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NEXThink

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Introduction

NEXThink were covered during our Inventory and Discovery Tools Group Test in November 2011.

An excerpt

“NEXThink argue that outside the datacenter and the delivery of production or core infrastructure;the key measurement of performance is user satisfaction. Their offering is designed at identifying issues with service and analyzing the root causes within the infrastructure in order to improve customer experience and availability.

This is inventory on steroids, next generation asset performance, availability, forensics and relationship mapping. NEXThink includes great dashboards, reporting and service-oriented analysis. This is a great resource for hunting down root causes and improving user satisfaction.

NEXThink have taken inventory to a whole new level with their ‘Enterprise Desktop Monitoring’ offering. As well as assets the company also monitors users, devices, packages, applications, executables, binaries, ports, destinations, connections and print jobs.

Their offering provides comprehensive and dynamic inventory information to support IT Asset Management efforts but also provides a contextual layer to the assets on the network to support service management priorities such as lags, delays, crashes, waiting times and bottlenecks.

It is a clever blend of network inventory and desktop monitoring which would be incredibly useful to service management or networking professionals looking to troubleshoot application performance.”

SCCM Support Partner

The primary purpose of the solutions in this group test is to add value to the data that SCCM collects. NEXThink goes beyond this and adds value to the whole SCCM lifecycle.

  • Prior to SCCM Agent Deployment –Discovery of the infrastructure prior to implementation to speed up the planning process and simplify implementation. Determines SCCM agent deployment readiness.
  • During SCCM Agent Deployment – Real time tracking of SCCM deployment, assess running conditions of each machine to guarantee exhaustive coverage and successful implementation. Identify common issues with SCCM (WMI, connections to distribution points, network connectivity).
  • Monitoring and Trouble Shooting Agent Health – Identify agents failing to communicate or accept updates
  • SCCM Performance Monitoring – Validate the success of SCCM tasks in real time. Provides the SCCM engineer with immediate validation of deployment or information to help resolve issues. For example –Who has received the package? Is the newly deployed application working properly? Did anyone miss the update? For those machines that didn’t accept the update – what were the issues?

Talking to SCCM

NEXThink installs an agent on every desktop and works via a snap-in to the SCCM console. Administrators can either view NEXThink data from within the SCCM console or from within NEXThink.

From within SCCM, an administrator can right click on an advertisement and choose to track that task within NEXThink, which provides real time information on who has received that package and who is having issues with the package without leaving the SCCM console. This provides additional trouble shooting information that you wouldn’t normally see within SCCM such as network activity and connectivity.

Similarly, from within NEXThink administrators can perform an investigation and identify a group of machines and create an advertisement for SCCM to take corrective action.

From the brochure:

NEXThink is an innovative and fast-growing technology Swiss firm focused on helping IT organizations to address their end-user computing management challenges with a unique self-learning discovery and real-time monitoring technology of their hardware configuration and properties, application and network activities, computer and IT service health.

NEXThink real time desktop monitoring has been adopted in the last four years by more than 170 customers that have deployed the solution on more than 700’00 end-user workplaces across EMEA. By using NEXThink, these IT managers can fully control their desktop transformation projects, engage into virtualization, succeed in infrastructure and operational costs optimization, improve end-user satisfaction and infrastructure support, and validate end-point security and compliance:

  • Performing live discovery of contextual inventory including utilization statistics and patterns, getting instant results
  • Measuring IT service performance and computer health from each end-user device, preventing incidents and solving user issues much faster
  • Ensuring compliance with corporate policy and mitigating risks by detecting unsecure activities
  • Monitoring your virtual applications and desktops infrastructure to fine-tune host and network resources. Comparing virtual versus physical infrastructure performance, detect and resolve performance issues.
  • Migrate your end-users and infrastructure with confidence, succeed in IT transformation at every step of your project

NEXThink is changing the IT management software experience in the way people can visualize and manage their IT infrastructure with products that are ultra-easy to install, very low in resources and performance impact, ultra-fast navigation and drill-down into live and historical data, and powerful diagnostics, alerting and reporting tools.

Links:

Customer References:

  • French Ministry of Defense
  • State of Fribourg (Switzerland)
  • Securitas