Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 Service Pack 1 reaches Release Candidate

Why Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 SP1 is so interesting for virtualization technologies consumers? Because it will introduce centralized Virtual PC and Virtual Server management, adding enterprise administration capabilities mandatory for large datacenters adoption.

Here the features introduced with SP1:

– Inventory encryption and client authentication
– Client certificate provisioning
– Configurable communications port
– Watson support for server diagnostics
– Support greater number of distribution points to reduce maintenance cost
– More granular control of inter-site traffic
– Improved software distribution in multi-site hierarchies
– Folders structures for Queries, Packages, Advertisements, Reports
– Easily bypass inventory of the Windows directory for each inventory rule
– Client-side performance enhancements for Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) -based inventory
– Critical Patch Management

SP1 also broadens the supported configurations to include:
– Workgroups
– Support for Virtual Server 2005 and Virtual PC
– Advanced Client support for computers with 64-bit processors at the release of the 64-bit version of the OS
– Localized Admin console based on Operating System
– Elimination of WINS specific calls in SMS”