MicrosoftÃ????Ã???Ã??Ã?Â® System Center Essentials 2010 provides IT professionals in mid-sized organizations, a unified physical and virtual management experience. It enables you to better secure, update, monitor, and troubleshoot from a single console, so you can efficiently and proactively manage your IT environment.
By providing a single solution with a single console for managing your physical and virtual servers, client computers, hardware, software, and IT services for a unified experience. Integrated physical and virtual management means fewer tools to learn, a streamlined management system, and reduced administrative tasks.
By enabling you to proactively manage your IT environment with smart alert notifications of IT issues, providing expert diagnostic information to accelerate problem diagnosis and integrated tasks to quickly resolve issues before they cause downtime.
By being easy to deploy and maintain, simplifying complex management tasks, like creation of virtual servers, software deployment, update management, and inventory collection for increased IT efficiency and security
The basic idea is to place a piece of software, an agent, on the computer to be monitored. The agent watches several sources on that computer, including the Windows Event Log, for specific events or alerts generated by the applications executing on the monitored computer. Upon alert occurrence and detection, the agent forwards the alert to the SCE server. This SCE server application maintains a database that includes a history of alerts. The SCE server applies filtering rules to alerts as they arrive; a rule can trigger some notification to a human, such as an e-mail or a pager message, or trigger some other workflow intended to correct the cause of the alert in an appropriate manner.
SCE uses the term management pack to refer to a set of filtering rules specific to some monitored application. While Microsoft and other software vendors make management packages available for their products, SCE also provides for authoring custom management packs. While an administrator role is needed to install agents, configure monitored computers and create management packs, rights to simply view the list of recent alerts can be given to any valid user account.
It has been a while as I had to find the time to draft this post. In part 2 we will cover basic configuration of SCE2010. As you already know SCE2010 is a combination of several System Center products so there are a fair amount of settings that need to be configured. When you first open up SCE2010 a wizard opens that you use to configure it. Here is the list of what is in the initial configuration:
- Group Policy Settings (Use Local or Domain Group Policy)
- Computer Discovery (A scheduled job that adds new computers to SCE2010.)
- Email Notifications (What email server and account is used to send out notifications.)
- Proxy Server
- Monitoring Configuration
- Error Monitoring and Forwarding
Group Policy Settings
This gives you two options for Group Policy. You have domain or local. Domain is the recommended option as this will automatically make changes to computers that you add to SCE2010 such as directing computers to use SCE2010 for Windows updates. If you do not have a domain account that has privileges to create objects in the domain group policy then you will have to go with the local option. This will work just fine but changes are made to the local group policy of ever computer that is managed by SCE 2010 rather then pushed down through domain group policy.
When the SCE 2010 agent is installing on a computer a SCE_ConfigureAgentCertPolicy rule in the System Center Essentials Management Pack runs and configures the machines local group policy settings.)
Select “Yes” and put in your domain account credentials. Click test to make sure the account has enough privileges to create GPO objects.
System Center Essentials 2010 (Essentials 2010) is a new management solution in the System Center family of IT systems management products specifically designed for midsized businesses. You can manage up to 50 servers and 500 workstations which make it a great fit for small and medium sized businesses.
- Provides a unified solution with a single console for managing a broad range of tasks across your physical and virtual servers, clients, hardware, software, and IT services for a unified experience.
- Enables you to proactively manage your IT environment, helping keep your system up-to-date with a solution that accelerates problem resolution and enables automation of system updates and data collection.
- Is easy to deploy and maintain helping simplify complex management tasks for increased IT efficiency.
System Center Essentials 2010 introduces a unified management console for managing your IT environment. The console runs on the Essentials management server and provides access to all Essentials 2010 features and data. You can also administer Essentials 2010 by installing an additional Essentials 2010 console on a computer that is different from the Essentials management server computer.
- Computers—Provides access to the Computers Overview pane for computer and computer groups management, inventory, update management, and software deployment. For more information, see Computers Pane in Essentials.
- Monitoring—Provides access to the Monitoring Overview pane, which is used for monitoring objects. For more information, see Monitoring Pane in Essentials.
- Updates—Provides access to the Updates Overview pane, which is used for software update management. For more information, see Updates Pane in Essentials.
- Software—Provides access to the Software Overview pane, which is used for software deployment. Includes applications and Operating Systems such as Windows 7. For more information, see Software Pane in Essentials.
- Reports—Provides access to the Reports Overview pane, which lists the Essentials 2010 reports that you can run to view various types of information. For more information, see Reports Pane in Essentials.
- Authoring—Provides access to the Authoring Overview pane, which is used for customization and configuration of Essentials 2010 monitoring settings. For example, you can customize settings for management pack groups, management packs, distributed application modeling, and other monitoring configurations. For more information, see Authoring Pane in Essentials.
- Administration—Provides access to the Administration Overview pane, which is used for administrative tasks such as device management and provides access to Essentials 2010 settings for features that are set up in the initial configuration wizards. For more information, see Administration Pane in Essentials.
How can you get started on a proof of concept today?
- Download and Install Windows Server 2008 R2
- Download and Install System Center Essentials
- If you want to install Other Test / Proof of Concept Servers you might also want to go to SharePoint Downloads and/or SQL Server R2 Downloads
What are the differences between SCE and the full System Center Products (SCOM, SCCM, Etc)? Compare Here
What’s New? Based on customer feedback we’ve received over the last couple of years, here’s what’s new in Essentials 2010:
- We’ve raised the number of Windows Server devices you can manage from 30 to 50.
- We built Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 technology right into the product, so that Essentials 2010 provides a single console and management solution for managing both your physical and virtual servers. This includes support for converting physical servers to virtual machines and support for live migration.
- The console has a new look and feel making it easier than ever to quickly check the health of your IT environment and address any issues.
- Installation and configuration are even easier with checks for prerequisites during installation and Group Policy checks for proper configuration.
System Backup / System Center Data Protection Manager – Do you want to add System Center Data Protection Manager (it is just the best backup solution on the planet for Microsoft workloads) to your System Center Essentials? See System Center Essentials Plus 2010: New Licensing Program for Midsize