SCCM 2012 vs Zenworks vs LANDesk vs Altiris other?

discount81discount81 Member Posts: 213
I have experience with older SMS management, but not SCCM 2012, I recently installed it in my lab and have been going through the CBT Nuggets videos for it.

In my opinion CA DSM Unicenter (or whatever it is called now I can't keep up with CA products now that I don't use them) is a superior product, however it is out of the question due to price and probably better suited for huge enterprise.
The company I am looking at this for is about 500 users, around 10 sites all across America and remote users, personally I think SCCM may be overkill and too expensive.

I am interested to hear peoples honest opinions from using these products themselves as of course vendors are telling me their product is the best product on the market.

Personally I like the look and price of Dell KACE, however I previously brought this product up last year and the response was luke warm.

(sorry I just realized I posted this in the wrong forum, if someone could move it to off topic please)
http://www.darvilleit.com - a blog I write about IT and technology.

Comments

  • ppedronppedron Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Our company is contracting considerably on these hard times. So I had to make sure we were using the correct tools for the job at the most effective price. My study was between SCCM 2012, Novell ZCM 11, LANDesk, Altiris and DELL KACE.
    Company-employees 3300, workstations 2800, servers 200 physical & 200+ virtual, 85 sites on various connections (T1, Dialup, DSL, to fiber)
    Primary goal - Give technician a solution to allow them to effectively do their job in a timely fashion that didn't require alot of administration.
    Though the vendors above give similar functionality, we also tested against the easability of use, navigation in the UI and automation

    Functions required - In house database (Oracle) connectivity, good vendor support. Remote manage (encrypted, & ability to share same screen), Patch Management, Multiple OS (Windows, Linux, OSX), Imaging primarily Windows (and Linux), Application deployment (install, launch, uninstall w/self heal, license compliance), device discovery, inventory, Location Awareness, Power management, Windows GPO policy enforcement, Reporting and Profile migration. Ability to allow different technicians rights and rules to control just thier environment or the whole environment (scaleability).

    Functions optional - Application Virtualization (including server streaming), EndPoint Security Policies (VPN enforcement, Application Control (white/black lists), Data Encryption (USB, File, Folder, Drive), Asset Management System for license tracking, compliance, contract management w/document store.

    Through consulting the vendors - who knew we were doing the study against eachother receiving quotes and comparison sheets on features and functionality. We threw up a couple competing vendor products in isolated networks that fulfilled our requiremenst closest testing the most commonly needed functions.

    As if pricing wasn't compelling enough, the intuitive UI, scaleability, integration, ease of installation, ease of configuration, ease of use - hands down was Novell ZENworks Configuration Management 11.2.x. And by-the-way the support has been spot on.

    Definitely the right choice for our organization.
  • ClaymooreClaymoore Member Posts: 1,637
    Full disclosure - I work for a Microsoft partner and we have a large System Center practice. Just wanted you to know up front that I am biased. Most of my experience with the other system management vendors has been ripping them out and replacing them with MS. Or else it has been getting another piece of MS tech to try and work with these vendors when it would have been much easier if we had System Center instead, OS deployment in particular.

    One of the advantages we have in a compete process is licensing. If you have and Enterprise Agreement (which I doubt you do because of your size) you already get client licenses as part of the core CAL. We also leverage how you buy System Center. If you want to buy 2 of the products, it's about the price of buying the entire System Center suite - ConfigMgr, OpsMgr, ServiceMgr, Orchestrator, VMM, and DPM. Since Forefront is also part of the core CAL, that's a lot of separate licenses that you can be rid of.

    A full system center suite would be a lot of complexity for a smaller shop, although I have seen shops smaller than yours implement the full SC stack. Windows Intune would be an option for workstation and mobile device management. I didn't see you mention the need to manage servers.
  • ZartanasaurusZartanasaurus Member Posts: 2,008 ■■■■■■■■□□
    ppedron wrote: »
    Our company is contracting considerably on these hard times. So I had to make sure we were using the correct tools for the job at the most effective price. My study was between SCCM 2012, Novell ZCM 11, LANDesk, Altiris and DELL KACE.
    Company-employees 3300, workstations 2800, servers 200 physical & 200+ virtual, 85 sites on various connections (T1, Dialup, DSL, to fiber)
    Primary goal - Give technician a solution to allow them to effectively do their job in a timely fashion that didn't require alot of administration.
    Though the vendors above give similar functionality, we also tested against the easability of use, navigation in the UI and automation

    Functions required - In house database (Oracle) connectivity, good vendor support. Remote manage (encrypted, & ability to share same screen), Patch Management, Multiple OS (Windows, Linux, OSX), Imaging primarily Windows (and Linux), Application deployment (install, launch, uninstall w/self heal, license compliance), device discovery, inventory, Location Awareness, Power management, Windows GPO policy enforcement, Reporting and Profile migration. Ability to allow different technicians rights and rules to control just thier environment or the whole environment (scaleability).

