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The long awaited System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 is now available ! You can freely download it from here : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/hh505660.aspx 

Don’t forget to also download the evaluation of Windows Server 2012 to get the best combination : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh670538.aspx 

This Service Pack has of course a series of patches that improves the product but has some new features as you can see bellow :

  1. Support of Windows Server 2012 and SQL 2012 :
  2. The SP1 is required to support Windows Server 2012. The support of Windows Server 2012 in two terms :

    • Supporting it as the operating system on which System Center is installed
    • Supporting it as the operating system that is monitored / managed by the components of System Center (Virtual Machine Manager, Operation Manager, Orchestrator …)

    You can also use SQL 2012 as the underlying database to store the data from the various components of System Center and benefit from the new capabilities of SQL 2012 like the Database Availability Group or some other enhancements (performance, memory allocation …) that we have done on the database engine with SQL 2012.

  3. Additional support of VMware vCenter:
  4. With System Center 2012 SP1 we have updated our list of VMware products we which we are compatible. The official list is maintained here : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-gb/library/gg697603.aspx . The main changes are :

    • VMware vCenter Server 5.1 and 4.1 are supported
    • ESX 4.1, ESXi 4.1 and ESX 5.1 only are supported with SP1 (note that ESX 3.5 & ESXi 3.5 have been removed from the RTM edition).
  5. VMM 2012 SP1:
  6. The SP1 brings the capability to leverage network virtualization that is introduced with Windows Server 2012. You can then create your virtualized network in VMM and the agents will nicely and easily push this configuration to the different hosts you have on your network.

    On the storage side, we have added the support for Windows Standard-Based Storage Management Service, thin provisioning and discovery of SAS Storage.

  7. Data Protection Manager 2012 SP1:
  8. With SP1, DPM now allows to protect Hyper-V hosts over SMB and improved the performance of the backup of Hyper-V over CSV 2.0 (Cluster Shared Volumes).

    DPM also now has the support of de-duplicated volumes. So if you plan to use data de-duplication (a cool feature of Windows Server 2012), you can protect them with DPM 2012 SP1.

  9. Operation Manager 2012 SP1:
  10. If Operation Manager had not changed a lot with System Center 2012, this not the case anymore with the Service Pack 1! Not only does it now supports the Azure SDK but also allows to monitor WCF, MVC and .Net services.

    APM is now fully compatible with SharePoint 2010 with allows you to monitor the performance of SharePoint from the application point of view and not just from the “web layer” point of view. APM is now capable of converting the collected traces into an IntelliTrace format.

    For those running Linux, CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu can now be monitored with Operation Manager 2012.

    And the integration with VMM 2012 that brings the visibility into the network switches in the vicinity dashboard.

  11. Service Manager 2012 SP1 :
  12. Service Manager 2012 SP1 has added a big component around chargeback. You can now :
    - Apply price sheets to the VMM Clouds
    - Create chargeback reports
    - Do a BI analysis with pivot by cost-centers, VMM Clouds, Price sheets

  13. App Controller 2012 SP1 :
  14. App Controller is our single pane of glass to the Clouds as likes the marketing team. This updated version bring two major capabilities :
    - A Service Provider Foundation API to create and operate Virtual Machines
    - Support for Azure VM (IaaS)
    - Migrate a VHD from VMM to Windows Azure

  15. Configuration Manager 2012 SP1:
  16. This updated version of Configuration Manager will not only enable the deployment of Windows 8 in the enterprise but will also seamlessly integrate and configure Windows Intune as being part of your Config Manager deployment.

    This new release of Windows Intune allows you to directly manage Windows RT devices, Windows Phone 8 and iPad, iPad2, iPhones and iPod Touch (using iOS 4.0 or later) that you may have deployed in your enterprise. For those devices, you don't need to have an ActiveSync account setup. For Android based devices, we still rely on AES to apply policies to mobile devices.

    You can read more on the updated release of Windows Intune here : http://technet.microsoft.com/library/hh452635.aspx

  17. System Center Global Service Monitor:
  18. This is a service based on Windows Azure that will do application monitoring. This service will be broadly available in March 2013. Stay tuned for more information on this as we will come closer to the availability of the service. The availability of the service may not for all the countries in the world at this time.

  19. System Center Advisor:
  20. This free service will allow you to scan you environment and provide advices regarding your configuration. This will help you identify the misconfiguration and avoid problems. Be careful, this service is not available in all the countries in the world.

    You can read more about the availability of the various services over the world on this page : http://www.microsoft.com/online/international-availability.aspx 

As you can see, this Service Pack 1 is more than just a “bunch of patches” ! It is THE version that will unlock the full power of Windows Server 2012. It will also facilitate its deployment as the platform of the private cloud.

Today is really the Cloud OS "moment" !!!

So don’t hesitate, if you haven’t done so yet, download System Center 2012 with Service Pack 1 here : http://technet.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/hh505660.aspx 

Happy Private & Hybrid cloud in 2013 !