We'll discuss (as much as we're allowed) what's coming in the Enterprise Client and Systems Management spaces from Dell this year.

On the chat, we will be joined by representatives from the Dell Systems Management and Client Systems Management product development community as well as representatives from Dell KACE (who will discuss a new product release).

Guests for this chat:
Roger Foreman - Dell Systems Management Product Manager
Ken Drachnik - KACE Product Manager

Technical Community - Background Reading


Chat Transcript

DELL-Warren_B Peter and I are hosting today's chat, and we have lots to cover, so let’s get started!
DELL-Warren_B We’re going to talk about the client roadmap or at least share some of it.
DELL-PeterT Erson: Good to have you. Sorry the time isn't too convenient for our Swedish community members.
DELL-Warren_B Then discuss some client virtualization news.
erson I opened up my Latitude E3-pptx.
DELL-Warren_B Then some Client Systems Management before I hand it over to Peter to cover some more System Management topics and Dell KACE™.
sendhil Good afternoon folks, I'm Sendhil Jayachandran, senior product manager from Dell KACE.
DELL-Warren_B OK, I have some information on the client roadmap that I have been allowed to share, so I'll drop it and let you have at it.
DELL-Warren_B Beginning in February 2011, Dell will launch the next generation of Latitude E-Family laptops. Just as you would expect, the Latitude E-Family of laptops will continue to deliver the same robust security, ease of management, long life cycles, long product transitions, global stability and productivity you’ve come to expect from the Latitude “E.” What’s new is the added and enhanced durability with more end user, consumer appeal—even though it is designed and developed for commercial use and ease of IT management.
DELL-Warren_B Latitude E5420 and E5520 - Ready for whatever your work might dish out, these highly durable Latitude Advanced laptops are stylishly armored top to bottom on the outside with a hard-wearing Tri-metal™ casing, a brushed aluminum display back and zinc alloy latches. On the inside, they are equipped with a protective LCD seal and 360 degree bumper for added screen protection, a spill-resistant keyboard and a magnesium alloy internal structure for increased system stiffness and strength that can outlast the bumps and spills of everyday work. Enjoy uninterrupted productivity with the optional backlit keyboard, ideal for in-flight use or in low-light settings, with a wide array of long-life battery options that help keep productivity in full swing. With a choice of a 14” or 15” HD WLED display, the Latitude E5420 and E5520 Advanced laptops are ideal for professionals looking for a budget-conscious blend of mobility and at-your-desk computing.
DELL-Warren_B Latitude E6220, E6320, E6420 and E6520 - The style you want and the performance you need come together in one durable package with the Latitude Premier laptops. These business-rugged laptops are also stylishly armored top to bottom with hard-wearing Mil-STD 810G tested Tri-metal™ casing, a highly durable anodized aluminum display back, a tough powder-coated magnesium base and reinforced zinc alloy hinges. On the inside, they are equipped with a spill-resistant keyboard, protective LCD seal and a 360 degree LCD bumper for added screen protection that can outlast the bumps and spills of everyday work. You can enjoy go-anywhere productivity while in-flight or in low-light settings with the optional backlit keyboard, multi-touch screen options on the E6520 and E6420, Expresscharge™ battery options and swappable media modules, including optical drives, hard drive and USB 3.0 media module options (either internal or external media modules), that help you maximize productivity when on the go.
DELL-Warren_B Here's some info on the new Precision line:
G-Tizzle 15” with four memory banks please.
erson Is there time for questions about Latitude?
DELL-Warren_B Beginning in March 2011, Dell will launch the next generation of mobile workstations, as well as a new entry level tower workstation. Cutting-edge technology and productivity-improving performance are hallmarks of Dell Precision. Our newest systems build upon our legacy with blazing performance from the latest CPUs and GPUs, plus a bevy of useful enhancements and features to maximize your productivity and reliability.
DELL-Warren_B Sure, you can ask, but I'm not sure what can be answered at this time.
