With the recent release of System Center 2012 SP1 we have embarked on an approach that allows more collaboration between development and operation teams than in the past – and this will have a big impact on the topic of Application Management.

First, who am I? I’m a Sr. Program Manager who joined Microsoft through the acquisition of AVIcode Inc. My passion has always been on development, which has made my perspective slightly different than the average view of IT Operations. Turns out this was a good thing throughout my career – I’ve been the Ops guy that understood the Apps.

On this blog I’ll offer examples of use cases, and I’ll relate them to one key concept: “DevOps” and how it relates to System Center in general. If you’ve ever been in one of my sessions at MMS, you’ll note that I almost always use this definition as it relates to DevOps:

DevOps: Collaboration between Operations and Development via people, technology and processes.

To be clear, I think everyone has DevOps – it’s just a matter of the level of maturity at which they collaborate. For example, some applications may be built and produced in a development vacuum, then documented and packaged for deployment and finally passed over to IT operations to install and manage. In this scenario DevOps may be considered “low” in its maturity level and may simply be USB drives and sneakers across the campus. With this in mind, I think a better definition for use on this blog is this:

DevOps: Automated collaboration between Operations and Development via people, technology and processes. In other words it is System Center and Visual Studio.

With this in mind, in this track of the Building Clouds blog I will focus on DevOps scenarios that both help IT deploy faster and resolve faster when issues arise. I’ll also examine how System Center components can integrate with each other (as well as with Visual Studio) to help create a more mature DevOps process in your organization.

Another concept I’ll refer to is the Application Lifecycle. The application lifecycle can be defined different ways, but essentially it is a continuous loop – from an idea, to code, to operations, and back. This cycle is completely different than an off the shelf application lifecycle, and it is another example of something that can benefit from a DevOps management approach as well.

In upcoming Blogs you’ll see videos and tutorials along with downloadable examples of these principles at work. I’ll also share sample Service Templates for VMM and example monitoring configurations for collaborating between Operations Manager and Visual Studio.

Stay tuned!