Systems Management Server comprises six broad functional areas: resource discovery, client computer inventory collection, software distribution, software metering, remote support, and network analysis. Until a resource has been discovered and assigned to a site, it cannot be managed through SMS. When a computer has installed an SMS client agent it is called a client computer. Most management functions are accessed through the SMS Administrator console.
SMS is organized as a hierarchy containing sites, site systems, networks, and resources. Communication between the sites occurs using SMS services called senders. There are many different site systems, each of which plays an important role in an SMS environment.
SMS supports a variety of network configurations. Along with robust operating system support, SMS is bundled with both hard-copy and online documentation. SMS also complies to the WBEM initiative to support WBEM-enabled providers and clients.