Novell Announces Device Management for Macs, Includes Enhanced Encryption

Novell announced an update to its ZENworks suite, which includes integrated Mac device management, and full disk encryption capabilities. ZENworks 11 Support Pack 2 enables customers to lock out threats without shutting down IT access, the vendor says. ZENworks 11 now offers a more holistic approach to supporting Mac devices in the enterprise. With this release, Mac support is provided through Remote Management for Mac, Asset Management for Mac, Mac OSX Patching and Mac Bundles.

ZENworks 11 Support Pack 2 now provides device management capabilities across a range of platforms, says Eric Varness, vice president of product management and marketing for Novell. "Our goal was to give the IT shop a common set of tools to manage a mixed fleet - including Windows, Linux and Mac," he says. "Fundamentally, Macs are managed using the same policies and workflows as a Windows PC, but there are a few differences; the biggest being a lack of user-identity associated with a Mac device, which is itself a limitation of the OS-X operating system."

With management capabilities including asset, configuration, patch, endpoint security and now full disk encryption, ZENworks 11 Support Pack 2 continually adjusts security settings contingent on location and the role of the user. When an issue arises in one department of an organization, this solution enables administrators to manage and protect the organization from security risks without disrupting the workflow of other employees.

ZENworks full disk encryption includes centralized key management and support for both hardware-based and software-based full disk encryption options. Does Full Disk Encryption mean all data on users' devices gets encrypted?  How does performance get addressed? "Our encryption solution encrypts everything, we then use Pre-Boot Authentication (PBA) to lock access to the drive," says Varness. "As with any software-based encryption, there is an initial encryption period and some residual performance differences. Both will depend upon the specific capabilities of the drive concerned, but it shouldn't be noticeable in modern drives. For drives that support hardware-based encryption there should be no noticeable performance difference."

Another new feature, Novell Endpoint Protection Suite, a companion suite to the existing Novell Endpoint Lifecycle Management Suite, includes ZENworks full disk encryption and ZENworks endpoint security management products, with an optional ZENworks patch management subscription. The Novell Total Endpoint Management Suite combines the Novell Endpoint Lifecycle Management Suite and the Novell Endpoint Protection Suite into a single-purchase offering.

ZENWorks' integrated Mac device management enables end-users to take control of Mac devices using the same familiar tools used today for their Windows and Linux environment; includes remote control, automated software deployment and patching, and asset management capabilities for Mac devices. The capability does not extend to other Apple products, such as iPad - yet. "We don't yet have support for tablet devices, but this is of course a natural next step to our product strategy," says Varness. "Stay tuned."

For more information, including pricing and availability for Novell ZENworks 11 Support Pack 2, visit