Novell Zenworks 10 vs MS System Center Essentials 2007

Posted on 2009-12-24
Last Modified: 2013-11-21
We are currently a Novell house but we are moving away from Novell to all Windows in March.  We are currently using Novell Zenworks 10, but the system was installed incorrectly and we will have to install it fresh when we virtualize in February.  Our maintenance is due at the end of January on the Zen so before we pay our maintenance renewal, we figured we would look at other options.

The MS System Center Essentials is less then half the price per year of Zenworks.  Now I know we will have to also get a remote admin solution, but adding that will still make the price half of Zenworks.

Does anyone have any experience with either comparing Zenworks vs. MS System Center Essentials or just experience with SCE?

We are a 20 server and 200 workstation company with 5 IT staff members
Question by:HBPCadmin
    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    by:Jakob Digranes
    I haven't worked with Zen myself, but a colleague at my office only use ZenWorks in his projects, he has one System Center Configuration Manager installation - but finds this piece of software a lot harder to manage.

    I've just SCCM quite a bit and really like it. But have not installed Essentials at any customers - many of the times i get them to go for SCCM instead of Essentials.
    But what I can tell you from the look of it - you would lose quite a bit of functionality with Essentials vs. ZenWorks ---
    and; ZenWorks Works -- :-)

    But SCCM R3 has a lot of cool features; but could get pricier than ZenWorks. But - if you go for MS licensing, you might buy Core Cals for the clients - then SCCM would not be costly, as Core Cal includes SCCM-clients access licenses
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    I've worked with every version of ZENworks since it was the old NT Configuration object and the Application Launcher inside of NetWare Administrator (remember NWADMIN???).

    ZCM10.x.x is unlike any other management suite on the market.  You pick what you want to buy: Patch Management? snaps right in; Asset Management for tracking license usage, etc., it snaps in; Linux Management for your Linux desktops, just add it.

    There are three different levels the last time I looked: Standard which covers all desktop management (remote control, application deployment, desktop policies a.k.a. Windows lockdown, imaging and basic inventory.  Advanced has all of that plus a couple of other things and then Enterprise has the entire suite.

    ZENworks can be used Ala Carte too.  I'm going to deploy just Asset Management and Patch Management in January for a customer because they don't want to look at the other capabilities right now.

    You do not have to have eDirectory to use ZCM10.x.x.  It works with AD or any other LDAP compliant directory service in a read-only manner.  Create a user to authenticate to find computers and users in a readonly capability and ZCM is happy.  NO schema extension.

    I've begun looking seriously at SCCM 2007 too as our Microsoft customers either already have it thanks to their Enterprise Agreements or they are looking at it.  It rolls over SMS which I stayed far away from deployment.

    The best thing you can do is build a virtual machine on VMWare workstation (or other) and install the 45-day trial of ZCM and play with the ZENworks Control Center (ZCC) and the command line utility ZMAN.  It is available for free download for the eval period from  Recently I built a VM running Windows 2003 with AD and put ZCM on that VM and built a VM of an XP workstation.  I use VMWare Workstation on a laptop with 4GB RAM and a 320 GB external disk for the VMs.  I was able to simulate everything the customer wanted to see plus loan them the laptop for a "check it ourselves" period of time.

    I'm doing the same with SCCM 2007.

    Hope that helps...


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