BackOffice Resource Kit 4.5 Overview
by Dana Daugherty
Apart from the SMS 2.0
Administrators Guide this is the single most important resource you
can buy. MS SMS 2.0 support engineers answer the majority of their
calls using this tool. In this article I'll give you a high level
overview of the SMS 2.0 Resource Kit and comments on tools that I've
used. This could save you from making several support calls to MS it
did for me.
Apart from the SMS 2.0 Administrators Guide this is the single most important resource you can buy. MS SMS 2.0 support engineers answer the majority of their calls using this tool. In this article I'll give you a high level overview of the SMS 2.0 Resource Kit and comments on tools that I've used. This could save you from making several support calls to MS it did for me.
Let's get one fact straight up front. I'm making 0 from Microsoft in sharing this information with you. That being said lets take a look at bundling options. You can purchase several BO (that's Back Office not body odor) product resource kits together or just the SMS 2.0 RK bundle. I recommend lager bundle. If you are using SMS then you must also use SQL and are probably using Exchange.
The SMS pack includes a (very large) book and installation CD. After installation in Programs\Resource Kit you will have Online Books, Resource Kit Tools Help, Release Notes, and the MMC tools console. All tools will be installed on the workstation or server where you perform the install.
The SMS 2.0 Resource Guide provides the following information:
Part 1, Introduction,
Chapter 1 Introducing the SMS 2.0 Resource Guide
Part 2, Planning,
Chapter 2 Designing Your SMS Site Hierarchy and Running the Pilot Project
Chapter 3 Using SMS 2.0 in a Multilingual Environment
Part 3, Deployment,
Chapter 4 Setting Up Remote Administrator Consoles
Chapter 5 Migrating or Creating SMS 2.0 Shared Applications
Chapter 6 Upgrading SMS 1.2 IDMIFs and NOIDMIFs to SMS 2.0
Part 4, Administering and Maintaining,
Chapter 7 Creating PDFs for Software Distribution
Chapter 8 Using Network Discovery Architecture
Chapter 9 Remote Tools for the Advanced User
Chapter 10 Customizing Hardware Inventory
Part 5, Performance Tuning and
Chapter 11 Configuring and Populating Pilot Sites
Part 6, Integration and Interaction,
Chapter 12 Upgrading Clients from SMS 1.2 to SMS 2.0
Part 7, Tools and Utilities,
Chapter 13 Using SMS 2.0 Tools ? Part 1
Chapter 14 Using SMS 2.0 Tools ? Part 2
Chapter 15 Reporting Options for SMS 2.0
Part 8, Troubleshooting,
Chapter 16 Introducing the SMS 2.0 Flowcharts
Chapter 17 Site Server Core Components Flowcharts
Chapter 18 Site Server Configuration and Change Control Flowcharts
Chapter 19 Site Installation Flowcharts
Chapter 20 Hardware and Software Inventory Flowcharts
Chapter 21 Software Distribution Flowcharts
Chapter 22 Software Metering Flowcharts
Chapter 23 Diagnostics Flowcharts
Chapter 24 Client Installation Flowcharts
Chapter 25 Client Features Flowcharts
Chapter 26 Status Messages
Part 9, Disaster Recovery,
Chapter 27 Using the SMS Perfmon Counters
Appendices Appendix A Files and Directories
Appendix B SMS Object Properties
Appendix C Hardware Inventory Classes
Appendix D SMS 2.0 Client Logon Scripts
Appendix E Unattended Installations
Glossary defines the technical SMS terms
used in this guide and builds on the glossary contained in the
SMS 2.0 Administrator's Guide.
Tip- add the tools console into your SMS 2.0 MMC for quick access.
Pros - The tools help and online books organization and search ability are excellent. The RK builds on foundational concepts from the 2.0 Admin guide so it acts as an extension. The trouble shooting help is very good, lots of detailed flow charting.
Cons - There is not much more query building information than what is in the 2.0 Admin guide. The MMC piece is a bit "clunky" it just gives you a listing of the tools, the real explanation of the tools in in the tools help application and the book itself.
Here are a few tools that I've had good results with:
20clicln.exe - removes SMS 2.0 client components
Newuid.exe - this is an installer Script file you can send to clients to assign them a new SMS Id.
Diskdump.exe - this dumps SMS client information to a file to help you trouble shoot installation problems.
SMSTrac.exe - helps to decipher log files
SMSSPMan.exe - Site Properties Manager lets you apply site properties to multiple sites very quickly. Graphical interface.
There are many more tools available.