CrossNodes Briefing: Framework Management - Page 2
- Automated Software Distribution -- Maintaining workstation software is a time-consuming task. IT departments need everyone in an organization to run consistent software versions. However, the cost and time it takes to upgrade every workstation frequently precludes those activities. With automated software distribution, IT managers can install and configure applications from a central point. Depending on the framework management application, these installations can be scheduled and run automatically while the server and the workstation are unattended. In addition, some vendors offer rules-based installation routines that provide more flexibility and automation.
- Remote Management Access -- Managers require the ability to work with framework management software from multiple sites. Limiting access to a local terminal diminishes the software's usability. Remote access allows managers to connect to the framework management software from outside of the network. Once connected, the manager can configure systems and troubleshoot problems.
- Diagnostics -- As framework management software collects performance data for workstations and servers, it can build a history. Anything that differs from that history may indicate a pending problem. If the management software can flag those differences, IT managers can prevent errors and keep the network working efficiently. This type of feature also helps IT managers plan for future expansion.
Keeping the Data
Reporting and user interfaces remain important functions. Software can perform flawlessly, but if it is not easy to use, it will not provide full benefits. Similarly, weak reporting that does not allow managers to customize output and manipulate data limits the application's usefulness. IT managers need to ascertain how robust the reporting is, and they should be comfortable with the interface.
In addition, IT managers must verify the security features in any framework management product. These products collect important information about the company's network and its workstations. They also provide a direct route to each workstation on the network. Managers need to protect the application from intruders and guard the data the application generates.
Know the Vendor
Networks will continue to expand, and IT managers will have less time to adapt to new business demands. Framework management systems can help, but managers should require the system to support a broad range of computing platforms. The framework management system also must be scalable to support additional functions and network additions. Therefore, the vendor's ability to deliver quality packages and update those products in a timely, responsive manner becomes critical. Running a network is hard work already. No one wants to convert to a new framework management system each time the network changes. That would only add to problems and obscure the benefits of framework management.