What is KACE?
KACE is a systems management and deployment product which provides inventory and asset management, software distribution, and patch management.

Who is KACE?
KACE is a Dell subsidiary. Other Higher Education customers include: Antioch University, Charlotte School of Law, Grinnell College, University of Delaware, University of Chicago, NC State University, Oklahoma Wesleyan University, CUNY Hunter College, Villanova University, University of Pittsburgh, United States Merchant Marine Academy.

Why is BU using KACE?
KACE is used by Boston University as a way to support and protect University owned computers. The inventory component improves the University’s knowledge of supported technology assets and reduces the cost of maintenance. The patch management component provides the ability to keep University owned computers up-to-date with the latest operating system and application security updates, reducing the vulnerability to these and other systems on the BU network. The software distribution component can help to install new software programs and update existing programs, when requested or as part of a larger project initiative.

What is desktop asset management?
Desktop Asset Management is a lifecycle process that benefits the following stages of a desktop asset’s ‘life’:
Procurement: How many systems are needed, in which departments, what funding is necessary?
System support: Detailed system information is available to Service Desk and field staff, as well as automated support for patch updates, and software distribution.
Management: Consolidated asset and warranty information can answer; what vendors do we do the most business with, how many licenses do we have and do we need, and where are our assets located?
Retirement: Asset aging reports can support replacement decisions, which lead back to procurement.

By having a codified process for handling desktop assets, the University, IS&T, and client departments can benefit from improved service and support, process improvement savings, more informed strategic decision-making, and can gain better control of desktop asset inventory.

How does using KACE accomplish this?
KACE requires a small piece of software (the KACE agent) to be installed on your computer that communicates to the main KACE appliance.

Is KACE safe?
Yes. IS&T Desktop Services has received approval from BU’s Information Security Office to use KACE after conducting a security assessment. All inventory information gathered about your computer with the KACE agent is sent to the KACE appliance through a secure connection. Access to the server is limited and controlled by IS&T; even KACE employees cannot access it without Desktop Services’ assistance.

Does KACE ever break a computer?
For the past four years KACE has been used to effectively manage over 1,200 computers on campus without incident.  Patches and software installations pushed through KACE could potentially create a conflict with something else on your computer, but any resulting issue would be identical whether the patch was installed by KACE or installed by you or in any other way.  KACE is simply used to provide these updates in a planned, timely manner so that BU computers are less vulnerable because of missing security patches.

What inventory information does the KACE agent collect?
The KACE agent collects information that is accessible through WMI (Windows) or System Profiler (Mac).  This information includes system name, IP address, MAC address, hard drive capacity, memory, processor (speed), and other details about hardware components and installed software applications.

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