It is useful to investigate your organization's history of systems management solutions and determine if any method was used in the past or is currently in use. Evaluate the success or failure of past projects, making note of any mistakes made and ways of avoiding the same mistakes in the future. Determine if there are previous successful project plans to assist you in planning your SMS 2003 implementation.
Also, document how you logically view and manage your current computing environment. For example:
Do you manage inventory centrally or locally? Do you manage it by organization or by physical location? You must know this information to design your SMS hierarchy. This is a good time to evaluate your organization's current systems management guidelines and make decisions about changing appropriate aspects of it with your SMS implementation.
How do you decide what software can be used, when it can be used, how it is distributed to end users, and how often? Knowing how your organization distributes and monitors software usage helps you in configuring these features in SMS later.
How do you support users when they have computer problems? What remote control tool does your IT department use, if any? It is important to know if you have a remote control solution in place already because you must determine whether it is compatible with the SMS remote control agent or not. If not, you must remove the incompatible remote tool before enabling SMS Remote Tools on your SMS clients.
It is important to check for previous installations of SMS 1.2 or SMS 2.0 so that you can plan for interoperability issues and upgrade procedures. If you find that a previous version of SMS was installed and later removed, consider removing all SMS components from client computers and servers before installing SMS 2003. If you are planning a phased deployment of SMS 2003 that coexists with another management solution, check both the vendor's support documentation and the Microsoft Knowledgebase for any known interoperability issues.
If you are currently using SMS, and you plan to upgrade to SMS 2003, see Chapter 11, "Planning an Upgrade."
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