Quest KACE Systems Management Valuable Features

Tim Herrmann
Laboringenieur / Computeringenieur at HTW Berlin
  • Reports
  • The security part with updates
  • Patch management, because we can update all the standards and software in our environment. 
  • Asset management with license compliance 
  • The overview with all the Dell EMC-specialized information.

We use only Dell EMC hardware in our environment. Therefore, it is good for us to use a system which can read information from hardware.

It has a single interface for us to be able to see everything that we might need for the endpoint management of devices, which is absolutely important. We also use the single sign-on service. Of course, we have other systems in our environment which we use for DHCP servers and to manage other things, but for this kind of information, it is very good for us that there is only one system that I have to use; where I can see everything I need for asset management and license compliances as well as for the monitoring of the system, e.g., which system is active and which system maybe was not there in the last two or three days or weeks.

The asset management and license compliances are very important and good for us to see which software is over-licensed or under-licensed.

I use their patch management to look at the security of our systems. Because of the research programs and the researchers who use these software systems and the computer, that is all secured for intrusion detections or interventions from criminals. So, it is very important for us that the patch management is working 100 percent.

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Security Systems Integrator at a tech services company with 51-200 employees

The most valuable is being able to use one image for several different instances. Because we only put one to three images on those instances, it saves a lot of space.

It pretty much provides a single pane of glass with everything we need for endpoint management of all devices. We have several different ways that we do stuff, e.g., for remoting in, we use Bomgar, and for asset management, we use ServiceNow.

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Systems Administrator at a financial services firm with 501-1,000 employees

The help desk, first and foremost is the reason that we went to it, as well as the asset management. We have meta-reports for that, reports that we send to finance on the assets and where they are, throughout the organization. I would say those are the two big ones for the organization. We have 600 employees across the organization and everybody uses the help desk, at least.

On a personal level, the scripting and the reporting are extremely valuable to me as a systems administrator. When people are asking me questions about what devices are in management, or what devices have a certain version of a certain piece of software installed, it's super-easy for me to jump into the SQL reporting, send them the information, and have confidence that it's got some good information for them to utilize around the decisions that they're making.

The scripting and the software distribution make my life a lot easier too, because if, all of a sudden, Adobe has a vulnerability and we need to do a security patch, it makes it super-easy to do something like that, to update everything in our organization, all in one shot.

It's very easy to use. We've just been asked to create three new queues, because smaller departments within bigger departments want to use this product, due to its ease of use.

And the Systems Deployment Appliance is magical when it comes to automating deployment. Before we had KACE, we had a replication machine that would hold the master hard drive and five other hard drives, and we would manually image machines. With the deployment of KACE our lives are so much easier. Not only can we have multiple images, specific to end-users' uses, but we have a plethora of post-installation tasks to install or configure the system, tasks that can be re-used for each system. You just have one basic base image, and then you use the post-install tasks to customize everything else. It is amazing. We can send an image to 50 machines in our central operations, remotely. We don't even have to be at the same location.

I also utilize it after each Windows "patch Tuesday." I have a schedule that I have customized so that after each "patch Tuesday" it gets deployed to all of my servers. That way, I'm not manually patching my 100-plus servers. That is another amazing thing that I love about it.

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Learn what your peers think about Quest KACE Systems Management. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2021.
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Enterprise Service Desk Systems Manager at a manufacturing company with 5,001-10,000 employees

I feel that KACE is pretty easy to use, although that may be coming from the fact that I've been using it for so long. In the Service Desk, it's really easy to clean up a basic queue, and from there, you can get more granular and do a lot more customization if you need to.

For the inventory functionality, the agent requires no configuration except for pointing it to the server.

For software deployment, as long as you've got your installation commands, it pretty much runs on its own. This is the same with patching, where you set up a schedule and then just let it go.

We have seen a return on investment from its ease of use, firstly because the KACE appliance is managed almost entirely by me alone. This means that we don't need to have multiple people working on each individual component. With the reporting that we do, we've been able to find unused or underused software licenses, remove those from the computers, and apply them elsewhere. This meant savings because we didn't have to purchase additional licenses.

KACE was previously owned by Dell and because we have a hook into Dell's warranty database, we're able to use that information to learn about what's in our environment and see what we need to budget for replenishment. This includes replacing computers on a quarterly or yearly basis. That way, we're not just saying "I don't know, we'll throw X number of dollars at it". It's an actual and pretty accurate budget, instead of just estimating it.

It has also saved a lot of time because for example, when we did the Microsoft Office upgrade, our service desk team did not have to touch all of those computers. It just ran automatically. That would have been a very large time investment. We have had it in place for so long that it is difficult for me to estimate how much time it is saving us on a monthly or weekly basis. I have nothing to compare it against.

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Muhammad Waseem
Sr. System Engineer at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees

The most valuable feature of KACE is the mass package deployment. There are a lot of endpoint management solutions in the market. The way KACE responds is with the installation management feature, which is done in a very intelligent way, as well as scripting. It's wow. It's really wow. On top of that, there is a mass undeployment feature as well.

For example, we had an issue a while back where there was a plugin for the SAP module being deployed to almost 1,800 computers. It was taking a backup, restarting the machine, and updating it automatically. Our end-users were complaining every day. We were receiving hundreds of calls. We found out that the issue was this plugin. It was updating and restarting machines without informing the users. When we did inventory, we started finding this application, but we didn't know about the history of that application. Luckily, KACE gave us an uninstallation path, the command line. When we deployed it, believe it or not, it worked as a massive uninstallation feature and it took care of almost 1,800 computers within one hour.

