By Ron Grattopp ronaldg-001_thumb2…..my teammate BVA just blogged about the upcoming TechNet System Center and Virtualization training, and, of course, you may well already know that we provide the best-of-breed management platform for Microsoft workloads whether physical- or virtual-based.  And, we provide management for cloud now as well.  As far as I know we’re the only platform to provided integrated management across physical, virtual, and cloud.  What you may not be aware of is that we’re getting ready for major version upgrades of most of our management platform, and to that end, I wanted to share that as of October 27th we have released a series of System Center 2012 (SC 2012) Release Candidates (and betas) and share just a bit about them, and especially call out the changes to our client security solution.

There’s much more being announced about our Servers and Tools than just the SC 2012 betas, so go here to find out more about announcements around Azure pricing changes, Microsoft Learning whitepapers on Cloud Computing, as well as the SC 2012

The information about the System Center products being updated for 2012 is not new, most of that unveiled at the Microsoft Management Summit back in March.  At that time we announced the updates to SCVMM (which Rob has blogged about previously) as well as SC Operations Manager, Service Manager, and DPM.  At that time we also announced the SC Orchestrator which is the integration of the Opalis technology into the SC platform, as well as other adds such as “Concero” - which you’ve not heard much about on this blog as they’re not solutions designed for the SMB space.  But one of the areas that these updated solutions cover is Client Management so I thought it would be worth a post.

Probably the most significant change that I think may affect SMB is the change from our current stand-alone Forefront Endpoint Protection client security solution to a management platform-based solution where System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection is now built on [System Center] Configuration Manager.  This likely represents a new architecture for the product as well as code and integration changes.  Check here on the Server & Cloud Platform site for more info on Configuration Manager 2012 RC and here for more specific info on SC Endpoint Protection RC. I’ll let you read the info on those sites for drill-downs on the benefits of this solution approach and other details rather than include them here.

   &   System Center Configuration Manager 2012 Product Summary

And here’s the links and descriptions of the SC pre-release and beta products now available:
System Center 2012 Configuration Manager RC
Provides comprehensive configuration management for the Microsoft platform that can help you empower users with the devices and applications they need to be productive while maintaining corporate compliance and control.
System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection RC
Built on System Center Configuration Manager, System Center Endpoint Protection provides industry-leading threat detection of malware and exploits as part of a unified infrastructure for managing client security and compliance that can help you simplify and improve endpoint protection.
System Center App Controller 2012 Beta
Provides a common self-service experience across private and public clouds that can help you empower application owners to easily build, configure, deploy, and manage new services.
System Center Service Manager 2012 Beta
Provides flexible self-service experiences and standardized datacenter processes that can help you integrate people, workflows, and knowledge across enterprise infrastructure and applications.
System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 RC
Provides virtual machine management and services deployment with support for multi-hypervisor environments that can help you deliver a flexible and cost effective private cloud environment.
System Center Orchestrator 2012 RC
Provides orchestration, integration, and automation of IT processes through the creation of runbooks that can help you to define and standardize best practices and improve operational efficiency.
System Center Operations Manager 2012 Beta
Provides deep application diagnostics and infrastructure monitoring that can help you ensure the predictable performance and availability of vital applications and offers a comprehensive view of your datacenter, private, and public clouds.
System Center Data Protection Manager 2012 Beta
Provides unified data protection for Windows servers and clients that can help you deliver scalable, manageable, and cost-effective protection and restore scenarios from disk, tape, and off premise.
You can also go here for additional links to trial downloads and videos.

Cheers,
Ron