SMS Client Architecture Under Terminal Server Multiuser Environment

Microsoft released Systems Management Server (SMS) before developing Windows NT 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. As a result, some facilities don't function properly in a Terminal Server environment. To make these two applications work together, you must make some changes to the SMS installation process, as I describe in the accompanying article.

SMS uses the SMSID to uniquely address individual SMS workstations. SMS assigns an SMSID during client installation and keeps it in the sms.ini file, which resides in the root of the C drive. Because Terminal Server shares the C drive with all terminal session users, each Terminal Server terminal session user has the same SMSID. Under the normal configuration, if a user sent a package to a Windows terminal session while logged-on terminal session users were loading the normal SMS Package Command Manager (PCM), the package installation dialog would appear simultaneously for all logged on users.

SMS Remote Control can perform the Terminal Server help desk functions, even when no one is logged on. However, with SMS 1.2, you can't use Remote Control for individual terminal sessions because the sessions do not have unique IP addresses distinct from the Terminal Server IP address. You can remotely control client sessions if the Terminal Server client session is initiated from a Windows-based workstation that SMS manages.

In the Client Settings of the SMS UI Site Options, the Remote Troubleshooting Accelerated Screen Transfer option copies modified video drivers, which improve remote control, to the client system. These video drivers conflict with Terminal Server and will generate a blue-screen kernel mode dump following the installation of SMS if you select them. You can still use Remote Control without selecting this option, but you'll suffer a 20 to 50 percent performance penalty.

SMS 1.2 conducts client inventory during logon processing, and server inventory as a background function. These inventories account for all hardware and software on the server but do not provide the ability to distinguish the individual terminal sessions.

Microsoft recently published a white paper that provides additional details about installing and using SMS 1.2 with Terminal Server. You can download this white paper from

Table A explains how various SMS 1.2 facilities function in conjunction with Terminal Server: SMS 2.0 provides only hardware and software inventory capabilities for a Terminal Server Client system. Microsoft intends to add additional SMS 2.0 support for Terminal Server in a future release.

Table A: SMS Capabilities in a Terminal Server Environment
SMS 1.2 Capability Differences in a Terminal Server Environment
Hardware Inventory Provides inventory of the entire server, but not each individual terminal session.
Software Inventory Provides inventory of the entire server, but not each individual terminal session.
oftware Distribution to Machine via PCM Available using PCM as a service (pcmsvc32.exe). Can send packages in the background that require no user intervention.
Software Distribution to Users via Program Group Control Not Available.
Remote Control Provides remote control of the server console session, but not individual terminal sessions.
MIF Entry Program Not Available.
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