Desktop Management Using Desktop Central

Desktop Central is a web-based windows server and desktop management software that helps in managing thousands of servers/desktops from a central location. It automates the complete desktop management life cycle ranging from a simple system configuration to complex software deployment. With its network-neutral architecture, the administrator can easily manage desktops in any windows networks like Active Directory, Workgroup, or other directory services.
Automate your Desktop Management Routines

Desktop Central automates regular desktop management activities like installing software, patches, and service packs to client computers, standardize the desktops by applying uniform configurations such as wallpapers, shortcuts, printer, etc., secures the client computers by restricting USB, applying security policies, etc., and enables auditing the network systems with complete hardware/software inventories, license compliance details, detecting prohibited software usage in network systems, etc. In simple terms, it helps administrators to automate, standardize, secure, and audit their windows network.
Desktop Management Features

Desktop Central is a complete Windows server and desktop management software that provides Software Deployment, Patch Management, Asset Management, Remote Desktop Sharing, Service Pack Deployment, Configurations, Active Directory Reports, User Logon Reports and Windows System Tools.
What platforms/vendors/technologies does it support?

Platforms: Windows.
OS: Desktops (Windows 2000 Professional, XP Professional, Vista, Windows 7), Servers (Windows 2000, Windows 2003, Windows 2008, Windows 2008 R2), and Terminal Clients
Technologies: Windows Active Directory and Workgroup based Network setup.
Vendors: Microsoft.

Software Deployment Features

* Ability to create package repository. The packages created once can be reused any number of times to install or uninstall the software.
* Supports installing both MSI & EXE based Applications
* Option to install the application as a specific-user using the “Run As” option.
* Option to copy the installables to the client computers before installing the software.
* Supports executing pre-installation scripts/commands prior to installation and abort if not successful.
* Ability to schedule software deployments.
* Supports uninstalling MSI & EXE packages

Windows Software Installation

Desktop Central’s Windows Installer feature improves the administrator’s productivity by supporting remote MSI & EXE software/application deployment. Desktop Central can automatically install MSI & EXE software to users or computers at a scheduled time. Desktop Central supports software installation to users and computers or mass installation to OUs, Domains and Sites.
Creating Software Repository

Desktop Central allows to add software packages before deploying software to the network computers. Separate packages can be added for MSI and EXE based software applications. A software package added in Desktop Central will have the location of the installation files along with the installation and uninstallation commands. A package once added can be used to deploy the software any number of times by just defining a configuration.
Scheduled Software Deployment

Desktop Central allows administrators to schedule a software deployment to users and computers after a specified time. This is very useful in deploying the software after business hours to ensure users/computers are not affected due to this deployment. The network traffic will also be minimum at off hours.
Visibility on Software Installation Status

Desktop Central does not stop with just installing MSI/EXE software in the user machines; it also provides the status of the installation for the administrator to check whether the installation was successful in all the configured systems. The software installation status is made available in the Desktop Central client, which can be accessed from anywhere in the network through a web browser.
Uninstalling MSI- & EXE-Based Software

In addition to installation of Windows software, Desktop Central also provides an ability to uninstall the MSI software applications that have been installed using Desktop Central. The details of the installed software are maintained under the configurations. The administrator can just open the configuration, edit it and choose to remove the software that was previously installed.

Windows Patch Management
Patch Mangement Software that are popular today, aim at overcoming the vulnerabilities that create security weakness, corrupt critical system data or cause system unavailability. Such software vulnerabilities can otherwise be a nightmare for Network Managers. IT Administrators can’t even think of a good solution, without understanding how vulnerable their systems are. This makes them to constantly look out for a solution that scans for network vulnerabilities, identifies missing security patches and hotfixes, applies them immediately and mitigates risk; and not just a patch deployment software.

Desktop Central’s agent-based solution handles every aspect of Windows and Non- Microsoft patch management like System discovery, identifying the required Windows Microsoft updates and Non-Microsoft Patch details, deploying relevant patches, hotfixes, security updates, and patch reports to make network administrators job simple. Network Managers can opt for this completely automated patch management software solution and don’t have to worry about patching Windows systems ever. Desktop Central’s Patch Management solution works for both Windows Active Directory and Workgroup based networks. Also, you can manage both Microsoft and Non-Microsoft Patches using a single Patch Management application.

Refer to Securing Windows Desktops to see the ways to enhance desktop security using Desktop Central.

Features

* Uses a hosted Patch Database at ManageEngine site to assess the vulnerability status of the network
* Completely automated Patch Management Solution for both physical and virtual assets.
* Solution from detecting the missing patches/hotfix to deploying the patches
* Patch based deployment – Deploy a patch to all the systems applicable
* System based patch deployment – Deploy all the missing patches and hotfixes for a system
* Provision to test and approve patches prior to bulk deployment
* Automatic handling of patch interdependencies and patch sequencing
* Reports on System vulnerabilities, Patches, OS, etc.
* Provides an update of the patch deployment status.
* Supports both Microsoft and Non-Microsoft Patches.
* Supports Anti-Virus Definition Updates for Microsoft Forefront Client Security Software.

