Novell this week rolled out a tidily bundled suite of endpoint security tools under the moniker Zenworks 11. The offering is similar to those from BigFix, Altiris, LANDesk, and the like in that it aims to give IT admins a single pane of glass with which to secure and manage user systems.
Another striking similarity: Novell, like many of its rivals, appears to be ignoring popular mobile devices, such as iPhones and Android smartphones, that are cropping up in the enterprise and exposing organizations to risks.
Zenworks 11 does cover plenty of endpoint security bases. Novell has integrated four of its products -- Configuration Management, Zenworks Asset Management, Zenworks Patch Management, and Zenworks Endpoint Security Management -- in such a way that admins can perform an array of security tasks from one product and with a single agent.
Those tasks, as the product names imply, include patch management, software-license tracking, security policy creation, and system configuration across physical, virtual, and cloud environments. The package also sports location- and device-awareness, according to Novell, meaning policies can be designed to take into account who is using a particular device (such as a high-level admin or a temp employee) and in what location (such as a public wireless network at a coffee shop or the company's secure network).
According to Novell, Zenworks 11 also includes the ability to configure Windows power management settings and to perform out-of-band power management tasks using Intel vPro.
Zenworks 11 may have an advantage over some of its rivals in that it does both Windows and Linux devices, including laptops and netbooks. It also provides security for portable drives, such as thumb drives and MP3s, that could be used to swipe large amounts of sensitive data.
Absent, however, is support of any kind for mobile platforms such as Android or iPhone. Novell isn't alone here, mind; support for popular mobile platforms in traditional client management tools has been sorely lacking -- a source of hand-wringing from IT admins who have to deal with users accessing company data from their smartphones.