Introducing Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager


Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM, also known as ConfigMgr), formerly Systems Management Server (SMS) is a systems management software product developed by Microsoft for managing large groups of computers running Windows NT, Windows Embedded, OS X, Linux or UNIX, as well as Windows Phone, Symbian, iOS and Android mobile operating systems. It enables administrators to manage the deployment and security of devices and applications across an enterprise. Configuration Manager provides remote control, patch management, software distribution, operating system deployment, network access protection and hardware and software inventory.

The SCCM integrated console enables management of Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (Med-V), Citrix XenApp, Microsoft Forefront and Windows Phone applications from a single location. SCCM Training Manager 2012 discovers servers, desktops, tablets, and mobile devices connected to a network through Active Directory and installs client software on each node. It then manages application deployments and updates on a device or group basis, allowing for automated patching with Windows Server Update Services and policy enforcement with Network Access Protection. System Center Endpoint Protection Manager 2012, formerly known as Forefront Endpoint Protection, is built into System Center Configuration Manager to secure data stored on those devices.

Several key features of System Center Configuration Manager 2012 help administrators address the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend in the enterprise, including user-centric management. End users can search for applications with a self-service Software Center and specify times when installations and upgrades take place. IT administrators can install applications in different ways on different devices — for example, as a native application on a primary device or as a Remote Desktop Services app or App-V program on a tablet. SCCM 2012 also includes role-based access control (RBAC), which enhances system security by only showing end users the interface elements that apply to their specific roles as defined by Active Directory.

Introducing Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager

What is Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager?

System Center Configuration manager, the flagship systems management product from Microsoft, is a comprehensive management solution for computer systems utilizing Microsoft Windows operating systems. With Configuration Manager, IT technicians proactively manage the entire lifecycle of all Windows-powered devices. This includes deploying and maintaining systems and software, responding to security threats, distributing settings, and analyzing inventory data.

What benefits does a client receive from Configuration Manager?

  • Reliability: Your device will quickly receive software updates and patches with little to no interaction on your part.
  • Time Efficiency: You will stay more productive as deployment and updating processes run in the background, freeing up more time for teaching, research and management.
  • Flexibility: You can choose when and where to install new software or run maintenance on your device through Self-service portals.
  • Security: IT Technicians will manage the security of your machine so you don’t have to. You can rest assured that software patches, antivirus protection, and firewalls are well maintained.
    ? Confidentiality: Your data and files will remain confidential; no personal data is scanned, indexed, or transmitted off your device. CMT servers also keep full audit logs of any actions performed by technicians.
    ? Compliance: Your device will always be in compliance with federal laws governing requirements for research or student data on University computers.

How does Configuration Manager work?

The Configuration Manager infrastructure consists of several high-performance, redundant servers which provide a database of computer information and data storage for programs, applications, and operating system images for deployment to end-user computers. Configuration Manager utilizes a small software utility known as an “agent” to communicate with the servers. This agent inventories hardware specifications, software installation information and provides for the automated installation of software updates and security patches. All client/server communication is encrypted by a certificate pair configured when the agent is installed.

What information does Configuration Manager collect?

The UNL implementation of Configuration Manager has been customized to collect only the data needed to support computers running a Microsoft Windows operating system. This information includes:

  • Hardware Specifications
  • Installed Applications & Usage
  • Services Running
  • Available Software Updates
  • Local User Accounts and Login/Logout Timestamps
  • Security Status (Firewall, SSH, etc)
  • Connected Peripheral Devices

No personal information is collected, such as the contents or names of personal files (documents, email, etc) or any browsing history.


For their workstations, administrators can:

  • Provide the initial installation of an operating system and/or software on a new machine.
  • Push software, patches, configurations, and updates to individual machines or groups of machines.
  • Rebuild a system that has been compromised.
  • Run reports.
  • SCCM features remote control, patch management, operating system deployment, network protection and other various services.
  • Users of SCCM can integrate with Microsoft InTune, allowing them to manage computers connected to a business, or corporate, network. SCCM would allow users to manage computers running the

Windows or Mac operating system, servers using the Linux or Unix operating system, and even mobile devices running the Windows, iOS, and Android operating systems.

? SCCM is available from Microsoft and can be used on a limited-time trial basis. When the trial period expires, a license needs to be purchased to continue using it.


TekSlate SCCM allows administrators to build customized installations of software, operating system images, and configurations that can be repeated across multiple desktop systems or entire labs to which they are administrators. This process provides consistency, simplifies desktop management, and reduces overall administrative costs while providing the flexibility necessary to meet the diverse needs of the campus environment.

Misty Jhones
Misty Jhones is a Bachelor of Arts in English from University of California and graduate of Queen’s University. Her interests run the gamut from global development and world wide affairs to obscure new technologies. On any given day you're likely to find me writing about the latest technologies and their online solution.

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