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The Configuration Manager team is pleased to announce the release of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2!  The installation kit is available through the Download Center. This release includes key enhancements in the following areas; Application Virtualization Management, Client Status Reporting, OS Deployment, SQL Reporting Services Integration, and Forefront Client Security Integration.  Below is a brief overview of each major enhancement category, with detailed information available on TechNet.Application Virtualization Management
The Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 feature set is integrated into the Configuration Manager 2007 R2 release. This provides administrators with the ability to manage and deploy virtual applications using Configuration Manager.  It gives administrators the same experience for managing virtual applications as standard, or “physical,” applications, where logical.  The core scenarios enabled in this feature set include packaging and distribution of virtual applications, deployment of virtual applications to clients (connected and offline), launching and running virtual applications (connected and offline), and inventory and reporting of virtual applications.

Client Status Reporting
This feature is built on the SMS 2003 Client Health Tool but includes important new improvements and features.  An external service is provided that queries site systems and Configuration Manager clients for client status on agent activity and overall health.  The system then reports on key indicators of client activity to help administrators monitor and maintain the health of their Configuration Manager clients.

OS Deployment
With R2 we provide for support of multicast of OS images to Windows PE, simplifying the deployment process in this scenario.  In addition, R2 introduces the capability of doing OS provisioning without the need to pre-create records in Configuration Manager.  This capability is delivered via a feature called “unknown computer support.”  This feature works with boot media and PXE boot.  We’ve also implemented two new resources that can be put into collections and targeted with task sequences (x86 Unknown Computer and x64 Unknown Computer).  Also new within the OSD feature set is the ability to specify credentials on Run Command Line task sequence action.  This provides “Run As” capability for applications, such as SQL Server, that should be installed under a specific account. 

SQL Reporting Services Integration
Configuration Manager 2007 R2 provides native integration with SQL Reporting Services as a reporting solution.  Administrators have the ability to convert/copy classic SMS reports to Report Definition Language format and publish them to the “Reporting Services Point” server.  This feature provides the ability to manage, browse and run SQL Reporting Services Configuration Manager reports from the Configuration Manager console.

Forefront Client Security Integration
With Configuration Manager 2007 R2 we have provided integration with Forefront Client Security, Microsoft’s security solution providing malware protection for business desktops, laptops and server systems.  The integration is facilitated through a Configuration Pack that assesses the states of the Forefront Client Security agents on machines that are managed by Configuration Manager 2007 R2.  The Configuration Manager administrator can view reports of the overall states of the Forefront Client Security clients through the existing Desired Configuration Management reporting infrastructure.

We are excited about the new functionality provided in the R2 release and encourage you to begin your upgrade plans!

Kim Johnson

Kim Johnson
Product Planner
System Center