Anyone used LANDesk?

So here's the deal: The company I work for has just reverse-merged with another company and has gone public in the process. We've currently got no formal solution in place for IT asset management, no network management/patch control software and a corporate anti-virus setup we need to replace (can't go into details but we cannot stay with what we have now). I'm aware this sounds horrendous to most people and it is. It's something that's been talked about since I was hired here but no one had the time to do and we've actually managed OK without it. Now that we're public, we have compliance issues to be concerned with and people realise we need to move on this soon. I've been charged with testing various products, coming up with a recommendation and to do so sooner rather than later. Our network is all Windows, servers and clients and no, that's not changing.

I've tried a couple of products that are focused towards asset management specifically and haven't liked them. I also tried to install Symantec Altiris Suite and after spending 3 hours just trying to meet the prerequisite checks, said f*ck it and gave up. We recently were given a presentation by LANDesk and I've installed a trial version of their suite (which was the easiest install I've ever done) but haven't had the chance to do much with it yet. It claims to be an all-in-one solution that can handle asset management, patch control and delivery, remote image deployment (a big deal for us since we have 7 offices), remote control support and corporate anti-virus. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this product they'd like to share?

I saw a thread from 2009 in which a Goodjer was lambasting the product, particularly the anti-virus. LANDesk has had a couple of iterations since then (plus v10 comes out soon) so I don't know if it's changed much. Their anti-virus is now powered by Kaspersky which I know most people think highly of as a standalone product. Their management console is also confusing (all of these products are, it's hard to avoid) but has been one of the easier ones I've seen thus far. My biggest problem with the trial is the sheer amount of stuff to setup and learn is overwhelming and they give no getting started documentation whatsoever. I have a technical sales rep who offered to help but he's travelling a lot right now.

Unfortunately (and to my great frustration), this went from being on the back burner for two years to something I need to render a recommendation on very soon. Does anyone have experience with LANDesk that they'd be willing to share, good or bad? How's the asset management, patch control, remote control support, image deployment and especially the new Kaspersky powered anti-virus? Since the merger has just happened, I'm in a position to recommend things that may cost a fair amount of coin. My boss is big on centralising as much as possible but I'm not prepared to recommend a single product that does everything badly rather than 3 products with 3 consoles that cost more but do everything well. The good part is that LANDesk is a modular product so if parts of it are good and others aren't, I can pick and choose.

Any IT inclined Goodjers want to chime in with ideas? I've unfortunately been given a large task and not a large deadline so I figured I'd crowdsource parts of this. I greatly appreciate the help. Thanks all!

System Center.

OK, that aside. Keep in mind, someone (you) needs to remind management no matter what product you go with there is going to be company specific mods that need to be made/engineered that is not going to let this just be a install and go type thing.

Eezy_Bordone wrote:

System Center.

OK, that aside. Keep in mind, someone (you) needs to remind management no matter what product you go with there is going to be company specific mods that need to be made/engineered that is not going to let this just be a install and go type thing.

They've been through that with our accounting package so I don't think that's something that will scare them off. Based on my experience with LANDesk so far, I don't think a lot of custom engineering with be necessary for the setup we have. I mean, I'll be spending a bazillion hours configuring it but I don't know if much in the way of custom work will be needed. That's off of very initial impressions though.

I'm not opposed to trying System Center either. Does it match up feature wise with what LANDesk offers in terms of not only security and patch/image control but asset management as well?

System Center will do what you're talking about and if you buy two components of the 2012 version you get all of it from my understanding.

SCM - Ticketing/HD
SCOM - Proactive monitoring, can create tickets in SCM (or any other HD tool) to create tickets, emails/pages based on events.
SCCM - OS deployment, patch deployment, hardware/software inventory
SCVMM - Manage your VM infrastructure (VMWare or HyperV) in one console. Seriously awesome tool.
other components I don't have hands-on with.

From what I recall, LANDesk also has a pretty hefty annual maintenance fee. Most of the MS stuff gets rolled into an EA CAL for the workstations (if you have that sort of agreement with MS). Servers require their own licensing and aren't included like the workstation CAL.