\[Editor's Note: At press time, Reflectent Software announced EdgeSight 3.1, which incorporates several enhancements.\]

It's no secret that the cost of purchasing a client system is dwarfed by the overall cost of maintaining the system through its life cycle. Although the underlying manageability of Windows OSs has been steadily improving, few tools seem to consider that managing end-user systems is as important as managing servers and other IT infrastructure elements. Reflectent Software's EdgeSight 3.0 is a tool that promises to help IT organizations better manage their users' primary interface to IT services: the desktop computer.

I installed EdgeSight in a test lab of Windows XP and Windows 2000 clients to see how well I could manage them. The Web-based installation of the EdgeSight server components was fairly simple. The entire process of installing the servers and a half dozen clients took about 90 minutes.

The client can run invisibly or display a UI that gives the end user a glimpse of his or her PC's performance. Each client's detailed performance data is delivered in a payload to the EdgeSight server at an interval you specify. You can also have payloads forcibly delivered. After they're delivered, you can view and analyze a large array of performance, availability, and application metrics.

My immediate reaction to seeing EdgeSight's powerful client-management capabilities was to think, "I want this for my clients." However, you must weigh the value of
client-system management against its cost. There are costs associated with not only installing the system but also with maintaining it. Ultimately, EdgeSight fits best in large organizations in which the benefits of a well-tuned and well-maintained client fleet are more recognizable.

EdgeSight 3.0
Contact: Reflectent Software * 978-727-1000 or 866-706-0060
Web: http://www.reflectent.com
Price: $50,000 for the base product and $50 per client
Pros: Provides a comprehensive view into your PC client infrastructure
Cons: Price is prohibitive for small and midsized organizations
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
A very good tool for client systems that need enterprise-class management.