Microsoft seeking to make system management easier

2 February 2015

Microsoft's System Center 2012 R2, the Redmond, Washington, software giant's latest iteration of a "unified management" solution that promises to help IT professionals centralize administration for on-premise, hybrid and Azure environments, may be receiving a fundamental upgrade fairly soon.

Those who have enrolled in Microsoft certification courses tailored to System Center know how to use the deployment as a means to monitor their infrastructures, assess application performance, initiate automated features, troubleshoot hardware hosted remotely and a wide list of other responsibilities. As cloud computing is becoming a signature component of many enterprises' IT environments, Microsoft is looking to make System Center more partial to this technology.

Answering customer feedback 
The Register noted a poll Microsoft recently delivered to System Center users via Technet that asked readers to cite "the challenges you face with your Management tools and where you would like to see us invest going forward." In response to this request, Microsoft aggregated a number of responses, a few of which are listed below:

  • "My management tools do not work with my public cloud assets."
  • "My management tools do not manage Unix/Linux servers." 
  • "It is extremely hard to integrate my various management tools." 

Responses also touched upon how System Center could connect customers to Azure services, allowing them to make application and resource provisioning, monitoring and patching more fluid. One particular query asked readers to "prioritize the capabilities you require from a cloud based management solution." With respect to these focuses, it's clear that the cloud is on the minds of System Center developers. 

Overall, The Register suggested the idea that Microsoft intends to release a cloud-based version of System Center, which would enable professionals to conduct responsibilities remotely and use the computing resources Microsoft's data centers can provide. 

Bringing Configuration Manager into the cloud 
Microsoft Intune, a cloud-based PC, mobile application and mobile device management deployment designed for enterprises, has sent a rift through the software company's enterprise business. According to WindowsITPro, Configuration Manager, a tool that can be added on top of System Center, currently provides on-premise administration of PCs and servers, but may eventually be transitioned to the cloud. 

The source referenced comments made by Brad Anderson, Microsoft's corporate VP, who hinted at ways in which the software developer intends to integrate cloud computing into Configuration Manager. Sometime in the next year, Microsoft is expected to release a service pack for Configuration Manager 2012 R2 that will feature functions similar to that of Intune. After this version is installed, Configuration Manager implementations will experience updates on a consistent basis that will continuously mirror the capabilities of Intune. 

While no concrete details have been released about what those additional tools may be, it's clear that they'll use Microsoft's cloud services in some way or another. The easier it is to manage hybrid environments, the more likely organizations will adopt the software giant's management tools. Hybrid cloud deployments have been regarded as the most popular among modern enterprises, which can make administration quite difficult if professionals don't have the appropriate solutions at their disposal. 

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