We use the KACE solution for endpoint management, since our posture is based on endpoints. We have almost 2,000 endpoints.
We have two KACE boxes. It's not a virtual appliance, it is a physical appliance.
We use the KACE solution for endpoint management, since our posture is based on endpoints. We have almost 2,000 endpoints.
We have two KACE boxes. It's not a virtual appliance, it is a physical appliance.
It's not only saving time but increasing IT productivity. If you have a KACE box, you're going to save a lot. Having KACE is a blessing for IT administrators for endpoint management. They can do a lot of work remotely, as well as troubleshooting, mass deployment, and mass uninstallation. KACE is very intelligent and it has its own uninstaller.
An example of how KACE helped is that there was a McAfee service-provider who was visiting us to do a McAfee upgrade for our antivirus system. They are experienced people, the subject matter experts for deploying McAfee, the client, the agent, et cetera. He was having an issue uninstalling a McAfee firewall client. If you deploy a McAfee in your network, the uninstaller should be from McAfee, but the uninstaller from McAfee was an outdated version. Uninstalling the firewall client from McAfee requires a lot of effort. It's not impossible, but it's time-consuming and if you try to uninstall from the control panel, of course it won't allow you. There is a popup for the password and, without that, a lot of problems are going to occur.
He told me he was facing this issue. The solution for uninstalling it was provided by KACE. I demonstrated it to him for one of our clients and he was shocked. He started writing that command, and the next day he sent me a text message, saying, "Thank you. You made my life easier." He gave that command to another customer, a client of his who is an IT administrator, to run that command via a batch file to all the end-users, because they didn't have KACE.
For an IT department in any organization that pays for endpoint management, KACE is really a blessing for them.
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.
There is a module for agent management when you right-click on the inventory. If you want to connect remotely you can do so. But sometimes the agent check-in does not happen. You can do the first check-in through a script, at the same time.
But there should be a mini toolbox, like the competitors of KACE have, with the small features for KACE administrators. That would make their lives easier. If you are troubleshooting a specific endpoint, remote control is available as is Wake-on-LAN. But if you want to execute some commands, you have to use a third-party tool, the PS tool. If they would integrate those small things, it would make KACE more powerful.
I have been using Quest KACE Systems Management for almost five years.
Initially, four years back, we were having a lot of issues with the KACE agent. But as the solution has grown, the maturity level has really increased and the stability and the reliability have as well. My KACE machine has not been down for a single day in the last five years. It's a very stable product.
It's really reliable now and very intelligent on top of that. When we do a mass deployment, there isn't a single day when my network admin asks me, "Why are you deploying this?" I deployed Office 2013 with KACE, in a massive way, and our network guys never said, "Oh, we can see there is a bandwidth spike." The way that KACE intelligently deploys and manages installation is great. It's really kind of a miracle. I believe that they select a group, copy the file over the network to the cache of the local machine, execute the command, and then install the media file on the local machine.
KACE is very scalable.
We started with 700 clients and today we are at almost 2,000 clients. There hasn't been a single day where I have been concerned about the scalability or the of KACE.
Quest Support for KACE is good. They are responsive and they always give you a solution in a timely manner.
We faced a problem two or three years back, an issue with the inventory of Forescout Secure Connector. We could not find out how many machines had Secure Connect Connector because it's installed as a service. It was a very complex problem for us and KACE support came up with a solution: Create a new, customized inventory to get Secure Connect to be considered as a process. On that basis, we had a new entry and this solved our problem.
We have not used another asset management solution in this organization. I did use SCCM in my old company.
For us, the initial setup was not complex. The problem was that the environment, the network we work in, is a very restrictive environment. We have a lot of firewall policies and a layer of firewalls across the network. Because of the complex network architecture, we struggled a bit with the network discovery of the endpoints. We used one of the best practices: Do auto-discovery and then apply the agents.
At that point in time, I didn't really know KACE. It was a new box. I started discovering what would be next. The next thing that happened was another blessing from KACE which was having it do the Active Directory group policy deployment for the agents. I deployed it and that discovery was running for almost a week, but we started installing the agent within about four to five days. It was time-consuming. It took us two weeks because we ran it organization-to-organization because it would have slowed down the network. We did not want to take any risks. If we had taken the risk, it wouldn't have been an issue, as far as the KACE agent deployment is concerned.
Now, whenever a new machine comes into our network, the KACE agent is automatically installed. Right after that, KACE is installing one of our NEC client agents automatically. Then, KACE will discover that this machine is a part of the McAfee agent, and if it is not, it will automatically install the McAfee agent. Then I configure McAfee to sync with Active Directory.
So for us, when a new machine is joining, the desktop engineer will run only one command, GPUpdate. The machine will restart and then all the group policies, the KACE policies will be deployed. KACE will then install all of our small plugins automatically and they're good to go.
One of the best parts of KACE is when you go for a version upgrade. Once you do a version upgrade for any KACE module—any KACE virtual appliance or physical appliance—it's very user-friendly. In addition, the agent upgrade is a miracle. When you do the agent upgrade for the KACE appliance for the first time, it's "super-wow". The last upgrade I did was for almost 1,900 PCs, and all the agents were updated automatically when I upgraded the agent package. It took only 24 hours.
I am the only KACE administrator in our organization, but there are desktop engineers who log in to KACE. They review machines, but I do all the administration and configuration. They use it to take inventory or check the memory and see what replacements are required. They are read-only administrators.
