Microsoft Extends Its Hybrid Cloud Management Portfolio

The company releases a new add-on for System Center that allows organizations to manage workloads across on-premises servers and clouds.

cloud management

Microsoft is connecting customers of its System Center data center management platform to their cloud workloads with a new add-on.

Today's release of the Operations Management Suite (OMS) add-on for System Center brings IT monitoring, automation and data protection capabilities to System Center. Announced in May at the Ignite conference in Chicago, OMS is a "hybrid management solution that extends the value of System Center and helps you manage your corporate workloads no matter where they run—Azure, AWS, Windows Server, Linux, VMware, or OpenStack," explained Guru Pangal, general manager of Hybrid Storage at Microsoft, in a statement.

The software bundles various OMS components (Operational Insights, Backup, Site Recovery and Automation), trimming costs for organizations that require the full suite's capabilities. "For every System Center Standard or Datacenter license you own with Software Assurance, you will be able to purchase a corresponding Microsoft Operations Management Suite add-on for access to allocated solutions that enable you to extend your datacenter, quickly enable hybrid cloud scenarios, and take advantage of cloud bursting, migration and dev/test scenarios," Pangal said.

In addition, OMS customers get access to the new enhancements Microsoft has made to its cloud data protection offering, Azure Backup.

Azure Backup also gains an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) virtual machine (VM) feature that supports premium storage, multidisk storage and PowerShell automation. Plus, the service now offers a new console that provides management and monitoring tools using the familiar Azure admin experience.

Organizations can now use OMS to safeguard their data using Microsoft's enterprise backup and recovery software, Data Protection Manager (DPM). "A new downloadable backup agent based on DPM technology for Azure Backup offers customers of all sizes advanced functionality to enable fast and efficient hybrid backup services as part of their Azure Backup investment," Pangal said.

DPM has also been upgraded in its on-premises implementation, enabling it to expand beyond Microsoft workloads.

"In response to customer feedback and our commitment to continue to bring new capability to our System Center platform, DPM will now provide greater heterogeneous support with new host level, agentless backup of VMware VMs," he added. "Once a VMware VM is configured for protection, all workflows and backup targets (disk, cloud and tape) are supported at the same fidelity as Hyper-V VMs," Microsoft's own virtualization technology.

Microsoft has been working to boost its hybrid cloud management capabilities, a process that on occasion involves buying up other companies. Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that it had acquired BlueStripe, a hybrid cloud application management specialist, and its eponymous platform for an undisclosed amount.

"The technology discovers and maps applications and dependencies, pinpoints problems for faster resolution, and helps maintain SLAs across complex underlying infrastructure," said Microsoft Cloud General Manager Mike Neil in a June 10 announcement. BlueStripe's software will help improve Microsoft's on-premises and cloud monitoring capabilities and is being incorporated into System Center and OMS, according to the software giant.

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...