Troubleshooting ‘Unknown’ software and update status, ‘Not yet contacted’ and lack of hardware and software inventory

Sorry about the long title, but I wanted to help you find this article if you’re searching for assistance with a common environment issue that affects your ability to manage computers with System Center Essentials Essentials. If while looking at computers in the Computers workspace in the Essentials console, if you notice a managed computer…


Which management packs should I be using to monitor my computers and applications?

If you’ve used Essentials 2007, you noticed that it monitored Windows, Exchange, SQL and Active Directory ‘out of the box.’  Essentials is able to do this because it come pre-loaded with management packs that encapsulate knowledge for how to monitor these applications. If you wanted to monitor additional applications, you needed to import a new…


You want different update deployment settings for servers and clients?

We’ve heard it from you!  You’ve been using WSUS for years and you have been using different Windows Update settings for your clients and servers.  Maybe you want your clients to automatically download and install approved updates, but your servers should only download and notify the administrator.  Now you can with System Center Essentials 2010…


Troubleshooting agent deployment in System Center Essentials 2010

Essentials 2010 uses up to three agents to manage computers: Windows Update agent – built into the Windows operating system, configured via Group Policy – provides update distribution, software distribution and hardware & software inventory Operations Manager agent – deployed to managed computer using ‘Push Install’ capability from Essentials server – provides rich model-based monitoring and…


Get what you want in the next version of Essentials!

Are you interested in getting Microsoft to build an IT management tool specifically engineered to your specifications? We’re interested in listening to your requests, learning more about how you manage IT today and building the best IT management tool to help you manage IT more efficiently tomorrow! If you are an IT administrator in an organization with less…


Sign up now for the System Center Essentials 2010 Beta!

We’re getting close to releasing the public beta of System Center Essentials 2010!   Why should you be interested?  We’ve listened to your feedback and requests! Added server virtualization management support Rewritten setup for an easier, intuitive installation Built automatic Microsoft Update subscription maintenance Provided flexible computer grouping Added additional software distribution target criteria Plus a…


An Edge-ier Video on System Center Essentials 2010

David Mills and I hooked up with the TechNet Edge folks at TechEd 2009 and shot another video on System Center Essentials 2010.


Management Packs for System Center Essentials

A management pack is a definition file (either with an .xml or .mp extension) that contains predefined monitoring settings that enable an agent to monitor a specific service or application in Operations Manager 2007 or Essentials 2007. These predefined settings include discovery information that allows Operations Manager and Essentials to automatically detect and begin monitoring services and applications,…