SCCM Review

Flexible, great for patching on virtual machines, and pretty stable

What is our primary use case?

We are using SCCM to manage the virtual machine configuration. We had around 100 or 200 virtual machines and wireless, and we need to configure different settings on all of the virtual machines. We need to handle patching, updating, and installing security updates. We prefer to use System Center instead of other solutions like GFI LanGuard that are already installed in other environments.

How has it helped my organization?

Previous to SCCM, the entire process was completely manual.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very flexible and very handy. It has helped us move past the process of manually updating.

It's helped us solve problems surrounding patching, installing, and reporting different patches, etc., on the virtual machines.

What needs improvement?

Based on my experience with SCCM 2016, the main, big issue is not having a good user-friendly environment. It needs much better GUI. 

We had some problems configuring Linux virtual machines. We needed to install agents. Microsoft should pay more attention to these Linux virtual machines in order to make implementation with them easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working in the System Center on two projects for around two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is extremely stable. We've only really had to restart the solution twice in the first year. It's very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In terms of scalability, at that time I didn't need to scale the development. However, in the near future, it is possible. I don't have any idea of the timeline for our scaling the solution as I focus on VMware technology at this time.

Our company has around 60 users. However, we offer this solution to one of the enterprise customers that use it for bank data centers. They have around 3000 staff.

We are using the System Center to manage around 2000 virtual machines.

How are customer service and technical support?

In my country, due to sanctions, we cannot use direct support. We just use third-party partners in different countries. Generally, we support the System Center and all their products directly and don't need outside support.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

If a company migrates to a cloud environment, I prefer to use another solution. For example, in the Azure environment, I definitely use Intune instead of System Center. In other products, I use Jamf, which is a good product that is comparable with System Center in the cloud environment. 

How was the initial setup?

In terms of the current initial setup, the new version is a little bit more complex as you need to design a great architecture for the enterprise environment when we use a lot of virtual machines. For example, when you have more than 1,000 virtual machines, there needs to be a high level of consideration for the design of different components of the System Center.

In terms of deployment, if you have a good design, the process may take about a week. You need, I would guess, one week for installing and preparing the environment. However, you need to relay different instructions in order to install it. In total, the process would take around one, or, at a maximum, two weeks.

Our team consists of five members; one senior and four support engineers. Their job is to configure and maintain the active directory environment and the SCCM platform.

What about the implementation team?

I implemented the solution myself. I took a month to study the solution, and, after that, I was able to handle the process personally. I took only two days in terms of how long it took me to install it.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The solution is pretty expensive. A company really needs to consider their environment.

What other advice do I have?

We're just a customer. In the past, we used System Center version 2012, and after one year we upgraded to System Center 2016.

Out of all the products in the market, the best solution is System Center, especially for Microsoft virtual machines and all services that are related to Microsoft Technologies.

If you are evolving in the Microsoft environment, I prefer to use the System Center due to the fact that it includes different solutions like System Center Configuration Manager, System Center Operation Manager, System Center Virtual Backup. It's a full solution and provides different services. It has great integration with other Microsoft products. 

I would recommend the solution to an engineer or administrator. And first, a new user will have to study different best practices and have a good overview of the architect of System Center and the functionality of the different components. After that, they would have to go in through the details about the Linux machines. The biggest problems we had at the time of implementation was related to Linux virtual machines, not Microsoft virtual machines. With the licensing and the price, it's a tricky point that the engineers should consider when they need to set up a license

Overall, I would rate the solution eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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