SMS 2.0 Overview

by Dana Daugherty

This a document that I compiled for other IT staff within my organization. The idea was to give them a broad but thorough, high-level overview of the functionality of SMS in layman's terms. I'm sure some of you have the same need. 

This a document that I compiled for other IT staff within my organization. The idea was to give them a broad but thorough, high-level overview of the functionality of SMS in layman's terms. I'm sure some of you have the same need.

Site Settings

Client Agent Configuration- from MMC Console

·                    Agents include: Advertised Programs, Remote Tools, Software Metering, Hardware Inventory, Software Inventory, Event to Trap Translator. Clients can include any number of agents you chose.

Client installation methods - installs client, which includes all agents

·                    Logon - SMS inserts logon scripts on each Domain Controller

·                    Remote client installation

Component Configuration

·                    Used to specify data processing and storage, software distribution, software metering, status reporting and inter-site communications properties

Connection Accounts

·                    SMS service, SQL Server, and SMS client network connection accounts are mandatory and are specified and/or created during SMS Setup.

DB Maintenance

·                    Can be used to schedule common database maintenance tasks or run SQL commands.

Client Discovery Methods

·                    Logon - Logon Discovery finds Windows network resources whose users log on to domains in an SMS site. Each time a user logs on to a Windows network resource, the resource's information is updated in SMS Site Database. All domain controllers become SMS logon points.

·                    NT User Account - Windows NT User Account Discovery finds Windows NT domain user accounts.

·                    NT User Group - Windows NT User Group Discovery finds Windows NT domain user groups.

·                    Network- looks at DHCP servers for network hardware that contains a NIC.


·                    An SMS thread component that uses an existing connectivity system to communicate with other sites. A sender manages the connection, ensures the integrity of transferred data, recovers from errors, and closes connections when they are no longer needed.

·                    Types- Standard  (LAN and WAN connectivity), Ras (Asynchronous, Synchronous, ISDN, X.25).

Site Systems

·                    Site systems are Windows NT Server computers, Windows NT shares that provide Systems Management Server (SMS) functionality.

Status Filter Rules

·                    Status filter rules provide a way to automatically process status messages when they arrive at a site.

Status Summarizers

·                    They are dynamic real-time views of the state of SMS, and they change constantly based on the flow of status messages in a site.


Collections- Collections gather resources into logical, manageable groups that can be defined by using the Collection Wizard, which allows you to use 11 resource attributes. A predefined query can be used as well. SMS comes with 12 canned collections.


Packages- Packages are the files and instructions that Systems Management Server (SMS) uses to distribute software to clients. Packages can be created for commercial software, in-house software, configuration scripts, and data files. Packages can be created from imported definition files from software packages, SMS's canned definition files or by creating our own.


Advertisements- Advertisements are evaluated by SMS to determine which clients receive a specific program that runs on their computers. An Advertisement specifies:

·                    The program to be run.

·                    The collection to receive the program.

·                    The schedule.

·                    If the program is assigned or if it can be run independently.


Product Compliance- SMS product compliance feature can help us identify software products compliance issues such as Y2K, Euro etc. This feature use can use the compliance database coupled with software inventory to determine what software needs our attention. Software distribution can then be used to deliver patches to fix the problem.


Queries- We can create our own or use one of the 27 canned ones. We can also modify the canned ones.


System Status- The SMS status system monitors and reports on the overall health of the sites in the SMS hierarchy.

·                    Includes : Advertisement Status, Packages Status, Site Status and Status Message Queries


Security Rights- allows SMS admin the flexibility to assign variable rights to support staff. The MMC can then be distributed but must be installed on an NT workstation.



·                    Reports- uses crystal info and has several canned report and allows you to create your own.

·                    Network Monitor- With Network Monitor, we can identify network traffic patterns and network problems. For example, you can locate client-to-server connection problems, find a computer that makes a disproportionate number of work requests, and identify unauthorized users on your network. Expert is a related post-capture analytical tool that parses a capture file and identifies problem areas on the network.

·                    SMS Service Manager- operates much like NT Service Manager, but is used to start and stop SMS components

·                    Software Metering- can help us to ensure that your company uses software efficiently and legally. With software metering, we can monitor and control the use of applications on all computers. We can control the number of concurrent software products running, and provide automatic callbacks to notify users when a requested application is available for use. You also can prevent the use of specific applications on your network.

·                    Healthmon- An SMS tool that provides a central, graphical, real-time status view of Windows NT and BackOffice servers.

This article was originally published on Mar 20, 2000
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