Microsoft Unveils System Center 2012 Products

Microsoft today announced its System Center 2012 product family at the Microsoft Management Summit, which is ongoing this week in Las Vegas.

The new product family succeeds System Center 2007, and includes solutions such as System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 (SCVMM 2012), which is available today as a beta release at this site. Other new products to come include System Center Operations Manager 2012, System Center Service Manager 2012 and System Center Data Protection Manager 2012.

New Capabilities
Microsoft added enhancements to the products in the System Center 2012 family, but it also added some new capabilities.

One of the new capabilities is called System Center Orchestrator, an IT process automation solution for datacenter management that coordinates services, which is based on Microsoft's Opalis acquisition. Microsoft updated Opalis to version 6.3 in November and announced last year that it would be available to customers who purchased Microsoft's server management suite enterprise license or server management suite datacenter license with Software Assurance. This month, Microsoft announced a Technology Adoption Program to sign-up for its next-generation Opalis release.

Another new capability is System Center Advisor, which is the service originally code-named "Atlanta" that can be used to actively detect server configuration problems. System Center Advisor is currently available as a release candidate version at this Microsoft portal. The technology was first announced at the last year's SQL PASS event, but it's not just for SQL Server, according to Microsoft officials.

The third and last new capability is System Center Project, code-named "Concero." System Center Project is the successor to Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Self-Service Portal, according to Amy Barzdukas, Microsoft's general manager of server and tools communications. It allows workflows to be created, such as assigning a cloud to the finance department within an organization, even while IT administrators maintain overall control.

Microsoft is enabling self-service portals that will allow service owners to configure, manage and deploy services "without having to deal with things like Virtual Machine Manager and spinning up virtual machines," explained Don Retallack, an analyst with the Directions on Microsoft consultancy. He added that Concero is part of this effort but that SCVMM 2012 will also enable the capability.

"Concero looks very much like the VMM self-service portal but with some other features -- a graphical view of the service, for example -- and it will be tied to all of the System Center products at some point, including Operations Manager," Retallack explained.

As for the enhanced capabilities, System Center Operations Manager 2012 now fully integrates Microsoft's AVIcode acquisition, which helps pinpoint flaws in applications built on Microsoft .NET and J2EE platforms. System Center Service Manager 2012 now enables self-service requests from business managers to request cloud resources. System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 adds "enterprise-class" centralized backup and protection, de-duplication support, and SharePoint integration functionality.

New in SCVMM 2012 is its beefed-up hypervisor support. The virtual machine management product currently works with Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware vSphere 4.1 solutions, and it now includes support for Citrix's Xen Server. IT pros can manage multiple clouds running different hypervisors, explained Kenon Owens, technical product manager for Microsoft integrated virtualization, during a press demo. Owens generally noted that Microsoft has done a lot of work to meet its customer requirements for managing private clouds with this release of SCVMM 2012.

Another new feature in SCVMM 2012 described by Owens is called "dynamic optimization." It allows IT pros to allocate virtual machine workloads on the fly. He said that this capability allows IT pros to set how the workload is balanced and they can also manage capabilities such as power optimization with it. Users can also create collections of virtual machines in a new "service template." Owens said that the nice thing about using service templates is that versions can be set for them, which can be useful for IT pros when they update services. Microsoft also added storage capability based on the SMI-S storage protocol.

As noted above, some parts of the System Center 2012 product family are available today as test versions. Microsoft plans to deliver final System Center 2012 product releases sometime this year, but the details weren't disclosed. However, Retallack said that most of the System Center 2012 products will be released by Microsoft in the second half of this year.

Microsoft also issued a visionary statement about enabling private cloud computing. Brad Anderson, corporate vice president at Microsoft's Management and Security Division, noted that IT is moving on from just consolidating servers through virtualization into a "new computing paradigm." That paradigm will focus more on managing applications and tapping cloud computing, he explained in a blog post.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Feb 2, 2014

ohh oohh and allso.. What about product key coermpad to the VHD? Do i have to create my own VHD and rolle that into the SCVMM 2012 libery? In one of your post you wrote that you don't need to setup any images on the WDS server because the VHD was stored in the SCVMM 2012 libery. I took that, that SCVMM 2012 camed shipped with a premade VHD file for deploying? but maybe im suppose to create my own VHD and add that to the libery?If thats the case then i know how to handle the license key issue but if SCVMM 2012 comes shipped with a pre build VHD for BMC deployment how do i handle the license key?/Casper [url=]jtwaswfrg[/url] [link=]hdlybrwzvm[/link]

Mon, Jan 20, 2014

http://f DOT brain power at work! Great answer!

Mon, Jan 20, 2014

Hi HansCurrently going though all your post on BMC in SCVMM 2012 GREAT STUFF!one qusetion Do i need to buy the HP ILO license for SCVMM 2012 to be able to push the install?You know the license that gives you the option to controle to the server completly? I seem to remember the default license that follow basicly only allows you to power on and off the server /Casper

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