Wouldn't it be great to configure an entire system-wide OS deployment from your workstation? Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) gives you that power.

The old SMS 2003 won't let you configure Windows Vista and Longhorn Server. SCCM 2007 will, and boy is it making large-system configuration easier to understand and deploy. Plus, it lets you configure an OS across your system without using local support staff.

Instructor Greg Shields' training videos show you how to configure your entire network operating system using this powerful SMS upgrade, while preparing you for Microsoft's 70-401 MCTS certification exam.

Greg is a systems pro. He understands SMS and SCCM, and his unique experience with the production elements of both is evident in this series. This SCCM training series shows you how to:

Manage ALL of your desktops and servers from your lofty administrator's tower

Use SCCM 2007 to really understand your business environment

Prepare for the 70-401 exam

Understand the exam prerequisites and objectives

Access additional resources

Gone are SMS's time-consuming, system-update patches. With SCCM's administrator console, you manage your software update patches quickly and efficiently and with all the information you need right at your fingertips.

Gone too are many of the security concerns that have plagued OS deployment in large organizations. Network Access Protection (NAP) is a powerful tool that helps you deny viruses access to your operating system.

By the time you're done watching this series, you'll understand SCCM from planning to installing, from application deployment to patching and from OS installation to Network Access Protection integration. Other great SCCM 2007 features let you:

Look over users' shoulders with Wake On LAN

Configure and manage users' mobile devices

Determine your users' real-versus-perceived software needs

Use DCM to create reports from your inventory collections

Greg's training brings you up to speed fast and shows you how SCCM 2007 can make your working life so much easier. Become your organization's OS configuration expert, as you prepare to pass this Microsoft MCTS certification exam.

The Exam-Pack 70-401: Microsoft Systems Center - Configuration Manager video series contains:

Introduction to System Center, SCCM, and our Learning Style

SCCM Components

Installing SCCM & Upgrading from SMS 2003

Discovering Resources

Deploying SCCM Clients

Inventory & Basic Collections

Queries & Query-based Collections

Reports & Dashboards

Software Distribution Part 1: The Art

Software Distribution Part 2: The Science

Deploying Operating Systems

Deploying Software Updates

Metering Software Usage

Desired Configuration Management

Remote Tools & Wake On LAN Features (free video!)

Network Access Protection

Mobile Devices

Backups and Troubleshooting

Planning an SCCM Hierarchy

Mixed Mode vs. Native Mode & Internet-based Clients

Here's what you'll learn in each video of the Exam-Pack 70-401: Microsoft Systems Center - Configuration Manager


Video 1 - "Introduction to System Center, SCCM, and the 70-401 Exam" - This video introduces the series, System Center and SCCM themselves, and how the series will discuss both the exam components and useful best practices that are based on Greg’s experience.

Video 2 - "SCCM Components" - We first talk about the various components that come together to make an SCCM infrastructure. This video explains and introduces those components and how they interrelate.

Video 3 - "Installing SCCM & Upgrading from SMS 2003" - Once we understand the individual components, we then need to get them installed. This video discusses the SCCM installation process as well as how to upgrade an existing SMS 2003 environment to SCCM 2007.

Video 4 - "Discovering Resources" - After installation, the next step is to configure SCCM to discover the resources on the network. Using multiple discovery mechanisms, we’ll understand how resources are discovered and how their information gets into the SCCM database for later client installation.

Video 5 - "Deploying SCCM Clients" - Discovering resources is only the first step. Client software must be installed if we’re to get inventory information and truly interact with discovered machines. Here, we’ll discuss the client deployment process and best practices for getting client software onto candidate machines.

Video 6 - "Inventory & Basic Collections" - Client software installed to candidate machines is the first step in pulling down rich inventory information to populate our SCCM database. This nugget explains the inventory process, what can be inventoried, and some of the very basic processes used to create collections of computers.

Video 7 - "Queries & Query-based Collections" - The static collections created in the last nugget are just that…static. In order for your collections to truly represent your environment, you need to base them on characteristics of computers rather than actual computer names. In this nugget we follow on with the collection-creation process by showing how to use inventory information and queries to create collections.

