This year is a big one for Microsoft enterprise product revisions, and Microsoft Systems Management Server (SMS) 2003 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) just joined this month's slew of releases. SMS 2003 RC1 follows closely on the heels of Windows Small Business Server (SBS) 2003 and Microsoft Office Real-Time Communications (RTC) Server 2003, both of which also recently entered the release candidate phase, and Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, which Microsoft just finalized. Like the other products that are rolling into the release-candidate phase, SMS 2003 is set for a late-summer release.
"SMS 2003 includes greater mobile support for laptops and roaming users, tighter integration with key Windows 2000 components such as Active Directory, and improved asset discovery and management with fully scalable metering and Web-based reporting tools," a Microsoft representative told me this week.
Microsoft plans to ship SMS 2003 in September. The company will combine future SMS versions with future versions of Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) to create an integrated package called Microsoft System Center. Microsoft first discussed its plans for this management product suite more than a year ago at the Microsoft Management Summit 2002 in Las Vegas, Nevada.