We have seen a lot of return on our investment in KACE. One area is headcount. We are a military hospital. Imagine having 2,000 computers on the ground in different remote locations, yet having only seven desktop support engineers. If you do the math, there should be no way that seven desktop engineers can support 2,000 endpoints. Even the best-case scenario is one engineer working with 100 desktop machines, max. That gives you an idea of the headcount savings.
We are also saving on the licensing fee, compared to other endpoint management solutions.
KACE is very easy to use and user-friendly compared to the other endpoint management tools, like Microsoft SCCM and other third-party tools, in terms of IT administration. Compared to its competitors, it's easy to get machine inventory.
If any organization wants to manage its endpoints, having KACE, as I said, is a blessing for the IT administrators.
I would give it an eight out of 10. I am being demanding because there are some more improvements that can be made. But KACE can be a superpower in endpoint management.
We use it for a lot of things. We use it to deploy software, configure Windows via scripts, and to deploy some certificates for our customers. We are a call center and we have a lot of large companies as clients, so we need to deploy several kinds of software, such as Office 365 and applications from our customers themselves. We use a scripting framework from our consultants and that works great.
KACE SMA is the main software I'm using. I'm responsible for the KACE solution, and if there are any questions related to it, my colleagues come to me.
We have local KACE Appliances with VMware workstations, computers, servers, and we are using OVF files.
It saves a lot of time because, in the past, before we used KACE, when we installed a new version of a given software, we had to go to each computer individually and install it manually. Now we just set the labels and the software goes by itself. It also saves a lot of money because we have time to do other jobs.
We have seven locations. In the past, if we had to deploy new software or install user PCs, we had to drive with a large number of people to get the work done quickly. Now, we can deploy the software from one desktop. One person can do it and that saves a lot of time. It makes a lot of things easier. It has had a huge impact.
Another example of a benefit is that I developed a script because my CEO wanted to know how many computers are connected to our home office network from the outside. Every hour I run the script to import the information to an external SQL Server Express with a report engine. With the KACE, you can use information for other reports.
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.
KACE.uservoice.com is a platform where users can post suggestions for improving the software. A lot of ideas that have ended up in the development of KACE have come from this. For example, in version 10.2 KACE implemented the possibility of reducing the network speed of the KACE agent. You can set it so that it takes whatever network speed you want or you can set it to 5 Mb, to save network speed. You set it for all the computers, but it would be preferable to separate between VPN connections in our home office and the local area. It would be great to be able to set separate speeds for different VLANs. I posted this idea on Uservoice.
I've been using Quest KACE Systems Management for five or six years.
There have been no problems. It has never crashed. If I hadn't had to update it, it would just run.
Scaling it is easy. Last year I increased the memory because we got a lot of new computers in our company and we added some new locations. I saw it was getting a little bit slower, but I added some more memory and it was easy to scale. If you need more RAM or more CPUs, just add them and the KACE will say, "Okay, I'll take them."
Currently, we don't have plans to increase our usage.
We use their standard technical support and our experience with them has been great. Every time I have asked them something it has been perfect. I get quick answers, especially from one of the Quest technicians in Cologne, Germany.
Before I came to the IT department, we used software from CA. It was a pain. But we switched because of the price. Also, the support wasn't that good from CA, as far as I remember. That was before my time. I moved to my current position after we shut down the CA software deployment.
The initial setup is very easy. Before we upgraded to the current version—from 10.2 to 11.0—I tried it here on my local virtual machine. It took about five minutes and the SMA was running. That was how long it took from starting the virtual machine until the moment I got to the login screen. The information from Quest itself in the support area of their webpage, and on YouTube, is very effective and informative. It's easy.
It takes a little more configuration after logging in, because you have to deploy the KACE agent and create a token. To get everything working, the grids, the configuration, with Active Directory, it might take about half a day until you can say, "Okay, the KACE is working. I've downloaded the test catalog. The KACE agent is deploying on the computers and the computers are coming into the database."
My team consists of three people, including me. One person is mainly taking care of the software installations. He's looking at whether there are any new versions. I am taking care of the feature updates and software deployment, and the third person is my apprentice.
Users of SMA in our company include our service desk, our client and service first-level support. A total of about 20 people from our IT department.
The initial setup was done with our consultant, Stephan Sporrer, from OFF LIMITS IT. At that time it took five days, but at that time we also scripted all the software installations we have. He also taught us how to use it.
Setup took longer the first time because he had to teach us the whole system. Now, if I had to set up a whole new environment, it would take half a day because I know how it works.
The pricing and licensing are absolutely fair.
As far as I know there are no other costs that come with using it. It's just the licenses for the KACE based on the number of computers. Our VMware servers already existed, so there were no other costs for us.
In the future, we are looking at implementing a proof of concept for the KACE MDM, so our iPhones would be manageable with KACE SMA as well. Quest MDM is very intuitive and easy to handle. There is no comparison to Intune. If you don't work with Intune eight hours a day, every day, you get lost. In the KACE product, it's simple and easy. It's very easy for me to train new colleagues to use the KACE MDM, SMA, and SDA.
KACE MDM is also much cheaper than Intune. I calculated the savings with KACE MDM over a three-year period and they came to about €25,000, just on the licenses. That's a lot of money. And the time saved can't be measured. In the next month there will be more work with it because we have to upgrade all our iPhones. After that it will be easier because we can automate a lot of things with the policies, with restrictions and packages within the KACE MDM. When a new phone comes in we will bring it into the MDM, and the software will be automatically deployed. This will save a lot of time because Intune requires you to do a lot more steps. It's too complex for us.
