Agentless or Agent Based - What's the difference?
Enterprises trying to find the right energy management solution for their businesses need to know what the agent based/agentless difference actually means to their bottom line. We know that both solutions are equally accurate for gathering PC and physical server energy data. Beyond that, the benefits and capabilities of the agentless solution outshine agent based in every area.
Agent Based energy management solutions require that software be installed on every device to measure the energy from it. For example, to measure and report the energy from a PC, an agent based solution would have to be installed on that PC. Then you can query the software and it would return the energy usage of the device. Since the only devices you can realistically install monitoring software on are PCs and servers, NO agent based energy management solution is able to measure, monitor or manage the full scope of your enterprise’s devices.
In most companies, servers and PCs are only 50% - 70% of their IT infrastructure. You can’t load software on the peripheral equipment, such as switches, routers, wireless access points, and printers; therefore you have no ability to get energy data using a software agent. With the JEM agentless energy management approach, these barriers don’t exist.
Agent Based Devices Managed:
JouleX Energy Manager Devices Managed:
- Thin clients
- VoIP phones
- Network switches and routers
- Wireless access points
- Heating, ventilating, air conditioning, and lighting systems
- And more
Even if agent based solutions could be installed on every peripheral device in an enterprise, there are other significant challenges to that approach.
- COST- It costs time and money to install and manage agents on every desktop. If, for example, your company has 50,000 PCs in its environment, the costs grow exponentially. Consider the amount of time (X 50,000) to:
- Download and install
- Deploy and test
- Monitor and measure
- Patch and update
- SECURITY– An agent requires software to run in a privileged mode. If there is a vulnerability or problem with the agent itself, the machine is exposed to additional security vulnerability, whereas the agentless approach uses the existing supported Operating System based metrics. This means, the system is not unnecessarily exposed to additional security vulnerabilities.
- DEVICE SUPPORT – By leveraging that core operating system functionality, with the agentless approach, tracking agent and operating system releases and hardware releases is not necessary.
- DISCOVERY – The JEM agentless system collects an inventory of all assets that are drawing energy on your network. Basically that means “it just works.” There is no guess work or double checking to ensure that none of the machines are overlooked or forgotten.
One last, but key, distinction between the agentless and agent based solutions is this: Agent based software uses additional energy on every single device it’s installed on, increasing the very costs your company is trying to measure, monitor, and control.
When you look beyond the surface it's plain that these solutions are only similar in name, but not in capabilities and effectiveness for the enerprise.
For more information, read: Questions Answered about Agentless vs Agent Based
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