Microsoft System Center Essentials

Again, I’ve lifted this from the SCE blog, and again, I’ll weigh in once I’ve pulled it down, and had the chance to try this bad boy out!  This one could be a little gem for the SMB space, who want the advanced capabilities provided by Hyper-V, but want to wrap around it, a comprehensive set of management tools, designed with SMB in mind.  From the SCE blog:

“For those of you who were with us for the release of System Center Essentials 2007 a little over two years ago, you know that this is Microsoft’s IT management solution specifically designed for midsized businesses. From one console, SCE allows you to monitor and manage your servers, clients, hardware, software, and IT services.

Over the last two years, we’ve been getting some great feedback from customers using SCE 2007, investigating ways to improve on the existing features AND address a new trend we’ve been seeing with customers’ virtualising server workloads. Based on all this input, the engineering team has invested a lot of work into making the following updates in this next release”

  • Integrated server virtualization management support, built on VMM 2008 R2 technology, including easy template-based creation of new virtual servers and live migration
  • Adjusted licensing limits to allow for management of virtual servers
  • Rewritten setup for an easier, intuitive installation
  • Built-in automatic Microsoft Update subscription maintenance
  • Provided flexible computer grouping
  • Added additional software distribution target criteria

This really is one of those technologies where you need to get your hands dirty with it, and that’s certainly something I’ll be doing over the next few weeks, when I get the chance.  SCE was a powerful technology before, and that was just with a combination of bits from SCOM/SCCM – now with SCVMM included, it’s becoming even more of a compelling solution for the SMB space…

Grab it here.

View a video of the new stuff, here.