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Mitch Irsfeld

TechNet Flash, Volume 13, Issue 23 - October 19, 2011
TechNet Flash Editor's Note from Mitch Irsfeld

Enterprise-Class Management for Smaller Businesses

You don't have to manage a large IT environment to reap the benefits of System Center. It's simply a matter of choosing one right version for small and midsized business. System Center Essentials 2010 (SCE) is designed for organizations with up to 50 servers and 500 clients, and provides a unified console to better secure, update, monitor, and troubleshoot an environment of physical and virtual servers.

For IT pros at small and medium-sized organizations, it can be a daunting task to keep the systems healthy and up to date, while improving the experience for their users and driving down costs. Often saddled with a broad range of tasks, these "jacks-of-all-trades" can quickly find themselves in reactive mode. That's where SCE 2010 can really help out.

SCE 2010 can monitor the total environment and alert administrators to potential problems. Moving from reactive to proactive management has long been a key benefit of the System Center family. Smaller businesses usually lack the resources to specialize in the many facets of the System Center suite, and find the enterprise solution too complex or too expensive to consider. If that sounds like your IT organization, the first thing to do is download the free System Center Essentials 2010 Trial.

One Console
With SCE 2010, there is one administrative console, sporting an Outlook-like interface, for managing a broad range of tasks across your physical and virtual servers, clients, hardware, software, and IT services. The unified management console runs on the Essentials management server and provides access to all SCE 2010 features and data. For details on the console and various "panes" available, go to Understanding the Essentials 2010 Console.

Software deployment, updates, and patches are also simplified and - to a large degree - automated. Group Policy-based deployment borrows functionality from the enterprise-class System Center Configuration Manager, so you don't have to manually update clients. The TechNet Library features a section of how-to articles on Administration in Essentials, including the Administration Pane, the Device Management Node, and Management Packs.

System Center Essentials 2010 also includes predefined reports that display various types of information, and preloaded management packs to help monitor common operating system components, services, and applications. For more on the monitoring and reporting capabilities, check out Monitoring in Essentials and Reporting in Essentials.

Virtualization Is Not Just for the Big Companies
Another huge benefit of SCE 2010 is the integration of virtualization management, including live migration. Smaller organizations can take advantage of the cost savings of virtualization, and manage the combined physical and virtual servers from the same console. Catch this video for a demo of the Virtualization Features of System Center Essentials 2010, including quick provisioning of new virtual machines, conversions from physical to virtual, and intelligent placement of virtual workloads. For a deeper dive with 16 how-to articles, see Virtualizing Your Server Environment in Essentials.

Whether you're just learning about System Center Essentials or are ready for more advanced instruction, the TechNet Library is a great resource. Already using Essentials 2007? Find out What's New in System Center Essentials 2010 and How to Upgrade to System Center Essentials 2010. TechNet Ramp Up also features the Configuring and Managing System Center Essentials 2010 track, with several videos and articles on how to configure and use Essentials 2010 to perform the most critical systems management tasks in a midsize environment.

More great TechNet Library resources include:

There you have it. If you're managing IT infrastructure in a small or medium-sized organization, you can have a single console experience for managing both physical and virtual servers. You get smart alert notifications with diagnostic information. And you can simplify your life with fewer tools to accomplish a broader range of tasks, from software deployment, to update management and the creation of virtual servers.

This TechNet Feature edition provides the resources to get you started and keep you and your users productive.

Thanks for reading,

Mitch Irsfeld
Editor, TechNet Flash

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