GuidesSMS 2.0 Training for SMS Support Staff

SMS 2.0 Training for SMS Support Staff

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by Dana Daugherty

Training and communication are important for your support staff
members. Here is a complete 4 module training guide to save you some
time you should find it to be a great base to get you started on
your own. 

Training and communication are important for your support staff members. Here is a complete 4 module training guide to save you some time you should find it to be a great base to get you started on your own.

Module1- Getting Started

  • SMS
  • Organizational
    Plan for SMS
  • MMC
  • Security


Module2- Clients

  • Client
    Installation Methods
  • Changes to
    SMS Clients
  • Client
    Removal and Database Maintenance


Module3- Remote Control

  • How to
    Connect to Clients
  • Remote
    Control Philosophy


Module4- InventoryReporting

  • Resource
  • SMS
    Specific Excel Template
  • Queries




Module1- Getting Started


SMS Overview- SMS has many components. For a
listing of all components including a brief description of each of
these components open SMS

Our Organization’s current plan for SMS in North
America calls (Put your plan here, this is an example.) for a
Central Primary Site server (001SMS) at Cinciniti with Secondary
Site Servers at our other 4 locations.  Our European plan
includes Secondary Site Servers in each 5 locations. Each region
will have read access to all collections and the ability to use
remote control, create and run queries, track the status of clients
and configure server and client components at their own site.
Software distribution will be performed at the Central site server
to be sent to all regions. 


SMS console- the console uses Microsoft
Management Console technology. The MMC requires IE 4 or later and
NT4.0 SP4 or later. This is where all the “action” happens. To
install the console go to the SMSCD directory at your regional SMS
Server and select Autorun.exe. After the splash-screen comes up
select install SMS 2.0. Eventually you will see the screen where
only the console option will be selected (no other option will be
available.) continue. You will have the option to install Crystal
Reports and Network Monitor. I advise against the Crystal Reports,
we have no plans at this point for installing this as a reporting
tool for SMS. Network monitor is a more robust version than the one
that comes free with NT server. Go to the Systems Management Server
applications group and select Administrator Console.


HELP!!!- after the install is complete you will
see a Systems Management Server application group on your start
menu. Within this group you will see Administrator Guide. This is
pretty helpful. The Back Office Resource Kit 4.5 is a must have. The
following news group has been most helpful as well


Server Configuration- Servers should be 99%
configured when you receive them. Server and client configuration
settings are located under the Site DatebaseSite_DB_3lettercodeXXX
(your region) tree. 

Security- settings are located in the Security
tree. I have designed our Organizational SMS security around our
regional IT model. Our structure has 3 levels of security.

  • Regional IT
    staff has the ability to read queries created for their own group.
    Create queries. Remote control workstations within their regional
    collection. Delete workstations within their own regional
    collections. View status messages. View site server and client
    settings. View all collections.
  • Regional NT
    Admin accounts have the above rights plus: can view and remote
    control the All Systems Collection. Remote control the server
    collection and the all Win Systems collection within their region.
    Modify their regional server and All Win Systems query. Create
    collections and read all collections. Modify Site settings. View
    all advertisements and packages.

* Please consult the SMS Admin before
editing any regional sit configurations. 

  • Corp IT SMS
    Group – for IT support staff not in Regional IT Groups. This group
    has remote control capabilities for all regions, the ability to
    read all queries and collections and can read all status
  • Implicit
    Individual Rights- for those involved directly in the
    implementation and administration of SMS.

*Note any user can create queries but the
Administer right is reserved for the SMS Administrator or users that
have the implicit Administer right. At this point there is no “safe”
way to give this right in way that will let him/her administer a
specific region. If you need rights for any query changed to give
others read permissions to it let me know, I’ll be glad to take a
look at it.


Module2- Clients


Installation- for Win 9x clients we are using NT
Logon Installation. When you are ready to begin installing clients
go to User Manager for Domains, select the user, select their
profile. In the login script box type smsls. The next time the user
logs on the SMS client will install itself.

Manual installation can be performed by accessing
smsman.exe .

  • Note: You
    can configure login scripts to be automatically edited with in
    YourRegionServerSite Settings Tree Client Agents. Please
    DON’T do this. It will add this login script to all
    usernames in the domain. Regions other than yours may not want
    this to happen.


IT staff should not have the login script added
to their account. This will complicate setup procedures for setting
up new PCs within your region.


NT workstations and servers will be automatically
discovered via SMS remote installation.


