Windows Intune:Cloud management
The problem with enterprise-class software is that you need an enterprise-class IT department to run it. For small businesses, many useful features of Windows Enterprise edition are too expensive to use. The PC's in the smaller organizations are thus managed inefficiently with inconsistent results and thus the burden on IT-Staff increases to clean up messes that could have been avoided with more consistent management.So as an cheaper alternative, Microsoft has launched a product(beta version) which offers some of those enterprise-grade features in a subscription-based package aimed at businesses with 25 to 500 PCs. Well the service is not free and beta was available earlier that you could have installed.
Windows already has many online products like Microsoft Live Doc,BPOS(Business Productivity Online Suite) , Exchange, SharePoint, Office Live Meeting etc.. The new cloud based Intune service is a feather on its cap.which allows you to manage and secure PC's remotely.Windows Intune has a web based console which is powered by Microsoft SiverLight, gathers information from client PCs with the help of a small stack of Windows Intune software modules. Client should have atleast the business editions of Windows: XP Professional sp2, Vista, or Windows 7 Professional. It has both 32bit and 64 bit support..
From the web console one can:
1.View the overall system configuration(Hardware & software),information about drivers and devices installed,overall memory and disk usage of each computer from anywhere(just need internet connection).
2.Make your computer free of Viruses by Windows Intune Malware Protection engine.
3.Manage updates and install software on each client PC's.
4.Provide Remote Assistance to the clients.
.When it launches officially(paid version), users will also gain access to Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack ,including diagnosis tools and the actualization capabilities.Now beta version is closed but when installing the version the system clock should be properly synchronized with NTP..The Windows Intune web console runs in any browser like chromre,opera,firefox,Safari and IE(7&8).A System overview page shows any tasks that need to be completed as well as overall system status for all the Pcs. The Silverlight should be installed for the web console to work.From the Computers pane, you can view and manage your Pc's softwares and updates.Each PC's will report regularly its status to the Intune Console.The Updates console provides list of available updates and gives the user to search,filter ,decline or approve them individually or collectively.You can also get the list of softwares installed in each of the Pc's.Alerts are available in just about every console view. A consolidated Alerts dashboard makes it easy for admins to identify issues that require immediate attention.
Windows Intune Tools option on the Programs menu has these choices:
1.Windows Update(For viewing & managing your update across different PC's)
2.Windows Intune Malware Protection(For protecting computers from viruses.)
3.Easy assist(For Providing remote assistance).
Features Lacking from Windows Intune:
* No third party software integration..
* There’s no backup option at all. If a subscriber is also using hosted versions of Exchange and SharePoint, their e-mail and and data files stored in SharePoint are covered. But I would hope some sort of online backup and synchronization option for important local files will be available by the time this product ships.
*The service is not free.