System Center 2012 is no longer a datacenter management solution tool, but it extends it functionalities toward managing the private cloud + public clouds as well. We can deliver IT as a Service for our business now, by enabling productive infrastructure, predictable applications, and cloud on your terms.

We can deliver flexible and cost-effective private-cloud infra to our business units in a self-service model, while carrying forward our existing data center investments. So just by leveraging existing TCO (Total cost of ownership), we can yield much better ROI. System Center 2012 offers deep application insight, which, combined with a “service-centric” approach, helps you deliver predictable application-service levels. Finally, the multi-hypervisors support in System Center 2012 truly makes it amazing in most of the heterogeneous environments in datacenters as well as clouds.

System Center 2012 now comes with the complete suite of datacenter  and cloud management solutions. Below is the product suite:-

  • App Controller
  • Configuration Manager
  • Data Protection Manager
  • Operation Manager
  • Orchestrator
  • Service Manager (based on ITIL/MOF)
  • Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)

App Controller

App Controller is the new product in SC2012 release. It provides a role-based access for the App Owner. Besides, App Controller offers a single view of delegated resources across private and public clouds. We can deploy and manage services in addition to VMs.

The benefits that App Controller offers are as follows: -

  • Increased App Owner agility with self-service interface
  • It saves time by bringing together all delegated infrastructure
  • It improves reliability by deploying template-based services

App Controller presents a customized view based on your security credentials, so you’ll see exactly how much of the corporate resources have been dedicated to you regardless of their actual location. In other words, it’s virtualized so it’s physical placement doesn’t matter anymore. This view spans multiple VMM servers and also incorporates Azure subscriptions, so you can really manage your services without caring anymore about the underlying resources. You know how much capacity you have, in terms of network, storage and compute, and you can deploy services against it which allows you to save time and increase agility (response time). You can deploy services based on pre-configured templates as well.

Configuration Manager

The Configuration Manager in SC2012 integrates the management of System Center Endpoint Protection (formerly as Forefront Endpoint Protection). This is significantly crucial as most organizations have two entirely different infrastructures to manage the configuration/state of the client devices and the security of those devices. By leveraging Endpoint Protection, you can virtually eliminate that second physical infrastructure.

Amongst the benefits of Configuration Manager in SC2012 are:

  • Reduces compliance complexity
  • Improves support for virtualized environments
  • Reduces cost through integrated security

Data Protection Manager (DPM)

Data Protection Manager 2012 enables continuous data protection of Microsoft application, virtualization and file servers to seamlessly integrated secondary disk, tape, and cloud. It is built for enterprise scale.

Built on Operations Manager technology, DPM offers a new console that provides centralized monitoring, management, and troubleshooting of servers. From this single console, we can perform the same protection, infrastructure management, troubleshooting, and reporting tasks as we did for a single Data Protection Manager server using the administrator console.

DPM is designed to protect and recover data from applications such as: Windows file shares, client data, and system state; Hyper-V technologies; SQL servers; Sharepoint and Microsoft Exchange Server.

Another new functionality in DPM 2012 is the improved support in diverse environments. If we are running virtualized servers, DPM 2012 enables Hyper-V Item Level Recovery even when it’s running inside a VM.

DPM 2012 protects against generic data sources. It provides basic protection and recovery of any referential data sources, full backup (express, full, delta replication, and consistency check) for any application. It also supports the protection on the use of XML for applications that do not have a Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) writer.  The original location recovery and restoring files to a network location are feasible with DPN 2012 comes with SC 2012.

Operation Manager

We can now have deep application insight, which is the ability to monitor applications and if performance is less than expected, we can actually see the line of code that is causing the problem and with the plug in for Visual Studio Team System, we can immediately send it over to development as a work item. This speeds up problem remediation considerably, thereby complying with SLA and doesn’t put our up time in any jeopardy whatsoever.

Also, Operation Manager now extends the monitoring functionality to the cloud by offering a management pack that allows us to monitor Windows Azure Applications as well (available for download on the System Center Marketplace).

Now we can not only monitor Windows installations, but also the UNIX and LINUX deployments. We also can monitor the network layer for the health status of all key pieces of the infrastructure.

The last item to note is the introduction of custom dashboards that can exist in the console on the web or in a SharePoint deployment and we can have custom views designed for different people based on our log in security credentials (username & password).

The benefits of Operation Manager in SC2012 are:

  • Simplified management with visibility across the stack
  • Decreased time to resolution with deep application insight
  • Improved insights with customized/personalized reporting

Orchestrator

Orchestrator is simply a process automation and integration engine. It offers workflow integration and 3rd party integration. On top of that, it comes with simple design of custom workflow runbooks and integration packs (from application vendors).

The benefits of Orchestrator are abundant and one of it is that by automating repetitive tasks, it lowers cost and increases reliabilities. Besides, it also simplifies heterogeneous datacenter management.

Orchestrator leverages a simple graphical interface to construct custom workflows – with no codes required whatsoever. It also comes with Integration Packs designed for the largest 3rd party datacenter management solutions such as BMC, HP, Tivoli and even VMware. The good news is, if the Integration Pack isn’t available, you’re able to easily design a custom one of your own.

Service Manager

System Center Service Manager is the process management hub which adapts the ITIL and MOF practice. New in SC2012 are the service catalog, self-service request portal, release and SLA management and the data warehousing and reporting capabilities.

Self-Service is a key principle of cloud computing, this is how the Service Consumer will request cloud capacity or a specific VM.

Benefits of Service Managers are;

  • Increased organizational agility with customized service offerings
  • Improved corporate compliance through process management
  • Improved business intelligence through customized reporting i.e. Excel spreadsheet reporting support

Virtual Machine Manager (VMM)

System Center 2012 has the ability to work in heterogeneous environments. Specifically, VMM is able to manage all three major hypervisors – Hyper-V, Xen Server & ESX. This means that you can leverage what you already own in creating a more productive infrastructure without having to decommission your existing virtualization infrastructure, which can be extremely costly. VMM in SC2012 is built with a “leverage existing TCO, and yield better ROI” thing in mind.

VMM now contains a feature called Server Application Virtualization (SAV) which allows for the separation of the application state from the underlying operating system. That simply said, instead of having a custom deployment for each application, now you can keep your core OS and SQL images in a library and then compile the service at run time. Then when the OS needs to be updated, you simply update the library image and it will proliferate to all of the services built off that image.

Finally, VMM offers Dynamic Optimization, a feature that looks across your resources every 60 seconds and then, based on policy, will either consolidate or spread the load to meet your specifications and this is all done with Live Migration!

 Try out our SC2012 labs on

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/evalcenter/hh913622.aspx

For technical documentation, go to http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/search.aspx?q=system%20center%202012%20

For more info on SC2012 & the Evals
download, please go to

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/ms376608

To learn more about other MS products, please go
to

www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com, it’s
FREE folks!