System Center 2019 Reaches General Availability
System Center 2019 has now reached the "general availability" product stage, Microsoft indicated in a Thursday update to its announcement last week.
General availability means it's deemed ready for production use by Microsoft. The suite of management software can be downloaded from the Volume Licensing Service Center by "customers with a valid license." Evaluation copies of the software, good for 180 days, are available at the Microsoft Evaluation Center download page (with sign-up).
Much of Microsoft's documentation is already appearing for the System Center 2019 components. At press time, there were "What's New" documents available for Operations Manager, Orchestrator, Service Manager, Service Management Automation, Service Provider Foundation and Virtual Machine Manager.
Some specific questions about System Center 2019 Operations Manager, including upgrade paths and operating system support, are answered in this blog post by Kevin Holman, a principal Premier Field Engineer with Microsoft Services.
Microsoft is still offering Operations Manager for its customers with the System Center 2019 product. However, Microsoft internally switched to using Azure Monitor to monitor the operations of its applications, and it no longer uses Operations Manager for the purpose. The company talked about that switch earlier this week.
The general availability of System Center 2019 is perhaps most noteworthy for dispensing with the semiannual channel (SAC) update model for most of the System Center 2019 components.
"Semiannual" means that there are two feature updates that arrive per year, adding new capabilities to the System Center components. However, with System Center 2019, instead of having SAC releases, which were supported for just 18 months, Microsoft plans to release new features every six months as so-called "Update Rollups." These Update Rollups won't have the 18-month end-of-support deadline attached to them, giving organizations a longer leeway when it comes to having to install product updates.
The only exception to dropping the SAC model in System Center 2019 is the Configuration Manager component. It continues to follow the SAC update model to track with Windows 10 update cycles. The Configuration Manager component is somewhat of an oddball in the group of components as it typically gets updates three times per year.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.