Introducing Systems Management Server 2003

Information Technology (IT) administrators have used Microsoft® Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 for many years to manage client computers and servers that are running Microsoft Windows® operating systems within their organizations. SMS has helped IT administrators contain the cost of managing heavily distributed systems by keeping the cost of ownership low while allowing the number of deployed computers and installed applications to increase.

Managing client computers within your organization includes tasks like troubleshooting individual computers, software asset management, and analyzing network problems. These tasks are often complex and time consuming. Using your resources effectively is an important part of troubleshooting computer and network problems. SMS provides a scalable change and configuration solution for centrally managing client computers and servers, which increases productivity and improves service quality to your organization. SMS 2003 meets the technical and management challenges of managing computing systems by using a distributed and scalable architecture, and by enhanced use of the Microsoft Management Console (MMC). SMS 2003 takes advantage of Windows 2000 Server Active Directory® directory service technology, which further simplifies the process of managing clients.

SMS 2003 addresses the following key issues that IT administrators face in managing distributed computing environments:

  • Managing computers that roam from one location to another and connect to the network from different geographical locations

  • Tracking deployment and use of software assets, and using this information to plan software procurement and licensing

  • Providing IT administrators and management access to data accumulated by SMS

  • Providing scalable hardware and software management to the growing population of computers running Windows operating systems

  • Managing security on computers running Windows operating systems while expending a minimum level of administrative overhead

In This Chapter

  • SMS 2003 Features and Enhancements

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