets an admin remotely install new software to groups of Macs simultaneously over a network; and Remote Network Startup Disk, which sets any number of Mac OS X clients to start up from specified NetBoot or Network Install disk images on a remote server.

The revised version also has an Automatic Update feature for upgrading Apple Remote Desktop clients automatically over the network; and enhanced security including encrypted control and KeyChain support to protect passwords and private data.

Using its new Apple Remote Desktop, the company says system administrators and support professionals can efficiently manage user systems and distribute software from a central location, over both Ethernet and AirPort networks.

The platform also features a tiered administrative structure, and can be used to support up to 20 lists or clusters of up to 250 computers each, for a total of up to 5,000 users. So admins can delegate by assigning administrative tasks and privileges for up to 20 subordinates and team leaders at the workgroup level.

The company says user can audit systems for out-of-date software, or software not approved or licensed for use within your organization.

The CD box set retails for US$299 for the 10-client edition and US$499 for the unlimited client version. Educators get a break with pricing beginning at US$149 for the 10-client edition and US$299 for the unlimited client version. Version 1.2 is also available as a free update to existing Apple Remote Desktop customers.

"With two full time staff we support 2,200 users and manage a combination of approximately 600 wired and wireless Macs located across five buildings with Apple Remote Desktop," said Eric Hackl, network manager for the Winnetka Public Schools in Winnetka, Illinois.






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