I don’t often use this blog to talk about something specific our own solutions, but we’ve just made a point release that could be one of the most significant for a long time, and there are some important issues behind that belief.
IT asset management: the case for agent-based methods
For a while now we have faced valid questions from new customers about why we use an agent for our IT asset management solutions, and there are three key elements to this.
- We deliver rich and accurate information on software usage, based on sampling the current active window every ten seconds. That needs software installed on the PC/server to carry out that task. Remotely collecting application stop/start records simply does not provide good enough data to support pro-active software license compliance through software license optimization.
- The use of a permanent agent minimizes the network traffic involved in our interrogation of software inventory, which uses three separate, complementary methods to deliver results far more accurate than can be accomplished simply by remotely reading the registry.
- The use of an agent helps ensure raw configuration and inventory information is kept refreshed on the PC or server at regular intervals, ready for scheduled transmission to the asset information database / CMDB whenever LAN or internet connectivity is available.
It is also often overlooked that in the scenario of externally hosted, agentless methods being used, the customer usually has little or no control over the remote interrogation techniques being used or opportunity to check any changes for impact on the PC or server performance.
Agent self-update in v5.7
The capabilities listed above are great to have, but this has in the past meant customers had to be involved in applying enhancements (and dare I admit it, the occasional bug-fix) to the agent software. That’s why this release is so important. Using unique (so development tell me) and secure communications methods, the agent will now auto-update, taking its updates from either Vect0r’s Web server, or from a customer-assigned Web or LAN server. The latter method is vital for those who would wish to lab-test any changes to their desktop configuration before allowing it to roll out.