Category Archives: microsoft

Microsoft System Center

Microsoft Systems Center is all in one system management tool.  Often called SCCOM or Systems Center Operation Manager (SCOM) or its Original name SMS (Sytems Management Server.  On December 19th of 2018 Microsoft release, a new stable release called 1810 (Microsoft System Center).

System Center 1807 Now Available!

There are many system management tools out there; some ones I have used are:

  1. SolarWinds
  2. ConnectWise
  3. IPCenter
  4. System Center 2007

In my last TechNet Seminar; The Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (ConfigMgr) Management Pack for System Center Operations Manager 2007. This Management Pack helps administrators manage and administer Configuration Manager 2007 servers. Was going to be the last version of System Center and Microsoft was the development of Endpoint Protection server.

Microsoft Endpoint Protection Server 2007 was the best if ask me, Antivirus and malware protection and it had a small footprint on a system.  The best feature is the Endpoint Protection download virus and malware signatures and definition from more than one vendors than one signature and definition servers.

Then Symantec Endpoint Protection had a large footprint on PC and a server, Older and some new PC would slow down, have performance issues and/or not enough hard-drive space. It also only got the virus and malware signatures and definition only Symantec.

Symantec Endpoint intrusion prevention and firewalls into the mix, which added to the pull on system resources and if not configured correctly from the beginning get in the way of production.  Some times deployment of a client package would bottleneck smaller internet gateways, cause internet outages. I often had re-push the package.

So, I dropped learning how to use System Center 2007 and studying it, now was used in 2007. It is now 2019 and I am getting a request for it. In 2019 more and more companies are using it as a signal resource management tool. If you Windows Systems Administrator (Wintel Systems Administrator) you need to know it.

In 2012; Microsoft launched System Center Configuration Manager 2012, released in 2012, was the product that made System Center 2012 made SCCM a widely use management tools.

So let look at Systems Center 2012 R2 :

  • Configuration Manager allows IT professionals to deploy operating systems, software apps and install updates. It can also maintain hardware and software inventories, and remotely administer computers.
  • Virtual Machine Manager enables users to create and manage virtual machines. It can interface with Microsoft Azure’s Hyper-V virtual machine hypervisor system. For admins who want to interface with existing VMware hypervisors, an add-on called System Center 2012 R2 Integration Pack for VMware vSphere is available at no additional cost.
  • Endpoint Protection is system security and antimalware client that allows administrators to monitor client workstations. It sends an email alert whenever it detects that malware has been installed.
  • Service Manager is System Center’s integrated IT service management platform, allowing IT professionals to track incidents, resolve problems and more. It interfaces with Operations Manager and Configuration Manager.
  • Operations Manager deploys a monitoring agent to each endpoint, and it is the main monitoring software included in the System Center pack. Add-ons allow monitoring for a wide range of services, such as Apache, Tomcat, VMware and SQL servers.
  • Data Protection Manager is a backup and disaster recovery product that’s compatible with multiple types of servers.

Personally, I have always tried to push Systems Center as an all in one tool, the system works with Cisco’s CDP protocol and SNMP protocol allowing to monitor both systems servers and a large majority of network devices.

You can monitor both Linux, Unix and MacOS systems, and most mobile devices.

System Center 2016 and Beyond.

First Systems is gear to working with Office 365 and Virtualization (optimized for Azure but can work with VMware ESX and AWS).

