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Systems Management Server 2003 Product Overview

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Systems Management Server 2003 R2Systems Management Server 2003 R2

Systems Management Server 2003 R2 System RequirementsSystems Management Server 2003 R2 System Requirements

Systems Management Server 2003 Service Pack 2Systems Management Server 2003 Service Pack 2

System Management Server 2003 Service Pack 1System Management Server 2003 Service Pack 1

Systems Management Server 2003 FeaturesSystems Management Server 2003 Features

Systems Management Server 2003 R2

Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 R2 builds upon the base of the SMS 2003 SP2 foundation to provide a comprehensive solution for change and configuration management for the Microsoft platform. SMS 2003 R2 enables organizations to quickly and cost-effectively provide relevant software and updates to users from Microsoft and non-Microsoft vendors.

Evaluate Systems Management Server 2003 R2

Download Systems Management Server 2003 R2 120-day trial software now.

The trial software is available in these languages: Chinese (Simplified), English, French, German, and Japanese. In order to download the software, you must first register in English.

The Custom Updates Publishing Tool is available as part of your MSDN subscription.

NOTE: When moving from the 120-day trial version to a full retail or select version of SMS 2003 R2, you are required to uninstall and reinstall the SMS 2003 R2 product. To avoid interruption of service or loss of data, please be sure to backup the SMS site database and the Custom Updates Publishing Tool database, prior to uninstalling. See the SMS 2003 R2 documentation for more details.

Key Capabilities

SMS 2003 R2 provides the following key capabilities:

Inventory Tool for Custom Updates

Building a more secure and reliable infrastructure while lowering operating costs relies on the ability to update independent software vendor (ISV) and in-house applications as well as updates provided by Microsoft. With SMS 2003 R2 and the Inventory Tool for Custom Updates (ITCU), organizations can achieve this goal quickly and efficiently.

ITCU consists of two components:

  • Integrated Scanner. Designed for evaluating target clients for software update compliance.
  • Publishing Tool. Designed to allow the ISV or line-of business (LOB) application developer to create software update catalogs that can be imported into SMS. The native SMS 2003 Software Updates Management (SUM) functionality can then use these catalogs to determine applicability and automatically remediate as necessary.

Scenarios:

  • Vendors create catalogs of update definitions for commercial software applications.
  • Customers create catalogs of update definitions for in-house LOB applications.
  • Solution-providers build catalogs of updates for organizations to which they provide services

Scan Tool for Vulnerability Assessment

Software installation errors and misconfigurations compromise security and stability, resulting in escalated support costs. Scan Tool for Vulnerability Assessment (STVA) can help prevent errors, increasing your organizational uptime and helping you build a more secure infrastructure. The tool provides vulnerability assessment reporting for common software misconfigurations using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) 2.0 engine.

Scenarios:

  • Scan for an organization’s vulnerabilities that may exist because of misconfiguration errors.
  • Example checks made by STVA:
    • Are unnecessary services installed and running?
    • Do file shares have appropriate permissions?
    • Is Windows Firewall enabled?
    • Are automatic updates enabled?
    • Are strong passwords enforced?
    • Are unsecured guest accounts enabled?
    • Are there too many local administrators on a single computer?

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Systems Management Server 2003 R2 System Requirements

Software Requirements

  • Systems Management Server 2003 Service Pack 2. All SMS 2003 Service Pack 2 site system roles are supported only on systems running Windows 2000 SP4 or later.
  • Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) must be installed as part of the Windows Server installation for certain SMS site system roles.
  • Microsoft SQL Server 7.0 SP3 or later, SQL Server 2000 SP3a or later, or SQL Server 2005 can be used to host the SMS database for SMS 2003 R2.

Hardware Requirements

The following table lists the minimum hardware requirements for servers running SMS 2003 R2.

Hardware Component Requirement
Microprocessor550 megahertz (MHz) or faster processor recommended
Memory256 megabytes (MB) of RAM (maximum 4 gigabytes (GB) of RAM)
Hard disk2 GB of available hard disk space on a Windows NT file system (NTFS) partition
DriveCD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
DisplayWindows 2000–compatible video graphics adapter
PeripheralsKeyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device, or hardware that supports console redirection
NetworkNetwork adapter

Client System Requirements

SMS 2003 R2 supports the following clients:

  • Legacy Client Operating Systems. Installation of the SMS 2003 R2 Legacy Client is not supported on any client operating system capable of Advanced Client installation. Microsoft Windows 98 is the only supporting operating systems for Legacy Clients.
  • Advanced Client Operating Systems. SMS 2003 R2 will not support Advanced Client installation on client platforms earlier than Windows 2000 SP4 or Windows XP SP1.
  • SMS 2003 R2 provides support for 64-bit server platforms as SMS Advanced Clients.