We didn't evaluate any options other than KACE. The supplier of all our computers suggested KACE and that's how we came to it.
The biggest lesson I have learned from using KACE SMA is to never deploy software to many computers at one time. A few times in the past I killed the network with it. It's not good if you deploy a new Office 365 installation to about 700 computers at one time.
We're running Salesforce, which is older than the KACE, as our ticketing system. Because that ticketing system already exists, our CEO doesn't want to change it. They're planning to connect Salesforce with the SMA to grab the information from the computers. That way, my colleagues at the service desk will just have to type in the computer to see all the information that is stored in the KACE SMA. That's something that is currently planned but not implemented yet.
The use case is for organization server patching, and we also use the asset management in a smaller capacity.
For what I use it for, the solution provides a single pane of glass with everything I need for endpoint management of all devices. For the most part, it lowers the amount of time required for manual intervention. It gives me more time to work on other projects instead of consistently worrying about patching. Per week or per month, it's saving me a good five hours.
One of the most valuable features is that it natively patches third-party applications and not just a core operating system.
It's relatively easy to use and most of it is pretty intuitive. They've made things a little more involved now with the agent token that needs to be used. That means installing it from a server, from the share, is not quite as simple as it used to be, but once you know how to do it, and that it's something that has to occur, it's really not a problem.
It enables IT asset management, compliance, software asset management, mobile device management, and patch management, although we don't utilize the MDM. That's mainly due to our security requirements. But the IT asset tracking is a big segment.
And the software asset management has been a big help, even when it comes to license true-ups. I can use it to find out how many Tivoli we have, and boom, there's the number. Even if it's reporting a number that might be a little higher than what it actually is, because it's looking for one component, it gives you a good first first-hand look. As a result, we know there's something out there and this confirms we've got five of them. And you can actually click on the information about the software and it shows, for example, that these five servers are where it's being reported. If you really want, you can log in to them and validate. We have used that quite a bit.
Another segment that has really helped out is where you go in and actually use the distributions. We might have a situation where we need something installed on all 237 servers by tomorrow. I'll just go in and do a managed installation and have KACE push it out. So far, that's been pretty successful. I wish it had a little bit more ability to allow me to put something in there without saying, "Okay, we're already aware of this software. What file do you want to use?" It would be nice if it let me type it in and prompted me, when needed, saying, "We've already found that. Do you want to use this one? Yes or no?" But it hasn't kept me from accomplishing what I intended. Overall, the distribution is a pretty nice feature.
My biggest complaint is that almost every time they send out a new version, it fixes something and breaks another. Something that wasn't working in the last version now works, but something else stops; or they'll remove some dashboard that I really found to be nice and replace it with something totally different that I could care less about.
Another example of this would be that there is a set of agents where the communication between the agents and KACE is very consistent, and the patch numbers are very good. And then there will be a new agent which they say fixes this, this, and this. But then, all of a sudden, my patch numbers go down and the communication isn't as good, or they're timing-out more.
An additional instance of this is that it used to be, when you were patching, you would see how many succeeded and how many failed. You would also see which patches had failed and had reached the maximum number of attempts. Connected with that, there used to be a "reset tries" feature and that was nice because you could actually reset the attempts and KACE would try those patches the next time. Now, although "reset tries," is still there, it's grayed out. It doesn't function.
It affects usability because every time you upgrade, you don't really know what you may be getting yourself into. I wish they'd be a little more consistent and make sure it's only getting better, rather than their saying, "We had 15 known issues in the last version. In this new version, we're offering these new things, but we've still got 15 known issues."
The installs are generally very easy. You just say, "Okay, go ahead, upgrade," and they seem to run fairly smoothly with no problems. It's just that after you've done them, you have to see what is working and what's not working.
I have been using Quest KACE Systems Management for five years.
On the whole, the stability is good. Once it's up and running, it just pretty much runs. There aren't really system crashes or anything of that nature. It's a solid system that really does not encounter failures of the system itself.
Scalability is available. I have not experimented much with some of the options. For example, you can have a system at this site and have another site that doesn't have an entire KACE, but just a file share where KACE can put patches as well. Instead of servers at that site going all the way to your primary site, they just pull the patches from that local repository. Theoretically, that helps. So it can be scalable if you so choose.
In our environment we manage 237 servers.
Their technical support is good. They're very prompt. Quest has been very quick in responding to any support cases or questions. And most of the time, the answer is very straightforward and easily executed or easily understood.
We did use something that KACE replaced, but I don't even remember what it was.
SCCM is what we use for workstations, but not for server patching. We do have WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) running as a backup in case we want to use Windows Update. We do have other options available, but for servers, KACE is the primary patching system.
I was involved in the initial setup and I found it to be relatively easy. It was pretty intuitive and straightforward.
Bringing it online to the point that I could log in took 45 minutes to an hour, and that included making sure I had DNS records so that the URL was resolving, and putting in the IPS and gateways, et cetera. All of a sudden, boom, it was up and running.
After that, it was a matter of making sure that patches are actually downloading properly, and that the agent installs are checking in and everything is working properly. So getting it all tuned and set the way we wanted took two or three months, but the initial "it's technically functioning" was just two or three days.
