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Vector's ITAM solution range: overview

This series of releases impacts all the solutions in the Vector ITAM solution set -

  • IT Asset Manager Pro
  • Discovery, Inventory and Mapping
  • Software License Compliance
  • Vector IT Asset Locator

The solutions are composed of optimized combinations of these modules -

  • Network Asset Discovery
  • Hardware Inventory
  • Software Inventory
  • Software Usage Metrics ('Software Metering')
  • Software Deployment Planner ('Package Policy Manager')
  • Administrator's Console
  • Web-based reporting Portal

The series of releases from version 5.5 to v5.8 focuses on fundamental extensions to the architecture and supported platforms common to all members of the solution family.

Vector's ITAM Solutions Architecture: Background

From early in its evolution the Vector IT asset management solution set has used network file transfer as the method for raw inventory data to be posted from the client agent to a staging area (of which there can be any number), from where it is collected by the Console software for analysis and storage in the SQL Server AM Pro IT asset database. Our adoption of an agent-based method (reviewed in our Blog) has enabled Vector to take a leading position with regard to the richness and accuracy of the configuration and software inventory data collected, and is essential for any solution that is reporting detailed and accurate information on software usage. It also provides a secure and stable method, differentiating Vector's solution from competitors using DCOM, which we believe to be a relatively insecure platform, and one to which Microsoft may not have a long term commitment.

Web-based agent communication in AM Pro v5.5

However, every method has its drawbacks, and Vector's methodology could suffer in environments where passwords were changed frequently - requiring the agent to be updated to be able to communicate with its staging area.

In version 5.5, we introduced the option of enabling the Client to communicate securely via HTTPS with one or more IIS-based Web servers. In a stroke, this eliminated the password maintenance issue, and enabled the Client to make use of any session of Web connection. Remote branch office systems and highly mobile laptops were also brought into the scope of the organization's IT asset management policies, where before they had been very awkward to manage.

Self-updating agent in AM Pro v5.7

This feature now keeps your software current in all your Clients, automatically fetching and applying the latest fixes and feature updates. This means you won't need to deploy future services packs, fixes or extensions again. In fact, you won't need to deploy the client ever again.
A choice of modes ensures compliance with your regime for applying any configuration changes -

  • Update direct from the Web. The agent will check the Vector Web site at intervals for updates - much as your anti-virus tool.
  • Update from your server. This mode enables you to test out new versions, and make them available from your own server(s).

Managed Service Providers can also specify their own servers and deploy different updates to different clients.

Centralized Management - Full Control
You have full control over the automatic updates. You can specify what updates are deployed to the Clients and whether they get their updates from Vector Networks or from your server. If more refined control is ever needed, you can even deploy specific updates to only certain individual computers, group of computers or Active Directory OUs. Our advanced, unique three-tiered technology allows you to achieve levels of security, reliability and trust that go beyond the standard.

IT asset management software (ITAM) solutions | v55-58 | page 2 »

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