System Center Essentials, or is Network Access Protection enough? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've been living too long in the Linux realm. :-)  Our company needs to achieve and maintain PCI compliance.  Part of that is ensuring that all of our employees' workstations are kept up-to-date with the latest Windows Updates and anti-virus software/definitions, amongst other requirements.

    For right now we have a single Windows 2008 R2 server that serves as our Active Directory domain, DHCP server, DNS server, and shared File server.  In addition, we have Symantec Endpoint Protection SBE 12.0 installed on it and deployed to all client workstations, enforcing surface scans, deep scans, and definition updates.

    What I would like to do is enforce that, if a computer connects to our network, whether from the LAN, 802.11x, or PPTP VPN, that computer is checked to make sure that critical Windows Updates have been applied, that the anti-virus client is up-to-date, and that its definitions are up-to-date.  There are probably other things that I should check, but it's a starting point.

    I started looking at Microsoft System Essentials 2010, and it looks like it would probably meet these requirements.  But then I saw that within 2008 R2 itself is a Network Access Protection (NAP) module, that can be configured for the LAN, 802.11x, VPN, and more.

    Can any small business IT administrator or Microsoft representative shed some light on which solution might be right for us?  We are a 30-employee company, with at least 10 of those at any one time connecting to our network via our VPN, so we are not looking to spend tens of thousands of dollars.  At the same time, manually checking every employee's computer every week or so won't scale as our organization grows.

    Any suggestions or advice that you have based on your own experience would be sincerely welcomed.

    Thanks in advance,


    Friday, March 25, 2011 12:19 PM


  • Hi,

    This is the System Center Service Manager Forum. Try the System Center Essentials forum.




    Mark | http://syscen.blogspot.com/
    Friday, March 25, 2011 12:42 PM