Microsoft’s latest System Center 2019 data center management and monitoring application is now available in general release following a private preview to users through the Windows Server Technical Adoption Program (WSTAP) since December of 2018.
The latest release provides a wide range of tools for companies to use to monitor and manage data centers running Windows Server 2019, while also enabling hybrid management and monitoring capabilities with Microsoft’s Azure cloud.
“As customers grow their deployments in the public cloud and on-premises data centers, management tools are evolving to meet customer needs,” wrote Vithalprasad Gaitonde, principal product manager for System Center, in a March 14 post on the Windows Server Blog. “System Center suite continues to play an important role in managing the on-premises data center and the evolving IT needs with the adoption of the public cloud.”
To help enterprise customers manage their Azure hybrid cloud deployments using System Center 2019, Microsoft has integrated System Center with a set of management services in Azure to augment the on-premises tools they are using, wrote Gaitonde. “With Service Map integration with System Center Operations Manager (SCOM), you can automatically create distributed application diagrams in Operations Manager (OM) that are based on the dynamic dependency maps in Service Map.”
Users can also view performance and alert metrics in SCOM, integrate with web application monitoring in Application Insights and monitor more PaaS services including Azure Blob Storage and Azure Data Factory, using the Azure Management Pack, he wrote.
To boost user security, System Center products now support service logon while also introducing a new VM administrator role that provides just enough permissions for read-only visibility into the fabric of the data center, while preventing escalation of privilege to fabric administration, he wrote.
Also new to System Center 2019 are capabilities to allow users to manage and monitor their Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI) deployments more efficiently, from upgrading or patching Storage Spaces Direct clusters without downtime to monitoring the health of disks.
Systems Center 2019 includes HTML5 dashboards and the ability to drill down through events in the SCOM web console, as well as a simplified layout and extended monitoring using a custom widget and a SCOM REST API, wrote Gaitonde. “Taking modernization a step further, email notifications in SCOM have been modernized as well with support for HTML-email in SCOM 2019.”
A new alerts experience for SCOM 2019 is also included that prevents monitor-based alerts from simply being closed if they have not been addressed when systems are in an unhealthy state, he wrote.
In addition, the Data Protection Manager included in System Center 2019 is now improved, providing faster backups that require less space to store. The new application also supports backup of VMware VMs to tape and can now provide backups for new workloads such as SharePoint 2019 and Exchange 2019.
System Center 2019 is a Long-Term Servicing Channel release of the product, which will include five years of standard and five years of extended support to provide stability for users. System Center 2019 will receive Update Rollup releases every six months for the five-year life of the product.