ScriptLogic has shipped a new imaging tool designed to aid corporate users in rolling out new software to their desktops and servers.
Desktop Authority Image Center helps plug a hole in the line up of ScriptLogic's range of desktop lifecycle management tools. In addition to the imaging software, the company also updated its installer software with the 3.5 versions of Desktop Authority MSI Studio and Desktop Authority MSI Studio Pro.
Image Center is focused on the customization and deployment of hard disk images that include operating system, patches, service packs and applications. It includes centralized management and the ability to distribute images to either a single machine or a group of machines simultaneously.
"The actual client side interface is pretty smooth and very simple to use," says Brian Davis, IT support services supervisor for financial services firm First Southwest. "There is no command line or anything like that to worry about making, no boot disk to worry about making no network driver you have to worry about finding, works great on a PXE boot, and is very simple for an entry level technician to use."
Davis has been beta testing Image Center prior to launch by rolling out Windows XP Pro to desktops from a variety of manufacturers, including HP and IBM.
Image Center also has multiple options for image deployment, including bootable media, a Pre-boot Execution Environment and support for alternate Hardware Abstraction Layers and storage drivers. In addition, the software includes bandwidth control features and supports the deployment of multiple image deployment servers. Once the image is deployed, users can change configurations such as domain memberships, network settings, and computer names.
Microsoft is developing a collection of deployment and imaging tools called Windows Automated Installation Kit (WAIK). The kit includes System Image Manager and Windows Deployment Services. Together, the tools let users create and edit OS images and deploy them to desktops using the new Windows Imaging Files (WIM). WAIK also includes Windows Pre-installation Environment 2.0, a foundation tool for aiding in final deployment of the OS.
But the tools are focused on Vista while Desktop Authority Image Center is compatible with operating systems all the way back to Windows 98.
With Desktop Authority MSI Studio, ScriptLogic has added zero-touch testing, which simulates MSI package creation and installation before final deployment and conflict detection and resolution, which finds problems before MSI packages are released.
Desktop Authority Image Center is priced starting at US$15 per seat. Desktop Authority MSI Studio is US$399 and the Pro version is US$799.