Windows Patch Management

Automatic System Discovery

The Desktop Central solution performs automatic discovery of Windows systems using Active Directory. Administrators can choose the systems that have to be managed using Desktop Central. The Desktop Central agent that is installed in the managed systems performs the actions initiated from Desktop Central Server. This agent is responsible for vulnerability assessment scan and patch deployment.

Online Vulnerability Database

The Online vulnerability Database is a portal in the ManageEngine site, which hosts the latest vulnerability database that has been published after a thorough analysis. This contains the list of all Microsoft Windows updates that are available. This database is exposed for download by the Desktop Central Server situated in the customer site, and provides information required for patch scanning and installation.

The Desktop Central Server located at the enterprise (customer site) scans the systems in the enterprise network, checks for missing and available Windows patches against the comprehensive vulnerability database, downloads and deploys missing Microsoft patches and service packs, generates reports to effectively manage the patch management process of the enterprise.

Automated Patch Management
Vulnerability Assessment Scan

Dekstop Central scans all the systems for missing Windows patches in operating systems and applications and the level of vulnerability is reported. These missing Windows patches are identified from the local vulnerability database, which is periodically synchronized with the external online vulnerability database maintained by ManageEngine.
Approval of Patches

Most often the patches have to be deployed in a test environment to ensure that they are error-free and stable, before they are rolled out to the entire network. Also, in cases where you have a team of system administrators, you can ensure that the patches tested by one team can directly be approved for deployment. This saves a lot of time, which can be utilized for other critical tasks.
Patch Deployment

Dekstop Central takes care of deploying the patches based on missing Microsoft patches or system vulnerability. Once deployed, the agent applies the relevant Windows patches in the system and security updates and updates the status in Desktop Central. The installation process can be scheduled from patch settings option.
Patch Reports

Patch reports gives details about system vulnerability level, missing Windows patches, applicable Windows patches, task status, etc. All these reports are available as pdf or in printer friendly versions.
Automated Patch Management Solution

Patch Management using Desktop Central can be automated at various levels like, Automatic scanning of Windows systems, Automatic scanning of the systems and downloading the missing Windows patches, Automatic download of missing patches and draft a patch configuration and Automatic download of the missing Microsoft patches and to deploy them. All these can be scheduled and the status is notified through mail.
Microsoft Forefront Client Security Definition Updates

Anti-Virus definition updates is quite crucial for enterprises that run Microsoft Forefront Client Security software to protect their networks from the attack of trojans and viruses. With malicious code on the increasing side, Network Administrators need to keep an eye on these frequent definition updates to avoid any possible mishaps. However, you can simplify the process using Desktop Central’s Patch Management options. Using Automated Patch Deployment you can schedule the frequency to scan the systems for virus definition updates and specify the action to be performed on successful completion of the scanning.
Supported OS and Applications

* Windows 7 (Enterprise, Professional, Ultimate)
* Windows Vista (Enterprise, Business, Ultimate)
* Windows Server 2008 R2(Datacenter, Enterprise & Standard)
* Windows Server 2008 (Standard, Enterprise & Web Server Editions)
* Windows Server 2003 (Standard, Web & Small Business Server Editions)
* Windows XP Professional
* Windows 2000 Professional
* Windows 2000 Server
* Windows 2000 Advanced Server
* Microsoft Office 2003
* Microsoft Office 2007
* Internet Explorer
* Windows Media Player
* .NET Framework
* MSXML
* DirectX     (View Complete List)

Free Patch Management Software

You can manage Windows patches using the free edition of Desktop Central.

For more details refer to the Patch Management and Patch Management Life Cycle topics in the online help.

Service Pack Installation
Desktop Central, in addition to Windows Patch Management, also supports installation of Service Packs (SP) for Windows Operating systems (XP, Vista, 2003, Windows 7, etc.) and Applications. The Service Pack installation can be effected on multiple systems simultaneously, thus saving time and effort.

Deploying Service Packs (SP) using Desktop Central is a simple three step process: Download the required service packs, define, and deploy the configuration. As a first step, the selected service packs are downloaded and stored locally, which can then be installed on to the systems. A configuration once defined can be any number if times to deploy service packs to any number of systems. The status of the service pack deployment is made available in the reports for later verification.

Windows Patch Management

Service Pack Installation Features

* Service Packs can be installed to multiple systems simultaneously
* Use an already downloaded service pack for installation
* Option to suspend and resume Service Pack installation
* View the status of the Service Pack installation

Supported OS and Applications for Service Pack Installation

* Windows 2003 Server (Standard, Web & Small Susiness Server Editions)
* Windows XP Professional (SP1, SP2, and SP3)
* Windows 2000 Professional
* Windows 2000 Server
* Windows 2000 Advanced Server
* Microsoft Office 2003
* Microsoft Office 2007
* Internet Explorer
* Windows Media Player
* .NET Framework
* MSXML
* DirectX

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Posted on December 12, 2013, in Uncategorized, Windows. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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