Windows 2000 Takes a Little of the Load off of SMS

Windows 2000 Takes a Little of the Load off of SMS

March 1, 2000

Christopher Rice

    Does anyone remember a few years back when they were saying that SMS would disappear with NT 5 (now Windows 2000)? Well, I remember it, as I thought that I would soon be out of a job. Isn't it funny that we all think the same way?

    Anyway, the truth of the matter is that SMS is not going away, but some of the load that it has been taking on will be moved over to Windows 2000. Maybe this will help in cutting down the amount of badmouthing that SMS administrators have to deal with all the time, who knows?

    To begin, software packaging will now be handled in the context of the operating system. Originally, packaging software was sold off on it's own, then it began coming packaged with SMS, known as SMSInstaller (this was really WISE Installer with a name change). Now, Windows Installer software will come as a function of the operating system, packaged with it for distribution. 

    Software package distribution is another function that can be handled by the operating systems as opposed to running it as a job from SMS. This should not be very difficult as you will have the ability to drag and drop software to groups in the active directory. 

    "Self-healing" or "Self-maintaining" software would most definitely have been an SMS feature had it been fully ready to go a few years back (with SMS 1.2) but now it will be a feature of the operating system as well. You will have the ability to have software check itself for functionality and repair any corruptions before execution of the program. One big misconception is that you will have to have a full W2K environment to have this work, the actuality is that you will only need a W2K file server to distribute the software you want to be managed. I have used this feature and found it to reliable; I deleted the executable and it was replaced when I attempted to run the application.

    These functions make Windows 2000 a more robust operating system than NT and will also improve the functionality of SMS because it will allow SMS to feature some of it's lesser known functions (help desk, hardware and software monitoring, etc.)

Give me any feedback on your experiences with W2K and SMS 2.0 at