    Functions optional - Application Virtualization (including server streaming), EndPoint Security Policies (VPN enforcement, Application Control (white/black lists), Data Encryption (USB, File, Folder, Drive), Asset Management System for license tracking, compliance, contract management w/document store.

    Through consulting the vendors - who knew we were doing the study against eachother receiving quotes and comparison sheets on features and functionality. We threw up a couple competing vendor products in isolated networks that fulfilled our requiremenst closest testing the most commonly needed functions.

    As if pricing wasn't compelling enough, the intuitive UI, scaleability, integration, ease of installation, ease of configuration, ease of use - hands down was Novell ZENworks Configuration Management 11.2.x. And by-the-way the support has been spot on.

    Definitely the right choice for our organization.
    How would you rank the other 3?
    Currently reading:
    IPSec VPN Design 44%
    Mastering VMWare vSphere 5​ 42.8%
  • sratakhinsratakhin Member Posts: 818
    Claymoore, is it worth the time to implement and learn SCCM, if I work for a small college with less than 200 employees?
    I think we have an enterprise agreement with Microsoft, so we might be able to get it for free.
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    As someone that was a former Altiris administrator for many years and it paid very well, there was a reason. Symantec took the product and completely changed it around and in my humble opinion, for the worse. While they attempted to unify all their products into it, it made it very bloated. It was not very intuitive and administering it was a full time job if you did anything such as software auditing and metering. You better know how to dig through SQL and write queries. Their reporting tools got better, but nothing compared to just hitting the DB and banging it out yourself. Not to mention is extremely expensive. However, there was not one thing that I couldn't do with the tool from a desktop management perspective. My last project involved reimaging ~1400 computers on just weekends during a span of 3.5 months. And it did it swimmingly well, but I had to build a process that I tested for nearly a year before we actually did it. There was that many moving parts. But it could do all of them and made that project go really well.

    I tried to be as middle of the road as I could. If you have specific questions, just ask.
  • MichaelScottMichaelScott Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    As I've worked with both SCCM and LANDesk, I think it may be useful for you to post my thoughts about both products,
    SCCM can become quite complex if you choose to install multiple servers with roles. SCCM 2007 allowed extreme hierarchies which could become confusing. SCCM 2012 however is far more straight-forward and easy to implement, even with multiple locations. SCCM 2012 has some great improvements in Application Management (much better than LANDesk nowadays). The SCCM client is still one of the weaknesses; it still relies on WMI which may cause some headaches. However, it has improved a lot since the latest version, so I think it's as (un)reliable as the LANDesk agent :)
    LANDesk is cheaper in some situations (depending on your EA, if any). It's also easier to implement since there's no real hierarchy/roles per server to define :) Software deployment (push) is superquick and works well. However, if you mainly use Microsoft OS on your systems, I would recommend SCCM (even if it's a little bit more expensive). SCCM integrates perfectly into Windows systems, os deployment and patch management (although sometimes complex) are one click ahead.
    The (G)UI of SCCM is predictable, especially when you're used to other Microsoft products like Office, Dynamics or VMM.

    Take a look at this article, which describes some features of LANDesk and SCCM: SCCM 2012 vs LANDesk 9.0 SP3
  • esolutionsesolutions Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    discount81 wrote: »
    I have experience with older SMS management, but not SCCM 2012, I recently installed it in my lab and have been going through the CBT Nuggets videos for it.

    In my opinion CA DSM Unicenter (or whatever it is called now I can't keep up with CA products now that I don't use them) is a superior product, however it is out of the question due to price and probably better suited for huge enterprise.
    The company I am looking at this for is about 500 users, around 10 sites all across America and remote users, personally I think SCCM may be overkill and too expensive.

    I am interested to hear peoples honest opinions from using these products themselves as of course vendors are telling me their product is the best product on the market.

    Personally I like the look and price of Dell KACE, however I previously brought this product up last year and the response was luke warm.

    (sorry I just realized I posted this in the wrong forum, if someone could move it to off topic please)

    We have deployed SCCM, Altiris and Zenworks at various clients, large medium and small

    And we find that ZCM is the best for all sizes.

    We have ZCM installed in 180000 user district school board and performed WinXp to Win7 deployments using MS tools to build image and ZCM to deploy...very easy

    done 30,000 user City government.

