Inventory, Distribution, and More
LANUtil32 offers polished network management in an easy-to-use package.
Vector Network’s LANutil32 is a hardware/software inventory
and software distribution tool that’s simple to install and a joy to use. In
sharp contrast to other products with these capabilities, for example, Microsoft
Systems Management Server, it’s easy to get LANutil32 up and running in an hour
or less. This utility offers a wealth of options for monitoring the computers
on your network and proactively managing them.
LANutil32 has a distributed architecture that relies on ODBC
to connect to a database (Access, SQL Server, or Oracle). If you want, you can
run the database, console, and scheduler on different computers. In fact, you
can even connect multiple consoles to a single database, which opens the possibility
of having multiple administrators share duties in a large organization. After
you install the console and database on your server, a simple setup program
with minimal user interaction installs the client on any Windows 95, 98, NT,
or 2000 computer.
When you install the client, it automatically takes an inventory
of the computer hardware and installed software and sends the results back to
the central database. If you like, you can schedule periodic re-inventories
of any part of this information. For example, you might want to monitor groups
of computers once a week to check for unauthorized applications installed by
end users. Or, you might generate nightly reports showing disk space usage across
your entire network in order to act proactively to solve problems before drives
LANutil32 offers an extensive set of reports to sort out
the equipment and applications on your network. You can customize reports or
create new ones if the preconfigured reports don’t satisfy your needs. You can
also use LANutil32 to distribute software across your network. To do this, you
build packages based on silent installations from either InstallShield or Microsoft
and identify the target machines.
Although LANutil32 doesn’t offer the same distributed multi-site
management found in Microsoft SMS, it does work with SMS. You can set up LANutil32
to prepare its inventory information for submission to the SMS database when
the SMS client runs. This allows the possibility of using LANutil32, with its
easier learning curve, at one site, then moving up to full SMS for the enterprise.
|LANutil32 provides an extensive set of reports
to sort out network equipment and applications. If necessary, you can customize
LANutil32 has many other features, including software licensing,
integration with UltraBac backup, and integration with Vector Networks’ own
PC-Duo remote control utility. All in all, it’s a well-designed, functional
package for keeping track of diverse hardware and software on your network.
For more information, visit Vector Networks’ Web site.
Mike Gunderloy, MCSE, MCSD, MCDBA, is a former MCP columnist and the author of numerous development books.