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We're beginning to spec out a web-based application that will allow users to manage automatic startup/shutdown and web-based wake-on-lan control for end users throughout departments at our University. This will be a centralized service interacting with systems that are managed by local support personnel. As a potential user of the system myself I feel like have a pretty good handle on the desired features from a user perspective, but I'd like some feedback from IT pros -- especially in a Windows shop -- on what kinds of things a local IT support person may desire from the system.

We will be collecting information locally, but the more input the better, I think.

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Scheduling, scheduling, scheduling. It's an absolute must that whatever system you analyze, it has the ability to schedule startup/shutdowns. This will allow you to turn off all PCs and a given time, say 6PM. Then turn half of them back on at 1AM (every Monday) to get WSUS updates and run defrags, then turn them off at 3AM. Then turn the other half of them back on at 1AM (every Tuesday)...etc...etc...etc.

Maybe some other features that would be nice to have are obvious, the ability to do the following to remote machines:

  • logoff
  • reboot
  • shutdown
  • poweroff
  • standby
  • hibernate
  • lock
  • WOL

Remote admins should also be able to shutdown messages to the remote computers, allow the messages to be cancellable, run remote programs, and tell the console whether you want an immediate action to be taken or schedule any of the aforementioned actions.

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