DELL-Warren_B Dell Precision T1600 – Our new entry level tower workstation: Integrating performance and peace of mind with exceptional value, the Dell Precision T1600 melds professional grade processors and graphics with ISV certification and faithful dependability in a just-right-size, easy-to-use, tool-less chassis.
DELL-Warren_B Dell Precision M4600 – Our next generation 15” mobile workstation: Designed from the ground up to be a breakthrough mobile workstation, the Dell Precision M4600 combines incredible performance with a durable yet lightweight 15.6” size for go-anywhere productivity.
DELL-Warren_B Dell Precision M6600 – Our next generation 17” mobile workstation: The next generation of our extraordinary 17.3” mobile workstation, the M6600, combines inconceivable performance and features into a productivity boosting, steadfastly dependable, sleek and professional system.
vcp2522 When will the latitude E6220, E6320, E6420 and E6520 be released?
DELL-Warren_B “Starting in Feb.” I don't have specific details on launch dates.
erson vcp2522: Intel releases the rest of CPUs and GPUs on the 20th of February—expect a release at date or just after.
vcp2522 OK thanks.
DELL-Warren_B Beginning in March 2011, Dell will launch the next generation of OptiPlex desktops. OptiPlex delivers business-class control with industry leading security, manageability and services. These systems are designed to integrate seamlessly into any office environment and provide business-class control with industry leading security, manageability and services. They will have a common ID design across our entry, mainstream and performance business segments for consistent look with the 2nd generation of Intel’s Core processors.
G-Tizzle Will the E3s be able to support 16GB (2x8GB)?
erson The only mobile CPUs released so far are the Quad-Core versions.
DELL-Warren_B The new OptiPlex 990 aims at delivering best-in-class productivity and business-class control. The new mainstream OptiPlex 790 delivers strong Office productivity with flexible remote control. OptiPlex 390—Affordable, latest technology iCore OptiPlex packaged in our newest chassis design.
DELL-Warren_B OK, so in summary, Dell Latitude will start to arrive in February and Dell Precision and OptiPlex in March.
DELL-Warren_B Some of you may have missed our announcement on Client Virtualization and Mobile Device Management around the holidays.
erson G-Tizzle: The Sandy Bridge supports 8GB modules, so technically it's possible. It’s just about Dell’s willingness to support it with BIOS/UEFI updates. Perhaps they want to differentiate the Precision laptops from the Latitudes by only giving the former access to 8GB DIMMs.
DELL-Warren_B Here's a link on OneDellway to that announcement, but make sure you right-click the link or you will be dropped from the chat.
DELL-Warren_B http://onedellway.us.dell.com/blogs/odw/archive/2010/12/15/56223.aspx
erson Can Dell confirm that the E6320 and E6220 will not be launched in February with the E6420/E6520/5420/E5520?
DELL-Warren_B Erson: I don't have the specific launch dates, so I can't confirm.
erson Can Dell explain why they decided to go with HDMI (and LVDs internally) with Latitude E3 and removing the external display port (internally EDP) from the E2?
DELL-Warren_B I also don't have specs to share on memory capacity, sorry.
RichardBenfield I don't suppose you can provide any estimates on how long the current lines will have before they are EOL?
DELL-Warren_B Richardbenfield: I don't have specifics on EOL of current systems. That is usually dependent on component availability. It can be anywhere from shortly after a new product launch to many months after.
RichardBenfield OK, thanks.
erson Richardbenfield: The Premier series have at least 18 months of availability, so the current Dell E6510 and E6410 should be available for some time.
DELL-Warren_B OK. Moving on! We have with us today Nathan Martell and Sandeep Karandikar from the Client Systems Management engineering team to talk about what's happening in their areas!
erson The advanced series E5x10 have at least 12 months of availability.
Dell_Sandeep_Karandikar Client Systems Management Engineering will be providing driver packs to help simplify your image deployment on the new systems.
Dell_Sandeep_Karandikar These Driver Cabs, as in the past, will be available for download from our Support Site as well as the www.delltechcenter.com website.
