When you only have a handful of Macs in an office or household to upgrade to a new operating system, it's no great problem to run around with the installation DVD and upgrade one machine at a time. But when you're supporting a large office or school environment, it's impossible to take the time to manually upgrade each machine. That's where tools like Apple Remote Desktop and LANrev come in handy.
LANrev 5.2 has been released today, with full compatibility with Mac OS X 10.6.1 Snow Leopard. LANrev uses a proprietary imaging process that saves the home directory and OS settings of each machine during an automated OS deployment, so that the users are back up and running as quickly as possible afterwards.
IT professionals can not only roll out Snow Leopard faster using LANrev, but the application also tracks Snow Leopard machines for asset inventory and provides for remote management of Macs. LANrev has an asset inventory for storing license numbers and purchasing information, which is critical for audits. LANrev can track the location of stolen Macs and provide law enforcement officials with information to locate and recover the machines. For those who are concerned about power usage, LANrev does automated power management of large Mac installations, putting Macs to sleep or shutting them down when they're idle.
Unlike Apple Remote Desktop, LANrev works in cross-platform environments, so it's useful for situations where a small group of Mac users may exist in a Windows world -- or vice versa. No pricing info is available on the LANrev Web site, so be sure to contact one of their distribution partners if you're interested in this professional administration tool.