LANDesk Software's LANDesk Management Suite 8 includes all the core functionality typical of management programs: software distribution, including patch management; remote control; hardware inventory capability; and software inventory capability and metering. Installation is fast (about 35 minutes from shrink-wrap to running reports) and the documentation clear and concise. As part of the installation process, the product verifies that necessary hardware and software components exist on the host system and helpfully informed me that my Windows Server 2003, Enterprise Edition host computer didn't include ASP.NET and Microsoft IIS, both of which are required.

Like other products in its class, LANDesk Management Suite lets you easily create Windows Installer (.msi) packages. The package builder creates a before and after snapshot, and Targeted Multicasting technology minimized network traffic while distributing large packages to multiple users. LANDesk Management Suite supports patch management through software distribution, and unlike other products with which I'm familiar, it includes patch deficiency testing and reporting.

The product's remote control functionality performed well—my only complaint was that it took 16 seconds to establish a remote control session with a user on a 100MB segment. The software and hardware inventory modules were easy to use, and the intuitive displays meant that I rarely had to refer to the documentation for assistance. Reports required only a few clicks of the mouse to generate and were nicely formatted. I recommend LANDesk Management Suite without reservation, although I think organizations that have approximately 2000 users will find it most useful.



LANDesk Management Suite 8
Contact: LANDesk Software * 800-982-2130
Web: http://www.landesk.com
Price: Contact vendor for pricing
Summary
Pros: Easy to install and deploy; intuitive, easy-to-use inventory module
Cons: Requires outdated OS installation media
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Overall, easy to install and use, with accurate reporting and inventorying. Best suited to organizations with approximately 2000 users to support.