Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), formerly Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS), is another well-known System Center product. System Center 2012’s new Configuration Manager lets you manage the deployment and configuration of servers, clients, and devices on your organization’s network.
You can leverage Configuration Manager to do the following:
- Deploy customized server and client OSs
- Deploy Microsoft and third-party applications to Configuration Manager clients
- Deploy software updates for Microsoft OSs and applications, as well as deploy updates to third-party applications
- Generate an inventory of all hardware devices installed on Configuration Manager clients
- Generate an inventory of the software configuration of Configuration Manager clients
- Determine how often specific applications deployed to clients are actually being used, through software metering
- Determine if the configuration of Configuration Manager clients meets a particular baseline, including application version, update installation, registry key settings, and the presence of specific files
- Deploy and manage endpoint protection, including anti-malware and firewall configuration, through System Center Endpoint Protection 2012
- Improve mobile device management, including management of devices running iOS and Android
Configuration Manager 2012 includes the ability for organizations to be more user-centric in the deployment of applications. You can configure Configuration Manager so that an application follows a user, no matter which device he or she is using. For example, the application might deploy as a traditional MSI (Windows Installer file) on the user’s primary machine, stream through App-V when the user is logged on at another computer, and have a special version delivered to the user’s phone. Figure 3 shows the Configuration Manager security roles.