Novell is now a part of Micro Focus

Outgrown the ZENworks Starter Pack?

Articles and Tips: article

01 Oct 2002

For many years, the ZENworks Starter Pack has been a boon for companies of all sizes. At no additional cost to NetWare customers, the ZENworks Starter Pack provided a subset of the application and workstation management functionality found in the full ZENworks for Desktops product.

If your company is one of the thousands currently using the ZENworks Starter Pack, however, there is a good chance that your company has outgrown the Starter Pack's capabilities. If so, you may be dedicating too many IT resources to routine management of desktops, laptops, users, and servers. This added management burden could be costing your company thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars each year.

Now is the time to upgrade the ZENworks Starter Pack. On August 15, Novell announced the ZENworks Starter Pack Promotion, which lets you upgrade the Starter Pack to ZENworks for Desktops 4 or to the ZENworks for Desktops 4/ZENworks for Servers 3 suite. With this promotion, you can upgrade Starter Pack licenses one-for-one and receive the associated full-term upgrade protection at 20 percent off the regular upgrade and full-term upgrade protection price. This promotion lowers the price of ZENworks for Desktops 4 and full-term upgrade protection from U.S. $95 to $50 per user, and it lowers the price of the ZENworks for Desktops 4/ZENworks for Servers 3 suite and full-term upgrade protection from U.S. $123 to $65 per user. (You save 47 percent off the retail price for both products.)


Novell built ZENworks for Desktops 4 and the ZENworks for Desktops 4/ZENworks for Servers 3 suite to solve today's business issues. For example, ZENworks offers a new web services architecture and new services that address current business issues such as the increasingly mobile work force and the constant flow of workstation and server updates.

By leveraging policy-based automation of key management tasks, ZENworks also enables you to more effectively control management expenses across the entire network. ZENworks is the only solution available that lets you control these costs from a single interface with a single product. Other solutions (including the ZENworks Starter Pack) require multiple products and multiple interfaces to deliver a comparable management solution.

In addition, if you are using the ZENworks Starter Pack, you know that Novell released the final version of the Starter Pack in early 2000 and has discontinued the product. You can no longer receive updates, fixes, or support from Novell. As a result, the ZENworks Starter Pack does not support (and never will) any operating systems released since that time.

As your organization expands to incorporate new applications, operating systems, and technologies, the ZENworks Starter Pack may not support these new initiatives. Already, the Starter Pack does not support mobile users; Windows XP or Windows 2000 desktops; Microsoft Installer (MSI) applications; or NetWare 6, Windows NT, or Windows 2000 server environments. As quickly as technology changes, it will not be long before the ZENworks Starter Pack will be largely unusable.

Developed years ago, the ZENworks Starter Pack is also outdated technology. Novell based the Starter Pack on ZENworks for Desktops 2--including only a small subset of the functionality found in the full ZENworks product. Novell added significant functionality to the product with the release of ZENworks for Desktops 3.x and, subsequently, ZENworks for Desktops 4.

Today, ZENworks for Desktops 4 provides a single solution with a single interface to manage every workstation and user environment in your organization--inside or outside the firewall, across the Internet, and through dial-up or other slow connections. (See Figure 1.) ZENworks for Desktops 4 even allows you to manage workstations that are completely disconnected from the network. The ZENworks for Desktops 4/ZENworks for Servers 3 suite extends these benefits across your entire enterprise, giving you flexible server management from a single location.

Figure 1


ZENworks for Desktops 4 is more firewall friendly than earlier versions of ZENworks for Desktops, integrating easily with a company's firewall and security strategy. The ZENworks for Desktops 4 web services architecture works alongside traditional client-server environments, allowing ZENworks for Desktops 4 to operate over the Internet as well as on internal networks.

As a result, companies can support an increasingly mobile work force because they can manage desktops and laptops wherever users are--inside or outside the firewall, across the Internet, or disconnected from the network. With ZENworks for Desktops 4, users always have simple, consistent access to the applications and services they need to be productive whether they are in the office, at home, or on the road.

