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What Is Systems Management Server (SMS)?

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The IT industry constantly discovers multiple solutions designed to make life easier for IT professionals. One such solution is the Systems Management Server (SMS), a tool that has proven valuable in systems management.

What is Systems Management Server (SMS)?

Systems Management Server, commonly known as SMS, is a software product developed by Microsoft. This tool enabled IT administrators to manage large groups of Windows-based computer systems efficiently. Providing centralized control over various aspects of system management, SMS was a go-to solution for many IT professionals.

Functions of SMS

The main purpose of SMS is to reduce the complexity associated with managing a vast computing environment. It offers various functionalities like hardware inventory, software inventory, software distribution, patch management, and remote control capabilities. By providing these features, SMS helps maintain the overall health and performance of an organization’s IT infrastructure.

SMS components

Systems Management Server comprises several components that offer seamless system management:

  • SMS Site Server: The SMS Site Server is the heart of the Systems Management Server, housing the central database and core SMS functions. It is responsible for processing data and issuing instructions to other SMS components, making it a crucial part of the infrastructure.
  • SMS Site Systems: The SMS Site Systems are secondary servers that provide additional functionalities to augment the capabilities of the Site Server. These systems can host roles such as distribution point services, management point services, or software update point services, thereby enhancing the reach and efficiency of SMS.
  • SMS Clients and Resources: SMS Clients are essentially the managed devices within the environment, ranging from servers, desktops, laptops, to mobile devices. SMS Resources, on the other hand, refer to logical or physical entities that SMS can manage, including users, user groups, and system configurations, providing a comprehensive view and control over the IT landscape.


With the evolution of IT management tools, Microsoft replaced SMS with System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM). While SMS was a robust system management tool, SCCM brought along more advanced features and improved capabilities. SCCM not only includes all the functionalities offered by SMS but also provides additional features like mobile device management, cross-platform support, and a more simplified user interface.

How SMS transformed systems management

Systems Management Server (SMS) has played a significant role in shaping the landscape of IT systems management. Though SCCM has now replaced it, the value it added to the IT world during its time cannot be undermined. Understanding its functionalities and components can provide an excellent foundation for those interested in learning about the evolution of IT systems management tools.

Next Steps

Building an efficient and effective IT team requires a centralized solution that acts as your core service deliver tool. NinjaOne enables IT teams to monitor, manage, secure, and support all their devices, wherever they are, without the need for complex on-premises infrastructure.

Learn more about NinjaOne Endpoint Management, check out a live tour, or start your free trial of the NinjaOne platform.

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