Does Microsoft think SMS Software Packaging is dead?

A few weeks ago I was doing Q&A at the SMS booth with some Microsoft employees at TechEd and a woman approached us about the best way to roll out a particular piece of software. If I remember correctly, she currently uses InstallSheild to call the vendor’s silent installation routine but her question was in regards to the package reporting fields within the SMS Administrator’s console. After she walked away the comment was made to me “People still package software before rolling it out, huh?”. WOW. I was blown away that there are people inside the SMS Product group don’t … Continue reading Does Microsoft think SMS Software Packaging is dead?

New SMS SUSFP Guide

Some may know already, but I put together a guide consisting of a compilation of the SUSFP knowledge from the community.  You can get it here.  What an awesome experience I’ve had making this guide!  Essentially this is the culmination of about 2-3 years using SMS for patch management with and without the SUSFP.  I’ve had the good fortune of getting known as the “SMS Patch Management Guy” in the SMS Community which has not only pushed my SMS skills to their limit at times but also given me the opportunity to work with A LOT of different people across … Continue reading New SMS SUSFP Guide

I’m Back with TechEd Notes!

Back from vacation now – sorry its been quiet here for a couple weeks. I actually split my time between relatives visiting in town and helping out the SMS Product group by manning the SMS booth at TechEd last week (oh yeah and a 1 night trip to Vegas). What an interesting experience at TechEd! My name tag actually listed that I worked for Microsoft along with having to wear one of the traditional geeky blue shirts so everyone thought I worked for Microsoft 🙂 Its really interesting seeing how fast people do a flip-flop when talking to you and … Continue reading I’m Back with TechEd Notes!

Uggghhhh!!!!! My Sync Tool isn’t working either!!!!

Man oh man doesn’t it just suck when you work so hard on automating your Patch Management infrastructure and its someone else’s software configuration screwing up that is causing you headaches. Again this month reports of peoples Security Update Bulletin Catalog (MSSECURE.CAB) aren’t downloading the latest copy. This is due to ISP’s caching the old one. Unfortunately the only way to fix is to call up your ISP, tell them to clear the cache, and tell them (try and be nice) to stop caching going forward. Now….I know there are a lot of smart fellers up there in Redmond. A … Continue reading Uggghhhh!!!!! My Sync Tool isn’t working either!!!!

Reaction Times

Thinking about feature sets in products, its really evident that there will always be give and take on both ends. How much is to much though? Back in the day SMS Administrators used to have a pretty rough time creating big packages for patch management. There was detection of the OS, seeing which updates were needed, installing the proper ones, verifying that they were installed, etc, etc, etc. What a pain that was. I find myself asking though – are we better off having simplicity given by Microsoft into the product if the accuracy is lower than using our in-house … Continue reading Reaction Times

Bogus TCO

A lot of discussion goes into TCO for organizations.  Choosing this Management product over this other one because it does X,Y, and Z while the other only does X and Y will produce a lower TCO.  Running this Operating System as opposed to this other one will give you a lower TCO in this scenario.  Who came up with this new age version of Voodoo Economics?  IT departments need to constantly get feedback from their user community as to what they need to do their jobs better.  They should actually be going out of their ways to learn the daily … Continue reading Bogus TCO

Throwing Water on the Fire

Looks like we’ve got another worm on our hands.  Many Administrators are getting sleep tonight because they know their systems have been patched for a bit now.  They have set up the proper processes and/or technologies throughout the enterprise to be proactive and patch before something like this happens.  But what about those Administrators that haven’t patched their systems yet (this isn’t necessarily a failure on an Administrators part but could have been a political, business, or other issue that caused this) and are stuck fighting the worm? There are good practices and procedures that should be followed for remediation … Continue reading Throwing Water on the Fire

Single Point of Failure?

We posted an interesting survey yesterday on myITforum to see if certain Administrators were the Single Point of Failure for Patch Management in their company.  A surprising amount of people responded that they were, and an even more surprising amount sent me emails offline about it.  Some responded to me saying that it has been 3-6 months since a patch had been deployed at their organization because they were taken from their SMS responsibilities and on to something else!  At first I was astounded by this.  In today’s day of the SUSFP and the native Software Updates features in SMS 2003 … Continue reading Single Point of Failure?

New Management Blog

Welcome to my new Blog covering Management technologies, processes, and thoughts. Hopefully this can serve as another avenue to spread ideas in this area on what others in the industry are doing and also deliver new information as it happens. So what are Manageability Products? Traditionally these are products such as SMS, Tivoli, MOM, etc that enable Administrators to better ‘Manage’ their network resources and lower TCO. This area, at least as Microsoft goes, seems to be expanding more into other areas. Take authentication now. AD has many Intellimirror features that give some organizations a small and limited subset of … Continue reading New Management Blog