I attended a July 2007 http://TechNet.Microsoft.com technical chat with Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (SCCM) product team, where capabilities of the SCCM 2007 pre-release product were reviewed. One of the items of discussion was SCCM Desired Configuration Management (DCM) -- more details on DCM appear in the paragraphs below...

Before I dive into Service Modeling Language (SML) functionality within SCCM-DCM, let's quickly review a few great quotes from a recent online article, published at SearchWinIT.Com -- the article is titled "SML promises common language for systems management" and is published here:

This online article reviews how SML configuration management functionality now appears in pre-release versions of Microsoft Windows Server 2008, as well as the Microsoft SCCM product. SCCM can be described as the next release of Systems Management Server (SMS), and at this time of this article publish date, SCCM Release Candidate 1 is available from the Microsoft Connect portal -- use the link below, or see the link published at http://www.microsoft.com/SMServer

Some of the SML-related points from this online article (click here for full article text) include the following noted comments:

"...SML can read knowledge documents and drive configurations to be compliant to those desired models," said Praerit Garg, director of Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative..."

"...Microsoft's prequel to SML, the System Definition Model (SDM), can already be seen at work in Windows Server 2008..."

"...System Center Configuration Manager beta also comes with desired configuration packs with rules on how to set up various types of servers..."

Now, let's look a little deeper for the SML in SCCM-DCM. The SCCM-DCM capability can use DCM Digests (model documents describing intended, or desired, configuration) for deployment of a standard server software configuration, or client system software configuration. Essentially the configuration attributes are authored (or a template model is adapted) as a model; the model is targeted for a candidate system by identity or attributes; software configuration is then deployed.

So -- where's the SML?  The creation of DCM Digests is similar in function to creation of SML-based model documents for expressing an intended configuration. But even more directly, draft SCCM documentation describes how DCM Digests, or SML models, or the Digest-authoring User Interface, can be used for defining (and then implementing) intended configuration.

One more point in the online article to note -- that a future version of SCCM should also include a "fix-it" capability, to determine and fix non-compliant systems or system issues. This "fix-it" functionality would bring a rich and extensible automated configuration management to IT organizations.

To understand more about SCCM-DCM, DCM Digests, and references to SML within the SCCM product, you may wish to review these online documents:



Disclaimer: This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.