It's really very time-saving stuff. It's all up to you, how you are going to utilize KACE, but if you know the way, the features are very user-friendly and it does not require scripting. There are built-in features where you can build your own script and execute it remotely through KACE. 

I have never officially worked on the service desk model of KACE, but when I went through it, it was fine. It's good for a small IT department. It's more than enough. It has asset inventory and printer inventory. You enable the SNMP features and you can get reports on printers and even printer cartridge utilization reports. It's a very handy tool for organizations that have a lot of endpoints in place.

We also used the Systems Deployment Appliance for Windows 7. Now, we are planning to use it for the Windows 10 upgrade for the rest of our machines. If you're going to capture the image of a machine and re-image that machine, it's great. Over the network, it took us 18 minutes to deploy 19 GB of images. And that was not on the same campus. It was a remote campus. For the same campus, we also used it to deploy and it took us, I think, 16 minutes and a few seconds for almost 18 GB of Windows 7 images.

There are a lot of nice features.

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Carsten Buscher
IT Systems Administrator at a computer software company with 1,001-5,000 employees

The most valuable feature is the software deployment. That's the main thing we use, daily, all day long.

It's also very intuitive and easy to handle. It's clearly structured. For example, we are still using Microsoft Intune as our MDM software. With Intune, you get lost very quickly, but with KACE SMA, it's clearly structured and easy to understand.

We handle our local computers within the company with it. We handle our home-office computers as well. We have about 3,000 computers in SMA and, currently, about 1,200 computers are in our home office with it. Everything goes, everything's possible, without problems. We couldn't ask for more. We are able to manage all of the devices in the solution's single pane of glass. We see our computers there.

It also does patch management. At the moment, I'm rolling out a new feature update, 20.8.2, and it's a great challenge because we have to deploy it to 1,200 computers in the home office. We want to do it without interrupting production, but KACE is reliable and it's easy to adapt it to my needs for how and when to deploy the feature update.

Another feature we use is the Systems Deployment Appliance. If we install new computers, we run a script within the SDA at the end of the installation and that installs the required software for the computer, depending on which department it is part of. "Customer A" needs this set of software and we have a system image for it. And for "Customer B" we have another image with other software. We just have to start the computer, choose the required image, and everything is done automatically. There is no need to configure it. We just deploy Windows and, when that's done, shut it down, bring it to the location, connect it, and it works. Some software needs some manual configuration because it's not scriptable, but about 95 percent is automated.

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David Olsen
Assistant Unit Head, IT Systems Support at a security firm with 1,001-5,000 employees

KACE collects all the inventory of everything on a computer and everything about a computer, like warranty information. Software control and inventory is its most valuable feature. We use it all the time for that because we have a large geographic area with limited staff. It allows us to do things from a central location.

The solution provides us a single pane of glass with everything that we need for endpoint management of all devices. It definitely has made our endpoint management process much easier.

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Bobby Wood
Sr. Network Server Administrator at Southern Farm Bureau Casualty Insurance Company of Arkansas

The ease of being able to distribute software to a thousand machines from one location with just a few clicks is the most valuable feature.

KACE is super easy to use. You have to change your mental process on how to think of something and look at it as how KACE has designed it. But once you can figure out what KACE is thinking, then it is really easy to use. We've been using it so long that we don't have to write much new stuff for it. We are able to use the old scripting jobs or deployments that we had. We're able to take those and modify them with new software and then push it out that way. I learn something new every day in it. There's a lot of stuff that I probably don't know that it can do. I'm always playing with and discovering new things.

It's 90% on a single pane.

We use the Systems Deployment Appliance. It's our bread and butter. Every machine that gets imaged here in this building and out through the whole state goes through the SDA. We rely on it completely. There is no manual process of getting a laptop out of a box, plugging it up, turning it on, and waiting for Windows to start. If you were to go to Best Buy and buy a brand new laptop, you would spend the next two to three hours just setting it up. We don't do that. We get a laptop, plug it into the network, connect it to the SDA, and within about three clicks, we're done.

It takes around 30 minutes to configure our laptops. We image machines, image laptops five to 10 of them at a time. It's really great to just line them all up and power them on, hit enter, enter, enter, and then walk away. That part's great.

KACE saves us time. We've been using it for so long now it's become part of our routine. 

It has also increased the team's productivity. We've been able to create standards where we know that no matter what type of laptop it is, we can image it the same way. It has the same setup for every user kind of thing. We know we can guarantee that everybody across the state is running the same version of Microsoft Office or products like that. It has continuity. It's made it to where we are efficient across the board from high-level VP level down to standard user level. Our equipment and the way that our equipment functions is standard. It's across the board.

It makes it to where the six guys that are on our team here can step up and do the same job. We know what to look for. We know the learning curve for it. We all know what it does and how it works. If we hired a new person, they could come in and pick it up very fast and be up and going extremely quickly. We've cut the learning curve down tremendously.

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Christian Städtler
IT Manager at a educational organization with 201-500 employees

I have an “extended arm” through this agent, where I can distribute things very quickly, even to people who are in their home office and need some software. I can assign it. Then, in a short time, if the Internet works for the remote station, everything is available as quickly as possible. Logically, this is one of the greatest and most comfortable things for me.

In terms of updating and customizing, the solution is very good and flexible.

For patch management that we do in an automated way, it is great. We just check whether everything works and is done automatically. Therefore, it provides a great help.

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Systems Engineer at a tech services company with 201-500 employees

I am impressed by the service desk ticketing and asset management.

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Learn what your peers think about Quest KACE Systems Management. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: May 2021.
509,641 professionals have used our research since 2012.