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Beta 2 of System Center Essentials Ships

Microsoft is shipping Beta 2 of its new System Center Essentials 2007 systems management product.

The new package is meant to provide a unified solution that uses a single console to manage a broad range of tasks across servers, clients, hardware, software, and IT services, according to a company statement.

System Center Essentials will provide mid-sized businesses with IT management tools aimed at accelerating problem resolution and enabling automation of system updates and data collection.

The idea behind Essentials is to make it easier for IT staffers within mid-sized businesses to troubleshoot end user problems, automate management tasks, manage multiple systems, and diagnose and resolve IT problems.

Whereas most mid-size organizations currently use a variety of tools that are classically "point solutions" to manage their IT environments, System Center Essentials' intent is to enable them to perform those tasks from a single point of control, according to a white paper posted on Microsoft’s Web site.

After talking about it for more than two years, Microsoft rebranded its growing lineup of systems management tools under a common moniker -- System Center -- earlier this year. As part of that process, the company in April renamed its venerable Systems Management Server to System Center Configuration Manager for the 2007 version release, and renamed Microsoft Operations Manager to Systems Center Operations Manager, also for the 2007 version release.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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