It has the following features:

  • Configuration Manager provides software deployment, distribution, update management, and configuration monitoring throughout an IT infrastructure. Configuration Manager automates many tasks associated with software deployment and maintenance while enforcing the organization’s software configuration policies and standards.
  • Data Protection Manager (DPM) enables disk-based data protection and recovery for file and application servers in an Active Directory domain. DPM backs up client systems, server file systems, Exchange databases, SharePoint data, and SQL databases on a continuous basis, allowing an organization to recover a single lost or corrupted file or restore an entire system.
  • Endpoint Protection is used with Configuration Manager to provide a single infrastructure for client management and security, including malware detection. It gives administrators a central location for creating and applying all client-related policies.
  • Operations Manager monitors the health of IT services across datacenter and cloud infrastructures. Operations Manager can provide IT departments with reports at defined intervals as well as alerts when immediate attention is necessary. Operations Manager can be used to monitor the performance of both server and client applications. Management packs — the sets of instructions that Operations Manager uses to monitor specific applications — are available for most current Microsoft server applications and operating systems, as well as many from third parties.
  • Orchestrator is a workflow management tool for automating the creation, monitoring, and deployment of IT resources. Orchestrator integrates with Microsoft and non-Microsoft products, allowing administrators to connect different systems without any knowledge of scripting or programming languages.
  • Service Manager facilitates implementing and automating IT service management (ITSM) best practices across an organization. Service Manager can provide IT departments with processes for incident and problem resolution, change control, and asset life cycle management.
  • Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) is a server application for administration and management of Microsoft and VMware virtual machine guests and virtual machine hosts. It provides network administrators real-time views of resource allocation and allows rapid reconfiguration.

The new features are VMM and Orchestrator. VMM manages Microsoft Hypervisor and VMware ESX server virtual machines. Help with asset management and workflow, you don’t have to integrate SharePoint and run scripts to create a report of assets in your inventory anymore Orchestrator is a great new feature.  In my past, it was always my job to figure out the end of life of the hardware and make plans to replace it, track warranties, etc.

Who should use Systems Center?

  • Small business who don’t have Data Protection (Backup Software) and Antivirus/Malware Protection.
  • Medium to Large business who don’t have Data Protection (Backup Software) and Antivirus/Malware Protection.

If you don’t have licenses for any of these products but need these products to get it in a one-shot deal.

Most place I have worked these use multiple solutions to manage the environment and have to manage multiple licenses and products that don’t always integrate well and maybe scripting is needed to deal with integration issues.

  • Companies who want a single solution and who want to manage multiple products.

Companies big or small should revisit Sytems Center.

Charles Lucas
The Otaku Computer Guy!


History:

System Center Configuration Manager has evolved since Microsoft originally released it as “Systems Management Server” in 1994. Significant releases include:

  • Systems Management Server 1.0, released in 1994 along with Windows NT Server 3.5. This initial release targeted the management of MS-DOS, Windows for Workgroups, Windows NT, Macintosh and OS/2 desktops on Windows NT Server, NetWare, LAN Manager, and Pathworks networks.
  • Systems Management Server 1.1, released in 1995 to help customers migrate to Windows 95.
  • Systems Management Server 1.2, released in 1996 with new remote-control, SNMP, inventory, and network monitoring capabilities.[4]
  • Systems Management Server 2.0, released in 1999 to help with Y2K remediation efforts.[5]
  • Systems Management Server 2003, released in 2003 with improved stability, reliability, and software-distribution capabilities.[6]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2007, released in 2007 with support for Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.[7]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 2012, released in 2012 with significant changes to application deployment capabilities.[8]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 1511, released in November 2015 to support Windows 10 and new Windows servicing options.[9]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 1602, released March 11, 2016. New features include conditional access for PCs, Office 365 Update Management, greater management of mobile devices and of Windows 10.[10]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 1606, released July 22, 2016. New features include support for managing new Windows 10 features like Windows Information Protection and Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, improved integration with the Windows Store for Business supporting online and offline-licensed apps, and more.[11]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 1610, released in November 2016 [12]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 1702, released March 2017 [13]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 1706, released July 2017 [14]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 1710, released November 2017 [15]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 1802, released March 2018 [16]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 1806, released July 2018 [17]
  • System Center Configuration Manager 1810, released December 2018 [18]

Coming Soon!

I will be doing articles on Windows 2019 and Systems Center 2019; in the future. My new lab environment and production environment will be done in a few months and I be able to show demos.


References: