Product Reviews

Central Management

Once installed, bvControl tames servers.

bvControl from BindView Corp. broadly allows you to do two things—monitor and administer your Windows 2000 network and its components from a central location and report on the configuration of your Win2K network in great detail. In fact, I found the best use of this product was to go through the various reports provided with it and, based upon the reports’ findings, use the RMS console to correct any deficiencies. If the standard reports that come with bvControl don’t provide all the information you need or in the format you require, you can create your own custom reports.

In reviewing this product, I had to get it installed. To tell the truth, this was the most painful part. I almost wanted to throw the myriad CDs out the window, as I became frustrated by the process of getting this thing going.

In order to install the product fully, you first need to install the RMS Console, which requires an Information Server database and MSDE 1.0 (based on SQL Server 7.0). You can’t use an existing SQL Server 7 or SQL Server 2000 server, nor can any copy of MSDE or SQL Server be on the machine you want to designate as hosting the database—it must be MSDE 1.0. (Note to BindView: Give admins the option of using an existing SQL Server database.)

The next step is to install the ActiveExtensions for the RMS console-from a different CD. You then install the Enterprise Configuration Service (ECS), which installs the bvConfig utility used to configure bvControl. Following this, you designate and install Query Engines used in reporting and the BindView Support Services on machines you need to manage (these can be done remotely from the bvConfig utility). Finally, you install the real power of bvControl—IntelliPACS, packaged scripts that can be used for real-time server monitoring. IntelliPACS require SQL Server, but you can specify a SQL Server of your own in which to create the database. After doing all this, you need to type in a license key for every licensed product. Finally, service packs needed to be installed for a couple of the products, though which goes first wasn’t clear; but it all worked in the end.

After you get through the install process, you have a product with stunning capabilities. The ability to generate reports on almost everything about your domains, servers, workstations, shares, software, security configuration and more make it a powerful tool. Add to that the IntelliPACS functionality to monitor computers and applications, as well as perform maintenance tasks such as restart services, launch applications and more. These together allow any administrator of a network with a large number or a distributed set of Windows computers to monitor and administer their networks centrally.

BindView bvControl
BindView’s bvControl offers ultimate control in managing a Windows network—including powerful reporting capabilities. (Click image to view larger version.)

The install process was grueling and really needs to be made easier to ensure that mistakes aren’t made. Once you get the product installed and working, the benefits it provides are phenomenal and will save you time in managing your large network.

About the Author

Damir Bersinic, MCSE, MCDBA, MCSA, MCT, is an independent consultant, trainer and author.


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