- 1 What is Dell KACE?
- 2 Why did the college purchase KACE?
- 3 How does KACE work?
- 4 Will KACE interfere with the use of my computer? Will the computer reboot without my permission?
- 5 Does KACE allow ITS to see what I am doing on my computer?
- 6 How can I use KACE to have software installed on my computer?
- 7 Does KACE update all of the applications on my computer?
- 8 Can I control what gets updated?
What is Dell KACE?
Dell KACE is a suite of applications and servers that provide a broad range of computer management tools including imaging (loading operating system and applications in one automated process), software installation, and patching (updating applications from a variety of software vendors including Microsoft, Adobe, and Oracle (Java)).
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: ITS 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?
ITS 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 ITS 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 ITS to see what I am doing on my computer?
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 ITS 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.
Does KACE update all of the applications on my computer?
KACE will update select applications currently installed on your computer with recent patches to your existing versions. It will not upgrade these applications to a newer version. KACE may be used to patch Microsoft, Adobe, Apple and Java applications installed on Windows computers. The updater for each application may still be running in addition to KACE patching, giving you the option to get updates through that means as well.
Can I control what gets updated?
One major purpose of KACE is to keep computers up-to-date and protected. There may be applications that will not work with the latest patches; this does not mean the patches are faulty. If you receive updates via KACE that you do not want, please notify the Helpdesk, providing the Midd number of the computer and the application that updated.