REDMOND, Wash., Sept. 30, 2002 — Microsoft Corp. today released the beta version of Microsoft® Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003, its change and configuration management solution for the Windows®
operating system, to more than 10,000 customers worldwide to begin testing and providing feedback. Formerly code-named
“Topaz,” the feature set includes mobile support for laptops, tighter integration with key Windows 2000 components such as Active Directory®
, and improved asset discovery and management with fully scalable metering and Web-based reporting tools.
“Today’s enterprise environment is far more disparate and distributed than ever before,”
said Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president of the Management Business Group at Microsoft.
“For global companies and the emerging mobile work force, there is increasing demand for a solution that allows customers to rapidly deploy software updates efficiently and cost-effectively. From devices to datacenters, Systems Management Server 2003 is the strategic, comprehensive solution that enables enterprises to effectively manage software on the Windows platform.”
The most notable improvement for SMS 2003 will be the ability to manage the ever-growing mobile work force. The two challenges customers face in managing mobile PCs are making connections over slow, unstable lines and roaming between multiple geographical locations. Systems Management Server 2003 addresses these problems with Background Intelligent Transfer Services (BITS). BITS uses industry-standard Internet technologies such as HTTP and is used by Windows Update to deliver 160 million updates per month to users around the world. This technology enables mobile PC users to get the software they need without interruption of their critical business functions. Microsoft will further extend mobility support by providing asset management and software distribution for non-PC devices running the Windows CE, Windows Powered Pocket PC or Windows XP Embedded operating system. This includes devices such as handheld PDAs, point-of-sale devices or Windows-based terminals and will be delivered one to two quarters after SMS 2003 is released to manufacturing.
“To compete in a global economy, where large enterprise companies have thousands of users distributed worldwide, managing a mobile work force is crucial,”
said Ronni Colville, research director at Gartner Inc.
“Companies should recognize mobile-user support as a critical component and choose a change and configuration management solution that provides timely and accurate distribution of critical software.”
A key factor of the Systems Management Server product line has been its optimal use of core Windows-based manageability services, and SMS 2003 extends this tradition through improved integration with key Windows services such as Active Directory. Integration of SMS 2003 with Active Directory allows customers to utilize directory-enabled management to manage their enterprise to meet the needs of their business users.
“As we deploy the SMS 2003 beta, we are experiencing seamless integration with our Windows platform and are excited about the level of business value it is bringing to our company,”
said Michael Niehaus, IT consultant at Marathon Oil Co.
“We are moving to use Active Directory site boundaries so that we can further reduce the costs by managing just one IP infrastructure, instead of two. In addition, we are using Active Directory to support global roaming, allowing our client machines to get their critical business software from the closest distribution point, regardless of where they are and with no effort on our part.”
Finally, the ability of SMS 2003 to accurately discover and report on key assets deployed and used helps companies save money. By offering key extensions to inventory collection, an improved reporting infrastructure, and a new software metering solution designed to track application usage for the largest of enterprise customers, Systems Management Server 2003 proves to be an asset management solution for Windows that allows customers to make better purchasing decisions regarding how to best leverage their infrastructure.
Systems Management Server 2.0 Feature Packs for Current Customers
Two Systems Management Server 2.0 Feature Packs, currently in beta release and scheduled to be available for Web download in the coming months, offer SMS 2.0 customers immediate enhancements in software update distribution and administration. The SMS 2.0 Software Update Services Feature Pack helps customers bring critical Windows and Microsoft Office updates inside their corporate firewalls easily and use the features of SMS 2.0, such as inventory and software distribution, to determine which machines need critical updates and then broadly deploy them across enterprise desktops and servers quickly and accurately. The SMS 2.0 Administration Feature Pack helps administrators further reduce the cost of managing Windows by providing advanced tools for using SMS in a multisite configuration and reporting features that allow administrators to better track their enterprise software licensing from vendors such as Microsoft. These feature pack functions also will be available with SMS 2003.
More information on Microsoft Systems Management Server can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/sms/ .
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