SMS Gets Boost from Unix Client

Systems Management Server may be a Microsoft Corp. product that is designed for Microsoft environments, but some people see a bigger mission for the product.

Systems Management Server may be a Microsoft Corp. product that is designed for Microsoft environments, but some people see a bigger mission for the product.

Developers at the system management add-on vendor Computing Edge Corp. (www.computingedge.com) have crafted a Unix client for SMS that enables systems managers to replicate any of the standard SMS actions, normally reserved for Microsoft clients, aboard Unix systems.

Called Unix Inventory +Solution, the product joins Computing Edge’s +Plus Pack SMS extension suite. Unix Inventory +Solution allows an SMS administrator to inventory a Unix client and determine details such as the version of the operating system and what patches have been applied, as well as collect information about processors, memory, disk, print queues and other software details. "We make sure the Unix data gets put into that infrastructure," says Dwain Kinghorn CEO of Computing Edge.

Initially, the company is targeting Unix systems made by Hewlett-Packard Co. and Sun Microsystems Inc., as well as systems running Linux. The product is expected to ship this month, and will be formally introduced at the SMS user conference scheduled for Aug. 1 through Aug. 4 in Naples, Fla. Company officials say it will carry "PC-style" per unit pricing.

Are the Unix people hesitant to put their systems under an SMS? "In some of the accounts that’s true, but in a lot of accounts, it’s not," Kinghorn maintains. "We have some accounts where, percentagewise, they have more Unix workstations on the desktop. And the Microsoft faithful love this because they can push their SMS strategy forward. It eliminates an obstacle."