I’ve just completed a whitepaper on this feature pack that is included in SMS 2003 R2. It is a pretty simple feature pack and I like the power it adds to an SMS network to do an otherwise nasty task, i.e. scanning the network for insecure configurations.
In the late summer of 2006, Microsoft released Systems Management Server 2003 R2 (Release 2). SMS 2003 R2 consists of 2 CD’s: CD 1 is SMS 2003 with Service Pack 2 integrated and CD2 contains:
- The Device Management Feature Pack: A previous free release that adds functionality to manage Windows Mobile and Windows CE devices using SMS 2003.
- The Inventory Too l for Custom Updates Feature Pack: A new feature pack that is available to those who are entitled to install SMS 2003 R2. This feature pack adds functionality to SMS 2003 so that you can deploy updates for third party products (e.g. Citrix and Adobe) and so that you can also deploy your own catalogues of updates for in-house or 3rd party products.
- Custom Updates Publishing Tool: This administration tool enables you to build catalogues from EXE or MSI installers for use with the Inventory Tool for Custom Updates. This is licensed for SMS 2003 R2 customers and MSDN subscribers.
- The Scan Tool for Vulnerability Assessment: A new feature pack that adds security auditing and reporting functionality to SMS 2003.
SMS 2003 R2 is a simple release. If you need the functionality described above then upgrading to SMS 2003 R2 is simple. You insert the second CD and install the feature packs as described in the help file on the root of the CD. There is no SMS migration, no SMS upgrade or no server migration. The R2 release is nothing more than 2 new feature packs and a tool that is available to MSDN subscribers. If you do not need the above functionality then I would recommend that you do not bother to upgrade, even if you do have the right to under software insurance. I would wait until the much anticipated release of System Centre Configuration Manager 2007, aka SMS V4.
I do not want to belittle SMS 2003 R2. The added features will be of great benefit to many SMS 2003 customers. This document will describe one of the new feature packs added by SMS 2030 R2, the Scan Tool for Vulnerability Assessment (STVA).
The SVTA will be of great benefit to security officers, IT auditors and security conscious administrators. It will automatically scan targeted computers and centrally store compliance information. This can easily be reported on using SMS reports (SMS console or web based). This means that vulnerability information can be made available to non technical people via delegated reports.
The document continues …