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SMS 2003 Administrator's Reference: Systems Management Server 2003 Paperback – Nov 6 2006

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From the Back Cover

SMS 2003 Administrator's Reference

As the core technology essential to IT departments for managing desktop hardware and software in a Windows environment, Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 is the hot Microsoft tool of choice for applying security patches, installing applications, and applying updates. This book discusses the steps you need to take to ensure that SMS 2003 is administered successfully to provide powerful management across an enterprise.

While the main focus is on SMS 2003 with Service Pack 1, author and Microsoft MVP Ron Crumbaker also covers SP2 while guiding you through the inner workings of SMS 2003 to help you gain control of all the aspects of systems management. Each chapter uses real-world examples and covers an SMS feature and an administrative task, ultimately showing you how you can use SMS 2003 to successfully administer an SMS 2003 environment.

You'll start working with SMS 2003 and this book by setting up your site hierarchy. From there you'll move on to managing SMS roles and security. You'll do extensive work with clients, discovering and inventorying resources and metering software use. Along with seeing the power of collections and packages, you'll learn to work with SMS reports to give you a structures view of your SMS data and to interpret SMS messages to keep the system running smoothly. The book wraps up by introducing some of the third-party extensions you can add to SMS to solve specific additional needs and gives you the power of automating repetitive SMS functions with scripts.

What you will learn from this book

  • How to secure SMS and maintain secure SMS infrastructure, accounts, and communication
  • Using the SMS 2003 discovery methods to detect and inventory information across your networks
  • Improving the process of delivering Windows and Microsoft Office updates with the Inventory Tool for Microsoft Updates (ITMU)
  • Ways to configure policies to enable or disable "agents" on assigned SMS 2003 clients
  • What an SMS software package is and how to create, use, and distribute packages to update software on clients
  • How to best use third-party solutions to extend SMS functionality
  • Techniques for configuring software metering to track client program usage to make the most of your software budget
  • Best troubleshooting practices starting with preventing problems and understanding SMS status messages
  • How to provide console and web-based reporting with dashboards and custom reports for hardware, software, sites, users, and more

Who this book is for
This book is for the SMS administrator who needs to manage the ever-increasing demands for operation excellence at the desktop and server level.

Wrox Administrator's Reference guides are planned and written by working technologists to meet the real-world needs of IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help IT professionals do a better job.

About the Author

Ron Crumbaker has an Electrical Engineering degree but found himself in the Information Technology field. Ron is a huge Chevrolet Camaro fan and was greatly disappointed when GM decided to “pull the plug” on the Camaro. Ron currently owns two Camaros, a 1967 SS350 and a 1994 Z28. Ron has three children — Nate, Abby, and Cole — and a wife, Martha. Ron is very active in his church and community and is an ordained deacon in a Southern Baptist Church. Ron is also the CTO for, Inc., and is a two-time Microsoft MVP in the Windows Server System, SMS.

Inside This Book

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Nov. 8 2006
By Sherry L. Kissinger - Published on
Format: Paperback
Another excellent addition to the resources available for the SMS admin. Especially for a new installation or new sms admins, follow chapters 1-13, to get up and running, and then go to Chap 15 and implement his SMS 2003 Web Remote Tools. Don't be fooled by the fact that there's only a few pages devoted to mentioning this tool; once you have SMS, and the default SMS web reporting site running, adding this virtual web site to your web reporting server is indespensible. It was for me; I'm pretty sure at least some of the raises I've received the last two years were justified in my review by last year: "implementing Ron Crumbaker's Web Console" and this year: "enhancing the web console".

If you are an SMS Administrator, for the most part your work is done behind-the-scenes. If you implement this web console and get your Managers, local technicians, helpdesk, etc. using it--it is a great way to answer that dreaded yearly review question "so, what did you do this year to help the company?"

As with almost any technology-geared guide, there is one thing I noticed that has changed. Microsoft just released (literally, just last Friday) an updated ITMU (Chapter 13), so the .cab file is now called (not

Grab this, the SMS 2003 Recipes from Greg Ramsey/Warren Byle, and lurk on the [...] sms2003 forums, blogs, or email lists, and you'll have your sms installation humming along in no time.
Not technical enough Feb. 5 2008
By R. Banse - Published on
Format: Paperback
Bought this book hoping for an in-depth analysis of SMS 2003. Book is written to simple. Doesn't go into detail on all the aspects of SMS. I realize it says "Reference" in the title, but I was hoping for way more than I got.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This book is awful--read the Microsoft whitepapers instead Dec 5 2006
By Brian Arkills - Published on
Format: Paperback
I bought this book along with 2 others on SMS 2003: 'SMS 2003 Recipes' and 'Distributing Software with Systems Management Server 2003'. This is definitely the worst of the three. In fact, the other two aren't really about explaining how SMS works, but do as good or better of a job explaining SMS than this book.

Examples of poor writing include use of terms and concepts that aren't explained until chapters later in the book or never at all. For example, the acronym DDR is *never* expanded nor explained.

About 2/3 of the book is screen-shots and walkthroughs of how you setup/configure a feature. Since this book is a relatively short one for a technical book, that leaves *very* little actual content for explaining concepts.

I was also discouraged at some of the walkthrough material. In many cases, the author would list the options, but not explain what each option meant so that you could make an informed decision.

The one bright point of this book is the attention given to 3rd party tools that leverage SMS. However, you can get this same material in several other SMS books, e.g. the 'SMS 2003 Recipes' book has the same material. You can also get this material from online forums.

If you need hand-holding in setting up a simple SMS organization, I suppose this book would be your cup of tea. But I think most folks are looking for concepts, explanation, and value-added content, not hand-holding.

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Awesome Book Nov. 7 2006
By S. Margherita - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an awesome book. It has proven to be an invaluable asset to my team.