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Put to the Test: KACE System Management KBOX

Put to the Test: KACE System Management KBOX

The new KBOX Systems Management and Deployment Appliance now works with current and forthcoming versions of Windows and Mac OS, including Windows 7 and Snow Leopard. A network administrator would use this product to get the network in compliance and to install patches and new software at the network level, rather than on each individual computer.

Pros: KBOX allows complete control of a network in one box. This is less expensive than software solutions, and the Web browser interface look and feel is familiar to the end user.

Cons: Like all of the products in this category, this networking appliance is expensive and takes time to learn (though KBOX appliances cost between $10,000 and $50,000 compared to competing products priced between $150,000 and $250,000). Kace recommends eight hours of training, which is less than most but does take time.

Overall evaluation: With the complexities facing school networks, a product like KBOX can be very helpful for IT staff to manage the network. This makes it a good value, despite the higher price tag.

Retail price: $10,000-$50,000