Updates from QA Training

System Center 2012 – Released

On April 2nd 2012 Microsoft made available the next release of the System Center suite. This release is the first time that a unified release has been issued.

Paul Gregory | 4 April 2012

On April 2nd 2012 Microsoft made available the next release of the System Center suite. This release is the first time that a unified release has been issued.

Whereas the suite has all the products we know contained within they are no longer available for purchase separately.  Is Microsoft taking a risk with this repackaging only time will tell?  However for most customers this will mean a cost reduction as there are relative few customers that just use one of the main System Center products.  As part of the repackaging an optional new installer has been released called the System Center Unified Installer which allows all the products to be installed from a single installation process and will distribute the products across the server OS instances you wish. 

The main reason for the repackaging is because of cloud support and capability.  Most organisations that have invested in virtualization are looking to move their infrastructure to the next level and implement a Private Cloud, On-Premise, Infrastructure as a Service model.  What this really means is additional management and capability features need to be added.  These features revolve around management, operational, service delivery and self service.  The System Center suite enables these capabilities and unusual for Microsoft in a heterogeneous environment.

One of the other strange things about this very significant milestone is that Microsoft has kept it quiet.  So quiet even the System Center page has not been updated at this time.  I can only assume this is because they are waiting to announce the product release at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) on April 17th.  The products are available for IT Pro's through Technet or MSDN subscriptions, and is available to customers through Volume License programs as a download.  

If you have not been watching the System Center space here is the new stack with some notes of the repackaging changes:


System Center Product

Product Highlight

App Controller

New product for delivering self service

Configuration Manager

Significant upgrade

Data Protection Manager

New management experience and increased workload support

Endpoint Protection

Integrated into Configuration Manager

Operations Manager

Now includes the Avicode acquisition for .Net Application Performance Monitoring (APM)


Updated release of Opalis

Service Manager

Significant feature upgrades

Virtual Machine Manager

Major revamp, includes cloud creation, Server App-V and Service Templates


As with all product releases some products have changed more than others and at no point do I wish to undersell the changes in any of the products, but Configuration Manager and Virtual Machine Manager have maybe had the biggest changes to their core functionality but as hinted all the products have many significant improvements.

As for training, click here for a list of our courses.

QA Training | Paul Gregory

Paul Gregory

Head of Microsoft Infrastructure

A Microsoft Certified Trainer since 1995, Paul has worked both for and with some of the world's leading IT Services organisations – including Unisys, Dell and Microsoft during the Microsoft Windows (TAP) Technology Adoption Programme. Paul specializes in delivering training around the Windows Operating system as well infrastructure and management solutions around System Center going right back to SMS 1.0. Paul is a frequent visitor to Microsoft's Global Headquarters in Seattle to attend early product workshops and for many years has delivered training courses around the world on behalf of Microsoft. In addition to being actively involved in Microsoft's Windows TAP programme, Paul has recently delivered both Microsoft's Private Cloud 2012 readiness training to partners in the UK and was a member of the Microsoft global training team delivering Windows Server 2012 early adopter training. During recent years Microsoft has requested Paul to deliver System Center training at both Redmond and The South American head office to Microsoft Partners.
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