So we’ve announced the release of the SMS R2 beta with a 30% discount if you buy the licence before April 1st this year. Check out the press announcement from the web. There are 2 major features for this release, the Inventory tool and the scan tool. Here’s a description of what they do:
Inventory Tool for Custom Updates– The inventory tool was designed to offer third-party vendors and customers with line-of-business (LOB) applications the same patch-management and update capabilities of SMS 2003, from one centralized console. Microsoft will offer the tool for authoring a software update catalog to ISVs at no charge, so they can provide updates for their applications to their customers in a format that can be directly imported into SMS for evaluation and distribution.
Scan Tool for Vulnerability Assessment – This tool helps enable IT administrators to scan their entire internal network to find the most common configuration settings that could increases vulnerability or setting that does not comply with internal security and configuration policies of an organization. Some typical settings that is scanned include for example: evaluation of password strength and frequency of change; whether firewalls are disabled or not; or whether guest accounts are enabled. Settings out of compliance with the corporate policy are reported to the SMS administration, and the system administrator can then remediate the system in question using the regular tools and processes.
We’ve also announced SP2 for SMS (79mb) along with an Account Review tool which allows you to assess the security risk in your SMS environments and returns a report alerting you to any non compliant accounts in your organisation. Both of these are well worth downloading and implementing in your organisation…