Integrating with SCCM: Not “either/or,” but “AND”

sccmLet’s start with the plain fact that Utopic’s Persystent Suite and SCCM (System Center Configuration Manager) are complimentary solutions and not an either/or proposition.

When we introduce Persystent to IT professionals, at times the solution is compared to Microsoft SCCM. Whereas there is a small functionality overlap with imaging configuration management capabilities, the larger vision is that SCCM only manages configuration. The focus of Persystent Suite is self-healing and continuous compute availability. This, of course, takes into account that the configuration for any PC image is up to date and properly deployed.

To that end, Persystent Suite works as a compliment to SCCM. SCCM is a powerful tool that manages the deployment, and security of devices and applications across an enterprise through policy enforcement, and patching.  Persystent has that ability too, however that’s where the similarity ends. For SCCM, once the base image is built or updated, that’s it. It doesn’t maintain a continuous and updated repair point should any issue affect an individual PC. It does not do any type of repair.

This alignment happens when an IT organization creates and maintains an image using SCCM. They can add all the appropriate applications, security patches and updates and deploy to the entire enterprise. Once the image is “out in the wild” users might experience any number of performance issues that are self-inflicted, influenced from external activity, breached, or simply mis-aligned. One way or another, SCCM is not capable of any sort of automated repair/recovery and the user’s productivity is disadvantaged. Persystent Suite, and its proprietary technology, adds the ability to automatically schedule and take snapshots of the incremental changes of the approved image. Consequently, when a user calls support with an issue,  they now can simply perform and on-demand reboot of the affected PC and return it to compliant productivity in less than a minute. This includes all the applications, profiles, updates and user data. It effectively removes the need to re-image and reapply all the patches , application and updates. It is not only a tremendous time saver, but also ensures the reliability and integrity of the desired PC image.

Several Utopic  clients concurrently leverage SCCM and Persystent for various automation tasks such as high speed imaging, deploying scheduled and successful updates/patches, managing baseline configurations, and enforcing PC compliance.

Without getting too technical: Persystent can perform imaging just as well as SCCM. In most cases it can process an image faster because of certain process automations and the ability to incorporate drive encryption in parallel to the base image’s creation. Persystent imaging is hardware independent where you can deploy a standard base image to any make or model of the computer in an environment. You simply have to download the driver CAB files on the server and Persystent does the rest. It  coexists with SCCM in that one can continue to use SCCM for imaging if that process is working well. SCCM would apply authorized windows updates or install application and Persystent would then automatically capture that state so that you can immediately repair and restore the system back to the desired repair point in the event of an issue. Also, by offering multiple levels of repair provides even more control for IT teams.

Additionally, Persystent’s other key functionality is that it can perform secure device wipe. This is outside of SCCM’s functional purview. Upon retirement, reassignment or recycling , hard disks still contain a great deal of sensitive and proprietary information sensitive information. Persystent can quickly and seamlessly erase data hiding in any proverbial dark corner and render the hard drive completely unreadable. This function (which can also wipe a drive remotely) complies with DoD, NIST 800-88 industry standards.

For many organizations having the imaging combined with automated self-healing is not a either/or proposition, but an “and” that delivers continuous ROI. A combined force provides the necessary value to not simply extend the lifecycle of an asset, but rather provide the necessary ingredients to control the image and ensure the end user is optimized to reliably carry out functions that support the business goals.

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