Microsoft Systems Management Server

Systems Management Server 2.0 is a product that is produced separately from Windows 2000.

In a simple LAN-interconnected network, IntelliMirror and Remote OS Installation provide all the change and configuration management features required to maintain a well-managed network of computers that are running Windows 2000 Professional in a Windows 2000 Server–based environment. However, in a more distributed and complex enterprise, you need to supplement this base set of features with advanced planning, deployment, and diagnostic tools. Systems Management Server provides you with this advanced set of tools. Used together, IntelliMirror, Remote OS Installation, and Systems Management Server provide a comprehensive range of features to track, maintain, and manage all Windows-based desktop computers in Windows NT–based and NetWare-based environments. Systems Management Server 2.0 provides the following management functions:

Planning Tools    Systems Management Server uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) and inventory scanning tools to upload detailed hardware and software inventory information into a Microsoft® SQL Server ™ –based repository. It also provides tools to monitor and report on application use and check for product compliance such as Windows 2000 readiness and Euro currency support. This collection of planning tools helps you monitor the configuration of your environment, complete audits and compliance checks, monitor and restrict application use, and plan for operations such as new software deployments and upgrades.

Deployment Tools    By using Systems Management Server, you can distribute and install software in the background to one, ten, or tens of thousands of computers, even when no users are logged on. You can schedule and synchronize the distribution of software to Windows-based computers. This distribution is integrated with software inventory information to allow sophisticated targeting while also allowing detailed status reporting on the progress and success of each scheduled deployment. Systems Management Server is WAN-aware, allowing you to define what percentage of inter-site bandwidth can be used for management tasks. You can replace the software distribution ability available with Windows 2000 Server with the software distribution functionality available in Systems Management Server.

Diagnostics Tools    Systems Management Server provides a range of advanced remote diagnostic tools to help manage desktops and servers without the need for on-site visits. This includes tools such as remote control and remote reboot, a Network Monitor to analyze network conditions and performance and a server monitoring tool, which can track critical performance information about Windows NT Server and Microsoft® BackOffice® Server.

Systems Management Server provides advanced management features to a full range of pre-Windows 2000 systems, including Windows 95, Windows 98, Microsoft® Windows NT® version 3.51, Windows NT 4.0, and Microsoft® Windows for Workgroups. In Windows 2000–based environments, Systems Management Server extends the standard management features provided by IntelliMirror to deliver an enterprise-scale management solution. Systems Management Server can assist with these areas:

Active Directory Design    Systems Management Server identifies which computers exist on which subnets and which users log on to which computers.

Identifying Which Computers Can Be Upgraded    Systems Management Server can generate reports from its hardware and software inventory database, showing computers listed by site, user group, or other basis, including which computers are suitable for upgrade and which computers are currently deficient.

Software Configurations    Systems Management Server can generate reports from its software metering information, identifying what software is deployed and where it is still in use. You can use this information, to identify versions of software that are no longer required, and systems that you need to upgrade.

Consolidating Computer Configurations    You can use Systems Management Server to deploy service packs and software patches and to remove applications, and standardize network settings. This allows you to get computers to a known baseline, ready for Windows 2000 installation.

For more information about using Systems Management Server to plan your Windows 2000 deployment, see "Windows 2000 Upgrade and Installation" in the Deployment Planning Guide , and see the Microsoft Systems Management Server link on the Web Resources page at .