As one half of the industry works to develop a personal computer management standard, Norwood, Massachusetts-based Microcom Inc has come out with its own solution to the same problem. The timing of its announcement was a little unfortunate for the company, coming as it did just before Intel Corp, Microsoft Inc, Sun Microsystems Inc, Novell Inc and SynOptics Communications Inc came together to address the problem (CI No 1,925); however Don Winston, general manager of Microcom UK said that its new product, LANlord, is built in such a way that it can be re-constructed to comply with any new standards. As it stands, the LANlord agent uses a variant of the SNMP protocol to transmit information to a central database running on an OS/2 machine. The data then can be examined from a Windows workstation running the company's LANlord workstation software. The fact that the agent is proprietary and can be accessed only through the company's own database and front-end combination serves to highlight the importance of the five's work, though Microcom says it intends to build a standard SNMP proxy agent for the OS/2 server so other network management stations can tap into the data. Apart from the niggle over standards, the facilities provided by LANlord look likely to prove a boon to administrators. They include automatic inventory of hardware, software, driver and configuration information, software metering, virus detection and repair, remote viewing and editing of system files. Only a remote control facility is missing. The technology was developed by the Client Server Technologies Group, which got seed funding from Microcom and was subsequently snapped up.
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