System Center Essentials is one of the coolest and most useful programs coming out of Microsoft this year. SCE is targeted at small and midmarket businesses that want some of the monitoring, software distribution, and reporting capabilities as our enterprise apps (System Center Operations Manager and Configuration Manager) without the associated complexity and cost. SCE is REALLY targeted at that IT generalist that is expected to manage the servers, repair the laptops, run the company website, pickup the coffee, configure the routers, and keep everything patched...
System Center Essentials is AWESOME at what it does, but I keep seeing the following questions coming through on an internal discussion list, and I thought that some of you out there might have the same questions.
Q. How many servers and computers can be managed by System Center Essentials?
A. 30 Servers and 500 Clients.
Q. How many SCE servers can I have per domain?
A. You can only have ONE SCE server per domain. SCE will not install into a domain that already has an existing SCE server.
Q. How many SCE servers can I have per forest?
A. As many as you have domains.
Q. What if I have 32 Servers?
A. You can manage 30 of them with SCE.
Q. I have 75 Servers and 900 clients. I think SCE is exactly what I am looking for.
A. That wasn't really a question, but if you have more than 30 servers and 500 clients, you are really in the market for System Center Operations Manager and Configuration Manager. SCE is for Small and Midmarket customers 🙂
Q. Can I override that limit with a registry key, by asking nicely, or by <insert other workaround that I haven't thought of yet>?
Q. Can SCE manage computers/servers in other domains?
A. Yes, as long as they are in a trusted domain.
Q. Can I use SCE in a workgroup environment (without Active Directory)?
Q. Do non-Windows servers count against the 30 Server limit?
Q. Do network devices (such as SNMP managed Switches, Routers, or Printers) count against my server or client limit?
Q. What SNMP-enabled devices can I manage?
A. (from the SCE FAQ) SCE can monitor the up/down of any device that has SNMP enabled. If it can respond to a PING request, we can monitor for its ability to respond. Further, by leveraging our Management Pack capabilities, there's an opportunity for partners to provide deeper management, including tasks, for non-Windows-based devices. SNMP support is currently limited to SNMP v.2 (not 1 or 3)
Q. I currently have a tiered WSUS hierarchy. Can SCE be downstream or upstream of another WSUS server?
Q. Where can I get more information/documentation/a trial of the software?
A: http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/sce/default.mspx and http://sce.editme.com/
The above are the questions I thought of off of the top of my head. If you have a question I missed, ask in the comments or email me and I will find out for you!