Apple Updates Remote Desktop With Network Install, NetBooting, More

Apple has released an update for Remote Desktop, the companyis network administration tool for Mac OS X. The new version, 1.2, includes some major new features such as the ability to perform Remote Software Installations, Remote Network Startup Disk (just what it sounds like), some auto-update features for Remote Desktop itself, and some enhanced security features. Appleis press release, including the interesting fluff-quote from a school administrator:

Apple today announced Apple Remote Desktop version 1.2, the easiest way to manage and support networks of Mac desktops and portables. With Apple Remote Desktop software, network administrators can efficiently distribute and install software, copy files, gather asset management information and remotely control system settings over the network. Teachers can remotely control and interact with a studentis computer and easily provide personalized assistance directly to a studentis screen. Apple Remote Desktop v.1.2 includes powerful new features such as Remote Software Installation and Remote Network Startup Disk. Apple Remote Desktop simplifies desktop administration, enabling classroom teachers and network administrators to maximize the use of their Macs and minimize administration costs.

"With two full time staff we support 2,200 users and manage a combination of approximately 600 wired and wireless Macs located across five buildings with Apple Remote Desktop," said Eric Hackl, network manager for the Winnetka Public Schools in Winnetka, Illinois. "We install software on our Macs across town without having to leave our office, and network-wide installs that used to take days or weeks are now done in minutes, saving us time and our district money."

New features in Apple Remote Desktop v.1.2 include:

  • Remote Software Installation to remotely install new software to groups of Macs simultaneously over a network;
  • Remote Network Startup Disk to set any number of Mac OS X clients to start up from specified NetBoot or Network Install disk images on a remote server;
  • Automatic Update for upgrading Apple Remote Desktop clients automatically over the network; and
  • enhanced security including encrypted control and KeyChain support to protect passwords and private data.

The administration and client system for Apple Remote Desktop is designed to run on all Power Mac G4 and Power Macintosh G3 computers, including PowerBook G4, PowerBook G3, eMac, iMac, Xserve and iBook and requires either an Ethernet, AirPort or AirPort Extreme network connection. The administration system runs on Mac OS X version 10.1, or later, and the client version supports Mac OS 8.1 through Mac OS 9.2, and Mac OS X v10.1 and later.

The update is free to current users of Apple Remote Desktop. Pricing for new users is US$299 for a 10-client version, and US$499 for an unlimited-client version. Education customers can buy the product for US$149 and US$299 respectively.