Mid-market management package reaches RC status

Microsoft gathers together some management tools for mid-sized IT shops in its System Center Essentials Release Candidate.

IT managers in small to mid-sized shops got closer to having a set of management tools designed with them in mind when Microsoft made available this week the release candidate for System Center Essentials 2007.

Originally introduced in late November in 2005, System Center Essentials is a software package that includes System Center Operations Manager, some System Center Reporting Server capabilities and Windows Software Update Services (WSUS).

More systems management stories:
Microsoft puts final touches on System Center roadmap

Systems management enters new era

WSUS 3.0 release candidate beta is ready

System Center Essentials RC1 has close to a dozen enhancements including support for Windows Server Update Services 2.0 and 3.0. An update for the free patching tool, WSUS 3.0 beta release candidate, became available last week.

The SCE release candidate also lets IT managers schedule an automated discovery of computers from Active Directory, remotely support managed client and server computers and import Update catalogs from third-party software vendors.

RC1 has SQL Services-based reporting for hardware and software inventory monitoring, and setup improvements for SQL Server selection and file locations, as well as management packs that support Exchange 2003, Dynamics CRM 3.0 and Active Directory.

The download is available on the Microsoft System Center Essentials Web page.

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