Kace Promises Easier Windows 7 Migration With New Appliances

KACE has unveiled a new release of its KBox line of systems management and deployment management appliances that the company said eases the migration, deployment and ongoing management of Windows 7.

"We give them the tools, at an affordable price and quick time-to-value, to get them to Windows 7 quickly," said Seann Gardiner, senior director of channel development at Kace. "The market clearly needs a Windows 7 migration solution."

About 75 percent of the vendor's sales are made through the channel, and Gardiner said the appliances also provide solution providers with an effective way to upgrade their customers. "The time-to-value is strong for the channel as well," he said.

Kace's KBox appliances are targeted at small (100 to 500 employees) and mid-size (500 to 5,000 employees) companies that are generally too small -- and lack the internal IT resources -- to effectively deploy and use enterprise-scale systems management software.

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A survey of IT professionals conducted by Dimensional Research found that 83 percent of organizations are likely to migrate directly from Windows XP to Windows 7, skipping altogether the much maligned Windows Vista. But such upgrades aren't expected to be easy. Many Kace channel partners also resell Microsoft software under enterprise agreements, Gardiner said.

New capabilities in the KBox System Deployment Appliance and KBox Systems Management Appliance are designed to ease Windows 7 upgrades. The appliances, for example, help solution providers determine if a customer's desktop hardware meets the minimal requirements for Windows 7.

The KBox appliances provide a way to deploy user-specific files and settings along with applications to reduce the risk of losing user information and user preference settings during migration. They create a system image to eliminate redundant transfers when capturing, storing and deploying Windows 7 images. And they provide the capability to carry out upgrades at remote sites.

The new products also offer enhanced asset management capabilities to monitor Windows 7 software license compliance, improved patch management capabilities and the ability to avoid application conflicts with Windows 7 through application virtualization.

The KBox Systems Management Appliance is available now starting at $9,900, while the KBox System Deployment Appliance will be available on Dec. 1 starting at $4,900.