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Windows Thread, SCCM Alternative in Technical; Evening all A quick one for you, we are currently operating SCCM2007 in our enviornment, which is Windows 7. It ...
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    SCCM Alternative

    Evening all

    A quick one for you, we are currently operating SCCM2007 in our enviornment, which is Windows 7. It is currently working (ish) but it is a beast of a server, and I am interested to find out what you all use to deploy software/remove software/keep software up to date? SCCM is a powerful utility if you have the time to spend infront of it, but we are never going to use it to it's full ability.

    So if you have some great suggestions I'd love to know so we may be able to scrap the server come the summer.

    Steve

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    With the amount it can do, I'd ask why scrap it - it scales very well from a smaller network (secondary school) up to enterprise with tens of thousands of clients, and for a secondary it doesnt really need that much of a beasty server. Take a look at 2012, bearing in mind some things that make a lot more sense than in 2007 + anti virus built in.

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    TheScarfedOne's Avatar
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    I would say the same..2012 is more capable and easier to use than 2007. The Windows Update and Software Deployment options are greatly enhanced... Id stick with it - and shout for any of the many SCCM users on here now if you need some help.

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    We've just moved from SCCM 2007 to SCCM 2012 and we're happy with it, while its still resource hungry it seems easier to get along with than SCCM 2007.

    As for alternatives - you mention that you don't use all the facilites which is fair enough but what do you use it for? Which facilities would you be prepared to compromise on if all the alternatives out there only offered 80% of what you wanted? For example if you said that smooth OS and app management was key for you, I might mention KACE tools from Dell as a system and software deployment/management tool but you'll find that costs for tools like that far exceed what you've probably paid for SCCM 2007 under the MS educational licence deals, and despite costing a lot more than SCCM it doesn't do nearly as much (it is very good at what it does do, to be fair.

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    We will have SCCM 2012 in September [moving away from a combination of WDS for station building and Group Policy for software deployment] I don't know what to expect but I am told that I will be happy with my new network.

    Clients: Windows 7: Pro: SP1
    500 stations.

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    The reporting in sccm seems superior . Offline updating of images and ZTI seem to be the killer features. If you were going elseware mdt 2012 u1 with wds. Pdq inventory and deploy would be good. Though a upgrade to configmgr 2012 would make sense if you already have packages in 2007.

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    Cheers for all the responses guys. It's really just being used as a glorified app deployment solution at the moment, none of the other features are being used. TBH it was installed by (then Ramesys) who didn't have much of a clue about it, so it's always been a bit flakey... we've never had the time to rip it out and start a fresh.

    Is there a cost involved with going from 2007 to 2012? The improvements in 2012 do seem excellent but cost will be prohibitive unfortunately.

    What do you all use SCCM to manage in your environments? I would love to get it working properly and use it for a lot more than just deploying apps.

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    zag
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    System center is designed for huge organizations to do all kinds of things.

    I've tried it a few times but never got on with it.

    There are probably much better solutions to deploying apps on a network if thats what you are doing. I'm not sure what though, we just image computers these days.

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    cpjitservices's Avatar
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    I would love SCCM I'm sure but I dont get it with action pack unfortunately.

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    The only other product that's up at SCCM level is Novell Zenworks, it's better at software deployment but imaging not so good. Will also cost you a lot more than SCCM!

    Spend the time with SCCM and it'll reward you, better to learn how to harness the power than drop down to an inferior product for a quick fix (also better for your CV in the long run too )

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    Quote Originally Posted by Homer View Post
    Is there a cost involved with going from 2007 to 2012? The improvements in 2012 do seem excellent but cost will be prohibitive unfortunately.

    What do you all use SCCM to manage in your environments? I would love to get it working properly and use it for a lot more than just deploying apps.
    The cost depends on the licensing that you're using at the moment. If you have EES, you'll be covered otherwise you'll need to upgrade your CALs and buy a new server license, possibly with SQL. There isn't a direct upgrade path, you need to do a swing upgrade so you'll need some extra kit to do the initial installation on. And of course, your time isn't free either. It took me about a month to get the 2012 environment set up as we needed it and tested. Plus there may be some training costs involved if you're not too familiar with 2007.

    We're using SCCM pretty much to its full extent so we've got software deployment, updates, operating system deployment, remote control, asset management, software metering, anti virus and (to a small extent) configuration management running from it. Plus we've just bought a plugin which manages our Macs for us. It is an excellent piece of software and very worth the time and effort to get it working properly.

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    I've got a reasonable idea with 2007, I've spent a lot of time playing around with it and have got my head around quite a lot of it. We have spare capacity in our esxi cluster to bring a new box up, and we have SQL licenses. Do you have the SQL server for this on it's own host, share it with the SCCM services or share it with other SQL databases?

    We are on EES subscription also...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Homer View Post
    Do you have the SQL server for this on it's own host, share it with the SCCM services or share it with other SQL databases?

    We are on EES subscription also...
    SCCM should have its own database server, it should not be shared with other databases. However, you can host the database and other SCCM services on the same server as long as you're managing less than 10,000 nodes. I wouldn't put it on a server with less than 16GB RAM if you're doing that and you'll need to restrict the amount of RAM SQL uses to about 10GB. I would also put it on its own bit of tin as it is VERY I/O intensive, especially when you're deploying software and operating systems from it. While you can virtualise it, I wouldn't recommend it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norphy View Post

    We're using SCCM pretty much to its full extent so we've got software deployment, updates, operating system deployment, remote control, asset management, software metering, anti virus and (to a small extent) configuration management running from it.
    Same - it does the works here for us. SP1 has basic MAC management baked into it as well. Ive got a virtualised SQL 2008 R2 cluster here, running all my database services without any problems. the SCCM servers (ive got a second Distribution point) are also virtual. HyperV for virtualisation.

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