There have been a lot of changes to the way we are using technology around us in the enterprise. One of the ways we are overcoming a vast amount of these changes in IT is by utilizing Microsoft System Center products. One of the most widely implemented tools that we have available to us is System Center Configuration Manager or SCCM.
Microsoft SCCM is a systems management platform that offers administrators a comprehensive solution to manage their many moving and changing parts, from operating system deployment to inventory control. As an administrator for systems in a large environment, you’ll be able to manage updates, security, application deployments, mobile devices and even power-saving options across multiple physically dispersed locations from a central management console.
SCCM even ties into the cloud and gives us the capability to manage a range of client devices—even when they aren’t in the office. With integration into Windows Intune and Windows Azure, we are now able to extend our scope of management and our client’s scope of access. We achieve this with the ability to configure the deployment of applications and updates in one central administrative console without the restrictions of overly cumbersome setups.
Multi-Device and Multi-OS
Using SCCM 2012 R2, you’ll be able to manage devices running mobile and full desktop versions of many operating systems including Windows, Windows Embedded, Mac OS, Linux, UNIX, and mobile versions of Windows, Symbian, iOS, and Android.
Windows Server Update Services
Microsoft SCCM can tie directly into your existing WSUS patch management strategy. While taking advantage of non-limiting containers or collections (comparable to organizational units from AD), you can ensure delivery of updates to precisely the devices that they are intended for.
Windows Deployment Services
One of the best free features included in your server license is WDS. It offers PXE services and multicasting functionality that integrates directly into SCCM with ease to offer you the ability to deploy operating systems quickly and efficiently. With SCCM, you don’t even have to worry about being over burdened with complex answer files for how you would like the operating system installed or connected to your domain.
SCCM 2012 offers a rich selection of tools that can be used to manage many types of devices, including iOS, Android, and of course Windows Mobile platforms, without paying for a separate server solution to manage them. With Windows Azure and Windows Intune integration into SCCM, you can ensure your devices used remotely are up to date and have the newest LOB application updates deployed.
Inventory and Reporting
Along with great server management scheduling, self-service application portals, and even out-of-band management, there is a plethora of monitoring and reporting functions. Alerts will inform you of non-compliance, and reports from both SCCM Management Console and SQL Reporting Services will give you the data in an easily presentable format for presentations.
System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 is one of the many great tools in the System Center family and is rapidly becoming the administrator’s Swiss Army Knife of IT systems management.
Administering System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (M10747)
Deploying System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (M10748)
Server Virtualization with Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center (M20409)