We have realized a return on our investment with the solution. We are more stringent than the NSA as far as security goes. We run weekly security scans on our systems and we're consistently bringing in third-party organizations to do red-team tests where they'll try to hack in and do a lot of things to test us. Since Quest KACE Systems Management patches not just the operating system, but can also patch third-party things like Java and Wireshark if an update is detected, overall it handles everything that's detected. If possible, it will attempt to patch it.
The cost of KACE has been relatively low compared to other systems. Even if those systems have the same cost, they do not do as much of the third-party patching that KACE natively does. With a cost of less than $4,500 a year, it's been very good.
The pricing model is fair and fine. I wouldn't change anything about that.
We looked at SCCM and Qualys.
One of the reasons we went with KACE was cost.
Another was that it patches third-party applications natively. Certain systems tend to need native operating system patching only. You can download something like a Java update and then "package it" for installation. But with KACE you can say, "If you find it and it's critical, recommended, not superseded, and it's detected on our system, download it and patch it." It's nice that it's doing third-party apps and not just the operating system.
If you're considering KACE for a large environment, come up with smart labels and patching schedules that are going to fit the number of systems that you have. The scheduling really comes into play, especially now with Windows having bundled patches. As a result, you're downloading a 1 or 1.2-gigabyte file to update the server, versus between three and seven 2 or 3 or 5 megabyte files. When there were multiple files, even if two of them didn't get uploaded, the other three did. If this one large file times out, it just does not patch. So scheduling the time to stage those and deploy on a different day is really important.
I wish we had the ability to use the mobile asset tracking and bar coding. Those are things that have been a real void in our organization. At least we are utilizing KACE for the servers and we manually input barcodes or serial numbers. Having the option to use a KACE app to input that information is nice and would save a lot of time.
Our main purpose is to image the computers we have on campus, using the Systems Deployment Appliance. After we get that set up, our second purpose is to use the Systems Management Appliance to keep an inventory of, and send scripts to, all the computers that we have on campus.
KACE has definitely significantly affected the time it takes to solve problems. In the past, we were spending way too much time solving minor issues, whereas with KACE we can do it on the fly. I'm solving problems quickly, in as little as 15 minutes, and then we're able to push out the resolution across campus. In the past, even if we had figured out something that quickly, it would still have taken us weeks at a time to push everything out.
As far as PCs go, and running Windows, the solution handles everything. I even have a Linux machine that I've imaged with KACE. I don't handle the Mac side of devices but I know there was a different solution that our Mac guy has used. It definitely makes it easier for us to keep inventory because, without it, our environment would be the Wild West. It would just be impossible to keep track of everything. The way I have it set up—and especially recently with COVID, we've had lots of people taking computers off-campus—I'm still able to keep everything together, even though we have computers all over the place. If we didn't have something like this, that would be an impossible task.
In terms of the amount of time KACE saves us, it's weeks of work on a monthly basis. We're able to do things in a day that used to take us about a month to do. It has also increased IT productivity because it takes less manpower to get the same amount of work done. Once a month, a classroom would go down, with some 25 computers in it. We would have to send a group of people out to take care of it. Now, we can do that work in a day, with one person. The other people who used to have to take care of that kind of issue can do other things that we need done.
The most valuable feature is the imaging of computers through the SDA. In the past, someone actually put images on CDs and walked around campus to image all the computers. We have around 3,000 computers on campus, and doing that with one disk, over and over, was very time-consuming. Being able to do that quickly is important because, on our academic side, we are re-imaging computers every summer, so that they have all the current updates. That means installing all the software on what amounts to about 1,500 computers. Being able to do that so quickly with the SDA, and to then use the SMA for reinstalling software, has been huge for our productivity.
It provides us with asset management, compliance, software asset management, mobile device management to an extent, and patch management. The combination of these abilities is extremely important. I'm able to download new patches pretty quickly and I send them out every week to all the computers on campus. That means we're constantly keeping everything up to date, and that helps, especially with the number of threats out there. Having everything up to date and being able to do it as quickly as we can is extremely important.
When I first started using the SDA, I used their default system image setup. But I do have a custom image that I created myself and, over time, I've been gradually going in that direction. It just took me some time to figure it out, but now that I have it figured out, it's super simple for me to set everything up the way I want it. It's been a great help to get everything set up that way for my environment. Obviously, everybody's environment is going to be different.
We also use the MDM functionality a little bit. We don't have any Android devices in our environment, but we do have a bunch of iPads that we were using the MDM for. It was easy to get those endpoints into the MDM for asset management. Originally, it was really easy to image them with KACE and then push all the software to those devices, even the iPads. But I think Apple is trying to push MDMs out of their environment. They want everything done the way they decide.
It's pretty easy to use. I didn't have too many issues in terms of setting everything up; that was pretty intuitive. From time to time there are hiccups with updates and I've had to contact their tech support. Something like that probably happens once a year. But overall, it's very easy to use.
Also, it took a little bit of time to figure out how to use the KACE Service Desk. I like the way that I'm able to customize it. But when it comes to how our techs are able to use it, it's not as functional as our current solution, which is BMC FootPrints Service Desk. I would like it to replace our current solution, and the only reason I haven't replaced it is that there's more functionality in our current solution.
I have been using KACE Systems Management for about five years.
It seems pretty stable. I haven't really had any issues, except for one time, when I was building the KACE boot environment. They had to add a hot-fix to it but that happened once in the last five years.
It's being used on every single computer that we have on campus, and we use it every single day, because we're always imaging or re-imaging computers.
As of now, there is no plan to increase our use, but I would imagine that as things come back to normal, if we have more students coming to campus, we will add more computers and we will increase our use at that time.
Their technical support has been good so far. If there's an emergency, something that we need fixed right away, they usually get back to us within an hour. They've been very helpful.
We did not have a previous solution.
The initial setup seemed complex at first. But as I spent more time with it, it was actually pretty easy to set it up. It is one of those things that, when you look at it, you realize there are so many things that you can do with it. It was a little overwhelming. But it didn't take that long to get the hang of everything and get into it. On a scale of one to 10, it was about a five as far as complexity goes.
It took a month or two to deploy. It took a little bit of time to get it set up the way that we wanted it. But now that we have it set up, it has been relatively easy to maintain that setup. The more I work with it, the easier it gets when I have to make a major change.
As for preparation ahead of setup, we just had to set up a server for it to be installed on. There wasn't much preparation.
I do most of the main maintenance on it and I have one other person who helps me from time to time. There isn't a lot of work there.
We used a reseller to help with the deployment. I talked with them a little and didn't have any issues with them.
Don't scale up too quickly, because there was a period of time where we bought a bunch of licenses but we weren't using that many. When we finally needed more licenses, we lucked into a time when they had a discount on licenses, so we bought more at that time. So hold off for those times when the cost comes down a little bit.
There were a few options out there that had some of the things we were looking for, such as the SDA and SMA, but KACE had more of what we were looking for. Some solutions had half of it and some others had the other half, but as far as having all of it goes, KACE was the best option.
As far as the SDA goes, definitely look at the options for customizing your own images. I had problems with my images as far as the built-in system imaging went. But once I switched over to customizing my own images, I had fewer issues with imaging computers. And when it comes to the SMA, definitely take advantage of asset management and its scripting capabilities. They have significantly helped me and our organization.
We use it to deploy software, push updates to the software, and manage our endpoints, desktops, and laptop computers. We are currently managing over 4,000 endpoints.
We are patching our software with KACE.
We have a virtual appliance.
We have a better handle on knowing exactly where our computers are and who is logging into them. We also have a better solution on what equipment is obsolete and needs to be replaced. We are also probably more compliant with upgrading our software or keeping our software patched so we have less vulnerabilities.
The solution has increased our IT productivity. I have seen a big increase from management to do reporting. It takes us a lot less time to identify systems that need to be upgraded. It is very efficient when we have to upgrade settings on the computer because my folks don't have to walk around and do that.
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.
For the basic functions, it is very easy to use, e.g., looking up computers and seeing what is on them. For the software deployment and scripting, it is more difficult. I only have experienced people on my team do that type of work. If there was a way to simplify the interface for more technical tasks, that would be more useful.
We had a system that we had to upgrade manually this past week. It was a good portion of the systems. Unfortunately, due to the type of software it was, I couldn't do it with KACE, even though we tried. So, my folks had to manually touch each one of the computers, and it cost us hours in lost productivity.
The correlation between assets and inventory needs improvement. The KACE appliance does both asset tracking and inventory, and the link between those two is very sparse and difficult to operate. So, I asked them if they could link those two more seamlessly. I gave that information to KACE a couple of years ago.
I have been using it for over 10 years.
It has been very stable. It just runs. We haven't had to reboot or do any work on the virtual side in months.
It does regular upgrades, which are manual. You need to upgrade your appliance manually. We are one iteration back right now, so we will have to upgrade the appliance. This doesn't happen that often. We don't typically upgrade every time an update comes out. We do it as needed or before it gets too old.
We haven't had to scale it. We only have one appliance. However, when we have gone through several upgrade purchases to add more nodes and systems to it, we buy a license, then apply that to the appliance. Then, our systems can just check in.
We put the solution on every computer in our environment. So, we don't have plans to increase usage, except when we buy more stuff. KACE goes on every computer that we have. It is required for our organization. If we bought 5,000 more computers, then we would buy 5,000 more licenses. That is just the standard that we use.
We have Quest support. I assume we buy the highest level. Here's the thing about their support: It is good and bad. Their support is excellent once you get to the right person on the right team, I find that the subject-matter experts in their area of KACE are extremely helpful. They guide and help me figure out the things that I can't do. However, it takes a little while to get through their support system to get to that right person. The issues with KACE are minor compared to the benefits provided by the organization.
The initial setup was complex. It is a Linux-based virtual server, where the customer cannot get into the back-end, so you can only follow their prompts. Then, there are specific things that have to be done in their implementation and upgrade phases that have to be done in a certain order or steps. If you don't get those steps right, the system doesn't work. I think that either simplifying that process or providing really good step-by-step documentation would be helpful.
Simultaneously, we were having a problem with the appliance, which caused us to migrate to virtual.
Our implementation strategy at that time went through our change control process. It was to back up the old system, take those backups offline, implement the new system, and then restore from the backups. There are two parts to that which need to be done:
We originally had it on an appliance. I was the one who did the virtual upgrade. It was very complex to get it first setup. However, Quest was very helpful in getting that done. I would not have been able to do it without some of their help. The migration took days (close to a week).
It has saved us a lot of time. I couldn't quantify it because we have been using it for so long. It would be hard to remember what it was like before using it. I would imagine it is enough personnel hours that when we have lost people due to attrition, if we didn't have it, then we would have been pretty sunk.
