Microsoft held a great event called Microsoft Private Cloud Day where changes to System Center 2012 were announced.  If you missed the live stream, you can watch it on demand starting at 10:30 AM PST today.

With the current shipping versions of System Center products (and previous), we have always had individual products such as System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3 or System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2.  We are simplifying this and now we are offering System Center 2012 as a single product / suite.  We are offering two editions, System Center 2012 Datacenter and System Center 2012 Standard.

sc2012suite

As you can see from the figure above, both Editions include the same components.  Both editions are also licensed per two physical processors.  The only difference is the number of Virtual Machines supported per license– 2 for Standard and Unlimited for Datacenter.  If you have a minimal virtualization footprint, the Standard Edition may be just fine (branch office or a smaller datacenter for example); if you have a large virtualization footprint and are looking for high density of VMs, then definitely go with Datacenter edition.

This is a key milestone for us as Microsoft is leading the pack in building a global scale public cloud platform (Windows Azure, SQL Azure and Office 365) while also enabling customers to build their own private clouds (using Windows Server and System Center).  As customers really start taking advantage of cloud computing methodologies, they have the flexibility of choosing the model that best fits their needs or a combination (Hybrid) and know that the two environments can be managed holistically from one management tool – System Center 2012.  Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of our Management and Security Division wrote a blog post that really does a good job of stating Microsoft’s strategy for cloud computing and how we see public and private clouds coming together.

For more details on the System Center 2012 changes, please visit the Microsoft Server and Cloud Platform site.

If you are interested in trying out the new System Center 2012 Release Candidate bits, please visit the download site.

Harold Wong