What's New in System Center Essentials 2010

Applies To: System Center Essentials 2010

System Center Essentials 2010 includes the following new features and enhancements.

Essentials Setup

  • Assistance with missing prerequisites—Essentials 2010 checks for hardware, software, and the required environmental prerequisites before you install the product and lets you download or install missing prerequisites from within Setup to prepare your computer for the Essentials installation.

  • Modular setup of components—You can install some or all Essentials 2010 components on a single server, install the Essentials Reporting component on a remote database server, install the Essentials console on a remote computer, or install agents manually. You can add or remove components such as Virtualization Management at any time.

  • Dynamic updates at installation time—Essentials 2010 can check for product updates at setup time to address issues in the functionality that were discovered after the release of the product.

Configuring Essentials

  • Additional criteria for scheduled discovery—Essentials 2010 can be configured to automatically discover new computers and devices in your environment, or you can specify advanced discovery options and settings.

  • Group Policy conflict detection—During setup, Essentials 2010 detects Group Policy settings that conflict with settings required by Essentials and lets you review or change the settings to resolve these conflicts.

  • Monitoring configuration —You can configure Essentials 2010 to automatically detect new software that can be monitored and to recommend importing management packs that are available for new software detected in your software environment. Essentials 2010 can also recommend which software to monitor based on your software environment.

Computer Management

  • Updated Overview panes—The Overview panes in Essentials 2010 provide a more comprehensive view of the state of the IT environment and also provide links to common tasks.

  • Streamlined group creation for common attributes—Dynamic group membership lets you define the characteristics of group members so that members are automatically added to or removed from the group based on the defined criteria. It enables you to create more meaningful views and reports.

  • Notification banners for new management packs—Essentials 2010 displays notification banners to inform you when updated management packs are available.

  • Improved filtering and searching within views—The creation of customized views in Essentials 2010 lets you filter and search for information more efficiently, such as for software and updates deployed in your environment.

Inventory and Reports

  • Virtualization candidates—Essentials 2010 helps identify physical computers in your environment that are good candidates for conversion to virtual machines.

  • Host virtual machine utilization—Essentials 2010 shows resource usage and the number of virtual machines running on selected hosts for load balancing.

  • Security and Critical Update Compliance report—This report shows whether managed computers comply with important updates you have mandated through domain-based Group Policy or local Group Policy settings in Essentials 2010.

  • Asset tag and BIOS serial number—You can track and view asset tags and the BIOS serial numbers of managed computers in Essentials 2010.

Virtualization Management

  • Virtualization Management features—The Virtualization Management component in Essentials 2010, built on System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) technology, now provides centralized administration for managing your virtual machine infrastructure. Virtualization Management tasks you can perform from within Essentials 2010 include the following:

    • Designating and configuring host servers that include clustered virtual machine host servers

    • Creating and managing virtual machines

    • Converting physical machines to virtual machines (P2V)

    • Managing virtual machine snapshots for quick, temporary backups

    • Importing existing virtual hard disks and VMware virtual servers (V2V)

    • Choosing virtual machine host servers based on intelligent placement rating calculations

  • Flexibility for your environment—The Virtualization Management component in Essentials 2010, now integrated into Essentials Setup, can be added or removed at any time. Essentials 2010 supports management of these virtualization hosts:

    • Windows Server 2008 and later versions with the Hyper-V role for x64

    • Windows Server 2003 with SP1 with Virtual Server 2005 R2 and later versions for x86

  • Maximize physical resources—Virtualization Management in Essentials 2010 helps you maximize the IT resources with the following:

    • Comprehensive monitoring of physical and virtual machine resources that include hardware, operating systems, applications, and services

    • Rapid provisioning of hosts and virtual machines

    • Preconfigured virtual machine templates

    • Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO) tips recommended by Essentials 2010 to balance virtual machine resources


  • Import management packs via the Web catalog—Download management packs from the Management Pack Catalog Web Service within the Essentials 2010 console.

  • Inline notification creation—Add yourself or another subscriber to an alert notification within the alert in Essentials 2010 to receive e-mail, instant message, text message (SMS), or command notifications when an alert occurs.

Update Management

  • Auto-manage the software and updates needed—Configure Essentials 2010 to automatically approve required software and update packages for deployment in your environment.

  • Auto-approve deadlines—Configure deadlines in Essentials 2010 to make sure that critical updates are deployed automatically to the client computers.

  • Synchronize with Microsoft Update multiple times daily—Configure Essentials 2010 to automatically or manually update Microsoft products at set intervals, even multiple times per day.

  • View needed updates—Use views and reports in Essentials 2010 to see which required updates have not yet been deployed in your environment.

Software Deployment

  • Support for common targeting filters—In Essentials 2010, you can deploy software to all managed computers or specify certain configurations to deploy by selecting the operating system, architecture, and locale.

  • Modify properties of existing packages—You can edit software package properties before they are deployed in Essentials 2010 to change a package name and description, the system types to which the package is deployed, return codes, and additional installation parameters.

  • Localized titles and descriptions during package creation—Create alternate locales when you deploy software to managed computers in Essentials 2010 to localize package names and descriptions during package creation.

See Also


Planning to Deploy System Center Essentials 2010