System Center Essentials 2010 Introduction

System Center Essentials 2010 (Essentials 2010) is a new management solution in the System Center family of IT systems management products specifically designed for midsized businesses. You can manage up to 50 servers and 500 workstations which make it a great fit for small and medium sized businesses.

Essentials 2010:

  • Provides a unified solution with a single console for managing a broad range of tasks across your physical and virtual servers, clients, hardware, software, and IT services for a unified experience.
  • Enables you to proactively manage your IT environment, helping keep your system up-to-date with a solution that accelerates problem resolution and enables automation of system updates and data collection.
  • Is easy to deploy and maintain helping simplify complex management tasks for increased IT efficiency.


System Center Essentials 2010 introduces a unified management console for managing your IT environment. The console runs on the Essentials management server and provides access to all Essentials 2010 features and data. You can also administer Essentials 2010 by installing an additional Essentials 2010 console on a computer that is different from the Essentials management server computer.

    • Computers—Provides access to the Computers Overview pane for computer and computer groups management, inventory, update management, and software deployment. For more information, see Computers Pane in Essentials.
    • Monitoring—Provides access to the Monitoring Overview pane, which is used for monitoring objects. For more information, see Monitoring Pane in Essentials.
    • Updates—Provides access to the Updates Overview pane, which is used for software update management. For more information, see Updates Pane in Essentials.
    • Software—Provides access to the Software Overview pane, which is used for software deployment. Includes applications and Operating Systems such as Windows 7. For more information, see Software Pane in Essentials.
    • Reports—Provides access to the Reports Overview pane, which lists the Essentials 2010 reports that you can run to view various types of information. For more information, see Reports Pane in Essentials.
    • Authoring—Provides access to the Authoring Overview pane, which is used for customization and configuration of Essentials 2010 monitoring settings. For example, you can customize settings for management pack groups, management packs, distributed application modeling, and other monitoring configurations. For more information, see Authoring Pane in Essentials.
    • Administration—Provides access to the Administration Overview pane, which is used for administrative tasks such as device management and provides access to Essentials 2010 settings for features that are set up in the initial configuration wizards. For more information, see Administration Pane in Essentials.

How can you get started on a proof of concept today?

  1. Download and Install Windows Server 2008 R2
  2. Download and Install System Center Essentials
  3. If you want to install Other Test / Proof of Concept Servers you might also want to go to SharePoint Downloads and/or SQL Server R2 Downloads

What are the differences between SCE and the full System Center Products (SCOM, SCCM, Etc)? Compare Here

What’s New? Based on customer feedback we’ve received over the last couple of years, here’s what’s new in Essentials 2010:

  • We’ve raised the number of Windows Server devices you can manage from 30 to 50.
  • We built Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 technology right into the product, so that Essentials 2010 provides a single console and management solution for managing both your physical and virtual servers. This includes support for converting physical servers to virtual machines and support for live migration.
  • The console has a new look and feel making it easier than ever to quickly check the health of your IT environment and address any issues.
  • Installation and configuration are even easier with checks for prerequisites during installation and Group Policy checks for proper configuration.

System Backup / System Center Data Protection Manager – Do you want to add System Center Data Protection Manager (it is just the best backup solution on the planet for Microsoft workloads) to your System Center Essentials? See System Center Essentials Plus 2010: New Licensing Program for Midsize Businesses

Top Ten Benefits of System Center Essentials

Here are the ten most valuable benefits that Microsoft System Center Essentials can provide to your organization.

  1. Unify your IT management experience
    System Center Essentials provides a single console for your core management needs. That means a single product to purchase, deploy and learn. Server, Desktop and Network monitoring, software and update management and asset inventory under a single, easy to use, unified experience.
  2. Keep your applications and your network up and running
    Essentials provides multiple views of the application data in your network. Track database growth in SQL Server™ databases or connectivity to Exchange servers using some of the many provided charts, tables and reports. Essentials also tracks the status of all the SNMP 1.0 and 2.0 devices in your network, allowing you to receive alerts when something important goes down
  3. Troubleshoot problems more quickly
    Accidents happen, systems go down. That is why System Center Essentials provides a rich knowledge base out of the box to help you diagnose and fix critical alerts for key products like Exchange Server and SQL Server™. These management packs are optimized so you only focus on those alerts that matter. Not only do you get in-depth explanations of problems, but more importantly, Essentials often provides simple in-line tasks to click and “fix it now.” Additional management packs are available from Microsoft and 3rd party providers for both Windows and non-windows environments.
  4. Simplify your patch management
    Essentials provides integrated patch management for Microsoft products in the Microsoft Update catalog. Additionally we’ve worked with key industry vendors to integrate their updates into Essentials providing a single point of control for patch Management. You can choose to automatically deploy critical updates or have them be subject for approval, and track compliance across your network. Want the patch deployed now? No problem, just click a button to initiate deployment real time.
  5. Deploy applications easily
    Are you ready for Office 2010? Essentials can help you deploy Microsoft Office with your custom settings in a snap. Deploying applications has never been so easy. Using a simple 3-step wizard you can deploy applications to a target set of computers without worrying about having to deal with packaging or other complex processes. Additionally Essentials uses Background Intelligent Transfer Service 2.0 (BITS) to optimize traffic over your network. Changed your mind? Don’t worry, it’s even easier to un-install a previously deployed application.
  6. Keep track of hardware and software assets
    No more spreadsheets to maintain – System Center Essentials gathers more than 60 hardware attributes and a complete inventory of the applications running on each machine. A summary inventory is available for quick troubleshooting or in the detailed report by machine groups.
  7. Improve your users up-time
    Reduce the time you spend dealing with end-user issues with features like Agentless Exception Monitoring (AEM) which allows you to collect application and OS errors that would otherwise remain anonymous. Use built in tasks to remotely execute important tasks on user’s computers, from performing a simple IPCONFIG to a remote desktop session, all without leaving the management console.
  8. Get up and running fast
    Deploying System Center Essentials couldn’t be easier; the smart setup will check for prerequisites to ensure you have a smooth and successful installation. Post-installation configuration is quickly completed using three simple wizards. The built-in integration with Active Directory will allow you to manage a computer automatically the moment it’s added to your environment without any intervention.
  9. Gain visibility into your IT environment
    Start your day with a Daily Health Report, providing a quick status of your IT environment and any action items required. For more detail, go to the Essentials console and consult the more than 180 reports out of the box that help you gain better insight into how your IT environment is performing.
  10. Get an affordable comprehensive IT management solution designed for you
    Essentials is priced for the budgets of midsize businesses, allowing you to purchase only what you need and then grow as your business requires it, with flexible licenses for up to 50 servers and 500 clients at a fraction of what typical management solutions cost.