If you are eager to get your hands on the latest release from the System Center suite, Microsoft has released System Center 2012 R2 for preview today. That is more commonly referred to as its components; Configuration Manager (SCCM, ConfigMgr), Operations Manager (SCOM, OpsMgr), Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), Service Manager (SCSM), Data Protection Manager (SCDPM), and Orchestrator (SCORCH). With it you can choose to also get your hands on Server 2012 R2 as well. I will be blogging more on this later as I get the bits installed and start playing with the many new features, but I wanted to get you the information for getting to download the preview now.
Here is an excerpt from the System Center team blog on the announcement (http://blogs.technet.com/b/systemcenter/archive/2013/06/25/microsoft-system-center-2012-r2-preview-is-now-available-for-download.aspx):
Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 provide a wealth of new advancements to help IT organizations build and deliver private and hybrid cloud infrastructure for their businesses. Some of the highlights include:
- Enabling hybrid cloud – Windows Server Hyper-V and System Center enable virtual machine portability across customer, service provider and Windows Azure clouds, while a new System Center Management Pack for Windows Azure enhances cross-cloud management of virtual machine and storage resources. Windows Azure Backup and Hyper-V Recovery Manager provide offsite backup and disaster recovery options.
- Windows Azure Pack provides Windows Azure technology that enterprises and services providers can run on their Windows Server infrastructure for multi-tenant web and virtual machine cloud services.
- Built-in software-defined networking – Site-to-Site VPN Gateway helps customers seamlessly bridge physical and virtual networks and extend them from their datacenter to service provider datacenters.
- High performance, cost effective storage – Features such as Storage Spaces Tiering, VHDX resizing and de-duplication for virtual desktop infrastructure provide high performance for critical on-premises workloads (like SQL and Hyper-V) using lower-cost, industry-standard hardware.
- Empowering employee productivity – Windows Server Work Folders, Web App Proxy, improvements to Active Directory Federation Services and other technologies will help companies give their employees consistent access to company resources on the device of their choice.