July 22nd, 2019 by Michael Rink
Quest Releases KACE SDA & SMA Updates
Today Quest released new versions of their KACE SDA software and KACE SMA software. The KACE SDA (Systems Deployment Appliance) update is a full version upgrade to 7.0. However, the KACE SMA (Systems Management Appliance) update is only an incremental update to 9.1. Quest KACE is a collection of tools to help manage an astonishingly broad array of endpoint devices and system images.
The update to 7.0 for KACE Systems Deployment Appliance is primarily about bringing a scope of endpoint management capabilities with new support for Linux devices to the table. The prominent new features for KACE SDA 7.0 are:
- Added support for Linux that encompasses Red Hat, CentOS, and Ubuntu and allows for faster, more automated installation.
- Users can select WIM files for import as an image.
- Users can download WIM files for offline maintenance and replace current files.
- Enhanced logs that give admins a higher level of detail on where WIMs have been deployed.
- Streamlined user experience with Windows Media Manager rewritten in C# and updated to include KBE manipulator features.
- Fewer touches in the password update process, with updated SAMBA share passwords that automatically update in every boot environment on the appliance.
It’s been almost a year since we covered the release of KACE SMA 9.0 last September. Typically, I'd expect a pretty significant update after this long, but Quest had surprisingly little to say about 9.1. I'm guessing that KACE covers so many different devices, operating systems, and operating environments that it must be a titanic struggle to keep everything humming along at this point, much less add new features. Still, Quest did add a few exciting things in this update. Intriguingly, one of the new features is Mobile Device Management fields. The other nice new feature is the ability to merge tickets while keeping an audit trail on all associated tickets. I've worked in ticket systems that don't do that, and I assure you, this is a great quality of life upgrade for project managers and frontline IT engineers alike. Other updates for KACE SMA 9.0 include:
- The ability to preserve HTML formatting in emailed tickets and comments.
- Support of new OS versions such as macOS 10.14, Windows 10 Fall 2018 Update, SUSE 15, and Fedora 28 and OpenSUSE 15 (both agentless only).
- New Azure support that offers users the full SMA experience in Azure.
- An agent assistant tool kit that provides helpful troubleshooting options.