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Mac Thread, ARD - Any good? in Technical; We have recently installed a suite of iMacs to replace a windows suite and i'm looking at ways of using ...
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    ARD - Any good?

    We have recently installed a suite of iMacs to replace a windows suite and i'm looking at ways of using remote desktop. Now the obvious one is ARD but is it worth shelling out for?

    The specs also say it can be used to control any Windows based pc as well, is this true? Our current windows RD software is due for renewal and it would work out much cheaper to move over to ARD completely if it does what it say on the tin?

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    For controlling and monitoring the Macs it's an amazing bit of kit and can do a lot more than just simple monitoring/control.

    I haven't played with controlling the windows machine side yet but it should work fine with VLC as I believe it uses similar underlying tech.

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    dave.81 (21st September 2010)

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    I also haven't tried it on Windows Machines, but it's a god send for updating and installing software on several macs at once. It has so many neat little tools that I haven't used as of yet but plan on trying in the near future.


    I, personally, wouldn't have a mac suite without it.

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    dave.81 (21st September 2010)

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    So for the mac's it's a no brainer, now to find out if it does everything it says on windows lol.

    Thanks

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    Not tried it on windows either, but installed it for osx a few days ago........superb, dont know how i survived without to be honest!!! HOWEVER, considering the price of an x serve it should really be included in the price, not another 400 on top! but thats just typically apple.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrunt View Post
    Not tried it on windows either, but installed it for osx a few days ago........superb, dont know how i survived without to be honest!!! HOWEVER, considering the price of an x serve it should really be included in the price, not another 400 on top! but thats just typically apple.
    400 pounds!!!!!!!!!!

    You are being seriously overcharged the education list price is half that?

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    ARD is possibly the best piece of software Apple make. For management of the OS X Clients it is more or less essential. You can send out custom ARD client packages that install an additional ARD specific account. It can adjust all of the remote management preferences too using the custom client package.

    Also as long as the software supports Apple's .pkg file format installation is a breeze. This was the biggest moan about MS Office for mac. Even this moved over to the .pkg format. Now the updates are in the same format so management is simple.

    You can also (money permitting) purchase a 2nd copy of ARD and use it as a Task manager server. So you could set up a deployment of updates for Office say and then when each client comes online it will run the task from the task management server.

    You can also manage the clients remotely as well i.e. change startup disk, empty the trash, search for files and then copy them to your own machine. It really is quite good. It's also worth looking into setting up for the teacher station in the Suite if you have one as you can also share someone else's screen and also control what they can do e.g mute volume on all machines at once.

    It also integrates into Automator as well.

    For the windows side it is really just basic VNC/screen sharing. Nothing more.

    Oh and 400 is pretty expensive. We only paid around 200 - 250 for a unlimited client license, hence why we bought 2 copies.

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    Robbocop's Avatar
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    If you go to an authorised Apple Education reseller you'll find that the education RRP for ARD Unlimited is less than 250. It might also be useful to know that you can also buy a 10 client licence for half that. We don't often sell that version except as a training tool, but it's quite common for a school to buy two Unlimited licences - one for teaching and one for IT Support.

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    either way, at 250 its still expensive.

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    Have tried using it to control VNC clients but the lack of 'certain' key combinations means it not overly useful for windows

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    dave.81 (22nd September 2010)

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    LanSchool is a good alternative to ARD and is cross-platform. It's not as quick at refreshing the screen though IME but it could have just needed some tweaking. Take a look at the trial. The Windows side can be controlled from the mac side and seems to have the same amount of control as you would from a Windows box. I only trialled it for a small period of time though. Added bonus of having an iPad app out as well.

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    In my building I run with around 300 Macs & without ARD I would lose my mind. I use it alongside Deep Freeze which give me full control over everything. It's a handy tool that has save me many hours. I've sent out commands/files to every computer in the building with just a few simple click in ARD. Love the application.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mbrunt View Post
    either way, at 250 its still expensive.
    Depends how you evaluate the cost of network management software.

    If your employer paid you 50 per day for example, ARD only has to save you 5 days worth of work to pay for itself. When we purchased 2 copies of ARD it allowed myself and another 'senior' member of the IT team here to update 40 workstations and 2 servers from our desks in an afternoon instead of spending a couple of days schlepping around the college. Paid for itself in the first week.

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    Agreed that it is essential, would really struggle without it. And easily the best remote control software I have seen, including the likes of AB Tutor and Netsupport from the Windows side

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    Well have now purchased a copy of it, just need to get the iMacs added to it and see if i can work through getting some windows boxes on too.

    Thanks for all the opinions. Network management software is hard to put an expensive tag against, if it saves you time it soon pays for it's self... but it has to save you time!

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