Microsoft upgrades System Center for private cloud deployment

Microsoft has enhanced its virtualisation management product to enable better implementation of private clouds

Microsoft has released a new version of its System Center management suite– bringing together new versions of several existing products and offering new versions of others.

The Release Candidate (RC) version of System Center 2012 will mean that products that were previously sold on an individual basis will now be offered only as a suite. Microsoft is also stressing that the suite could be the first stop for a company looking to implement a private cloud infrastructure.

According to Cliff Evans, management lead at Microsoft, the release of the new management suite will aid customers looking to move to the cloud but don’t want major disruption. “We know that customers have broad environments in their data centre. They don’t want to have a big bang, but take a more evolutionary approach by using investments that they have made previously.”

The suite will comprise eight components: virtual machine manager, configuration manager, data protection manager, orchestrator, endpoint protection, operations manager, service manager and app controller.

Evans said that some of these – like app controller, which offers a single management centre for applications – are new to System Center; while others have been significantly enhanced. For example, he said, virtual machine manager had been upgraded so that it managed Xen installations as well as Hyper-V and VMware environments.

Evans added that The changes mean that it becomes easier for IT managers to think in terms of services that have an impact on business, rather than thinking about a range of applications.

Lucas Searle, private cloud lead for Microsoft, said the aim of the change was to encourage IT managers to think more about services. “Architecturally, this is about services,” he said.  “Let’s move away from installing an app on a virtual machine - let’s think about it being a service and use System Center at the heart of it.”

The product is available on a free trial basis now but will be generally available in the first half of this year.

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