    65 user law firm

    150 user health unit

    3000 user Hydro Utility

    And to point out for both the 180000 user and 30000 user they had purchased SCCM and tried to deploy it via a Pilot with a "leading" MS SCCM partner. We came in fixed the SCCM pilot and we convinced them to do a second pilot with ZCM at no cost and they were REALLY impressed. And ZCM was deployed fully at both when they saw the power, ease and flexibility.

    Anyway thats my two cents

    Thanks for listening and good luck!
  • MrNetTekMrNetTek 41 certificate exams, 51 training certificates, and a bachelor's and master’s degree. Member Posts: 100 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The simple answer is, learn them all as required. None of them are that great once scaled...which has a lot to do with poor administration, turn-over rate, lack of training, etc. I've been doing this job for 19+ years, and I can say none of them are better or worse, especially if scaled to 25 or more sites. The administration is a nightmare, you'll have sync issues, gateway issues, saturation issues, hash code issues, domain controller issues, AD issues, and the list goes on forever. I have many deployment management suites under my belt: including SMS 2003, SCCM 2007, 2010, 2012, LANDesk 8-9.5, Altiris, Spiceworks, Zenworks, Prism (by New Boundaries), homemade solutions, etc. If I had to pick and choose, I like SCCM and LANDesk the best...but it is about the same as saying, "Pick your poison." If you're having to choose one right now to do a site installation, choose which ever one offers the best support for the cheapest price; that's my recommendation.
  • dandirkdandirk Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    My personal opinion, based on working in a ZCM 2k node environment and SCCM 07/12 8k node environment...

    From mostly an application deployment and management based view; ZCM is hands down better... better then 07 easily and 2012 while improved still imo misses key areas...

    My big issue with SCCM is app deployment, it just sucks to deploy applications with SCCM. 07 you had to build objectchains, which was also tied specifically to the object... wanted a slightly different chain? Duplicate ALL the objects in the chain... Or use TS which has it own problems (but honestly TS should have just been improved).

    2012 improves a lot on app management by organizing by "application", but as always MS breaks under it's own complexity. Dependency lists with requirements is a big step forward but what about post app actions? Then you get into priorities of deployment types combined with dependencies and it can become a real mess real fast requiring you to white board the whole damn deployment to figure it out. SCCM deployment would be 100x better if the deployment was just a straight list... do cmd 1 then cmd 2 etc... while allowing requirements to skip steps if wanted (aka 32/64). I will say the supersede feature of upgrade management is freaking cool though. MS also tried with the catalog and software center, again too fancy... pick one and run with it MS. Our tech's AND users get confused by what the differences are.

    ZCM's HUGE strength in app deployment is its simplicity AND flexibility... I can logically list as many steps as I need to the deployment, they are easy to follow... the deployment goes down the list and that's it. At the time I used it they only had requirements for the package, but you could flag steps to continue on failure which worked ok but I would rather have had requirements for each "step". They to add more flexibility they add the ability to create list of steps for not only install but uninstall, repair, AND launch (if using the NAL window). These are very powerful in fixing problems on the fly or adjusting deployments without creating even more issues...

    Complex deployments with SCCM is a pain... ZCM very simple.

    Another HUGE issue I have with SCCM is the desktop client... With 07 WMI corruption issues caused more failures in deployments then most any other factor. 2012, the client is supposed to be better but I find it to be slow, unreliable and just a pain to use. Not something I am excited about, we have a ton more things to worry about then deployment client issues. The client should be rock solid and I am finding that while 2012 doesn't hose a complete system like 07 issues did there are more smaller annoying problems with it.

    ZCM client... always was pretty rock solid... sure there were common cases of a client getting hosed but not to the level of 07 wmi corruption... It updated fast and was pretty solid... a+

    ZCM was week with bandwidth/network management when I used it. They did have easy satellite servers which could be your standard workstation we would install in each local network closet... but compared to MS bits, it was lacking. We did have to create special rules for large deployments on wireless networks etc that was our biggest complain with ZCM... network throttling.
  • N2ITN2IT Inactive Imported Users Posts: 7,483 ■■■■■■■■■■
    I found working with SCCM far more enjoyable that Altiris. Of course I never configured it or really managed it. But I have reported from SCCM and deployed packages and it was a nice tool. Altiris wasn't terrible but it seemed a lot more clunky and the reporting wasn't there. (I'm no expert)
  • QHaloQHalo Member Posts: 1,488
    Altiris has reporting, unfortunately you needed to be a DBA to be able to get anything useful out of it. I spent most of my days in SMS writing queries on data because it was easier than using their interface. Symantec really killed that product.
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