From the Desired Configuration Monitoring user guide

“Desired Configuration Monitoring (DCM) enables you to author desired configuration manifests, and to monitor and report on compliance of your computers against a desired configuration. DCM thereby strengthens the Microsoft systems management platform by checking for undesired configuration changes across multiple configuration sources.
DCM uses the Microsoft Exchange Server Best Practices Analyzer (ExBPA) as the underlying compliance-checking engine, Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 for the targeting, deployment, and scheduling mechanism, and Microsoft SQL Server™ Reporting Services as the reporting infrastructure. In addition, Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005 can be used as the alerting infrastructure.”

When we look at Configuration Management from a MOF / ITIL perspective, the goal of configuration management is to ensure that only authorized components, referred to as configuration items (CIs), are used in the IT environment and that all changes to CIs are recorded and tracked throughout the component’s life cycle. To achieve this goal, the configuration management process includes the following objectives:

  • To identify configuration items and their relationships and add them to the configuration management database (CMDB).
  • To enable access to the CMDB and CIs by other SMFs.
  • To update and change CIs following changes to IT components during the release management process.
  • To establish a review process that ensures that the CMDB accurately reflects the production IT environment.

If you already have SMS 2003 SP1 and MOM 2005 already in place, this tool can help support your configuration mgmt process by automating some of the review process to ensure that CMDB matches production configuration and also ensure that unauthorized changes to production don’t go unnoticed.