If you run a mid-sized business, you may have found it hard to find good systems management software that will monitor and patch your servers, generate reports, and deploy software to workstations. Enterprise-class software is often too complex and expensive, while low-end software may not have the features you need.
Microsoft hopes to change that with the release of System Center Essentials 2010. Systems Center Essentials (SCE) is a stripped down version of the full System Center package.
According to Microsoft:
System Center Essentials 2010 (SCE 2010) provides IT professionals in mid-sized organizations with a unified physical and virtual management experience. It enables you to better secure, update, monitor, and troubleshoot from a single console, so you can efficiently and proactively manage your IT environment.
And the SCE homepage sums up the key features:
- Built for midsized businesses (50-500 PCs)
- Target user is IT generalist who performs broad range of IT tasks
- Scale limits: 50 Windows Servers and 500 Windows Clients
- Single management server solution (limit one per domain)
- Easy to use
- Aggressively priced
An excellent feature comparison chart is also available to see the difference between the full System Center, and System Center Essentials. Pricing starts at an estimated $2000USD to manage 10 servers and 50 PCs.
Microsoft also released a new version of a companion product today: Data Protection Manager 2010. Data Protection Manager (DPM) helps with protection and fast-recovery of critical applications like SQL and Exchange – but also provides policy management for desktops. The new version is designed to be more scalable for both midsize or enterprise-class organizations.
Key additions to DPM 2010 include:
- The ability for roaming laptops to get centrally managed policies around desktop protection, so that your laptop data is protected, whether you are connected to the corporate network or remote
- Enhanced virtualization protection, including Hyper-V R2 LiveMigration scenarios and the ability to recover single-files from within host-based backups
- Additional protection and recovery capabilities for Windows application servers like SQL Server, Exchange or SharePoint
- Native site-to-site replication for disaster recovery to either another DPM server or an off-site cloud provider
- Significant enterprise-scalability increases for deploying DPM in large environments
- Centrally managed System State and Bare Metal Recovery
More information on Data Protection Manager can be found on the DPM homepage.
This combination of products should help mid-sized businesses by providing a feature-rich product at an affordable price point.