DELL-Warren_B If you have additional questions regarding the client roadmap, shout them out and I'll see if I can get answers to them.
vcp2522 Will the KACE solution expand its support of IOs and Android devices? If so, when?
DELL-Warren_B We’ll get to KACE in just a bit. :)
kdrachnik At KACE we support Macs, Windows and Linux and hope to have support for Android in the future. I can't give you firm dates for now.
Dell_Sandeep_Karandikar Client Systems Management Portfolio allows The Dell Client System Update (DCSU) application to provide update capabilities for Dell™ Optiplex™, Latitude™ and Dell Precision™ client platforms. DCSU is locally installed on the target system. It includes support for retrieving and installing updates for BIOS, drivers and system software released by Dell.
erson Dell-warren B: I could probably fill an hour with questions about the clients.
Dell_Sandeep_Karandikar This tool is also available for download from Support Site.
szlevi Android support would be huge.
DELL-Warren_B OK, we'll plan another chat closer to launch so we can talk about more specifics.
DELL_Nathan In addition to the driver packs and DCSU, we are also working on updates to OMCI and CCTK to correspond with the new systems release.
DELL_Nathan These are targeted to expose any new functionality in this generation of systems.
erson Warren_b: Great, I'll hold my questions until that chat then since it seems you're trying to pack in a lot of information in this chat.
DELL-Warren_B Thanks erson!
DELL_Nathan If you aren't familiar with OMCI or CCTK, you can do a search on Dell TechCenter for more information. We are also here to answer any questions we can.
DELL-Warren_B OK, while you are thinking of questions for Sandeep and Nathan, I'll let Peter jump in and introduce his guests!
DELL-PeterT Thanks Warren.
DELL-PeterT For the rest of the chat, we are going to cover two systems management-related topics.
DELL-PeterT We'll let Roger Foreman take the floor now to handle Systems Management questions, and he might even give a preview of some upcoming features on new products.
DELL-PeterT If you've been keeping up with Dell TechCenter, you've seen the great video he did on the Dell PowerEdge M1000e blade CMC 3.1.
DELL-PeterT Here's the link to that if you didn't get to see it: http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/dell+chassis+management+controller+3.1+new+features
DELL-PeterT And we'll finish out at the end with KACE.
Dell-RogerF Really exciting accomplishment from our engineering team here with multi-chassis or MCM as we call it.
Dell-RogerF As Product Manager for CMC, I have a strategy of simple, scalable management.
Dell-RogerF Simple in that it's embedded and with an intuitive user interface.
Dell-RogerF Scalable in that we're trying to automate functions so you can do things like see nine chassis in a single view and begin to do the same with 16 servers or more at a time as well.
Dell-RogerF These tenets aren't just in the CMC either, as you can see from last December's Dell Plugin for vCenter.
Dell-RogerF Dell TechCenter video on that, too. Will send along a link later if Peter doesn't fill it in.
Dell-RogerF It's a virtual appliance for easy installation and extends the notion of profiles for configuring servers via Lifecycle Controller capabilities.
erson Rogerf: Swedish keyboard in the CMC. I beg you. :)
erson Rogerf: Hmm, make that Lifecycle Controller.
Dell-RogerF So let me pause for questions while I work on the Swedish keyboard.
DELL-PeterT And here is the link to a recently released video about our Plugin for vCenter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hg3b1h5v2e
Dell-RogerF For those of you managing servers with OpenManage, I can also say to expect another release later in March.
erson I think Dell has done a great job with CMC 3.x. The new GUI is great. One thing I would like to see is a table that clearly shows you which ports each blade is connected to on the I/O modules.
