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System Center Essentials Brain Dump
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System Center Essentials Brain Dump


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  • 1. System Center Essentials: RedMonk Brain-dump August, 2007
  • 2. Overview •Red/green light monitoring & more •Management tasks, not just “read” •Provisioning and updates •Extensible with Management Packs •Wide Microsoft coverage •Entry price: $2,000 (sticker) •For mid-size companies 2
  • 3. Target Market •Mid-market •Limits: 30 servers, 500 clients, 50 “network devices” •1-n “IT Pros” on staff •4 days worth of historic data •22k eval downloads May 1st to Aug 07 3
  • 4. Pricing •90 day trial •Base: $2,000 for 10 servers, 50 clients •More Servers: $100/server •More Clients: $20/client (batches of 5) •Will ship with Windows SMB •Also: requires Windows SMB or Server •Also: scaling up requires SQL Server •Of course: volume discounts •Details: 4
  • 5. Install •Requires Windows SMB or Server •Should take “about an hour” •Discovery (through AD & manual) •Requires ActiveDirectory •Select monitored “objects” •Configure software updates •Deploy agents as needed 5
  • 6. Coverage •Windows Client (2000, XP, Vista) •Windows Server (2000, Server 2003) •Physical and virtual •Exchange, SQL Server, Office, SharePoint, CRM 3.0, Data Protection Manager, IIS •ActiveDirectory, Event & App Log •SNMP, OLE DB, network ports, Windows services •Web transactions •Any Management Pack (~200 available) 6
  • 7. Management & Doing Stuff •In-line tasks - “fix it now” links, diagnostic tasks •Trouble shooting help for select apps •“Expert Knowledge” •Provisioning - very full featured •Help includes screencasts 7
  • 8. Reporting •30-50 reports out-of-the-box •Asset auditing, update compliance, health •Daily health report: asset, config, monitoring, actions to take. •Imported Management Pack reports 8
  • 9. Daily Health 9
  • 10. Notifications •Standard... •Email •SMS •Pager •No third party integration 10
  • 11. Asset Management •Catalogs software and hardware •Based on Add/Remove Programs list •Reports for compliance •Implicit asset policy through reports •Update/provision software 11
  • 12. Interface: Overview 12
  • 13. Panels •Computers - navigate assets, see details, run tasks, etc. •Monitoring - view alerts, tasks, params •Updates - get, approve, schedule patches from Microsoft & others •Software - deploy new software, e.g., Office •Reporting •Administration - mgmt packs & co. •Authoring - build from “templates” 13
  • 14. Interface: Computer Detail 14
  • 15. Interface: Computer Detail, XP 15
  • 16. Network Topology 16
  • 17. Interface: Monitoring Detail 17
  • 18. Interface: Software 18
  • 19. Authoring •Wizards to add “simple” objects •Web transactions: includes teaching •OLE DB (remote) •Network port (“TCP port”) •Windows service •Add name, version, expert knowledge 19
  • 20. Limitations & Co. •Scaling ceilings •“Primarily” Windows software assets* •Non-computer devices (mobile, etc.) •Integration •Install Requirements 20
  • 21. Future •Service Desk? •AssetMetrix - integrate with fingerprints, asset discovery •SaaS - questionable as Microsoft likes “connected services” •“Free” - bundled with Server editions 21