Systems Management Server 2003 offers added functionality for change and configuration management of Windows-based systems by introducing Feature Packs. Features Packs reduce the overall operational costs of managing and deploying software by making it easier to deploy system images, manage mobile devices, and operate management tools.

OS Deployment Feature Pack
The SMS 2003 OS Deployment Feature Pack will help desktop administrators create a Windows OS desktop image and deploy it in an automated manner, freeing up time for other pressing needs. By using the OS Deployment Feature Pack you can:

  • Use the User State Migration Tool (USMT) or equivalent third-party migration tools to migrate and restore user, computer and SMS client state
  • Utilize the Windows PE pre-boot environment
  • Remove the need to delete the system partition by leveraging the file-based image format of Advanced Windows Imaging (WIM)
  • Centralize the tracking and status reporting for OS deployment

The SMS 2003 OS Deployment Feature Pack runs on an SMS 2003 site server. Once installed, the administrator can use the SMS Administrator Console to add image packages to SMS collections for deployment to desktops. The Package Creation Wizard allows the administrator to configure the OS deployment experience by modifying settings, such as disk partitioning information, user and computer identity, and scripts. Administrators can then schedule mandatory advertisements to the targeted desktops to initiate migration and re-imaging without requiring user intervention. This capability provides a fully controllable image deployment process that minimizes the impact on the end user while helping reduce costs during deployment.

Device Management Feature Pack
The Device Management Feature Pack allows you to manage mobile devices as SMS clients just as you would manage your desktops and servers. The SMS 2003 Device Management Feature Pack lets administrators perform device discovery, collect hardware and software inventory, and distribute software to these devices. Using the Device Management Feature Pack, you can:

  • Discover and collect inventory information from mobile and terminal based clients running Windows CE 4.2 or Windows Mobile' 2003 software for Pocket PC and Pocket PC Phone Edition
  • Distribute software updates and applications to these devices
  • Support regional roaming scenarios for SMS package downloads by referring clients to local Distribution Points
  • Enable password policy by enforcing secure passwords for these devices
  • Deploy the SMS client software to devices with an ActiveSync' connection to a computer running the SMS Advanced Client
  • Use http or secure http (https) to communicate with the SMS server infrastructure
The Device Management Feature Pack can be installed on any SMS 2003 site server and allows you to manage devices through any SMS Administrator console so that administrators can view and configure mobile devices. Businesses with Windows CE-based devices, such as terminals and PDAs, will benefit from the consistent and scalable method delivered by the Device Management Feature Pack, providing a single management infrastructure for servers, desktops, and devices.

Administration Feature Pack
The Administration Feature Pack provides tools to help SMS administrators to increase the efficiency of performing distributed systems management tasks using SMS 2003. The Administration Feature Pack includes the Manage Site Accounts Tool, Transfer Site Settings Wizard, and the Elevated Rights Deployment Tool.

The Manage Site Accounts Tool simplifies managing accounts and passwords used by one or more sites in a hierarchy, as well as the associated domain updates, allowing you to:

  • Update those accounts and passwords for one or multiple target sites
  • Replicate password changes to each target site using built-in replication in the same manner as changes would be made on a single site using the SMS Administrator console
The Transfer Site Settings Wizard copies the settings from a source site to one or more target sites, including site configuration, package, and collection settings, allowing you to:
  • Import and export configurations and settings from an XML file
  • Support offline or inactive sites automatically
  • Enforce a settings policy for ongoing transfers
  • Record and track the change status
The Elevated Rights Deployment Tool is used to help deploy applications that require local administrator rights after a system has been restarted. This tool allows you to:
  • Run the installation program from the Elevated Rights Deployment Tool
  • Create a preconfigured SMS package, program, program dependency settings, and an advertisement
  • Run this tool once for each application that requires elevated rights after a system restart, such as the Microsoft Office 2003 System File Update.
How Progent Can Help You with SMS 2003 Feature Packs
In addition to advising you about ways to save management costs by deploying SMS 2003 Feature Packs, Progent's consultants can help you plan and implement IT projects involving areas that Feature Packs are designed to streamline. Progent's migration and upgrade services can minimize cost and reduce business disruption as you transition to new operating systems and applications. Progent's wireless consulting experts can help you develop efficient processes and policies to manage PDAs and smart portable communication devices so your mobile workforce stays productive and secure. Progent's CISSP-certified cybersecurity consultants and CISM-certified security management consultants can help you develop a security strategy that includes policies, processes and technologies to keep your IT network safe.

For more information about Progent's consulting and support services for SMS 2003 technology, call 1-800-993-9400 or visit Contact Progent.

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