A key factor in providing users with this flexible computing environment is that ZENworks for Desktops 4 no longer requires you to install the Novell client on managed workstations. Your company can immediately benefit from ZENworks for Desktops without expensive infrastructure upgrades. In fact, you can deploy new workstations out of the box, and within minutes, these workstations can access ZENworks for Desktops 4 services.

In addition, users can access their applications and work environments via a web browser wherever they are. And with ZENworks for Desktops roaming profiles, users can select the environment they want based on where they are and how they are connecting. For example, a user can have a profile for work, for home, and for on-the-road.


With policy-based desktop management of nearly every Windows desktop operating system (including Windows XP, 2000 Professional, NT Terminal Server Edition, NT, 98, and 95), ZENworks for Desktops 4 allows you to embed intelligence into the network, making it virtually self-managing. You then spend less time managing the network and can use enterprise-wide resources more effectively.

By upgrading to ZENworks for Desktops 4, you will benefit from the following time-saving features (which are not available with the ZENworks Starter Pack):

  • No Novell Client. Windows workstations do not need to run the Novell 32-bit client to use ZENworks for Desktops' services.

  • Mobile User Support. ZENworks for Desktops 4 supports mobile users by transmitting desktop policies over HTTP/HTTPS through the web services connection to the laptop. Checkpoint restart capabilities allow ZENworks for Desktops 4 to track downloads of applications and policies. If the connection is severed during the download, ZENworks for Desktops 4 will resume the download without retransmitting previously sent data when the connection is reestablished.

    ZENworks for Desktops 4 also enables remote control of connected laptops that are not imported into the directory. In addition, software and hardware inventory of laptops is deferred until the user reconnects to the network.

  • Workstation Imaging Services. ZENworks for Desktops 4 enables you to deploy workstation disk images remotely through Novell eDirectory. In addition, ZENworks for Desktops 4 supports Preboot eXecution Environment (PXE) functionality, which enables you to boot and manage a workstation before its operating system starts. As a result, you can remotely install a complete operating system, including Windows XP Professional, without any user intervention.

  • Remote Control. ZENworks for Desktops 4 provides secure remote control capabilities that let you remotely view, diagnose, and manage desktops and laptops. This feature reduces the costs and time associated with visiting users' desktops when problems occur. Because data is compressed over the wire and Windows performance is optimized, this remote control feature is fast and uses less bandwidth.

    In addition, the workstations you remote control do not need to run Novell client software. You can remote control workstations using IP addresses or Domain Naming System (DNS) names, eliminating the need to import workstations into eDirectory.

  • Enterprise-Wide Inventory. ZENworks for Desktops 4 includes a hardware and software inventory solution that gathers information such as the amount of RAM, the devices and services running on the workstation, the interrupts and I/O ports in use, and the applications installed. It also provides multisite inventory for detailed hardware and software information across an entire enterprise.

  • Offline Applications Support. ZENworks for Desktops 4 allows Application Launcher icons and the applications they represent to persist even when users disconnect from the network. Application Launcher delivered applications can also self-repair.

  • Client Version Lockdown. ZENworks for Desktops 4 supports the latest version of the Novell client software, which includes new features and fixes for bugs found in the outdated version of the client that the Starter Pack requires.

  • Support for Group Policies Without Microsoft Active Directory or Windows 2000. ZENworks for Desktops 4 provides advanced management of Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional through Microsoft group policies. Active Directory and Windows 2000 are not required.

  • Support for MSI Applications. ZENworks for Desktops 4 delivers MSI applications such as Office XP. You can produce and package installation transforms for use within ZENworks for Desktops.


If your company has multiple servers, for U.S. $15 more than the per seat price of an upgrade to ZENworks for Desktops, you can increase your management efficiency even more. You can upgrade the ZENworks Starter Pack to the ZENworks for Desktops 4/ZENworks for Servers 3 suite. With this solution, you can monitor and manage server health and consistency, and you can use ZENworks policies to automate network management tasks on multiple platforms. You can also distribute content and software from a single point of administration. (See Figure 2.)

