Change and Configuration Management

Change and configuration management is a set of Windows 2000 features that simplify basic tasks such as the following:

  • Installing an initial operating system on a new computer.

  • Managing how software is deployed and installed on personal computers to ensure that users have the software that they require to perform their jobs.

  • Managing the configuration of each user's desktop.

  • Replacing computers.

Change and configuration management involves managing the ongoing issues that arise as you try to ensure that users are productive when they use their computers to complete their day-to-day work.


Figure 21.1 Change and Configuration Management Features

As Figure 21.1 shows, change and configuration management includes User Data Management, Software Installation and Maintenance, and User Settings Management, which are collectively known as the IntelliMirror™ management technologies. IntelliMirror and Remote OS Installation are the Windows 2000 change and configuration management technology set.

IntelliMirror features increase the availability of the user's computer and computing environment by intelligently storing information, settings, and applications. Remote OS Installation installs Windows 2000 Professional operating system and desktop images on new or replacement computers without on-site technical support. When you combine IntelliMirror and Remote OS Installation throughout your organization, you create a system that makes computer replacement easier.

You can use change and configuration management features to perform the following functions:

  • Define computing environment settings centrally for both groups of users and computers. Then you can rely on Windows 2000 to enforce those settings.

  • Make it possible for users to roam to any computer on their network and have the same computing environment, including access to their data, applications, and preference settings.

  • Enable users to find all their data files and network files quickly, even when they are working offline. Offline files are cached locally and are synchronized with the server.

  • Manage software installation, updates, and removal from a central location. Applications can also repair themselves if a user inadvertently removes key files.

  • Replace a computer quickly and then regenerate its settings, restoring data, applications, preferences, and administrative policies.

  • Allow Pre-Boot Execution (PXE)–based remote boot technology–enabled workstations to install an operating system on the local hard disk drive automatically.

Microsoft® Systems Management Server also provides change and configuration management services. You can use Systems Management Server in combination with IntelliMirror and Remote OS Installation. For information about the benefits of combining these technologies, see "Configuring and Maintaining the Network Environment" later in this chapter.