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SCCM 2007 vs SMS 2003 vs SCE

I am new to SCCM 2007 and have some questions that I hope some of you gurus out there can answer.  I've read lots of the documentation on TechNet but hopefully someone can put it in an easy to understand perspective.



1.  What are the main differences between Configuration Manager & Essentials?



2.  We were looking at SMS 2003 and found that SCCM 2007 is the new version of SMS.  Do all of the primary functions of SMS 2003 remain in SCCM 2007 or have they been migrated to one of the other new System Center products?



3.  I know there is no capacity planner for SCCM but would it be feasible to have one primary SCCM server at a headquarters location and no other SCCM servers at any of 10 other sub-locations given T1 WAN links for all 10 sub-sites?  I'm looking for a centralized solution.



Thanks for your help.
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omnova
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omnova
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U_ManssonCommented:
Hi

1. The main difference between SCCM & Essentails is that Essentials supports up to 500 clients and 30 servers. That's the limit, if your organization is bigger than that go for SCCM. Essentials don't include support for OS Deployment but you can solve that by using MS Deployment Toolkit 2008, which is a free product and use it side by side. Essentials also include features from Operations Manager for monitoring of servers. I usually call Essentials the "little brother" to SCCM & SCOM

2. SCCM 2007 is the new version with new and updates services from SMS 2003. Nothing is moved into another System Center product.

3. As long as you have good connections to your remote site (which you have) there is no need to create additional sites unless you want to delegate control of some remote sites to another department or persons. You can handle up to 100 000 clients in one site. If you have more than 25 000 clients in one site you need additional Management Points to off load that server and you also need to off load your SQL server.

I hope this makes it a little easier to understand the different products.
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omnovaAuthor Commented:
Thanks very much for your responses that helps confirm many of our assumptions.  It can be difficult to decipher the mass of info on the TechNet site.
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omnovaAuthor Commented:
Thanks very much for your responses that helps confirm many of our assumptions.  It can be difficult to decipher the mass of info on the TechNet site.  I read that performance is enhanced if the SQL database is hosted on a separate SQL server with a gig connection between the two.  Also, there shouldn't be any performance issues if the 32-bit app is installed on 64-bit hardware.  Do you agree?  If so, do you know if the recommended OS is 32-bit or 64-bit?
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U_ManssonCommented:
Glad to help you sorting out the questions you have regarding System Center products. The family is growing rapidly and its hard to find a good overview of the different products.

I guess the questions you ask now are about SCCM. Correct my otherwise if you are talking about Essentials or SCOM.

The performance is enhanced but the question is really how much. That depends mostly on the number of clients you have. Without knowing anything else about your environment I would say up to 5000 clients running SCCM and SQL on the same machine is not a big problem. If its a good piece of hardware of course. :-)

SCCM is like you say a 32-bit program so the performance is not enhanced by running that on x64 Windows OS. If you run SQL on the same machine you will gain performance with x64 windows and x64 SQL.
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omnovaAuthor Commented:
You are correct, SCCM is my main focus.  You've really been a big help.
Do you know if someone using the SCCM console must have domain admin rights?  (i.e. Can a helpdesk benefit from it?)
Lastly, would you recommend managing everything from one server or having a primary with multiple secondary servers.  Is the secondary server different from a distribution or management point?
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U_ManssonCommented:
You can set permissions in the console on almost every function/part in the product. You can also run the console from a different machine. No you don't have to be a domain admin and yes a Helpdesk benefit very much from it. Just define in the console what kind of things the Helpdesk are able to do.

Manage everything from one server. Keep it as simple as possible. Only consider to use several sites if you remote office have slow connections or if you organization is very large.

Kind regards
Ulf M.
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omnovaAuthor Commented:
My feelings exactly!
I'm looking at rolling out SCCM in an environment with 1 central locations and 11 branch locations.  The total clients range from 1000 to 1200.  What I'd like to find out is if I can do this with one server at the central location without sacrificing too much performance or creating latency.  The average WAN link for branch sites is a standard T1 with the central location having 3 T1's.  We have WAN accelerators but I don't think those will have much impact for SCCM.
I'm not sure if I would need or benefit from secondary servers for distribution/management points based on my scenario.
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U_ManssonCommented:
Go for a single site and if you want/need install a distribution point in the remote office/offices where you have the most clients or most SW distrib.

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