My experience with Symantec Server Management Suite (SMP)
Ben Liebowitz | TrustRadius Reviewer
February 22, 2017

My experience with Symantec Server Management Suite (SMP)

Score 7 out of 10
Vetted Review
Verified User
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Overall Satisfaction with Symantec Server Management Suite

We have been using Symantec Server Mgmt Suite since version 7.1, moved to 7.5, and recently upgraded to 8.0.
We use the platform to keep our server infrastructure up to date with Patch Management, Software Deployment, as well as for OS Deployment. It has helped us to use one tool for all of these needs, vs needing multiple tools.
  • Being able to manage and report on our entire enterprise infrastructure from a single pane of glass is very handy!
  • Deploying patches via the SMP can be a little complicated, but once you figure out exactly how to do it, it works very well!
  • Building system images with the SMP is an easy process. I build a VM with the software I want, and then run a job that prepares the system for image capture (runs sysprep, wipes the SMP GUID, etc) and then boots into WinPE and captures the image via Ghost.
  • The SMP solution is a beast. Each piece is complicated in itself let alone how everything ties together!
  • There is plenty of documentation online on how to perform a specific task, but you need to pay attention to what VERSION the article is written for. I've been halfway through implementing something only to hit a roadblock since I'm running a newer version and the option the article says to click on doesn't exist anymore...
  • Being able to report on the majority of things you want all from one interface, makes it really easy to get the results you want.
  • Because my employer didn't provide training, it took working with support, reading technical documentation, and just playing around on my own to learn how to do certain things.
  • I've had a lot of help from the SMP Support staff and they're great people and very helpful!
I have had exposure to SCCM before we moved to Altiris (aka SMP) and SMP does some things in a more complicated way, but there is a LOT of flexibility too. For example, with Patch Management, it's very similar to SCCM, you download the patches you want to install and then publish them. However, with SCCM, you need to have WSUS running on the back end to handle the patch deployment, while SMP does the installs itself. It syncs the patches with the agents and stages the files, and will install them when the maintenance window opens.
The SMP suite is great at what it does, but it can be very complicated to learn how to get it to do what you want. It's a beast!
However, when you learn how to the things you want to do, it comes as second nature and you complete them like they're supposed to be done that way. A lot of these things are done to be able to be completed a number of different ways. Take Patch Management, you can deploy patches automatically, via Jobs, or via the "Start Software Update Cycle Now" link in the SMP Agent!