• 5 Ways Automation Eases Software Deployment

    Pressures on IT budgets are demanding ever more efficiency from managers and teams, even as the complexity of software deployments expands across the increasingly diverse landscape of devices in enterprise settings. Fortunately, device makers are responding with tools that make automated software deployment a viable option that can simplify management for large enterprise systems.

    Accuracy in managing licenses is more important than ever, too. The penalties for breaching licenses are too big to ignore, and automation can help eliminate those costly human errors that can show up in increasingly common audits. The ease of implementing an automated distribution scheme, combined with the productivity benefits and increased focus on license compliance make it clearer than ever that the old way of managing software deployments is fading fast. These are just five ways that automation is making IT manager’s lives easier.

    Benefits of Automating Distribution

    1. Like machines can be grouped together. Distributions can be grouped according to predefined user-groups within the organization, with specific installation profiles set for each one. Every group can receive the OS, patch or disk image that fits their particular requirements, all pushed out simultaneously. Some systems will even allow rules and shell scripts to be run alongside preset deployment tasks.
    2. Self-serve systems let users customize installation. By letting end users select and download from among approved programs, a huge number of help requests can be eliminated at the source. Then, staff can concentrate their time and attention on truly thorny problems that are beyond automation’s reach.
    3. Remote machines can be targeted, too. A huge amount of savings can be found in eliminating excessive travel, shipping and personnel costs associated with serving machines at remote locations. And with an increasing number of VPN devices, secure remote software deployment is more important than ever. These can be grouped just like machines within the main network, receiving patches and updates without the need for physical attention to each machine.
    4. Multiple tasks can be installed consecutively. Limiting downtime requires not just that deployments happen quickly, but that they happen infrequently. Secondary interruptions can be kept to a minimum when OS installation, disk images and individual user states all happen consecutively.

    Machines can wake for after-hours deployment. The decreased downtime during peak productivity hours makes implementing overnight Windows software distribution extremely attractive. The ability to wake machines allows you to perform updates without missing machines because they are asleep or even turned off.

    David works with Dell Kace on automated software deployment and Windows software distribution.  He enjoys writing about technology, computers and saving money.

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