Symantec Altiris Asset Management Software
During Summer 2010, IT will replace our old asset management software, Net Octopus, with a new application, Altiris Asset Management from Symantec. The Symantec management agent will replace the Net Octopus client on every University owned computer. With Altiris, hardware and software inventory, software installation and software updates can all be handled remotely within minutes instead of visiting each individual computer on campus. By accessing Altiris information at our Help Desk, we will be able to reduce troubleshooting time and provide faster solutions. Altiris will also be used to deploy PC Anywhere which will replace Timbuktu as our Remote Management solution. Using the associated PC Anywhere client we will be able to offer fast, remote troubleshooting and just in time training. Accurate inventory information will enable us to do better planning for hardware and software upgrades. Altiris will help us to reach the strategic priority “steward resources wisely to assure the university’s future”.
- Altiris will be installed on every computer on campus. It will be used to generate hardware and software asset reports, meter software purchased under volume licensing, distribute operating system and software patches and distribute software over the network to computers.
- We intend to use the software to monitor and insure compliance with the terms of university software license agreements.
- Hardware configuration information gathered includes hard drive size, memory, and internally installed components.
- All software applications installed on the computer will be gathered in the initial report. Only software from our major vendors including, but not limited to, Adobe, Apple, Symantec and Microsoft will be tracked or metered. Software information will be used to restore computers after service and to plan for reinstall of software on new computers
- Altiris will not inventory the My Documents or Documents folder.
- Only Authorized Information Technology personnel will have access to the full hardware/software configuration and application listing.
- PC Anywhere will be installed on all Macs and Windows computers and can be used by Help Desk and Technical Services to remotely troubleshoot problems. PC Anywhere can only be launched on a computer if the end user gives permission.
Asset management software educes the cost of supporting computers. An unmanaged computer can cost considerably more to support in the way of maintenance, software upgrades, configuration changes and end-user support during its lifetime. Implementation of asset management software and remote management tools can significantly reduce this cost.
- Accurate inventory of hardware and software assets which will enable more efficient compliance with Business Office audit requests.
- Accurate count of software licenses installed for licensed software applications. To reduce the liability of the university to a software audit IT needs to be able to track the number of installed copies of software. Software version information will help us contact users about upgrades and patches. This information will also help us budget for software upgrades.
- Improved diagnosis of problems by the Computer Help Desk resulting in less office visits needed and less downtime for faculty and staff.
- Ability to deliver software and software patches to computers from the network. This will lessen time spent by technicians visiting desktops or laptops for simple installs or upgrades. This will also ensure that faculty and staff get the patches and upgrades they need.
- Ability to remotely backup a computer prior to installation of a new computer reducing time needed for change over to a new computer.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How will the Symantec Altiris Management Software be used?
- To periodically report, via the network, on hardware information and configuration as well as installed software.
- To assist in resolving support calls by having accurate information regarding hardware configuration and software versions installed.
- To track hardware and software assets.
- To remotely deliver operating system and application patches and upgrades.
- How will Symantec Altiris benefit me?
A major benefit will be that your support needs will be addressed more quickly and efficiently, leading to a reduced loss of computing resources.
- How will Symantec Altiris benefit the University?
The university will see benefits from Altiris when planning system-wide application installations and upgrades. Altiris can quickly determine any systems that need replacement or upgrades because of inadequate hardware. Altiris will provide accurate hardware and software inventory for auditing purposes as well as planning and reporting.
- How will I know if the Symantec Management Agent has been installed on my computer?
On Windows you will see this icon in your System Tray
- Who will have access to the Altiris administrative tools?
Only authorized Information Technology personnel will have access to all of the features of Altiris. Limited information on hardware configuration and supported software will be available to the Help Desk staff to assist in troubleshooting.
- Can I tell if someone has used Altiris to access my computer?
Yes. An entry is made to a log file residing on the Altiris server every time Altiris performs an activity. You can contact the Computer Help Desk to obtain this information.
- Can IT read or see my files via Altiris?
No. Files can only be read or viewed if the end user gives permission for authorized IT personnel to access the computer via PCAnywhere.
- Will PCAnywhere allow IT to control my computer whenever they want?
No. PCAnywhere will be used while a Help Desk or Tech Services person has you on the phone. They will ask you to grant permission on your computer to allow them to use PCAnywhere to help you fix a problem or show you how to perform a task on the computer.