Posted by: kurtsh | June 12, 2006

RELEASE: Systems Management Server 2003 R2 now available

Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 R2 is now available
We are proud to announce the release of the Systems Management Server 2003 R2, the latest addition to the Microsoft System Center family of management products.
 
Systems Management Server 2003 R2 helps streamline your IT infrastructure by improving client security and simplifying the distribution of updates for line-of-business and third-party software applications, quickly, cost-effectively, and efficiently.
 
SMS 2003 R2 provides the following key capabilities:
 
Inventory Tool for Custom Updates
Building a more secure and reliable infrastructure while lowering operating costs relies on the ability to update independent software vendor (ISV) and in-house applications as well as updates provided by Microsoft. With SMS 2003 R2 and the Inventory Tool for Custom Updates (ITCU), organizations can achieve this goal quickly and efficiently.
 
ITCU consists of two components:
• Integrated Scanner. Designed for evaluating target clients for software update compliance.
• Publishing Tool. Designed to allow the ISV or line-of business (LOB) application developer to create software update catalogs that can be imported into SMS. The native SMS 2003 Software Updates Management (SUM) functionality can then use these catalogs to determine applicability and automatically remediate as necessary.
 
Scenarios:
• Vendors create catalogs of update definitions for commercial software applications.
• Customers create catalogs of update definitions for in-house LOB applications.
• Solution-providers build catalogs of updates for organizations to which they provide services
 
Scan Tool for Vulnerability Assessment
Software installation errors and mis-configurations compromise security and stability, resulting in escalated support costs. Scan Tool for Vulnerability Assessment (STVA) can help prevent errors, increasing your organizational uptime and helping you build a more secure infrastructure. The tool provides vulnerability assessment reporting for common software mis-configurations using the Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer (MBSA) 2.0 engine.
 
Scenarios:
• Scan for an organization’s vulnerabilities that may exist because of mis-configuration errors.
• Example checks made by STVA:
• Are unnecessary services installed and running?
• Do file shares have appropriate permissions?
• Is Windows Firewall enabled?
• Are automatic updates enabled?
• Are strong passwords enforced?
• Are unsecured guest accounts enabled?
• Are there too many local administrators on a single computer?
  
Device Management Feature Pack Update
In addition to releasing SMS 2003 R2, we are proud to announce the availability of the Device Management Feature Pack Update. This updated feature pack allows SMS 2003 to support Windows Mobile 5.
 
Download the bits and evaluate the technology. (All SMS customers that have Software Assurance will be getting this release.)

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