SCCM vs Windows server

What's the difference between SCCM and Windows Server?
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Mike TLeading EngineerCommented:

That's a big question.

The short answer is:

Windows Server is an Operating System (OS) for a computer (server).
SCCM is a product that you can install, on top of the Windows Server OS, to help manage things in the company business.

To give analogies:
 the OS is like the petrol you put in your car - it makes it actually work.

SCCM is a country's Olympics team; it does the following things:

hardware inventory  - checking what machines you have
software inventory - checking what software you have on those machines
software metering - checking the licenses for all the software
patching the OS - running around fixing the OS on all the machines you have
OS deployment - installing the OS in the first place
software distribution  -  installing any software you buy onto any number of machines you have
antivirus - protecting machines from viruses
and more...

Given it does all that, it means *you* have know how to do all those already, and then figure out how to get SCCM to do those things too. It's a long and sometimes painful process. I strongly suggest you get a book on it, if you are thinking of buying it.

As mentioned above, it's the most complex product that Microsoft sell, so you don't just have one server to run it, but several. The more computers in your company, the more SCCM servers you need.

Why do you ask that question? What, if anything are you trying to do?

Cliff GaliherCommented:
Utterly different. It's like asking what's the difference between a pineapple and a bicycle. Not even an apples and oranges difference.

Windows (server) is an operating system. SCCM is a management product.
PeraHomanAuthor Commented:
Does that mean that SCCM won't work unless you have Windows Server?
Cliff GaliherCommented:
Correct, and in fact you usually need *multiple* windows servers.
JesNoFearEnterprise Systems Administration Team MemberCommented:
you install SCCM on windows servers, SCCM can manage your server and/or workstations.
Typically a small SCCM install will be at least 2 servers, one for SQL and the other for the application, but it can be expanded and grow lager depending on number of workstation / servers you are managing.
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