A smart alternative to SCCM

Are you looking for a smart and simple alternative to System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM)? Specops Deploy automates the installation of operating systems, software, and applications in your Microsoft Active Directory environment. Specops Deploy extends the functionality of Group Policy and can be used to target any number of user and computer objects within Active Directory. You can use Specops Deploy to save user state during installation, manage user local settings, capture operating system image, and remotely manage and monitor multi-site deployments. You don’t need to re-train your IT staff or employ extensive consultants with Specops Deploy. 

This blog provides a side-by-side of comparison SCCM vs. Deploy. 

 Specops DeployConfiguration Manager 2012 R2 (OSD)
InstallationLightweight software packages to setup Specops Deploy, Inventory, and Log Viewer. No Schema updates or hierarchy required outside of deployment server. Average configurations could take up to 30 minutes. Fully developed task sequences are integrated with software. Deploy utilities are driven by snap-ins native utilities.Complete installation required to utilize deployment and imaging components. Distributed hierarchy required for scaling and software placement. Average configuration could take up to 2 hours to build databases and site systems, additional prerequisites and configuration required to setup the Application. 2-4 weeks to develop base OSD task sequences.
OS Deployment• Microsoft ADK & MDT Based (supports Windows 10)
• Developed and Customized Task Sequences to support New and Desktop Refresh controls
• One-click OS Capture
• Patch directly from WSUS or Windows Update during imaging process
• Real-time monitoring of deployments
• Dynamically purge and copy critical deployment logs
• Proprietary log viewer with error filtering
• Active Directory Based OU Targeting for reinstalling Operating System
• Manage devices within Active Directory Users and Computers (ADUC)
• Microsoft ADK & MDT Based (supports Windows 10)
• Standard out of Box MDT Task Sequences
• Create, Deploy and Manage Capture media separately
• Microsoft Patch images offline
• Deploy to unknown computers not pre-staged or actively registered in CMDB
• Create and manage collections using pre-discovered AD objects when AD schema extended
• Full agent required to manage deployments
• Post Deployment Monitoring when agent is installed and inventory is generated
• Log Viewer with CM Trace Utility
• Microsoft Patch images offline
Application Deployment• AD Security Group Based Targeting
• User-centric deployment
• Application uninstall
• Self-Service Portal
• GPO Managed post deployment installation
• Pre-defined collection Based Targeting
• User Collection application targeting
• Primary device filtering and targeting
• Self-Service Portal
• Collection based post deployment installation
Reporting• IIS Integrated Web Reporting
• Pre-Defined and customizable in console
• SSRS integrated Web Reporting
• Pre-defined customizable using SQL Report Builder
Inventory• Direct WMI Queries• Databased record Queries
• Desired state configuration capable to maintain OS integrity
ScalableYes, deployment servers can be managed and shared using DFS shares.Yes, distribution points are BITS throttled and part of expanded hierarchy using IIS websites to manage transfers.
Active Directory IntegrationYes, managed directly by GPO and ADUC.Yes, AD Discovery reads AD. Inventory Client Agent installed on device to make manageable. Additional configuration and planning for collections.
Anti-MalwareYes, System Center Endpoint Protection and Monitoring.Yes, System Center Endpoint Protection and Monitoring.
Role Based Administration
RSAT Tools, ‘Specops Deploy Admins’ Local Group.

Note: Create Security Group to centrally Manage Permissions, Console access, Binary application access, and controls.
Granular permission sets can be managed by security group, Local SMS Admins Group and can be customized to support singular job functions.
Cloud Based IntegrationNoExtends to Windows Intune and Internet based Computer Management with PKI infrastructure.

Manually installing and configuring operating systems can be a time-consuming process. Automated software deployments can make following best practices easy for everyone. Once the system is configured, you don’t have to do much to keep it running.

For more information, see the Specops Deploy reviews on ITSMdaily, and Techgenix.


(Last updated on February 5, 2021)

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Written by

Ivan Avelancio

Product Specialist, Specops Software

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