As a government agency, our accounting doesn't look at depreciation or ROI. We just don't. I have seen the return on the investment personally, because I can see the folks who work for me don't have to work as hard or have to travel as much to get things done. I could see where, in a private company, you could turn that into dollars and cents. We just don't monetize that. However, if I worked for a private company, I would absolutely be counting the hours saved and how much that turns into money.
Its pricing model is good for what it offers. Nobody here gives me a hard time about renewing the contract every year. It might be a little cost prohibitive for a smaller company who has to stand up a virtual environment as well as have virtual environment licensing and the hardware. If you have a smaller environment, it might be cost prohibitive. If you only have a couple of hundred computers, you might be more willing to do those manually. In our environment, the cost savings of having KACE far outweigh the licensing costs. We are okay with its pricing model.
We have another solution for patching endpoints on the operating system. KACE would probably do a great job at it. We just already have something else in our environment. Most companies probably do. For example, if you have a Microsoft environment, then you would probably use a Microsoft solution. Or, if you are in a Linux environment, then you would probably use a Linux brand.
We have a separate system for imaging and deploying our computers. I wouldn't mind trying the solution's Systems Deployment Appliance (SDA). It might be something that I will look at in the future.
We evaluated what we could do with Microsoft solutions because we have Active Directory. We haven't really evaluated any other third-party solutions because we have been happy with KACE and don't see a need to shop elsewhere.
Microsoft has some easier solutions because they are already built into the Active Directory system, because the operating systems are already talking on the back-end. KACE does things that are easier to implement because it is a single dashboard that allows me better control. We don't use KACE for operating system updates because that is built into Microsoft Active Directory, but Microsoft Active Directory does not provide anything for third-party software updates, like Adobe products. So, we kind of use KACE for what it is good at and use the other one for what it is good at.
Absolutely leverage the software update catalog that you can put together and implement. Brush up on your batch scripting because that is very important. Those are the main things that really helped us.
The software distribution takes some research to figure out how to do. You will just have to spend some time learning how to do it.
Our mobile devices are managed separately.
I would rate this solution as an eight out of 10.
We were originally using a physical appliance and now we have migrated to a virtual appliance. We migrated to the virtual appliance three years ago.
Our primary use case is for managed installations and the software that we deploy. Our offices are scattered throughout the state and we have 103 locations that are remote. We use KACE to inventory those items. We use KACE to push updates, third-party products, and third-party software to them.
We gather inventory from them, it lets us know how many machines out there have 16 gigs of memory and who's running low in this space. Any new software that we get that the company purchases, that is how we deploy out to the masses. We do that so that we don't have to travel the state over and over again, we can do all this stuff remotely.
We also have a lot of reports that are being generated from the information that KACE has so that we can take that back to our accounting department. We can provide reports on the location of newly purchased laptops. It shows us if they're still being used and who they are assigned to.
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.
I would like for there to be improvement when it comes to Microsoft and Windows updates. It has the ability to do it but the control of it is not there like I have in the Windows Server Update Services. The way KACE does it is still very granular. You don't really see the process like it is in the Windows Server Update Services. I think that would be one of the biggest things that I would like to see KACE really put some work into and really make that a big enhancement.
I have been using KACE for seven to eight years.
It's very stable. The upgrades and patches that they come out with only seem to enhance the product. They're not trying to fix something that's broken. It always seems like when there is a new version, it's always something that is enhancing.
We have one SDA and one SMA and it works for all 1200 of our devices that we have listed. I don't think we would ever need to scale out to anything larger than that.
When it comes to opening a service ticket or a support ticket through KACE with Quest, it's one of those that I don't cringe at. I don't mind it because I know I'm going to get somebody that's going to help me. They go above and beyond to help, unlike other companies like Microsoft or something. It's a pain to open a ticket with them because you feel like you have to sit at your phone and can't move and can't leave waiting for them. It's the complete opposite for Quest. I really like how KACE operates on the support side of things. We use their premium support.
I can open a ticket through the appliance itself or I can sign onto the Quest support website and submit a ticket that way. I know that in a very short amount of time, I'm either going to get contacted that they're working on it or we'll actually have a support technician calling me directly. I get real people. One of the biggest benefits is you get a real person. A real person who is willing and knowledgeable about the problem that you're calling about.
Having this excellent support hasn't influenced us to purchase additional products. But it has been an influence on never, not even considering, picking a different product for SMA or SDA. It's a given that it will be here and it will be here for a long time.
The initial setup was straightforward. When we got the original physical machines, it was taken out of the box, we plugged it into the rack, and got it set up. Within a day or so we had it up and running and had machines in there doing inventory already.
We had professional services assist us with the deployment. I can't remember if they actually came on-site or if we did it remotely.
Our experience with Quest support has always been great. Any of our interactions with them have always been spot on.
The biggest thing that I've discovered from it, is to give a picture of our entire environment. In one location, I can see how many laptops we have, how many desktops we have, how many people we have assigned, and to what software we have it deployed. I can give versions. I can give so much detail on devices that I don't normally see or I don't normally touch, that are anywhere from five miles down the road to 300 miles down the road. I have the ability to see them, change them, update them, and move them. That's where the biggest bang for it comes in.
From an admin point of view, it would make an administrator's life a lot easier to be able to have that vision across their environments and know what's out there and where you stand in that environment. To know if the machines are up to date or if they falling behind, and different things like that.
