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FrontRange Solutions

FrontRange Discovery Review

FrontRange Discovery Review

Inventory Review Index

Introduction

FrontRange Discovery is a robust inventory and discovery solution for companies with multiple locations and multiple platforms.

FrontRange acquired this technology in 2008 from Centennial Software, whose heritage began with discovering items on the network with date related issues in preparation for the year 2000. So this product is mature, it’s been around the block and it’s had its wrinkles ironed out.

Neighbourhood Watch for Networks

Centennial were pioneers in the use of auto-discovery to build an accurate picture of the network. Prior to auto-discovery administrators had to tell tools what to look for, which resulted in big holes in results and not very reliable inventory data.

FrontRange use an agent to collect information on each device, and within each agent is listening technology, which informs the administrator of any changes in the local vicinity. It alerts administrators of newly identified machines without an agent, machines that have moved or changes in location. It’s like having neighbourhood watch on the network and provides administrators peace of mind that their inventory data is up to date and accurate – a corner stone for successful IT Asset Management.

FrontRange Discovery has acquired a large footprint of worldwide customers because it does a good job of identifying everything on the network, ‘It does what it says on the tin’, it is easy to use and intuitive to manage and generate reports.

Impressive Coverage

FrontRange Discovery has an impressive coverage of both operating systems and platforms. It can audit desktops, servers, virtual systems, various networks and geographical locations – all using a lightweight touch and lean infrastructure.

Administrators of the system can build dashboards, management reports or perform bespoke queries to interrogate and build insights from their inventory data.

From Leader to Follower

There is no doubt FrontRange Discovery is an impressive offering as a standalone Discovery and auto-discovery solution. Its weakness is when administrators want to take action on the information they have found. This is particularly apparent when Discovery is compared to its competitors and I believe FrontRange has fallen a little behind in this respect.

FrontRange gives me a good picture of my estate, but I now need to action on that information, I need to begin processes to rectify or manage what I have found.

The FrontRange portfolio has grown through acquisition to expand its IT Asset and Service Management capabilities and Discovery data is available to these other components via integrations. FrontRange’s competitors do a better job of linking logically and efficiently with the other segments of the IT Asset Lifecycle such as License Management, IMAC and Service Management, empowering user to take corrective action.

Similarly organizations looking to implement other FrontRange solutions alongside Discovery will need to install multiple agents and use multiple logins; some competitors to FrontRange use a single agent and a single login.

In summary: FrontRange Discovery is still a very good solution, but the market has caught up with this Pioneer.

Product FrontRange Discovery
Version 9.1 (February 2011)
Methodology Agent-based Discovery and Auto-Discovery
In a nutshell Mature inventory solution covering all platforms.
Customers
  • c. 2500
Strengths
  • Auto-discovery
  • Market leading Inventory and configuration management detail
  • Aesthetics and general ease of use
  • Breadth of coverage – operating system and platforms
Weaknesses
  • The ability to take action on information – weaker than competitors
  • Disjointed connections with other parts of the FrontRange offering
References
  • BITMARCK Technik GmbH
  • Swisscom IT Services
  • Gloucester County Council
Primary Market Focus
  • Size: Mid-Market 250 – 10,000
  • Use: All round inventory, SAM, service management
  • Environment: Desktop to Datacenter
Pricing Model Priced per agent. Available via perpetual, project license, subscription, SaaS. Prices start around $20 per seat. 

From the brochure:

“FrontRange IT Asset Management Software
Reduce Cost, Risk and Complexity with Unified Control of the IT Estate

FrontRange IT Asset Management solutions help organizations support business goals by optimizing the availability and cost-effectiveness of their IT assets, from Windows PCs through to Citrix and virtualized servers.  FrontRange offers a unified approach to IT asset management, including key modules for:

  • Network Discovery – Inventory all hardware on the network, full software audit
  • Desktop Management – Centralized application & OS deployment, configuration management
  • Software Asset Management – Integrated software audit, license management and application management
  • Citrix Server Management – Automated Citrix server deployment and management
  • Virtualization Management – Unified management for virtualized hardware and software assets

FrontRange IT Asset Management is ideal for organizations with growing, multi-platform distributed networks, helping to dramatically reduce manual workload and enabling IT staff to focus on adding value to business operations.”

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