Microsoft Aims System Center 2012 at Private Cloud

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-03-22

Microsoft Aims System Center 2012 at Private Cloud

Microsoft demonstrated its push into the private cloud space with new capabilities in its System Center 2012 technology at the company's Microsoft Management Summit 2011.

At the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) on March 22, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Brad Anderson demonstrated how private clouds built with Microsoft technologies can help IT organizations meet their companies' demands for more agile services. Anderson introduced the new System Center 2012, which will enable IT managers to deliver private cloud services that empower business teams, provide greater insights into application performance, and allow IT to carry forward current investments as they adopt public cloud computing. 

"Our IT customers have told us that their focus is helping their businesses deliver the critical applications that will strengthen their bottom line, while maintaining necessary control and compliance," Anderson said, in a statement. "Virtualization and server consolidation are important steps toward cloud computing, but it's essential to have management tools that provide intelligence about how the apps themselves are doing, not just management of virtual machine black boxes. Microsoft's management solutions provide that insight, along with the needed oversight."

Microsoft's management solutions are aimed at IT staffs that are under constant pressure to deliver and to be faster, more agile and to do it for less cost, Amy Barzdukas, general manager of Microsoft's Server and Tools Business, told eWEEK.

System Center 2012, slated for release later this year, enables IT managers to build private clouds with the infrastructure they know and own today - including other vendors' platforms and virtualization technologies. In his keynote, Anderson demonstrated the Virtual Machine Manager capability in System Center 2012, available today as a beta release at Using this core component of Microsoft private cloud solutions, IT managers can efficiently standardize infrastructure and application services and delegate them to business partners for fast deployment of applications.

"One of the key issues we wanted to address with System Center 2012 was to get VM sprawl under control and to ease the migration to private cloud and ultimately to public cloud," Barzdukas said.

To that end, at MMS Anderson also showed code name "Concero," the new System Center 2012 capability that empowers department-level application managers to deploy and manage their applications on private and public cloud infrastructure while helping IT managers deliver greater flexibility and agility to their business teams.

In a March 22 blog post, Anderson said:

"Finally, with a Microsoft private cloud, customers can use the infrastructure they know and own today to build and deliver private cloud computing as a managed service, including other vendors' tools, platforms and virtualization technologies. We emphasize putting our customers' needs ahead of any particular technology."

"The move to cloud computing significantly raises the bar for what is expected in enterprise management solutions," said Chris Wolf, research vice president at Gartner, in a statement. "It's easy for a vendor to create a tool that automates the creation of a virtual machine and call it -cloud management.' However, the real value of IT management comes from keeping a service up and running, which means tools that automate configuration and operations must take advantage of application knowledge to ensure an optimal life cycle. Organizations should take this management paradigm shift as an opportunity to reassess current processes and move forward with a platform capable of meeting the complex demands of tomorrow's cloud-enabled IT services."

Enhancements to Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud Programs


System Center 2012 solutions will enhance the current Microsoft Hyper-V Cloud programs and offerings for private cloud computing, including the ability to best manage virtualized workloads. Anderson highlighted new findings from the Enterprise Strategy Group on the enterprise readiness and performance of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V for best-in-class virtualization of Windows SharePoint Services, Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008. More information about these findings is available at

Customers can also learn more about the Hyper-V Cloud program and offerings at Anderson also posted thoughts and insights about management and cloud computing on the Microsoft Blog at

Overall, the new System Center 2012 capabilities announced offer a range of new features that significantly improve what the 2007 products provide. These include enhanced capabilities for data center and cloud management, such as:

??Ç         System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 allows IT managers to pool and dynamically allocate virtualized datacenter resources (including Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware and now Xen hypervisors) and Windows Azure resources into clouds for various business groups to use in a self-service model. It includes new standardized service modeling and configuration, and image-based management - meaning IT managers can use it to manage business application services, not just virtual machines. A beta of this technology is available for download today at .

??Ç         System Center Operations Manager 2012 will fully integrate technology from the AVIcode acquisition for monitoring and deep insights into Microsoft .NET and J2EE applications for maximum availability and performance. It also adds new dashboarding for better service-level agreement tracking and network performance monitoring.

??Ç         System Center Service Manager 2012 will enable self-service requests from datacenter managers, business unit IT managers, developers and end users (e.g., a developer can more efficiently request cloud resources).

??Ç         System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 offers new enterprise-class centralized backup and protection and increased depth of support for Hyper-V and workloads such as those in SharePoint, and de-duplication support.

The new offerings also deliver completely new capabilities around data center and cloud management, such as:

??Ç         System Center Project code-named "Concero" empowers department-level application managers to deploy and manage their applications on private and public cloud infrastructure, while allowing IT managers to maintain visibility and control across both.

??Ç         System Center Orchestrator (formerly Opalis) provides an IT process automation platform that orchestrates workflows across systems and tasks. This enables customers to lower their costs while improving datacenter service reliability and predictability.

??Ç         System Center Advisor (formerly code-named "Atlanta") is a secure cloud service that assesses server configuration to help enable IT professionals to proactively avoid configuration problems.


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