Thursday, October 11, 2012

System Center 2012 Overview

The System Center 2012 Suite has had some significant upgrades and in my opinion is vastly superior to 2007R2. It gives administrators the ability of getting out of the daily care and feeding of the enterprise so they can reallocate time to engineering projects which always seem to pile up.

Some of the more significant differences between it and its predecessor are:

Microsoft has streamlined the license models to
  • System Center 2012 Standard
  • System Center 2012 Datacenter
It breaks down much easier with this new model as both versions include the entire suite of products (listed below). The primary difference is that Standard is geared towards customers who are not heavily invested in virtualization (2 processors and 2 VM's). Datacenter is for customers who are (5+ VM's). 

The System Center Suite now has its own console for all of the major products within. They have done away with the snap-in (hopefully for good).

This version of System Center is aimed much more heavily towards both public and private cloud monitoring and administration.

The suite breaks down into three main areas; Application Management, Service Delivery & Automation and Infrastructure Management.
System Center Operations Manager (SCOM):
SCOM is a very versatile and powerful monitoring tool which spans two of the Suite areas, Application and Infrastructure management. One of the most significant improvements of SCOM 2012 over previous products is it is now hardware/software agnostic. Meaning it is capable of cross platform monitoring. You can monitor Windows operating systems as well as Linux/Unix. You can monitor Cisco switches as well as HP Printers. It is an intelligent and functional product. Included in the install of SCOM is App Controller.

System Center App Controller:
SCAC is a way to monitor and manage your applications from an internal standpoint. It is capable of monitoring both public and private cloud applications and is quite versatile. It works closely with SCVMM (discussed later in the segment).

System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM):
SCCM provides you with a single pane of glass into the clients in your enterprise. You can empower your users to be able to use their devices and applications in a manner that increases productivity and reduces end user downtime. It also provides you with the ability to maintain corporate compliance in a unified infrastructure managing physical, virtual and mobile devices.

System Center Orchestrator:
This piece of the System Center Suite rounds out the trifecta of "must have" SC elements. Orchestrator gives administrators the ability to automate tasks through the use of runbooks and works in direct conjunction with SCOM and SCCM.  If you take the time to properly set up your runbook support you can leverage the "self healing" power of Orchestrator. Many, if not all of your level 1 issues can automatically be resolved without any administration interaction.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM):
SCVMM is a management solution for the virtualized datacenter, enabling you to configure and manage your virtualization host, networking, and storage resources in order to create and deploy virtual machines and services to private clouds that you have created. It takes the Hyper-V console to a whole new level of power and flexibility.

System Center Service Manager (SCSM):
SCSM provides an integrated platform for automating and adapting your organization’s IT service management best practices, such as those found in Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). It provides built-in processes for incident and problem resolution, change control, and asset lifecycle management.

System Center Data Protection Manager (DPM):
DPM enables disk-based and tape-based data protection and recovery for servers such as SQL Server, Exchange Server, SharePoint, virtual servers, file servers, and support for Windows desktops and laptops. DPM can also centrally manage system state and Bare Metal Recovery (BMR).

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