Dell-RogerF Possibly the last version “6” before the next generation of servers comes out at the end of the year.
erson The elusive 12G. :)
Dell-RogerF Thanks erson. We've heard that requirement from many customers and have it on the roadmap, but there's a dependency on the I/O modules/switches, so it will be later next year before they have the enablement and we can see the benefit in the CMC.
erson Rogerf: Great, it's not that hard to map out the ports, but it’s tedious. Just to get a list straight away from the CMC would be awesome.
szlevi “Servers with OpenManage I can also say to expect another release later in March.” Finally, I was about to ask what's up with OM. :)
erson Making the iDRAC console utility a standalone tool that you can launch and connect to a server without entering the CMC or the iDRACs would be on my list as well.
erson Looks like you can launch it from SCCM now with the new Lifecycle Controller Integration 1.2 package.
erson But then again, then you need SCCM.
Dell-RogerF Erson: That's actually available today. Need to look in the manual for the URL to use.
erson Oh, and the ability to use a folder as a virtual media would be golden.
Dell-RogerF I'll add the folder ask to our requirements.
DELL-PeterT OK guys.
DELL-PeterT We're running low on time, so time to switch over to KACE.
DELL-PeterT We're happy to announce that we've created a new page on Dell TechCenter featuring KACE: http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/Dell+KACE+Systems+Management+Appliances
DELL-PeterT Today we have Ken from KACE to talk about KACE products. He might also talk about the announcement they had today with new features on the K1000 box:
kdrachnik Hi, Ken and Sendhil are here from the KACE Product Management team.
Dell-RogerF I appreciate the feedback or wish list requests from all of you. While it doesn’t always guarantee that a new feature comes to life, it does prioritize what we're already working on to deliver first.
kdrachnik Our vision at Dell KACE is to provide an appliance-based approach to systems management to save time for systems administration professionals, while saving money for their companies. The Dell KACE Family of Systems Management Appliances are easy-to-use, comprehensive and affordable and fulfill the systems management needs of organizations of all sizes, from initial computer deployment to ongoing management and retirement. KACE Appliances are available as both physical and virtual appliances.
kdrachnik We have just updated the K1000 Systems Management Appliance with a new compliance scanner that helps you improve endpoint security by verifying systems are configured according to security policies. This is especially important for systems that connect to the U.S. Government—they need to comply with the new FDCC configuration requirements.
kdrachnik And, we have updated our free virtualized secure browser for Firefox. This simplifies the deployment of a virtualized, contained browser that can be completely isolated from your base system. If the browser gets corrupted or infected, you can easily reset it without any impact to your underlying OS.
kdrachnik Here is a link to a story about our recent release: http://www.mspmentor.net/2011/01/25/dell-kace-takes-lid-off-federally-compliant-rmm-appliance/.
kdrachnik We have quite a few short videos on KACE on YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/user/kboxbykace.
DELL-PeterT Take a look at Ken's like at MSPmentor.
DELL-PeterT It has similar information.
szlevi OK.
kdrachnik We also announced an update to our K2000 Systems Deployment Appliance last month.
kdrachnik The K2000 released was focused on features to help automate Windows 7 migrations.
kdrachnik And we added Dell driver feeds to our appliances so that when you upgrade systems, the drivers automatically upgrade.
szlevi That sounds great.
DELL-PeterT Szlevi: Do you currently use KACE products?
sendhil Yup, provisioning multiple hardware configurations is one of the big challenges in systems deployment.
szlevi I'm in the process of getting one.
sendhil Great to hear!
sendhil The K1000/ K2000, or both, szlevi?
DELL-PeterT So Ken, can you tell us a little bit about what the typical KACE customer is like?
szlevi K1000.
kdrachnik We have about 2,300 customers, and most range from 100 to 10,000 systems.
sendhil And in terms of the user, we cater to the “IT Generalist,” an administrator forced to wear multiple hats.
kdrachnik We do have some that are in excess of 60,000 systems, and for those they use multiple boxes.
sendhil By optimizing the entire systems management lifecycle, we make IT staffs more efficient than what their numbers might dictate.
sendhil In terms of differences, between the K1000 and K2000.
sendhil The K1000 focuses on ongoing management activities, like software distribution, inventory management, patching and service desk.
sendhil The K2000 focuses on the initial deployment of the operating system.
sendhil The chart here describes the differences well.