Client Hardware Requirements

The following table shows the minimum hardware requirements for SMS 2003 R2 clients.

Hardware Component Requirement
Microprocessor300 MHz or faster processor recommended, 133 MHz minimum
Memory128 MB or higher recommended (64 MB is supported but can limit performance and some features)
Hard disk80 MB of available hard disk space
DisplaySuper VGA (800×600) or higher-resolution video adapter and monitor
PeripheralsKeyboard and Microsoft Mouse, or compatible pointing device
NetworkNetwork adapter

Custom Updates Publishing Tool Software Requirements

The following are software requirements specifically for the Custom Updates Publishing Tool component.

  • Supported Operating Systems: Windows 2003 SP1, Windows 2003 R2, Windows XP SP2
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0
  • Microsoft SQL Server 2005
  • MSI 3.1
  • Microsoft Management Console 3.0

Customer Updates Publishing Tool Hardware Requirements

The following table lists the minimum hardware requirements for the Custom Updates Publishing Tool component.

Hardware Component Requirement
Microprocessor600 megahertz (MHz) or faster processor recommended
Memory256 megabytes (MB) of RAM; 512 MB of RAM or more recommended
Hard disk10 MB of available hard disk space; an additional 350 MB of available hard disk if the Custom Updates Publishing Tool installs SQL Express
DriveCD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive
DisplayWindows 2000–compatible video graphics adapter
PeripheralsKeyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device, or hardware that supports console redirection
NetworkNetwork adapter

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Systems Management Server 2003 Service Pack 2

Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is a rollup of a number of fixes for SMS 2003, but also introduces some changes to the supported configurations and broadens the configurations allowed. SMS 2003 SP2 also includes incremental improvements to usability, security, and performance.

Changes at a Glance

  • SMS Administrator Console Changes
    • Locate management points and distribution points by Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) rather than by NetBIOS
    • Instead of using the previously required 15-character NetBIOS computer name, you can now enter an FQDN value for site server name
    • Support for using Active Directory Security Group Discovery methods has been added under Discovery Methods
    • Software Updates node now allows the creation of folders for easier management and grouping of software updates
    • SMS Advanced Client Upgrade package definition file now includes three programs: one each for IA64, x64, and x86
  • Decommissioned Data DR Processing in SMS 2003 SP2
    • The added ability to send notification of client record deletion to the parent site and then propagate that notification up the hierarchy
  • Multi-Threaded Software Inventory Processing
    • The software inventory processor component of the SMS Executive service is now multi-threaded
  • Updates for the Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates

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System Management Server 2003 Service Pack 1

Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is primarily a rollup of a number of hotfixes for SMS 2003, but also introduces some changes to the supported configurations and broadens the configurations allowed.

Configuration Changes

  • To enhance security, the SMS Legacy Client will be supported on Windows 98 and Windows NT 4.0 SP6a operating systems only. Note that SMS 2.0 clients and Legacy Clients running on Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 will not upgrade to SMS 2003 SP1.
  • Reduced requirement for WINS in SMS. If the Active Directory Schema is not extended then you still need WINS to enable a client to find its Management Point after site assignment. However, if DNS is configured to enable SMS clients and servers to resolve each other's NetBIOS names, then SMS 2003 SP1 does not require WINS for this once the Management Point has been located. WINS is still required for locating a Management Point (in environments where the Active Directory schema is not extended) because the Management Point record (MP_<sitecode>) is a 1a record type. WINS resolution through DNS is only supported for 00 record types.
  • Product keys are required for new installations of SMS 2003 SP1 and can be found on the SMS 2003 product CD case or through Volume Licensing. Upgrades to SMS 2003 SP1 do not require product keys.

Broadened Configurations

  • Advanced Client support for systems in workgroups
  • Advanced Client support for Virtual Server 2005 and Virtual PC 2004
  • Advanced Client support on all Windows Server 2003 SP1 64-bit-based platforms at release
  • Advanced Client and Distribution Point support for Windows Storage Servers
  • Support for English site server installation on localized operating systems

SMS 2003 SP1 also includes incremental improvements to usability, security, and performance.

