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Tag Archives: System Center Configuration Manager

Microsoft System Centre 2012 server management licensing is simpler than it was before. Firstly, licenses are required only for the endpoints being managed. There is also a consistent licensing model across all editions. There are two editions: Datacentre and Standard. They have identical capabilities and are differentiated only by virtualization rights.

What is virtualization?

Simply put, it is the creation of a virtual (rather than actual) version of something. This could be an operating system, a server, a storage device or even network resources. So for the Datacentre edition, there is an unlimited virtualization right which is ideal for high density private clouds. The Standard then, is for lightly or non-virtualized private clouds.

What capabilities are there?

  1. Configuration Manager: provides a comprehensive solution for change and configuration management for the Microsoft platform. It lets you perform tasks such as the following:
  • Deploy      operating systems, software applications, and software updates.
  • Monitor      and remediate computers for compliance settings.
  • Monitor      hardware and software inventory.
  • Remotely      administer computers.

Ultimately it makes the job of your IT personnel easier and allows for the creation of reports on performance.

  1. Service Manager: provides an integrated platform for automating and adapting your organization’s IT service management best practices. It provides built-in processes for incident and problem resolution, change control, and asset lifecycle management.
  2. Virtual Machine Manager: is a management solution for the virtualized datacenter, enabling you to configure and manage your virtualization host, networking, and storage resources in order to create and deploy virtual machines and services to private clouds that you have created.
  3. Operations Manager: provides infrastructure monitoring that is flexible and cost-effective, helps ensure the predictable performance and availability of vital applications, and offers comprehensive monitoring for your datacenter and cloud, both private and public.
  4. Data Protection Manager: (it’s in the name!) enables disk-based and tape-based data protection and recovery for servers such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint, virtual servers, file servers, and support for Windows desktops and laptops.
  5. Orchestrator: is a workflow management solution which lets you automate the creation, monitoring, and deployment of resources in your environment.
  6. App Controller: provides a common self-service experience that can help you easily configure, deploy, and manage virtual machines and services across private and public clouds.
  7. Endpoint Protection: provides an antimalware and security solution for the Microsoft platform.

So now you see how both versions have all the capabilities you could need. Need more info? See here for our product page and feel free to ask us for a quote!

1. Asset Intelligence is an online software catalog maintained by Microsoft and available as an add-in to System Center Configuration Manager SCCM 2007 R1 & R2 (it was first available for SMS 2003 SP3).

To obtain it you need to have Software Assurance on SCCM. For details on how this works (& doesn’t work) check the links on this blog.

2. Asset Inventory Service v1.5 is an online Software Asset Management tool for inventory & license management. Typically you would not use this service if you’re already using SCCM & Asset Intelligence. To obtain AIS you need first to be licensed for Windows with SA, then you need to subscribe to MDOP, which includes AIS among its 6 tools. Version 2.0 is due to be available in September (2010).

A related online service, called Intune, does for desktops & laptops what AIS does for the software installed on them, things such as patch management, malware protection, health monitoring. A license for Windows 7 Enterprise will apparently be included in the shipping release (currently it’s in its second beta).

There are a couple of excellent blogs on the differences between these two confusingly named asset management tools.

  • This one hightlights the required steps to enable Asset Intelligence in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R1 & R2 (with Software Assurance)
  • This one spells out the technical & licensing differences in blunt (& unambiguous) terms