Microsofts System Center Configuration Manager 2007 application and deployment tool, now in Beta 2, gets much of its muscle from new client agents.
One of the most talked-about new agents, Network Access Protection Client, comes with SCCM 2007 by default but wont be usable until Microsoft ships "Longhorn" next year.
However, there is plenty of agent pageantry to make up for the current lack of NAP.
All told, there are 10 agents that can be deployed to client systems to help SCCM 2007 track everything from which applications are now available for installation to which software updates are currently recommended or required.
eWEEK Labs sees the advantages of using agent software to perform essential system management tasks, but it still seems odd that the operating system itself isnt able to provide some of this information or functionality, or at least to provide a standard way to get at this data.
Following are the agents available with SCCM 2007.
- Hardware Inventory in DMTF (Distributed Management Task Force)
- Software Inventory Looks for .exe files by default but can be customized
- Advertised Programs Can also enable software distribution to clients
- Computer Client Specifies text displayed to users when deploying software and reminders
- Desired Configuration Management Governs client compliance
- Device Client Consolidates hardware and software inventory parameters
- Remote Tools Client Determines how remote access is configured for end users
- Network Access Protection Client Works with Windows Network Policy Server to enforce software update compliance
- Software Metering Client Regulates the number of licensed applications in use in the network
- Software Updates Client Allows SCCM clients to process software updates