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In an organization with hundreds of Windows and UNIX boxes what options exist to manage and distribute files and programs to the enterprise? I have looked at Microsoft's SMS with some UNIX integration as well as BigFix. If you have had experience with these would you call them good experiences?

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IBM Tivoli is multi-platform and will distribute files and applications. It is quite complex and pricey, but it is amazingly customizable.

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Another one you might want to take a look at is Novell's Zen Configuration Management -- Advanced Edition. The Advanced edition includes the linux management pieces. I haven't used these personally, don't have nearly enough Linux in our environment to warrant it, but it deserves a look. Unfortunately, there are separate pieces for Windows and Linux distribution but at least they ship under the same SKU.

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I've used the KACE KBox pretty successfully at a prior job. It allows you to perform all sorts of Windows installations (similar to SMS), and allows for Linux/Unix and OS X installs as well. You can also do file replication, instead of running an installer. The KBOX also lets you do all sorts of interesting things like patch deployment and asset tracking. It can be expensive, but not as expensive as some solutions (so I hear), like Altiris. I should note that, no, I don't work for KACE, but I really did enjoy using their product. It made some tasks quite a breeze.

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