Video 8 - "Reports & Dashboards" - Inventory information isn’t used just for creating collections. It’s also useful for understanding what kinds of software and hardware are in the environment. SCCM has a rich web-based reporting engine for showing the contents of the SCCM database. This nugget will talk about creating reports and dashboards of reports for viewing a heads-up display of that information.

Video 9 - "Software Distribution Part 1: The Art" - Once we’ve got our hands around the data portion of SCCM, we then move on to the idea of updating computers with software. Part 1 of software distribution talks about the art of software packaging, and best practices for getting software to install “silently”, which is a major requirement of successful software distribution.

Video 10 - "Software Distribution Part 2: The Science" - After this software is packaged, we then need to get it deployed – the “science” of the process. Getting those software packages uploaded into the SCCM infrastructure and ultimately pushed out to clients is the subject of this nugget.

Video 11 - "Deploying Operating Systems" - But software packages only update individual pieces of systems. What if we want to deploy an entire system? This nugget talks about the very cool and exciting tools and techniques native to SCCM that enable the deployment of operating systems to clients.

Video 12 - "Deploying Software Updates" - Also a newly native tool with SCCM 2007 with much improved functionality is the update deployment process. Pushing patches with SMS 2003 was hard, a process that gets much easier in SCCM 2007 with its new integration with WSUS. We’ll talk about that integration and how to successfully keep your machines patched.

Video 13 - "Metering Software Usage" - A short but powerful nugget, metering software usage will help you understand exactly how often your users actually use the software you deploy to them. With this knowledge, you can determine if they actually need the software they say they do. We’ll talk about how to set up metering and how to see reports of actual minute-by-minute software usage.

Video 14 - "Desired Configuration Management" - Sometimes you don’t want to manage a software package as a full package, but only a few settings within that package – maybe for security or compliance reasons. DCM is a native SCCM tool that allows you to create reports on computers that haven’t met a desired configuration you’ve enabled.

Video 15 - "Remote Tools & Walk On LAN Features" - The troubleshooting and update process requires you to sometimes look over the shoulder of your users. Doing that with SCCM is easy with the built-in remote tools interface. This nugget talks about how to set up and use remote tools. It also finishes with a look at the Walk On LAN features that allows you to bring computers out of various sleep states before you attempt to update or patch them.

Video 16 - "Network Access Protection" - SCCM integrates with NAP, and makes its enforcement of updates much easier. You’ve got to have a NAP infrastructure in place to use the integration, but once it’s in place, SCCM is a great add-on. This nugget talks about that integration and what you can expect when using SCCM as another database for NAP enforcement.

Video 17 - "Mobile Device Management" - Mobile devices are computers too! So, understanding their inventory, managing their configuration, and ensuring they’ve got the right software and patches are all parts of your job as systems administrator. SCCM has some great mobile device management capabilities built in. We’ll talk about those abilities, how to get clients onto mobile devices, and how to manage their configuration once you do.

Video 18 - "Backups, Logs, and Security Rights" - Managing your SCCM infrastructure means ensuring that it’s continuously available. Backups, logs, and security rights are all necessary security and protection components of your daily administrator “care and feeding” of your servers. This nugget will discuss all of the components you need to understand to keep your infrastructure happy.

Video 19 - "Implementing Multiple Sites" - Not all environments are made up of a single site. Most have multiple sites in multiple locations with all kinds of different network connectivity. Depending on the presence or absence of remote site IT, the network speed between sites, and the desire to keep servers in those remote locations, you have options with SCCM on how to manage them. This nugget will discuss those options and what and how you should deploy SCCM to best suit those needs.

Video 20 - "Native Mode & Internet Based Client Management Overview" - Lastly, SCCM also has a more-powerful security mode called “native mode” that ensures encryption of virtually all traffic and enables internet-based clients to talk with your SCCM infrastructure. This final nugget will discuss the move to native mode, the need for certificates, and what benefits you can plan to get out of Internet-based client management.

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