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Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 provides a comprehensive solution for change and configuration management for the Microsoft platform, enabling organizations to provide relevant software and updates to users quickly and cost-effectively.
SMS 2003 is Microsoft's strategic solution for change and configuration management of Windows-based systems. As hardware and software assets comprise a large portion of the IT budget, corporations are becoming more focused on finding ways to reduce these costs while continuing to deliver valuable business capabilities. SMS 2003 delivers on this by reducing the overall operational costs of managing and deploying software.
While new applications often offer valuable business capabilities, large-scale deployment projects have become less feasible given the difficulty and cost associated with such a project - resulting in potentially placing businesses at a competitive disadvantage. By providing a comprehensive solution for planning, testing, deploying, analyzing, and optimizing software applications, SMS 2003 delivers end-to-end capabilities to help enable the seamless deployment of the latest business productivity application to every device - from server to handheld.
Failing to implement a comprehensive security patch management strategy could have severe consequences for enterprises - critical business production systems may fail, or security-sensitive systems could be maliciously exploited - all leading to a potential loss in productivity, time, access to business applications and subsequent revenue. SMS 2003 delivers an enterprise-proven solution for managing update deployment, providing a set of tools and processes that enables quick and easy determination of Windows-based systems in need of critical updates, and the ability to test and reliably deploy these updates throughout their environment, allowing enterprises to proactively maintain the integrity of their Windows environment.
As corporate workforces evolve from cubicle dwellers to road warriors, this increased degree of mobility introduces additional challenges for managing PC's and devices. By using the rich manageability infrastructure in the Windows operating system, industry standard Internet technologies such as HTTP, and the technology and best practices from Windows Update - used today to implement hundreds of millions of software updates per month - SMS 2003 has extended its enterprise scalable asset management and software distribution solution to the mobile client. Software can be distributed to machines over slow link connections without interrupting the core business functions and as users move from location to location, SMS 2003 determines their physical location and enables the download of critical software from the closest source.
Taking advantage of the built-in management capabilities within Windows systems, management solutions can reduce operational costs by not duplicating infrastructure and functionalities already available. By integrating with the Windows platform, and then investing in the backend technologies, such as Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Active Directory, and Windows Installer Services, SMS 2003 provides an increased level of manageability for Windows-based clients.
Although SMS 2003 provides all the capabilities for change and configuration management of the Microsoft platform, without also implementing the operational processes in place to utilize these capabilities, enterprises will not be able to realize the full potential of this technology to effectively manage Windows-based servers and clients. To assist enterprises in implementing these processes and technologies effectively, Microsoft offers a series of Solutions Accelerators for SMS. Developed as part of Microsoft Solutions for Management, the Solution Accelerators provide a blueprint for addressing key management issues by combining people, process, and technology to help solve specific customer scenarios. The Solution Accelerators are integrated with Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF), management best practices based on the discipline of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL). By taking an approach based on process as well as technology for solving management issues, MOF focuses on reducing unplanned system downtime caused by technology, process and people failures. The Solution Accelerators for SMS include:
New Application Installation Solution Accelerator using SMS, delivering an end-to-end supported solution that implements best practice processes to address software deployment of a new application onto an existing Windows Operating System.
Security Patch Management Solution Accelerator using SMS providing guidance for deploying software updates, service packs, and Quick Fix Engineering (QFE) fixes to Windows servers, SQL Server, Exchange, and desktop clients.