Its a brand new world out there.

This is all very new to me, its seems very strange writing to an audience i don't know.

Anyway, welcome one and all.

I don't want to waste your time I know you probably have thousands of Blogs to check. A little about myself and this blog.

My name is Craig, I work for Microsoft on SMS (Systems Management Server) primarily on performance and scale issues/designs. Prior to this I worked in the “real-world” as a consultant for 8 years designing and deploying SMS/Exchange/Windows solutions for enterprise customers. I'm originally from New Zealand (but did not get thanked at the Oscars!). I moved to the States to get more enperience with large scale deployments. Well that i did! Never thought i'd have to manage 20,000+ SMS servers and 120,000 machines. NZ only has one or 2 companies that have 20,000 employees!!!

I started this Blog as a means to discuss and debate SMS enterprise designs and issues, both to help other consultants (don't tell my boss, but i still see myself as a consultant first) deploy SMS successfully and to generate feedback so i can improve the product before its gets to you.

Warning! Warning! Self promotion of product coming up!!!!

SMS2003 rocks! I started at MS at the beginning of the development cycle for 2003. We worked really hard to improve the scale/perf aspects of the product. Being in the field and working with SMS2.0 i had a pretty good idea where these improvements were needed. We targeted to support 100,000 directly reporting advanced clients on a single Primary Site and 25,000 advanced clients per Management Point. We also improved inventory processing at the PS across the board, as well as improving software distribution processing on the PS from daily to hourly.

Besides working and testing the product, a Product Manager (Muki) and I have developed a SMS Hierarchy Capacity and Hardware Sizer tool. For those of you at MMS this year, this was demo'd as the “SMS Hardware Sizer” by Steve. This I know will be a big deal to a lot of you. It is currently undergoing field testing my PSS/MCS and all going well I expect to ship it this summer.

Well thats all for now.

If you have any questions you'd like me to answer in this forum or suggestions for topics/articles let me know.


PS. Thanks Uwe for reminding me to define SMS. SMS In my case refers to Systems Management Server, not Short Message Service. πŸ™‚

Comments (16)

  1. Uwe says:

    Sorry for my ignorance: Does "SMS" stand for "Short Message Service" or for "System Management Server"?

  2. Uwe says:

    Oh. Thank you, for explaining πŸ™‚

  3. Sonu Kapoor says:

    Welcome to the blogging world. πŸ˜€


  4. Rod Trent says:

    Just keep the posts coming. Nothing worse than a stagnate weblog — particularly as important as SMS! πŸ™‚

  5. Philip says:

    You have any tips for implementing Advanced Security.

  6. Jason K says:

    I am hoping that you are the perfect person to ask this question.

    I am involved in a roll out of 2003. We have a central site with 3 primaries off it and 5 secondaries off one of the primaries. We have about 7000 client systems in various locations throughout the US.

    My first question involves discovery. We are intending to use the central as our administrative site. I have been going back and forth with a consultant who believes that we only need to turn on AD discovery at the central site.

    We are installing the clients through logon script at this point, but intend to utilize push installation in the future.

    From what I can tell the client information gets into the appropriate child database during the install. So I believe AD machine discovery at this point doesn’t need to be turned on. I am confident that if we want to use the push install, the systems will need to be discovered at the child sites for the install to work. Do you agree?

    The other issue is that we will be sending advertisements to users and groups. I have proven that the user data needs to be in the child sites or they do not get the advertisements. If I could get confirmation that would be great. My client doesn’t want to believe me over the other consultant because the other consultant has been here a year and he designed it this way.

    I realize I am rambling, but I will add one more issue that I am having. When I create a collection at my central site, it sometimes takes an awful long time for the membership rules to propogate down the hierarchy. The collection goes down almost immediately, just the rules don’t. Some take a week.

    I hope this sparks some debate in your new blog.

    Thanks for any help.


  7. Craig says:

    Great questions on Client Push, Jason.

    Let me work with the developers so i get this completely right. I know this has been discussed on a number of forums, in particular Myitforum and i want to make sure it get this exact.

    I guess have have my first content πŸ™‚

    As far as SWD to users, the best method for targeting is to use discovery to create entries for all users and then target those collections. You also have setting to define to run once per machine or per user. You could use any data in the database for advertisements including last logged on user, but i feel this is not as reliable as using discovery.

    Collection replication is harder to answer since it depends on what else is going on. Is it the rules or the population of the collection you are talking about?



  8. Welcome to the party! Now at least I won’t be the only WEMD blogger out there πŸ™‚

  9. About time! Great to see the SMS people step out of their shells and do some blogging!


  10. Cliff Hobbs says:

    Keep up the good work – there’s never too much SMS information published especially real world.

  11. Matt G. says:

    Any way to get our hands on pre released version of Server Sizing tool?

  12. Andy says:

    Any possibility of you posting client health tools for SMS 2.0?

  13. Bob Sieloff says:


    In your years of SMS’ing did you or your clients find unique or imaginative ways to use SMS that helped them in their business? Everyone seems to look at problems from different angles and it’s great to gain from their insights.

  14. SMSPerfGuy says:


    As for implementing Advanced Security, just do it. The biggest problem is setting up the rights on the non-primary site servers beforehand and ensuring you have the necessary environment..AD, windows versions etc.

    The cost savings and security benefits are huge. No need to change passwords for service accounts etc.

    Matt G.

    Sorry not at this point, i have MCS beta testing it for me now. However i expect to release a public version at the end of this month.

  15. Michael Griswold [MSFT] says:

    I’m also a Microsoft SMS guy, a tester in the Application Compatibility group sitting jsut down the hall from Craig. I probalby don’t know nearly as much about perf and sizing as Craig does, but here is my 2 cents about Discovery and site hierarchy. I have thought about doing my own SMS blog, but I don’t think I have any regular input worth having the world read. πŸ™‚

    The thing to keep in mind is that Discovery information flows up a SMS hierarchy, not down (unless something changed that I didn’t catch in SMS 2003). What this means is that doing AD discovery at the central site will be a good way to get an overall view of all the machines in AD and keep traffic to a minimum between sites. This information won’t flow to the child sites to do any kind of CCR generation for client push installs however.

    If you were to run AD discovery at every site you would end up with a lot of duplicate DDRs and a lot of network traffic as all those DDRs would be passed up the SMS hierarchy.

    My personal recommendation is to run AD Discovery on the central site so you can get an "overall" picture of all the machines you have. Then use other methods, such as logon scripts or client push, at the child sites to actually get the SMS client bits on the machines. You should then be able to look at the central site and see all those machines discovered via AD but never installed from any site in any way. Start figureing out why those machines aren’t getting picked up.

    And now for the standard disclaimer to make sure the legal folks have no reason to fire me:

    — This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. —

  16. Lance says:

    Don’t forget about he more humourous version of SMS. Slow Moving Software. Actually, comming from a large envrionment (25,000 clients in 20+ sites globally) on SMS 2.0 and 1.x. In the process of deploying SMS 2003, I must say that the "slow moving software" description is MUCH less relivant.

    Welcome Craig to the blogging world, and I look forward to keeping tabs on your entries.

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