I have had the pleasure of working at Intel on a high school internship at the Folsom, California site. One of my many exciting tasks has been to install Microsoft System Center Essentials 2007 and connect these to some lab machines for customer demonstration purposes (if you're visiting the Folsom site you should let me know so you can come and check it out). I must say that it was far easier to setup and use than I originally thought before I started the task...nevertheless, I have taken some notes about things I wish I would have known before I started this task. One side note, System Center Essentials is often used as the acronym SCE - which is pronounced like the ski, a concept that in the middle of August sounds great in Folsom (100 degree Fahrenheit weather around here)...
Here are my items:
1) Per domain SCE setup: I found that I needed to join the machines that I wanted to connect to my SCE box together on the same domain. Knowing this in advance would have saved me some troubleshooting time.
2) Learning to create a domain and add the machines to it was another step I had to overcome (I mentioned I am a high school intern, so some of this enterprise stuff is new to me).
3) After a clean OS install, learning where to find all the device drivers and have the installed is pretty important...otherwise your box will not communicate to the server.
4) The number of install options are vast, and each has a profound impact on the outcome of the setup. It is not as simple as clicking next, next, next, and finish. Knowing if you want to install the full server, just the AMT management pack and other such options before you do the setup will save you tons of time after the setup (or at least a uninstall and reinstall).
5) Know your server environment. Are you running Windows Server 2003 or 2008, are you running on a 32 or 64 bit version? If you don't check the system requirements up front, you will most likely download the wrong version.
Once this was done, the box works stellar - I can troubleshoot the problems on these systems, simplify management tasks, and manage multiple systems with a few clicks - I am the head honcho of these boxes. Now I wonder if my boss Josh Hilliker will send me off to experience real skiing as my summer is near complete.
Hopefully the sharing of my experience can help you during your setup. If you have any additional questions or comments, please respond with them to this blog and I will do my best to answer them.