Partners Picture SMB Uses for Microsofts SCE

Beta testing hasn't even begun, but several Microsoft partners have plans to use the System Center Essentials and MOM Server Version 3 to build an enterprise-class monitoring package for the SMB.

Microsoft Corp. conceived of its System Center Essentials as a way for small organizations to manage their IT assets, but before it even enters beta testing, management service providers and VARs say they already envision SCE as a tool for managing and monitor the assets of small organizations.

SCE installed at an SMB (small or midsize business) client and tied to the next-generation MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) server at a central site would enable a service provider to monitor and manage the IT assets and operations of several SMB organizations, like so many branches of a single enterprise, MSPs and Microsoft officials predicted.

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SCE was designed to allow an IT generalist a single window into an IT environment. By reporting back to a MOM server, an MSP or VAR could extend that window and repeat the practice over links to multiple SCE servers.

"Were getting something in the hands of both channel partners and end users that would enable VARs to reach right out into the individual servers in their clients environments," said Eric Berg, the lead product manager for SCE.

"Most of our management tools out there have been built for the enterprise or high mid[-market], at best. Here is a solution that is built for the SMB and a way to manage those SMBs like an enterprise would manage remote locations."

Solution providers, such as ClearPointe Technology Inc., already deliver a similar solution using Small Business Server and MOM 2005. The practice is currently the fastest growing of ClearPointes offerings, said John Joyner, the senior engineer on ClearPointes enterprise design team.

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