I would rate KACE a solid nine out of ten. Nothing is perfect, I think that there's always room for improvement but it would be a strong nine.
We have KACE SMA and KACE SDA. The SMA is to image all of our desktops. There are 3,000 desktops, and we use KACE SMA for Windows imaging and security patching and updates. We're using KACE SDA for our software library, so our client base can go to the software library and install software from there. We're using the support component and the trouble ticket system.
It increases security. We can target any machine or any device that is connected to it and update security if there is a vulnerability that comes out, especially this day of cyber attack. If we're notified by a vendor of vulnerabilities, we can push out an update within minutes. It has really increased the security of the network.
It is easy to use and pretty intuitive. It is pretty much a GUI interface. Its ease of use has affected the time to value because we can get our staff quickly up to speed on all of the components and how to support it best. Because it has a graphical user interface and is easy to use, it really decreases the training time and increases our efficiency in implementing things.
It provides a single pane of glass for everything that we need for endpoint management of all our devices, which has made things more secure. It gives us full visibility into every endpoint device that has the KACE agent on it.
It saves a lot of time. It has probably saved us a good month of person-time a year. It also saved a lot of training and a lot of lost productivity, not only for the technical staff but also for the staff, students, and faculty.
We also use KACE SDA, and it is fantastic for automating our deployments. We can literally push out an image to all 3,000 desktops at the same time and have everything imaged and done within three hours.
All of the features are valuable. We find everything we're using very valuable because they increase security and efficiency.
It is excellent in terms of updating and configuring everything the way we need. For anything more complex, we do professional service engagements, and they're exceptional. For anything less complex, we just need to ask questions. Their support division is extremely good too.
If we have any issues, we've had great success with their professional services team and their support team. Their technical support is excellent. They're very responsive and fast. Within an hour of initiating a support request, we've got somebody on it.
The only pain point I have is with their salespeople. They call too often. They're too aggressive in trying to upsell. We know what we need, and we know if we want to expand. I don't mind quarterly calls from them, but sometimes, it is weekly. They need to get their sales team under control. The main goal of their support people and professional services is to make sure they deliver the service, and they deliver it well, whereas their salespeople are so interested in making a sale that they're wasting my time.
We did look at MDM, and I was misguided by their salespeople. When I talked to their tactical people, I found out that I hadn't been given the full picture on MDM, and it wouldn't have been what we wanted if we had moved forward with it. I really value their technical services, their professional services, and their support services, but their sales team needs to really up their game and not phone every week.
I have been using this solution for three years.
It is extremely stable. We've never had any downtime. There has never been any unexpected downtime with the KBOX, SDA, or SMA. They just seem to be extremely robust.
We're asking for it to be scalable for up to 10,000 end-user devices. When we purchased it, it was for 3,000 with scalability of up to 10,000. We haven't tried to scale up that much yet, but they say we're sized appropriately for that.
We use Quest's Premier Support for KACE solutions. The biggest value of having Premier Support is the response time. Their response time is phenomenal. We've never created a support ticket that they haven't responded to within an hour and resolved. They're professionals. Their support team is extremely knowledgeable.
Their Premier Support has added value to our overall investment in the Quest solution. Their responsiveness and their technical skillsets are amazing.
Their Premier Support had an influence in purchasing additional licenses or additional products from Quest. We decided to customize the support desk component because the first implementation of just the standard SMA stuff was so good. We also implemented a Request for Change and a custom Request for Service based on how greatly satisfied we were with the KBOX, their support, and their professional services. If it wasn't for all of those three things, we wouldn't have looked at expanding.
We used Microsoft Deployment Toolkit (MDT). It just wasn't scalable enough for us, and it also wasn't customizable enough for us.
We used SCCM as well. It is much more complex, and it takes a lot of end-user training. That's why we decided to go with KACE.
After using other products, we want to stay with KACE. Earlier, we had a separate Request for Change application and a separate support system. We merged all those into KACE. It saved us a lot of money and a lot of time, and everything is central for our client base. They go to one spot in the self-service user portal, and everything is right there. This consolidation has probably saved us a couple hundred thousand a year. It is hard for us to do money points because anything that's Microsoft, such as MDT, SCCM, we get free through the Department of National Defense Microsoft Enterprise agreement. For us, there are no costs.
It was straightforward, but we did engage professional services.
In terms of the implementation strategy, we wanted the support component configured for all of our different support queues. We were asking for customizations, and it took about two weeks for the professional services person to implement them based on our requirements, but out of the box, everything is easy. We just had a bunch of customizations made.
We engaged professional services.
We have seen a return on investment. It is the fact that my IT staff can come quickly up to speed on the KACE appliance. It doesn't require a lot of in-depth training. It is fast to implement and get people trained on and able to support. It is also fast to get end-users using the self-service portal.
Based on other solutions that we had implemented, its pricing seems to be quite competitive. It is not inexpensive, but it is also not more expensive than any other solution. They have the standard licensing fees and support fees.
We evaluated several other solutions, including support desk solutions, and we settled on KACE just because of their ability to customize what we need. Their professional service is excellent, and so is their support, so we decided to go with KACE.
We found other municipal companies in the area that were using it, and we went and met with them to get their use cases and their experience. If anyone is looking into using it, I would recommend talking to people who have implemented it and seeing if it's going to meet their needs. I highly recommended it as a chosen solution, just for the fact that it's end-to-end. It's extremely robust and reliable, and their professional services and their support teams are stellar.
