ScriptLogic is to announce a new release of its desktop management product with enhancements such as full 64-bit support and wizards for creating inventory reports.
ScriptLogic is a fully owned subsidiary of Quest Software since its acquisition by the server, database and Active Directory management vendor in mid-year.
Jon Rolls, senior director of product management at The Boca Raton, Florida-based ISV, said the new release of the Desktop Authority product is v7.7, though some of the new features are significant enough that we could almost have made it a major new version rather than a point release.
First among these is full support for 64-bit computing, which had been only partial in v7.6. This is particularly important in [Windows] Terminal Server and Citrix environments, said Rolls. The 4GB constraint on the addressable RAM in 32-bit computing has been overcome in 64-bit, where you now have 64GB, which means instead of 50-75 concurrent users on an instance of an app, you can have well over 100, so we needed to support that scenario.
The last major upgrade in Desktop Authority was the move to v7.0 two years ago, when among other things ScriptLogic introduced collection of inventory data on hardware and software, as well as reporting on things like user activity.
We had already delivered flexible, custom reporting, but now we’re bringing in wizards to ease the creation of such reports, particularly for skills-constrained SMBs, said Rolls.
The wizard allows customers to set up filters by concepts such as supplier, serial numbers of monitors, memory size of the device, and department.
A third enhancement is in the area of device and port security. The software already offered the ability to lock down ports to avoid the use of removable media such as USB sticks, but now ScriptLogic has made that control more granular.
Customers can now create whitelists and blacklists, so that certain manufacturers’ USB toggles, or ones in a particular number range, can be permitted access, while all other are blocked, said Rolls. We’ve also added reporting on which files were copied and attempts to write to toggles and whether they were successful.
ScriptLogic has also expanded the range of platforms on which it can offer patch management. It had been just for Windows, but now it has added iTunes, QuickTime, Firefox, Flash, WinZIP, and Thunderbird. We’re also now supporting four major European languages: English, German, Spanish, and French, said Rolls.
Finally, for high-security networks, ScriptLogic is introducing a secure, supported disconnected mode for patch management, facilitating so-called sneakernet operations. This is where an admin has to physically transport files from one computer to another because the latter is on a secure intranet with no access to the public internet. The term refers to the fact that the admin has to put his or her sneakers on to walk out of the corporate data center to another machine to access the data over the internet, then carry it back on physical media.
We’ve added the ability to download all the updates, patches and so on over the internet to a ZIP file, then take that file onto a secure intranet and distribute the unzipped files from a single console, said Rolls. Previously admins faced the laborious task of having to go to the Microsoft site for their patches, plus all the other vendors’ sites for their updates and so on.