Newbie to System Center. Where do I start?

Hello - I am a newbie to System Center and I want to learn. Where do I start?

I understand System Center is a suite of components such as: App Controller, Configuration Manager, Data Protection Manager, Orchestrator, Operations Manager, Service Manager, Virtual Machine Manager.

I have technet subscription so I can download and learn. I am not really sure where exactly to start with System Center.

I have a home lab based on vSphere which has 30+ Windows 2008 R2/2012 R2 servers in a domain environment.

Any help very much appreciated.


February 6th, 2014 10:10am

This is the ConfigMgr forum so I can only help you with that. Have a look at my ConfigMgr 2012 Step by Step guide. It will get you started in your lab.

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February 6th, 2014 10:16am

What do you want to do?

I don't see the point in learning them all.

I started with SCCM 2012 SP1 and moved onto SCCM 2012 R2.

But, I find that a lot of the SCCM 2007 documentation is still relevant for a new starter.

I tend to mix and match between them all, SCCM 2007 and SCCM 2012.  

Download and install the latest version and try to get some cheap books or CBTs.

See if you can find a copy of MOC 10747A (Administering System Center 2012 Configuration Manager)

You might be able to get a copy of Ebay.

Then the rest is up to you. You may find that you need to manage a lot of VM's and SCVVM could come in use. Or you need to implement a Backup Solution like DPM.

Start small, because they are all big.

February 6th, 2014 10:22am

I guess what I am trying to find out is to learn the core/foundation of System Center and then focus on a specific component. does that make sense? Or do I just jump into "Configuration Manager" ? Is Configuration Manager the core/foundation of System Center?
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February 6th, 2014 10:27am

I know what you are saying.

But I don't think it's possible to be able to know everything about them in great depth.

You are either a master of one or none.

In my previous role, we had System Admins that used too think that they could take on the whole suite, but in reality they knew very little about the one that they were supposed to know.

There is no harm in knowing a little bit about one of the others, but do you really want to know about Service Manager if you are going to have nothing to do with it?

Just picks the relevant ones.

  • Edited by midi25 20 hours 41 minutes ago
February 6th, 2014 10:40am

Here's new free e-book on System Center:

You might find this is a good place to start learning.

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February 6th, 2014 11:50am

Nobody knows all of System Center. It's a broad set of tools that are, for the most part, unrelated. (that's a broad statement I know) So it depends on what you goal is. Do you want to know how to manage devices? Do you want to know how to monitor devices? Do you want to know how to provide support to your end users and support desk? Do you want to know how to automate common IT tasks? Etc etc...
February 6th, 2014 2:40pm

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