System Center Essentials 2010

SCE is possibly the least known of Microsoft System Center family.  The existing 2007 version is a merger of the core components of Operations Manager 2007 and Configuration Manager 2007.  It is a subset and it does support fewer servers and desktops.  That’s because it is aimed at small to medium companies.  For example, SCE 2007 manages up to 30 servers.

Microsoft is updating the product.  OpsMgr has seen changes with 2007 R2 and Configuration Manager is undergoing development for an R3 release for this year.  It doesn’t end there.

Microsoft knows that SME’s are quite likely to deploy Hyper-V for virtualisation.  The number of hosts might grow.  I know one small software company that runs two hosts with dozens of VM’s.  Developers want new VM’s for test and development on a frequent basis.   That sounds like maybe VMM would be handy.  And so SCE 2010 will include functionality from VMM to manage Hyper-V.  Virtualisation typically means there will be more servers.  Therefore SCE 2010 will manage up to 50 servers.

A release candidate (test) version of SCE 2010 is available

  • Delivers single console monitoring and management with summary information, common tasks, alerts and reports, allowing you to quickly see and manage your IT environment.
  • Provides rapid provisioning, importation, management and live migration of virtual servers.
  • Simplifies complex management tasks like packaging and deploying software, and configuring Microsoft and third-party updates.
  • Helps quickly solve problems using integrated alerting, expert knowledge and troubleshooting for servers, PCs and IT services running in your IT environment.

System Center Essentials 2007 Beta

Microsoft has released the beta for SCE 2007 on the Connect website.  SCE is a compilation of the key components of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SMS v4) and System Center Operations Manager (MOM 2007).  This compilation aims to provide the functionality required by midsized organisations that normally couldn’t afford Microsoft’s standalone enterprise solutions and would otherwise have to purchase 3rd party point solutions. 
It’s likely to be be competitively priced.  My guess is that this will put an end to MOM for Workgroups. I’ve yet to install it but it appears to be wizard driven, much like Small Business Server.  MS recognises that the target customer usually can’t hire in expertise to handle complex solutions like MOM or SMS and have small departments that can’t dedicate the necessary time to manage them so providing wizards will make this quite attractive to them.