As you all probably have noticed we announced the Preview version of System Center 2012 R2 during at TechEd Europe 2013.  You can download the Evaluation VHD from here.

Downloading the VHDs saves you quite some time evaluating these new OpsMgr bits. Some time ago I wrote a blogpost on how to install OpsMgr 2012 (SP1) the fast way using VHDs.

Again you also need to install a Domain Controller, and this time we are going to use Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Preview VHD (Server Core) to host the Domain Controller.

But before we get started let’s give a short overview of the updated features.

Fabric Monitoring

By integrating System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager and System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager, System Center cloud hybrid monitoring of physical and virtual layers can be achieved. A new System Center 2012 Management Pack for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager Dashboard Preview is needed for this feature.

This will give you a Fabric Health Dashboard with a detailed overview of the health of your private clouds and the fabric that services those clouds.

Microsoft Monitoring Agent

This is a new version of the Operations Manager Agent that includes full functionality of Visual Studio IntelliTrace Collector for gathering full application profiling traces.

Integrating Operations Manager with Development Processes (DevOps)

Here are two important changes to the DevOps functionality in System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager:

  • New Alert Fields of Team Foundation Server (TFS) Work Item ID and TFS Work Item Owner
  • Conversion of Application Performance Monitoring (APM) Performance Events to IntelliTrace format

Support for IPv6

The Operations console can take IPv6 addresses as input for Network Discovery and display IPv6 addresses in the network-related views.

Java Application Performance Monitoring

The System Center 2012 Management Pack for Java Application Performance Monitoring lets you monitor Java application performance and exception events by using Operations Manager Application Advisor.

And finally System Center Advisor

System Center Advisor is an online service that analyzes installations of Microsoft server software. With the latest preview version of Advisor and Update Rollup 2 of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1), you can now view Advisor alerts in the Operations Manager Operations console.

For the complete detailed overview of what is new check the What's New in System Center 2012 R2 Operations Manager page on TechNet.

Start downloading those evaluation vhds and I’ll explain in my next blogpost how to install System Center 2012 R2 Preview Operations Manager the fast way.

Have fun downloading.