Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (formerly known as Microsoft System Management Server) drives IT productivity and efficiency by reducing manual tasks and enabling you to focus on high-value projects, maximize hardware and software investments, and empower end-user productivity with the right software at the right time. Configuration Manager 2007 contributes to a more effective IT department by enabling secure and scalable operating system and application deployment and desired configuration management, enhancing system security, and providing comprehensive asset management of servers, desktops, and mobile devices.

The System Center Suite of Products

Microsoft System Center includes technologies that help automate the most common management tasks, and it also provides tools to help IT professionals detect, diagnose, and correct problems in their computing environment. With support for managing both Windows-based systems and others, System Center targets a variety of problems and a range of organizations.

The System Center Family

The products included under the System Center umbrella address the challenges of managing information technology in organizations of different sizes. In addition to Configuration Manager 2007, the System Center products include:

  • System Center Operations Manager 2007    Allows IT staff to monitor and manage the hardware and software in a modern distributed environment.

  • System Center code name “Service Desk”    When released, “Service Desk” is expected to provide implementations of fundamental IT Service Management processes, including incident management, problem management, and change management.

  • System Center Data Protection Manager 2006    Provides data backup and restore for Windows file servers.

  • System Center Essentials 2007    Provides tools for less-specialized IT staff in smaller organizations to manage their environments more effectively with the three most important management functions: monitoring distributed systems, automating software updates and installing applications.

  • System Center Virtual Machine Manager    Helps management staff with the process of consolidating applications onto virtualized servers.

  • System Center Capacity Planner 2006    Capacity Planner is a tool for determining what hardware resources will be required to run an application, such as Exchange Server 2003, to meet specific performance and availability goals.

For more information about Microsoft System Center, see

Configuration Manager Scenarios

The following section describes some typical scenarios for companies using Configuration Manager 2007.

Kim is the desktop administrator at Fabrikam, Inc. His top priority is to make sure that all clients have software updates that have been determined to be critical by the security administrator. When new software updates are released, the security administrator gives Kim a list of updates to deploy and when they should be deployed by. Kim creates packages containing the required updates and uses the WSUS server integration with Configuration Manager 2007 to scan all clients in the organization and apply the updates only to clients that need them. If clients do not choose to install the updates prior to the deadline set by the security admin, Kim can force the client computers to install the updates and restart the computer, if required.

Kim's manager likes to get regular reports of the hardware and software for asset tracking. Kim has configured Configuration Manager 2007 to inventory all clients, including mobile device clients like cell phones, once a week. He is gathering information about how many Vista-capable computers are in the organization and how many computers will require upgrades prior to upgrading the operating system. Kim's manager decides that they should do a small pilot of Vista deployment using Configuration Manager 2007. Kim uses the operating system deployment feature to create a task sequence to copy a client computer's current user and computer settings up to a server, then install the new operating system, and then restore the user and computer settings to a new computer that is capable of running Vista. Kim can send the task sequence only to computers he identified using hardware inventory.

The accounting department has just purchased a new line-of-business application and wants it installed on all accounting computers as soon as possible. Kim uses the software distribution feature of Configuration Manager 2007 to send the new software only to computers in the accounting department based on their membership in an Active Directory security group. When one of the accountants has problems accessing a departmental server after the new software is deployed, Kim uses Configuration Manager 2007 to remotely administer the computer and fix a setting that had been inadvertently changed by the user. Kim gets a few more help desk calls from users who made similar configuration mistakes and he realizes he can use the desired configuration management feature in Configuration Manager 2007 to locate all client computers with the incorrect setting. Kim creates a script to fix the setting issue and configures Configuration Manager 2007 so that when computers are identified as having the incorrect configuration, they will automatically run the script to fix the configuration problem.