I would rate Quest KACE Systems Management a 10 out of 10.
We use KACE internally in our company to deliver and manage services for our customers. We access it every day. We are on the support page every day. KACE is open in my browser all the time.
We provide our own KACE services to customers. We are managing more than 85,000 machines by using KACE. In terms of the setup, sometimes, there is a shared environment, and sometimes, there is a dedicated environment.
Our customers are in retail, power, healthcare, and education. We have more than 20 customers with recurring contracts, and we have had many customers for one-time projects.
Our customers use KACE for inventory and software delivery and distribution. They use it to apply policies and generate reports. We have some customers who use it for Service Desk. We have done some customizations on Service Desk for ITSM in terms of assets and CMDB to maintain all information related to IT assets.
It provides IT asset management, compliance, software asset management, mobile device management, and patch management. We don't use mobile device management and patch management internally, but we do provide it to our customers. We have some customers who use MDM and patch management. Having all these in one solution is very important for us because Unirede provides monitoring to customers. By using the KACE solution, we are able to provide endpoint management for our customers. This is a gap that KACE filled for us. It is very important for us. We get more than 30% of the revenue through endpoint management for our customers.
It saves time, which is its most important benefit. When you automate tasks, there is a lot of time-saving. Based on the feedback from our customers, it has saved more than 50% time.
It provides what we need for updating and configuring everything the way we need it to be in our environment. For me, it is very easy. It is not a big deal to update when necessary.
We use Systems Deployment Appliance (SDA) for Windows and Linux devices in our environment. We have used SDA for internal use, for training, and for our customers. We have a few customers who have SDA in place on-premise. We sometimes also use the product to migrate the environment. For example, we use it for migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10. At the beginning of the pandemic, some of the customers bought a lot of notebooks to make their employees work from home, and we provided migration services to them. By using SDA, we are able to do implementation in a short period, such as one, two, or three months. It is very good for automating the deployments, but, of course, it can be improved. Improvements are always welcomed.
It has increased IT productivity. With SDA, we can reduce a lot of time to provide a new installation. From hours, it gets reduced to minutes. Some customers have told us that their technicians used to spend the whole shift deploying one machine, whereas, with SDA, they could do it in less than one hour for one machine. They were also able to provide a new installation in 30 minutes.
We use machine profiles. We have profiles for the HR department, technicians, etc. We create smart labels related to this information, and we associate the tasks for software, scripts, installation, updates, etc. When the computer is turned on and has the agents installed on it, we detect the profile, and we install and run everything in a few minutes. This is another way to reduce the effort to keep our environment up to date and do automatic installations.
Asset management is most valuable. It is essential for all customers. The other features are also useful, but asset management is most important.
Everything is easy to use. KACE was created to be easy. It is very easy as compared to other solutions such as System Center, but it is important to have knowledge of some of the important concepts. For example, the knowledge of smart labels is critical. If you don't have knowledge of smart labels, you won't get its 100% benefit.
We use the Cloud MDM functionality. Its Windows and Mac enrollment capabilities for allowing IT admins to bypass manual device setup are fine. We provide management as a service to some customers, and they have Windows, Linux, and Mac. We also use it for our internal use in the company.
Its dashboard needs improvement. Currently, there is no way to modify the dashboard. There should be more flexibility so that we can create views according to our use case.
They can add some tips in the UI to help with the configuration. It will make the interface more user-friendly.
Its reporting also needs to be improved. Its reports are just textual, but we need a graphical report. We should be able to create dashboard views by using different types of graphics, such as pivot graphics. This functionality is currently missing.
We use the Cloud MDM functionality. Its interface is a little bit different from the SDA interface and the SMA interface. The concept related to the labels is also a little bit different. The SDA interface could be changed a little bit to have the same functionality as MDM. It is easier to create smart labels in MDM than in SDA.
It can also be improved in terms of the consumption of resources or the size of the virtual machine. Currently, we are using a lot of memory and CPU power, and these can be reduced, but it is not a big deal.
I have been using KACE for more than 10 years. I have so far handled 600 implementations of K1000 and K2000 in Brazil and Latin America. I have delivered training for more than 5,000 hours.
In 2010 or 2011, I was trained at KACE headquarters in the USA, and after that, I was in charge of supporting customers in Brazil. I helped them with project implementations, training, and quick starts. In 2016, I joined Dell, and I was in charge of all services related to KACE in Brazil and Latin America. In our company, we started using KACE four years ago.
It is very stable, but your infrastructure should meet the requirements for stability. To have stability, you need to meet all the requirements. You need static file systems. If you are using dynamic file systems on the Hyper-V or VM, you might have some issues with stability. You also need to take care of certain things related to the network.
If you have met all requirements and you have 100% compatibility as per the compatibility matrix, it is very stable. If you miss something, you can get into trouble.
We have their Premier Support because it is very important to have very fast support. I would rate them a nine out of 10. Sometimes, when you have a new hire or a new technician, they don't understand everything before denying some requests. They need to be more flexible.
It is not complex. It is easy, but you need to have knowledge of various concepts, such as smart labels. It is important. Otherwise, it won't be so easy. To make it easier and more user-friendly, they can provide some tips in the UI during the configuration.
Its ease of use has helped in getting an ROI in a very short time. We sell KACE as a service, and we got our ROI within three months.
I would rate it a nine out of 10. It could be improved a little bit more.