Usability

  • Categorize queries, packages, advertisements, reports, and software metering rules easily with the addition of folders in the Administrator Console
  • Over 100 accessibility changes to meet the needs of government and private industry

Security

  • Authorize critical updates immediately without waiting for inventory scans
  • Track the status of updates with more granular reporting
  • Tightened data privacy for client inventory information provided through encryption of inventory data
  • Enhanced security through the ability to configure the server and Advanced Client ports used for communication
  • Apply signed security at the time the client is provisioned to operate at a higher level of security
  • SMS 2003 had server authentication only. SP1 now has client authentication to protect servers from client spoofing

Performance

  • Improve inventory performance by excluding the Windows Directory during software inventory scans
  • Control bandwidth utilization by specifying the size of the data packages and by using pulse mode to define the time between packages when sending data between sites
  • Improved client inventory performance to minimize user interruption during hardware inventory scans through enhancements for Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)-based inventory
  • Improved software distribution and less network impact in 3-tier hierarchies by allowing the sending site to send content directly to the recipient sites without having to send multiple copies through a middle site

Note: There are a few SMS 2003 hotfixes that are not included in SP1 but will be available as SMS 2003 SP1 hotfixes.

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Systems Management Server 2003 Features

Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 provides a comprehensive solution for addressing and resolving your change and configuration needs. Read about SMS 2003 features in the table below.

Capability Description
Application Deployment
  • Detailed application deployment planning. Detailed reports available in SMS 2003 ease the application deployment process. For a planned deployment, it is easy to obtain the target group\'s current hardware base, existing applications, and version information, as well as the current service pack and hotfix levels of the system.
  • Rich distribution targeting. Software distribution and other management tasks can be specifically targeted to machines and users using a wide variety of properties including network and hardware configuration, Active Directory® organizational unit, and group membership and software installation status.
  • Delta distribution between site servers and distribution points. When changes are made to previously deployed software package sources, only the source changes are propagated between SMS 2003 site servers and distribution points, rather than the entire application image.
  • Elevated rights Windows Installer service. Because SMS 2003 supports the Windows Installer service (.msi), it is able to switch user account contexts during a package installation allowing for self-healing application installation on systems that have been secured.
  • Add or Remove Programs support. Applications can be easily published to the Add or Remove Programs interface to provide users with a consistent way of installing applications.
Asset Management
  • Application usage monitoring. Summary and detail reports can be generated specifying which applications were used by users, how long they were used, and on which managed systems they were used. Usage can be tracked by user or computer, and reports can be created around concurrent usage data.
  • Granular software inventory file level searching. Now you can configure SMS 2003 to provide you with the asset discovery you need--to the level that you need.
  • Detailed hardware inventory. Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) enhancements allow improved client-side performance during inventory scans and provide a richer set of inventory data, including BIOS and chassis enclosure data.
  • Web-enabled reporting. More than 120 pre-built reports are included, covering hardware and software inventory as well as computer status and software deployment progress.
Security Patch Management
  • Vulnerability identification. Standard Microsoft security tools, such as the Microsoft Baseline Security Inventory Analyzer and the Microsoft Office Inventory Tool for Updates enable you to inventory your systems for applicable patches and vulnerabilities.
  • Patch deployment wizard. A simple console wizard is provided to assist administrators in deploying required patches to managed devices.
  • Vulnerability assessment and mitigation reporting. After missing security patches have been identified, the results of these individual scans are then posted to the central database for reporting and targeting purposes. As missing patches are deployed, this data may be optionally updated in real time.
Mobility
  • Bandwidth-aware clients. The new Advanced Client uses the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) technology to automatically detect the capacity of the client network connection and adjust transfer rates efficiently.
  • Checkpoint/restart. Upon reconnection, any partial downloads to clients will continue where they left off; there is no need to restart transmissions because of a disconnected session. Checkpoint/restart works at the byte level, requiring only the download of those bytes in a package that haven\'t already been transferred.
  • Download and execute. After a new software package has been successfully downloaded to a client, it remains in the cache of the client system until the scheduled install time, when it is then executed.
  • Location awareness. As mobile users move through geographic locations, flexible site boundaries ensure that they always receive software packages and updates from the nearest appropriate installation source, and are not required to install software across the enterprise wide area network (WAN).
Windows Management Services Integration
  • Active Directory discovery. SMS 2003 can automatically discover the Active Directory properties of both users and systems, including organizational unit container and group level membership. Software packages can then be targeted based on these Active Directory attributes.
  • Active Directory-based site boundaries. Site boundaries can now be based on Active Directory site names, rather than on Internet Protocol (IP) subnets.
  • Advanced Security Mode. Built-in computer and local system accounts can be used for all server functions (such as database access), dramatically simplifying the management of accounts and passwords within SMS 2003 and making the enterprise more secure by not creating extra high-rights accounts.
  • Improved status tools. The status data provides real-time information about the current state of SMS 2003 processes, both on servers and clients.
  • Windows XP Remote Assistance support. The high-performance Windows XP Remote Assistance feature is now an option for troubleshooting clients remotely from the SMS Administrator Console when a user is present at the remote machine.

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