After more than two weeks of working with System Center Essentials (SCE), here are my thoughts about it.

1)      Log: If you are an SMS administrator and are use to all the log files that is creates, then you will dislike SCE and there are almost no log files. I’m not sure how you are expected to troubleshoot SCE with so little information.


2)      Accurate data: When was the last hardware scan date? It not listed with in the default report. It might be within the db but… so the question is how old is this data that I’m looking at?

3)      Asset Management: Only the most basic of asset information is available! Is it expandable unknown but most likely not! Most mid-size business want the world and with SCE, they are not going to get it.

4)      SCE is basically:

a.       MOM Lite

b.      WSUS

c.       AD application deployment

5)      Free Support for SCE.

a.       No Newsgroup Support!

b.      A terrible web bases forums which should alert you when someone replies to your message but that function does not work, at least not for me it doesn’t.

c.       If a picture is worth a 1000 words then you better get typing as you can’t attach any files within the forum.

d.      Key Concepts and How-to” videos

i.      They are un-useable within the demonstration SCE VHD

ii.      Outside the VHD sound is good by picture quality leave a lot to be desired. Personally I couldn’t watch them for any length of time

6)      Troubleshooting: is difficult at best, within my test lab I now have a total of three VM, Demonstration SCE VHD from MS, Vista VHD from MS and Windows XP VHD that I created. Here are the unresolved issues within my SCE lab:

a.      XP Pro will not join SCE but the same VM works fine within my SMS 2003 test lab. No help from any log files. I didn’t bother try the forum as it extremely inconvenient to use.

b.      Vista VM joins SCE but is unrecognized by SCE, as to what OS is installed. Therefore you can’t push hot fixes to this VM. Neither the forum nor the log files provide any reason for the issue.

7)      Interface: maybe it is just me but I am not a fan of the interface. Stuff is all over the place and it is not always obvious where to find what you are looking for.


I know understand why at MMS, it was stated “There is no easy upgrade for SCE to SCCM” it is more MOM that anything else, everything else look like it be shoe horn into MOM.


As an SMS / SCCM guy, I would have an extremely hard time recommending to anyone to purchase, upgrade, etc. to SCE. I still hope that companies like my wife’s office can use SCE it, as it would be better than what they are doing now but I certainly will not be supporting them.