Posted by: kurtsh | February 25, 2010

INFO: What’s new in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2

image This is actually quite old information however a number of you are only just now getting to upgrading to Configuration Manager 2007 R2 from SMS 2003.

What’s new in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2?

  • Application Virtualization Management. For more information about managing virtual applications created using the Microsoft Application Virtualization platform, see About Virtual Application Packages.
  • Forefront Client Security Integration. For more information, see About Forefront Client Security Integration with Configuration Manager 2007 R2.
  • SQL Reporting Services Reporting. Allows you to report on Configuration Manager activity using SQL Reporting Services.
  • Client Status Reporting. Provides a set of tools and Configuration Manager 2007 reports to assess the status of client computers, sometimes referred to as "client health." Clients that show a change in activity patterns might need administrative intervention.
  • Operating System Deployment Enhancements. The following enhancements are included in Configuration Manager 2007 R2:
    • Unknown computer support—In Configuration Manager 2007 R2, you can deploy operating systems to computers using a PXE service point without first adding the computer to the Configuration Manager database. For more information, see About Unknown Computer Support for Operating System Deployment.
    • Multicast deployment—Previously, all operating system deployments used unicast. Multicast can make more efficient use of network bandwidth when deploying large images to several computers at the same time. For more information, see About Multicast for Operating System Deployment.
    • Running command lines in task sequences with credentials other than the local system account.



What’s new in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2?
While no new features have been added for the Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP2 release, some have changed very little since Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 and some have changed a lot.


What’s new in System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1?
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 introduces out of band management. For more information, see Overview of Out of Band Management.

Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 also provides significant enhancements to the Asset Intelligence feature introduced in Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 and included in Configuration Manager 2007. As well as the functionality provided by Asset Intelligence in Configuration Manager 2007, the following feature enhancements have been made to Asset Intelligence in Configuration Manager 2007 SP1:

  • New catalog and license management capabilities from within the Configuration Manager console.
  • Additional reports.
  • Compatibility with Microsoft SoftGrid applications.
  • Asset Intelligence catalog synchronization to child sites.
  • Ability to import both Microsoft and non-Microsoft software licensing data.

Using the Asset Intelligence feature in Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, the Asset Intelligence catalog can be dynamically updated by using the new Asset Intelligence synchronization point site system role. This site system can be used to request on-demand catalog synchronization with System Center Online or schedule automatic catalog synchronization. The Asset Intelligence synchronization point can also be used to upload uncategorized software titles to System Center Online for identification.

For more information, see Asset Intelligence in Configuration Manager.

The length of the evaluation period has changed in Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 to be more consistent with other Microsoft products. In Configuration Manager 2007, the evaluation period is 120 days. In Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, the evaluation period is 180 days.

The Application Compatibility Toolkit (ACT) Connector and the System Center Updates Publisher are no longer included with the Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 installation media.

Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 provides support for Windows Server 2008 as clients and site systems.

In Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, you can modify the registry to prevent the console from contacting the Internet to display the TechCenter page as the console home page. For more information, see How to Prevent the Home Page from Downloading the TechCenter Page on

In Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, a change was made to advertisements to run without being scheduled even if the logged on user is not an administrator. For more information, see "Internet-Based Clients Running Advertisements" in Example Package Access Scenarios.


What’s new in Configuration Manager 2007?
Some aspects of Configuration Manager 2007 have changed very little since SMS 2003, while some have changed a lot. Also, several new features have been added and some features have been removed.

The following features are new to Configuration Manager 2007:

  • Desired configuration management
  • Network Access Protection for Configuration Manager
  • Wake On LAN

The following features were previously available only in Feature Packs but are now incorporated into the core product:

  • Mobile device management
  • Operating system deployment
  • Transfer site settings wizard
  • Manage site accounts tool (MSAC)
  • Asset Intelligence

The following features have changed significantly from SMS 2003:

  • Backup and recovery
  • Software updates

The following features have been improved but still function very much as they did in SMS 2003:

  • The administrator console
  • Collections
  • Software distribution
  • Software metering
  • Remote tools

The following features either have not changed or have minor changes:

  • Discovery
  • Inventory
  • Queries
  • Reporting

The basic site infrastructure has not changed. You still have primary sites and secondary sites, although the new feature for software distribution called the branch distribution point might remove the need to create some child sites in your hierarchy. Site-to-site communication is still configured using senders and addresses; however, in Configuration Manager 2007 senders can be installed only on primary or secondary site server systems. Several new server roles have been added to support new features. Configuration Manager 2007 now supports hosting the site database on a clustered SQL Server virtual instance as well as named instances of supported SQL Server installations.

In SMS 2003 you had two types of clients, but in Configuration Manager 2007 you have only one client type, which is similar to the SMS 2003 Advanced Client. Some of the client deployment methods have changed and some methods have been removed. A new method, software update point client installation, allows you to leverage your software update infrastructure to deploy Configuration Manager 2007 clients.

In SMS 2003 you had two security modes, but in Configuration Manager 2007 you have the equivalent of SMS 2003 advanced security. However, you now have two site modes: Configuration Manager 2007 native mode and Configuration Manager 2007 mixed mode. Although site modes are not at all related to the SMS 2003 security modes, they do involve the security of your Configuration Manager 2007 environment. Native mode is a requirement to support Internet-based client management, a new feature that allows you to manage clients that do not have a direct connection to your site.

In SMS 2003, the site server’s local subnet is automatically used as the site boundary for the site during setup. In Configuration Manager 2007, there is no default boundary created during setup, and you must manually create the boundary for a site when setup has completed. In SMS 2003, there are site boundaries and roaming boundaries, but in Configuration Manager 2007, there is only one type of boundary and it is equivalent to SMS 2003 roaming boundaries. Computers are assigned as clients to Configuration Manager 2007 sites according to the site boundaries you configure in the Configuration Manager console. Boundaries can now be defined by IP subnets, Active Directory site names, IPv6 Prefix, or IP ranges.

In SMS 2003, roaming boundaries were either local or remote roaming boundaries. When creating Configuration Manager 2007 boundaries, you instead decide whether the boundary will be used for either a slow or unreliable or a fast (LAN) network connection. During upgrade, any existing remote roaming boundaries will become slow boundaries and any local roaming boundaries will become fast (LAN) boundaries.

In SMS 2003, you could not upgrade from the evaluation version of the product to the full version. Configuration Manager 2007 now supports upgrading from the evaluation version. When upgrading an evaluation version, whether it is SMS 2003 or Configuration Manager 2007, an entire setup process must be completed using the new installation source files.

In SMS 2003, the client push installation method properties used when installing clients have the default site code set to Auto. In Configuration Manager 2007, the default site code used when installing clients using the client push installation method is set to the site code of the primary site.

In Configuration Manager 2007, state messages are sent by Configuration Manager 2007 clients using a new messaging system built into the product that allows clients to send "checkpoints" of important changes of state. State messages are not the same as status messages; whereas status messages provide information about component behavior and data flow, state messages provide a snapshot of the state of a process at a specific time.

Configuration Manager 2007 also includes support for fully qualified domain names (FQDNs) and IPv6.



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