In Tune subscription price.
Windows InTune manages
Microsoft Update requests and
endpoint protection from malware,
and reports on the software that is
installed on managed systems. It is
hosted by Microsoft and accessed
via the Internet as a cloud service.
The product depends on a client
agent that must be installed on each
user system. InTune can be used
on Windows XP with Service Pack 2
and newer Windows PC systems.
In addition to providing Microsoft
Updates and malware protection,
Windows In Tune gathers
information to provide
along with the software
installed on managed systems. All this information
is sent with alerts and
reports that are available to
desktop administrators via
a Web logon to the service.
How Windows In Tune
When I tested Windows
In Tune, I started with a late beta version and converted to the shipping
version. I used a variety of desktop,
laptop and virtual systems running
in eWEEK Labs' VMware vSphere
test environment. ( Windows In Tune
does not support Mac or Linux systems or mobile devices.)
PC management platforms usually start with mapping out where
the supporting server infrastructure will be installed. Traditional
PC management tools are generally
built with a central command center
that is connected to remote office
depot and distribution points to keep
repetitive traffic off the WAN. All of
that is gone with Windows In Tune.
Although the traditional hassle
of setting up the supporting server
infrastructure is thankfully missing
from this product, there is the matter
of installing the client and enroll-
ing the managed PCs. Because the
Windows In Tune client depends on
an account-specific certificate file,
care must be taken that the two files
are deployed together and present
when installed on the user system.
During my tests, I installed the
Windows In Tune client on systems
that already had an endpoint protection system in place. As would be standard practice when replacing existing antivirus systems, I followed the
installation directions and removed
the other antivirus system before
installing this product. This is no
small task, and IT managers should
factor the time and trouble involved
into the overall cost of deploying the
service into an existing fleet.
The Windows In Tune agents are
downloaded from the subscription
Web page. Once installed, the service
worked well on my systems. My
physical and virtual client systems
reported in to the Windows In Tune
service without a hitch.
Because the Windows InTune
client comes with the account
information, there is no user configuration required as there usually
is with traditional management
systems. The client comes with a
certificate file that ensures that the
PC agent can connect and report
only to the authorized Windows
In Tune account.
There are two types of administrators that can be associated with
a Windows In Tune account: tenant
and service. The tenant is the overall
manager, and the service account is
used for day-to-day operations. This
is the area where I would like to see
Microsoft make significant enhancements in future versions.
As it stood, I was able to create ser-
vice accounts, but I was unable to limit
those accounts to groups of users or to
specific actions. Thus, administrators
in this first version of Windows In Tune
have too-broad powers.
On the upside, the sys-
tem has rudimentary noti-
fication rules that can send
service alerts to the right
person. Windows In Tune
comes with 380 preconfig-
ured alert types that cover a
broad range of malware and
endpoint system problems.
I associated alerts with
various system administra-
tors so that security admins
were alerted when security
problems were reported by the man-
aged system. Likewise, I configured
system alerts about failed software
installations or high disk utilization
to be routed to the help desk.
A number of basic reports are also
provided with the Windows In Tune ser-
vice. Updates, software and licensing
data can be used to show basic system
configuration on managed systems.
I expect that as the service matures,
more reports and more control over
custom reporting will become available so that system managers can get
detailed information on their fleets. «
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR CAMERON STURDEVANT
CAN BE REACHED AT CSTURDEVANT@
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topic, go to EWEEK.COM.
This alert appeared on the end-user system as a result of
Windows In Tune protection.