Figure 2

ZENworks for Servers also provides the following additional benefits:

  • Server Consistency Across All Platforms. You can make server content, tasks, and configurations consistent for servers that have similar functions. These servers can be running Windows, Linux, Solaris, or NetWare. This feature enables you to keep all of the servers on your network up-to-date from a single location.

  • Server and Network Monitoring With Resource and Event Alarms. You can monitor server health in real time. You are notified of potential problems before they cause problems on the network.

  • Tiered Electronic Distribution. You can deploy and configure content and software on servers both inside and outside the network. With the ZENworks for Desktops 4/ZENworks for Servers 3 suite, you can also distribute ZENworks for Desktops applications to servers worldwide.

  • Policy-Enabled Server Management. You can use policies to centrally manage the servers or groups of servers on your network--even across multiple platforms, departments, and locations--while retaining the ability to tailor each server individually. You can apply policy changes to new servers automatically as they are brought online.


If you've been using the ZENworks Starter Pack to manage applications and workstations, you've already experienced some of the cost-saving benefits that ZENworks for Desktops provides. The decision to upgrade the ZENworks Starter Pack to ZENworks for Desktops 4 is largely a matter of cost--not how much it will cost your company to upgrade but how much it will cost your organization if you don't upgrade.

Regardless of the size of your company's network, user and desktop management are undoubtedly the most expensive part of owning the network. If your company is like most, IT budgets are shrinking while the IT workload is increasing. Although the ZENworks Starter Pack may have offered a solution and provided some financial benefit to your company in the past, its lack of support for newer operating systems and applications and its lack of support for mobile users create huge barriers to its continued success.

The unfortunate result of this situation is that the cost of user and desktop management will increase, consuming IT resources and money that could be dedicated to other projects. As your IT personnel are inundated with repetitive tasks, their response times will be slower, and overall user productivity and satisfaction will decrease.

All of these problems can quickly have an impact (directly and indirectly) on your company's bottom line. How much of an impact? For some companies, the answer is in the millions. According to International Data Corp. (IDC), companies that have upgraded their ZENworks Starter Pack to ZENworks for Desktops have seen four times greater return on investment. IDC also reports that the ZENworks Solution--ZENworks for Desktops and ZENworks for Servers--pays for itself in as little as three months because it simplifies management tasks and increases user productivity. In particular, IDC has identified the following costs saving benefits of using Novell ZENworks:

  • 62.4 hours saved every month per technical specialist

  • 36 percent less user down time

  • 40 percent less time waiting for help-desk support

  • U.S. $56.75 increase in revenue per employee per month

  • 47.3 percent less time spent supporting and managing desktops

  • 2039 percent three-year return on investment

To read the complete IDC report, visit


ZENworks for Desktops 4 offers significant value and financial benefits over the ZENworks Starter Pack. By upgrading to ZENworks for Desktops 4, you will have a more scalable, dependable workstation and application management service that will reduce overall costs and boost productivity. Any applications and policies you defined using the ZENworks Starter Pack will still work, and you will have the added benefit of better management and new functionality. In addition, the full term upgrade protection associated with Novell's special promotion guarantees that you will receive any future releases of ZENworks for Desktops during the term of your protection.

If your company is still using the ZENworks Starter Pack, now is the time to make the move to ZENworks for Desktops 4 or to the ZENworks for Desktops 4/ZENworks for Servers 3 suite. After all, Novell doesn't offer a product at almost half the regular price every day. In fact, this special promotion ends January 15 for customers in Asia-Pacific, Canada, Europe, and Latin America and January 31 for customers in the United States.

For more information about this promotion, visit

Sandy Marymee is a technical writer for Technology Innovations Group Inc. a technical writing and consulting firm located in Sandy, UT. b

* Originally published in Novell Connection Magazine


The origin of this information may be internal or external to Novell. While Novell makes all reasonable efforts to verify this information, Novell does not make explicit or implied claims to its validity.

© Copyright Micro Focus or one of its affiliates