Concentrated Tech’s CompareScope™ evaluates Goverlan’s distinctive features to support Microsoft Windows-based infrastructures.
Concentrated Tech, a recognized industry source, featured the Goverlan Remote Admin Suite v7 along with Dameware Remote Support v9 and Dell’s Desktop Authority Standard 9 (primarily its ExpertAssist feature) in a Remote Support Solutions CompareScope™, an objective compare-and-contrast piece assessing the differentiating aspects of the remote administration solutions.
“ The Goverlan and Dameware solutions address the same problem space within an organization, although the Goverlan product offers broader functionality and deeper management reach. Its approach to batch administration – action scopes, a GUI-based task sequencer, and so on – offer extended opportunities for use, and take the product almost to the point of being a full-fledged systems management tool…”
About Concentrated Technology
Founded by industry experts Don Jones and Greg Shields, Concentrated Tech is a boutique technology analysis and education firm that focuses on bridging technology and business by offering strategic consulting, timely education, and expert analysis.
For the complete CompareScope™ analysis by Concentrated Tech, click here.
Here are some highlights from the review:
User and Desktop Management and Support
In the area of User and Desktop Management and Support, the analysis found subtle differences between the solutions;
“For example, when managing printers, environment variables, and other user-specific settings, the Goverlan solution is multi-user aware. When managing a shared computer, for example, Goverlan can ‘see’ individual user profiles and permit you to modify them individually or all at once. This can be a significant advantage; the Dell solution accomplishes this by modifying the profile when the user logs on, rather than in real-time. Another example: when searching for objects in AD DS, the Goverlan solution provides a simplified UI that enables an administrator to directly search for attribute names. Typing ‘department = sales,’ for example, retrieves all users in the Sales department. The Dameware solution supports AD DS searching through the standard OS dialog, which provides full functionality but is somewhat more complicated to use.”
A key functional component for a remote administration solution is the ability to manage components ‘behind the scenes’ with minimal or no user interaction – or cognizance – without requiring a remote control session. The analysis found that all three solutions can run many background processes, including managing startup items,printers,mapped drives and auto-logon.
In managing configurations, the analysis found; “Because it is designed as a configuration management tool, the Dell solution offers a broader range of built-in configuration tweaks and settings. These are centrally defined, downloaded by their client agent, and applied at logon…Most of these settings are in the registry, making them manageable with either the Goverlan or Dameware products as well, although those two products do not pre-define configuration packages for these.”
The analysis also looked at batch processing capabilities, observing;
“The Dameware solution’s batch processing capabilities are limited. You can, in a batch, deploy the solution’s client agent, install services, deploy registry files, manage power state (restart, shutdown, etc.), send pop-up messages, and a handful of other selected tasks.
By contrast, the Goverlan solution has extensive batch processing capabilities. You can define ‘scopes’, which are groups of computers, users, or AD DS groups. Scopes can consist of static lists, AD DS sites or containers, IP address ranges, and so on. An extensive set of actions, broadly categorized as ‘reporting,’ ‘setting,’ and ‘executing‘ are built-in, and custom actions can be created… Execution can include nearly anything the solution is capable of doing on a per-computer basis, including network settings, printers, processes, software, for a total of several dozen discrete actions.
The Dell solution offers the strongest contrast, as it is not intended for real-time batch deployment. Instead, you create configuration policies and rules, which are deployed to computers at logon.”
No Sysadmin is an island – often times, resolving problems quickly and maintaining an enterprise’s network depends on the cohesive and coordinated actions of an efficient IT team. By the same token, in using previously saved and configured admin items, a single sysadmin can save significant amounts of time and effort.
“Because it uses a central configuration repository (database), the Dell solution’s configuration is automatically shared across all administrators using the product. We were not able to discover any means of sharing configuration data between users of the Dameware solution. The Goverlan solution supports sharing computer lists, console layouts, remote control connection sets, software installer packages, batch action sequences, and batch action target lists.”
Centralized Settings Management
Concentrated Tech also assessed the solutions’ ability to manage settings centrally, including administrative permissions, base configuration settings, and audit configuration;
“We were unable to discover any central settings administration in the Dameware product.
The Dell solution uses a central repository and supports central administration of the application’s settings. The Goverlan solution offers configuration control via Group Policy object (GPO) templates. For more real-time, non-overridable control, the free Goverlan Central Server can be used to enforce settings at the desktop application.”
In summary, the Concentrated Tech analysis concluded;
“The Goverlan and Dameware solutions address the same problem space within an organization, although the Goverlan product offers broader functionality and deeper management reach. Its approach to batch administration – action scopes, a GUI-based task sequencer, and so on – offer extended opportunities for use, and take the product almost to the point of being a full-fledged systems management tool…The addition of the Goverlan Central Server provides additional capabilities for centralization of audit records, amongst other things. Desktop Authority is positioned more as a configuration management solution, with some convenient remote administration features added in.”