Apple today announced Apple Remote Desktop 2, the second generation of Apple’s asset management, software distribution and help desk support software. Along with dramatic improvements in screen sharing performance, Apple Remote Desktop 2 includes more than 50 new features for centrally managing Mac OS X systems.
“With Apple Remote Desktop 2, we’ve delivered a powerful suite of IT management tools that includes high-performance, real-time screen sharing,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing in the press release. “Apple Remote Desktop 2 is essential for anyone managing a group of Macs.”
Apple Remote Desktop 2 can perform a wide range of desktop management tasks such as installing operating system and application software, running hardware and software inventory reports and executing commands on one or more remote Mac OS X systems on the network. Remote software installation tools allow IT professionals to install single or multiple software packages immediately or at specific dates and times. Comprehensive hardware and software reports based on more than 200 system information attributes allow administrators to keep track of their Mac OS X systems. In addition, built-in real-time screen sharing enables help desk professionals to provide online assistance by observing and controlling the desktops of any remote Mac or Virtual Network Computing (VNC)-enabled computer, including Windows and Linux systems.
Apple Remote Desktop 2 also includes:
– Task lists to provide an at-a-glance view of the status of running, queued and completed tasks. Tasks can be saved and used later with new parameters
– Remote shell scripts that make it easy to run UNIX scripts or UNIX commands simultaneously on multiple Mac OS X systems. Apple Remote Desktop 2 includes new command-line tools for setting network, energy saver, date and time system preferences
– Remote Control to perform common Mac OS X functions such as opening files and applications, emptying trash, logging out and locking the screen simultaneously on multiple Mac OS X systems
– Network Scanners to simplify the discovery of Mac OS X systems on the network. Administrators can now quickly search for computers using Rendezvous, by specifying a range of network addresses or by importing a list of machines from a text file
– Offline Reporting that lets administrators include mobile systems in hardware and software inventory reports even when not connected to the network
– User Access Mode which allows administrators to delegate a subset of Apple Remote Desktop tasks to standard (non-admin) users
– Remote Boot Disk Selection to set the local startup disk or specify a network startup disk when used in conjunction with the NetBoot and Network Installation features built into Mac OS X Server
Apple Remote Desktop will be available in July through The Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $299 (US) for managing up to 10 systems and $499 (US) for managing an unlimited number of systems. Special education pricing can be found at http://www.apple.com/education/store
The administration and client system for Apple Remote Desktop is designed to run on any Macintosh computer with PowerPC G3, G4 or G5 processors and Xserve or Xserve G5, running Mac OS X v10.2.8 or later. An Ethernet or AirPort network connection is required.
More info here.