What's New in ZCM 11?

By Donna Moyer

January 5th is the expected release date for the much-anticipated ZCM 11. Read on to find out some of the great new features you can look forward to!

Endpoint Security Management Integration: Several years ago, Novell purchased the current Endpoint Security Management product. This product required a stand-alone installation and a separate agent on each desktop. With the release of ZCM 11, the product is fully integrated into the ZCM primary server and managed via the ZENworks Control Console. The necessary client-side functionality has been integrated into the ZEN agent.

Endpoint Security Management allows for the configuration of policies to protect devices when they are not on the network. The concept of locations allows IT administrators to define firewall behavior, wireless card availability, and security and USB port accessibility based on the location of the device. So, for example, policies may be configured to lend more security to a device when it is attached to an airport wireless network and less when attached to the end-user's home network which is behind a wireless router.

Linux Management: Another piece of the ZENworks line which required a separate server and management interface was ZENworks Linux Management. This product has also been integrated into ZCM 11. And while you may not be deploying Linux desktops, this is good news for IT administrators who have Macs in their midst (or are anticipating their arrival). While not currently supported, the ZCM 11 roadmap calls for Mac support in a future patch release. This integration is a first step in that process.

Both products listed above will be available to customers licensing the Enterprise version as well as in various new bundles that Novell is making available.

Core Product Enhancements:

  • Sandbox - A bundle or policy can now be created as a sandbox. The sandbox version is only available to workstations and users that have been flagged as "test" machines. After all changes or configurations have been tested on these machines, the sandbox can be published to the production environment. So, for example, if you have a lab of 30 machines, 2 can be designated as test. The application or policy set up as a sandbox can be assigned to the whole group, but will only be deployed to the test machines. After testing is complete, the application or policy can be changed from sandbox to published and will be assigned to all machines in the lab. This capability is very convenient for testing new applications or policies or making changes to existing ones.
  • Location Awareness - The concept of locations is a necessary addition to ZCM to support Endpoint Security Management. However, it is also now available in the core product (replacing closest server rules) to be sure that traveling users receive their applications and policies from the correct server or not at all if the connection type is not robust.
  • ZENworks Virtual Appliance - Novell now provides a downloadable virtual appliance for the quick deployment of primary servers. A wizard allows you to get this device up and running swiftly in your environment. If you have not upgraded to ZCM yet, this appliance is a great way to get a test environment up and running quickly.
    We are very excited about the changes in this latest ZCM release. The product has truly matured and we have many customers working on ZCM deployments in order to get ready for Windows 7. If you have not started your migration to ZCM, now is the time to start!

© Copyright 2011, Uptime NetManagement, Inc.

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About the Author:
Donna Moyer is Principal/Senior Network Consultant of Uptime NetManagement, Inc. (http://www.uptimenmi.com/). Uptime is a Novell Gold Solutions partner providing technology solutions, customized training, and consulting services. If you are interested in finding out exactly what Novell can do for your business, or are seeking to maximize the benefits from your current Novell systems, call us today at 610-621-1244!