Quest KACE Systems Management Review

This product made the job easy to do, without having to go put hands on the machines. This made things more convenient and more efficient

What is our primary use case?

Our primary use case for using this product is as a ticketing solution. 

How has it helped my organization?

This product made the job easy to do without having to go put hands on the machines.

What is most valuable?

I love the integration with Bomgar. It really helped a lot.

The way we were set up, we had multiple campuses across multiple counties. And even with just our downtown campus, you're looking at fifteen different buildings, a hundred different classrooms, and offices everywhere. So for us, the ability to push an image to a machine, wake that image up, and just blast a new image to a computer without even having to touch it, and then push the software to that machine. This just made things so much more convenient for us and so much more efficient than having to go find that machine, pull that machine out, take it back to the shop, and repair it from there.

Just having those tools made the job so much easier and so much more efficient. But they really just don't need the people that they used to have ten years ago.

What needs improvement?

The biggest problem we had with Quest KACE, with the K2000, imaging becomes a problem when you start to try to go beyond doing more than thirty or forty machines at a time. We initially tried to do that virtually and it just, it wouldn't work.

But that one physical appliance was enough to get us through and once we got the one K2000 physical appliance that was plenty to handle imaging whatever we needed. As far as the K1000, our original purchase was underpowered. We really didn't have the box we should have had for over three thousand nodes, but when it came time to upgrade that box, we got a box that was much more in tune to having over three thousand nodes on that system and it's been doing fantastic for almost three years now. We haven't had any problems.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Overall, the stability has been pretty good. We we were using the Quest KACE on the front end, and then we had a Samba share on the back end that we were using for storage for all of our imaging and for all of our software. There were some issues with how we were doing things on the Samba side versus how they were connecting that to the K box, so there was some issues, but it wasn't anything that was Quest KACE's problem and Quest KACE has done everything that could possibly do to help us work the bugs out. But ultimately it was mismanagement on our end of people not knowing what they were doing and how they were supposed to be administrating the box.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It was really just as simple as buying the licenses as we needed it. As far as man power goes when I first started there, there was four technicians doing roughly 3,300 machines.

How are customer service and technical support?

They were always fantastic. We dealt mainly with one tech support representative, and he was always spot on. We had some issues early on that I guess they didn't anticipate, and we worked closely with Dell, when Dell owned it, to work out some bugs that were huge for Dell. And because we were early adapters, we were kind of like Beta testers for some things that they eventually got a chance to role out to everybody else.  At first, USB imaging didn't work and then we worked with tech support for a while to get that ironed out and once we got that taken care of, it all got rolled into a new update and then it worked. The tech support staff was just phenomenal.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

When I first started at my office, everything was done through Novell. At that time, we didn't have the ease of pushing software and remoting into the devices as we did with Quest KACE.

We also used another solution that wasn't exactly secure - it was touted as a secure solution but there had been some issues. It had been hacked before. And we were starting to get into an area where we were having outside vendors ask us for access into our network, so that started to become a concern for us.

How was the initial setup?

It was easy. The team of the company came in, and helped us set it up.

What about the implementation team?

The initial implementation was through Dell. They were excellent.

What was our ROI?

If the professionals make a recommendation, consider it. Really, seriously, consider it, because there were some things we didn't do with Quest KACE that we should have, and it  really hurt us in the long run. Even going back as far as active directory, there was some things that we didn't do with active directory that we were told by Microsoft engineers that this is what you need to do with active directory. Six, seven years later, we're looking at a network of two hundred almost VLANs. So, implementation of KACE was fairly smooth for us. If we would have done things exactly the way they would have told us to, which would have included flattening the network, like the Microsoft engineer told us to do when we went to active directory, things would have been even more smooth. We wouldn't have problems with wake-on-LAN, we wouldn't have problems with our scripting, we wouldn't have had problems with our SAMBA share. It would have been so much easier down the road to listen to the professionals and do exactly what they suggested we do, but because we had people who thought they were smarter than the professionals, we had some pains with implementation.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It may be more expensive, but you get what you pay for.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Nothing against Microsoft, but everybody I talk to, who has ever dealt with Microsoft SCCM, has ever dealt with Quest KACE. And, in comparison, it's just more user friendly, easier to integrate and it's just such a more elegant solution. It may be more expensive, but you get what you pay for, you know?

We also looked at Spiceworks. A lot of people on our team liked it because it is a free product. They were still working on their whole footing, trying to get everything worked out with that. But with Quest KACE, t had so many other things to offer. You know, with the ability to include the K2000 and K3000, which interested us.

What other advice do I have?

The only hiccups we had were some power issues, where the box was a little under-powered early on. But, as far as having instances of bugs, or anything like that, the box ran great, as long as we left everything alone.

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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