DELL-PeterT sendhil: Do most customers use the K1000 and K2000 together?
sendhil Check out the graphic here: http://www.kace.com/products/overview/.
sendhil Yes, a majority of our appliances sold are involved in a bundle deal.
sendhil They make for a great 1-2 punch. :)
DELL-PeterT So to the community members on the chat, have you guys heard much about KACE before?
sendhil The products really strike an optimal balance between being comprehensive and easy to use, something that's very challenging in this space.
sendhil An effective systems management solution can result in some great time and money savings for an IT organization.
sendhil Our software metering feature alone allowed one customer to get a return on their investment through the savings realized.
sendhil Software metering allows you to gauge software usage.
szlevi It’s been mentioned on the Spiceworks board. ;)
sendhil Haha.
sendhil Spiceworks has a few things going for it.
sendhil It's free.
sendhil But we actually don't consider them a competitor.
szlevi It lacks software distribution and patching completely.
erson I think I haven't really got the idea behind KACE yet. Not sure why.
sendhil They don't provide nearly the same level of optimization that we do.
sendhil Exactly, thanks szlevi.
sendhil There are a number of open source solutions out there.
szlevi But it's a very nice inventory and auditing pack.
szlevi And their HelpDesk is getting better every release.
erson Seems like it's competing with SCCM, SCE and even DCM.
sendhil But you have to ask yourself what the total cost of ownership of those products will be.
sendhil SCCM, LANDesk and Altiris are our main competitors.
DELL-PeterT So before we close out…
szlevi Eww, I use SCE and it's simply Pita.
DELL-PeterT We want to mention that on Feb 22, 2011, we are planning a KACE-specific chat.
DELL-PeterT So you have time to do some research before then and come back with your questions at that time.
szlevi KACE K1000 for me = GPOs + WSUs + in-house updaters + Spiceworks + SCE, rolled into one device.
DELL-PeterT Thanks for your feedback szlevi—it's always good to hear from customers.
kdrachnik Thanks all!
DELL-Warren_B Thanks all!
DELL-PeterT And as a reminder, the chat will be archived, so come back in a few days if you want to read through what was discussed today.
DELL-Warren_B If you have additional questions you can catch us on Twitter through Dell TechCenter.
DELL-Warren_B @warrenatdell.
Dell-KongY What’s next week? :)
erson Being an MS partner, I have most of the SC products for nearly free, so maybe that's why anything that costs money seems less interesting than it would have been otherwise.
kdrachnik Free is good!
szlevi erson: Yeah, but you need to invest some serious hours to make them work—that's money too. :D
sendhil Thanks folks.
erson szlevi: That is very true, but I would probably need to invest hours into KACE as well.
sendhil Appreciate everyone's feedback and thoughts.
szlevi erson: Don’t worry, they charge you for four hour training upfront—it’s part of the price.
sendhil Rapid deployment and a quick learning curve.
sendhil Smooth sailing. :)
DELL-PeterT Thanks for joining everyone.
DELL-PeterT erson and szlevi: Thanks for the great questions.
szlevi Thanks for the quick replies.
DELL-PeterT :)
erson Register for cost comparison on the KACE website.
szlevi Bye now.
DELL-Warren_B Next week we'll be talking about “Layered Security and Security Services.” See you then!
Dell-KongY http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/02-01-11+Dell+at+VMware+Partner+Exchange+2011
erson Interesting.
Dell-KongY Thanks everyone! Peace!
erson Wonder if PowerConnect J-SRX-series is included in layered security.
DELL-Warren_B Erson: I guess you will have to join next week's chat to find out! :)
erson Warren_b: I can surely pester you guys on Twitter until you tell me. :)
erson Ah well, time to hit the hay, bye all.
DELL-PeterT :) Goodnight.
DELL-PeterT Goodbye everyone, thanks again.