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Middlebury

KACE FAQ

Revision as of 12:43, 6 November 2013 by Nathan Burt (talk | contribs)

Dell KACE FAQ

Can I participate in the pilot phase of KACE deployment?

All computer management with KACE will be voluntary during the pilot phase (which started in June, 2013). Please notify the helpdesk if you would like to participate. You may also contact Nate Burt, Zach Schuetz, Brian Foley, or Lisa Terrier directly if you have any questions or concerns.

Why did the college purchase KACE?

Software updates and patching: Many computers on campus have no primary user or may have multiple users who share them. In such an environment, there is often no one regularly available who has permission to maintain software updates and verify the healthy operation of the computer, let alone install additional software as needed. The result is numerous computers that may fall into disrepair and be vulnerable to viruses and other security threats. Similarly, there are a variety of applications installed on our computers that require updating; knowing what to update is a challenge and ignoring updates leaves the computer vulnerable to viruses and other malware. KACE can simplify matters by identifying critical updates that are not installed on managed systems, and installing them.

Software installation: KACE can also be used to install selected software titles automatically on specified computers. This will simplify the installation process when preparing new or re-imaged computers, as well as when customers request additional software and the computer is in their possession. The college purchased a similar product called Casper for Mac computer management in 2011. This tool has proven extremely beneficial for the timely delivery of software installations on Macs in labs as well as on faculty and staff computers.

Computer imaging: LIS also uses KACE to load or restore the Windows operating system and related drivers and software to new computers or replacement hard drives. KACE is a Dell product, with excellent integration for Dell branded hardware and support for non-Dell hardware.

How does KACE work?

LIS installs the Dell KACE "agent" on managed computers. KACE includes a service (background program) that has permission to install applications and updates, even if the computer is logged out, or if the logged-in user has limited permissions.

Will KACE interfere with the use of my computer? Will the computer reboot without my permission?

Guidelines for the use of KACE by LIS staff stipulate that installations of applications will be made at the request of the end users and may be cancelled at the time of installation. (Public lab computers will not have prompts for software installations; they will happen automatically.) Software updates that have been thoroughly tested, or are critical in nature, may be applied without the option to cancel, but notice of such updates will be provided. If a reboot is required to complete an installation or patching process, there will be an option to postpone the reboot until a more convenient time.

Does KACE allow LIS to see what I am doing on my computer?

KACE does not monitor or report your activities, except as required for the software to function. For example, KACE does have an inventory component with information about the hardware and software installed on a computer. This is necessary for it to deliver reliable installations. This information is not used by LIS for any purposes other than providing timely and reliable assistance with the operation of your computer and maintaining compliance with software licensing. KACE does not provide real-time data about the applications in use on the computer, nor any visibility into the data stored on the computer. LIS abides by the Responsible Use policy for computing resources, and the related privacy policy.

How can I use KACE to have software installed on my computer?

Simply submit a software installation request online, including the "Property of Middlebury College" number of the computer and the name and version of the software you need. If your request is approved and the installation is one that LIS can offer with KACE, we will enable that installation for your computer and notify you. The next time your computer checks in to see what installations are available (approximately every 2 hours), you will be prompted to install that software via a pop-up dialog box in the lower right corner of your screen. If the timing is not convenient, you may postpone the install. If you opt to continue, the software should install "silently" in the background and notify you when it is complete. Similarly, if the installation requires a reboot to complete, you may postpone that as well, and continue when you are ready.