Edu-IT (25th November 2009)
My LA has started to use CentraStage for remote support in schools and it's a very impressive package. It allows remote take over, the pushing out of scripts and scheduled tasks, maintenance, monitoring etc.
I noticed now that you can use it for free for personal use to help support friends/family's computers (up to 10 devices)!
CentraStage - Remote computer management for homeAre you tapped up by your family to help solve their PC problems? Are you constantly being asked to troubleshoot IT problems for friends? Do you marvel at the miraculous ways in which your nearest and dearest can break their computers? Are you too kind to say "no", but looking for an easier life?
Then help is at hand.
CentraStage is now offering its PC management software free to those unsung IT heroes who keep the PCs of their friends and family up and running. No hidden costs, no marketing ploys, just access to great technology that will make your life easier, help PCs run better, and win you gratitude and appreciation (and hopefully a few beers).
Simply sign up to our online service and see how CentraStage can benefit you and your loved ones by taking the hassle out of PC support. We offer remote support, audit and monitoring, software deployment and device management and reporting. All managed through a simple web-based management interface.
The free service allows you to download and deploy the CentraStage client software on upto 10 PCs. We like our technology. We want people to use it.
Simply create a account and then log in. You have to initially install a small agent onto the computers you want to support but once done, you can access the PC via a browser anywhere! Well worth a look!
It's going to be useful for when my old man calls up with his PC issues!
Edu-IT (25th November 2009)
How does this rate in comparison to LogMeIn?
Plus it's free for up to 10 devices. With LogMeIn, you have to pay to for their LogMeIn Pro package to support more then one device.
No, it supports up to 5.Plus it's free for up to 10 devices. With LogMeIn, you have to pay to for their LogMeIn Pro package to support more then one device.
The software deployment side of things is very impressive. I can't comment compare it to the MSIs as I've not used that method before. We have currently used it to distribute various bits & pieces to the schools we support. One example is a full Fronta export. We would have had to connect to each school server and run a command line to action the export. With over 270 schools, it would have easily taken a few weeks. Using CentraStage, we put the command into a batch file, pushed it out to all school servers and it completed within 2 hours (minus the odd 3 or 4 schools that failed so had to be manually done!)
It's easy to set up too. The basic process is:
1. Create a "component" and attach any files you need (bat, exe, vbs, zip, etc etc).
2. Choose the device/s you want to distribute to.
3. Schedule the job to run (instantly, daily, weekly, scheduled time etc)
4. Once it's run, you can see if its passed or failed and view any log files created in the process.
Currently, we are looking at it to automate the SQL migiration form 2005 to 2008. Also, we plan to use it to automate the SIMS and FMS upgrades.
EDIT: Worht looking here for an overview... http://www.centrastage.com/device_ma...iguration.html
Last edited by Rawns; 25th November 2009 at 12:52 PM.
jinnantonnix (25th November 2009)
Clearly though, Centrastage does far more than just remote access.
Last edited by Rawns; 25th November 2009 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Clarified post....
Hi. I've used CentraStage in an education support environment and think it's top stuff. The web based remote control is good but other features put it way above the likes of LogMeIn. Ability to push installations to and run scripts on selected clients (and get return values) is excellent. Audit features are very useful too (hardware, software etc.). Thing i relied on most was the monitoring tool which could email when specific events appeared - v.good for failing drives and audit events! Andy
Our LA has been using Centrastage for well over a year now and like the others who have posted before me, the Remote Control features are only the tip of the iceberg really.
Our SIMS support team have used it for various rollouts from a basic file copy to many sites to full blown updates.
I do curriculum support for primary schools and have been using it in part to deploy msi installations (as part of the command you can run the msi package plus any mst files you may require for a totally silent install) Sometimes AD MSI deployment still has its uses but if you can script it, then centrastage should be able to run it.
At some of my schools we shut all the PCs down on a daily basis at 20h00 as the Components you create can be scheduled.
Last time I heard, there was work being done to enable Wake On Lan functionality but that could take a while to get sorted.
When we first started using Centrastage, we had existing remote access solutions in place so we could create AD Login scripts to install the remote agent without visiting the site. Then one of the first things we used Centrastage for was to enable RDP access on the workstations and to uninstall the VNC client.
We've been using CS for about a year now and have used it for all sorts of things e.g. Sims Upgrades, Service packs, checking AV defs and MS patching levels, identifying older PCs in need of replacing... the list goes on! We will also be rolling out SQL2008 to our managed Sims Servers using this. I would recommend CS to any LA who current remotely support school's machines.
We have been using / trialling Centrastage for quite some time now (Over a year providing feedback & development suggestions), but have only recently installed on all of our School SQL Servers.
We have a requirement to assess the suitability of all our SQL Servers for future updates from Capita (Sims) and SQL versions to find out if they meet minimum spec.
The initial roll out of agents across the servers had provided us with all the information we need with regards upgrades and also highlighted a couple of issues like missing Service Packs / correct AV products etc, that have been able to be resolved remotely.
We also plan to deliver the latest SQL updates via CentraStage using an overnight scheduled task therefore enabling out technicians to get on with the upgrade task without having to wait for file downloads.
This is only the 'tip' of the iceberg as it were when it comes to utilizing CentraStage..... Already we have a very detailed overview of the state of our SQL Servers and we have been able to address issues which may have gone unnoticed.
The information provided by CentraStage gives us the necessary information to make accurate plans for future service delivery and migration, and enables us to target specific equipment that is in most urgent need for replacement.
Currently we are very pleased with the capability of CentraStage and are looking for new ways to utilise it...
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