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A Network Machine Management System
Out of the box, Win32 machines lack the ability to be efficiently managed. It is up to an administrator to implement some form of system management. For many administrators with relatively small networks this means walking from machine to machine to install new software or check to see how many CDROM drives exist on the computer. Considering the sheer size of some networks it becomes a nightmare to do something such as deploying an updated driver or service pack. Even a simple task as discovering which computers have enough free hard drive space for a software upgrade can take many hours of an administration teams time.
To be sure, this is not an isolated problem. It is ubiquitous enough to create a market where there are several commercial products available to help administrators manage this issue. Microsoft’s Systems Management Service (SMS) is one example. However a product such as this can become quite time consuming just to maintain the system as well as costly for full licensing.
With a little bit of forethought administrators can implement a simple and efficient system for performing the same functionality as a full-blown SMS implementation. By using off-the-shelf products and some of Win32’s standard services a network of almost any size can be managed.
This paper provides a case study on one particular implementation.