So this is probably not news to some (or most) of you, but the following two little extensions to SMS can become very useful - especially in Academia where we don't always have everyone in the same nice domain or where we want things to happen 'now' instead of in the near future!

The first is an add-on to the SMS Admin console which allows you to invoke various Advanced Client actions form the comfort of your SMS Admin Console - many of which would require you to manually visit the client or fire up an RDP session and execute these actions - both somewhat time consuming propositions when we may have hundreds or even thousands of machines we wish to perform these actions.  The tools can be found here:

http://www.myitforum.com/inc/upload/11095AdvCliActions.zip

I believe the author is Cory Becht. 

 

The other is NetCrawler Discovery developed by Chris Sugdinis.  This tool greatly enhances SMS 2003's ability to discover devices on a network that responds to ping requests.  The tool also has scalability in mind and is VERY efficient at how it sweeps the network looking for devices.  If you are in a situation where you need to discover machines not part of the same AD or not part of any AD for possible SMS client installation, this is the tool for you.  It can also be used to at least detect the existence of any device that responds to ICMP and can create the necessary SMS DDR.  Check out the description here:

 

http://myitforum.com/blog/csugdinis/articles/18963.aspx

 

If you are interested in NetCrawler Discovery, please let me know and I will send you a copy.  If you have a Premier contract with MSFT, you can also contact your TAM to receive this tool - we also support this tool via Premier support if you have a Premier contract.