Dell Kace has added Chromebook support to the latest version of its popular K1000 management appliance, for the first time giving IT departments an integrated way of managing an asset whose popularity is rapidly colonising sectors such as education.
Chromebooks don't come with some of the issues that plague PC management - regular security updates for instance - but organisations still baulk at having to tend an entire platform using time-consuming manual processes.
Google already offers the Chromebook Management Console but that is a standalone console. The crucial advantage with the K1000 is that it integrates this into the established processes an organisation might use for other platforms such as PCs, Mac, Linux, mobile devices and printers.
Admins can use it to get a full Chromebook device inventory, reporting and service desk requests as they would for any other system.
"As many of our smaller school districts are eager to take advantage of economical Chromebook deployments, having a simple solution for managing Chromebooks along with other computer systems and devices enables Ventura County to deliver a higher level of service to our school districts," commented Stephen Carr, CTO of Ventura County Office of Education, a US school district.
His installation included 21 public schools serving 140,000 students, many of whom use Chromebooks.
IDC estimates that Chromebook shipments will reach nine million in 2015, a growing chunk of the US education and home laptop market.
The K1000 is available as a physical box, a virtual appliance or a cloud virtual service.
Base pricing starts at £5,981 for a physical or virtual appliance, including 100 device licenses, with additional ones costing £21 each. An asset pack for 250 Chromebooks costs £740. Cloud service pricing starts at $6.50 (£5) per month per device foe education.
Citrix already offers a way for Chromebooks to access Windows apps through its XenApp delivery system.
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.