All SMS client files are located in
%Windir%MsSMS. Changes to the control panel after installation
include the addition of a few applets, Systems Management,
Advertised Programs, Advertised Programs Monitor and Remote Control.
End users have limited access to these components. You will find the
Systems Management applet useful at times.


There are some critical client maintenance
procedures to follow. When
ghosting a machine that is an SMS client you must remove it from the
Collection Tree from within the SMS Admin Console. When you change
the system (computer) name of an SMS client, first remove it from
the Collection Tree and then remove the client software. The best
way to uninstall the software is to run 20CliClean.bat
located in the Back Office 4.5 Resource Kit.


If the above steps aren’t completed the database
will become corrupt because each system is assigned a unique
id “Guid”. When a system name is changed without removing its client
software, duplicate records end up in the database. This causes
problems when we try to send software out based on a query. The
second problem is more obvious, if a system is entered into the
database and the said system is taken from a user (ghosted or
swapped out etc) the record remains in the database.


can’t stress the importance of above maintenance tasks. Skipping
this task doesn’t just cause problems for the machines with
duplicate records; it seems to mess up the whole distribution


Home Based Users- please do your best to get the
SMS client installed on these laptop systems when they send them in
for repair or visit their home offices. Currently we are using
inventory and remote control features on these machines. In the
future we plan to send some packages to them as well.


Module3- Remote Control           


The remote control feature can be accessed
through a collection or through a query. The remote control Security
Right is applied to collections; in order to RC a system you must
have the appropriate rights. To remote control a system open a
collection or run a query. Right click on the system that you want
to remote control. Select Remote tools. Explore the tools within
this applet. To the far left is the remote control connection


**We want end users to understand that Remote
Tools are here to help them and are not cleverly designed approach
for spying on them. In an effort to ease our user’s possible “Big
Brother” syndrome we have decided to select the following settings
under regionSiteSettingsClient Agents Remote Tools Agent Display
Visual Indicator; Display High-security visual indicator on desktop
and play sound repeatedly during session. For obvious reasons, users
won’t be given the ability to change Remote Tools settings on the


Please use discretion with this tool! It’s best
to verbally contact the end user before you remote control their




Module4- InventoryReporting


At this time inventory data in our organization
can be accessed with the following tools: Resource Explorer,
specialized Excel template and queries.


Resource Explorer can be accessed by
right-clicking on a query or collection result then select Resource
Explorer. This will query the database for detailed software and
hardware inventory information specific to the machine that you
right-clicked on.


There is a SMS specific Excel template in SMS
cdResKitREPORTsms~1.xlt. Copy this template to a local machine
and run it. It will connect to the SMS Site Server and ask you for
your user name and password. Next it will list all the queries in
the database and wait for you to select one. The template will then
return the information based on the query you selected.


Queries specific to each region have been
designed. Also, any console user can create queries for their own
use. (Contact the SMS Admin if you would like to give other IT staff
members access to it as well.)


How to build a query- while in the SMS Console
open up the query tree, right click on Queries, select New Query. In
the Name Text Box enter All Systems w/ MS Project. Select Edit Query
Statement. On the General Tab select the star symbol, then hit the
select button. Set the Attribute Class to Computer System and
Attribute to Name. Select OK. On the general tab select ascending
for the sort order then OK. You should now be looking at the Query
Statement Properties sheet. From here select the Criteria Tab. Next
select the star symbol to create a criteria. Hit the select button
on the General tab, set the Attribute Class to Software Files and
the Attribute to File Name, then hit OK. Set the Operator to “is
equal to” and the value to Winproj.exe. To create a query based on
another file select the values button for a list of all files to
query on.


To restrict the above query to a specific site
use one of the following 2 methods.

  • Go to the
    properties of the query you want to restrict. Select Edit Query
    Statement, then the criteria tab, then select the star symbol to
    add another criteria. Hit the select button and use for System
    Resource for the Attribute Class and SMS Assigned site for the
    Attribute. Hit OK be sure the Operator is “is equal to” and make
    the value specific to the assigned site you need to get info
    about. Select OK. On the Criteria Tab be sure the operators
    reflect the query you want, e.g. “or” instead of “and”. Just
    double click on the operator you want to change. Select OK until
    you get back to the Console screen.


  • Another way
    to restrict to a specific site is to go to the query
    properties,  select
    Limit to Collection and browse to a collection to use to limit
    your query results.

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