System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 Beta available today

Today Microsoft made the whole System Center SP1 beta version available for everyone to download and test. Please note that this is only for test and not supported for production.

One of the biggest update is the support for Windows 2012 and Windows 8. Except for this, every product/feature includes a long list of updated function and features as shown below:

  • Virtual Machine Manager
    • Improved Support for Network Virtualization
    • Extend the VMM console with Add-ins
    • Support for Windows Standards-Based Storage Management Service, thin provisioning of logical units and discovery of SAS storage
    • Ability to convert VHD to VHDX, use VHDX as base Operating System image
  • Configuration Manager
    • Deployment and management of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
    • Distribution point for Windows Azure to help reduce infrastructure costs
    • Automation of administrative tasks through PowerShell support
    • Management of Mac OS X clients and Linux and UNIX servers
    • Real-time administrative actions for Endpoint Protection related tasks
  • Data Protection Manager
    • Improved backup performance of Hyper-V over CSV 2.0
    • Protection for Hyper-V over remote SMB share
    • Protection for Windows Server 2012 de-duplicated volumes
    • Uninterrupted protection for VM live migration
  • App Controller
    • Service Provider Foundation API to create and operate Virtual Machines
    • Support for Azure VM; migrate VHDs from VMM to Windows Azure, manage from on-premise System Center
  • Operations Manager
    • Support for IIS 8
    • Monitoring of WCF, MVC and .NET NT services
    • Azure SDK support
  • Orchestrator
    • Support for Integration Packs, including 3rd party
    • Manage VMM self-service User Roles
    • Manage multiple VMM ‘stamps’ (scale units), aggregate results from multiple stamps
    • Integration with App Controller to consume Hosted clouds
  • Service Manager
    • Apply price sheets to VMM clouds
    • Create chargeback reports
    • Pivot by cost center, VMM clouds, Pricesheets
  • Server App-V
    • Support for applications that create scheduled tasks during packaging
    • Create virtual application packages from applications installed remotely on native server

Download System Center 2012 beta from Microsoft

Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter

If you haven’t heard, Microsoft is developing a new tool that provides a Microsoft-supported, freely available, stand-alone solution for converting VMware virtual machines and disks to Hyper-V-based virtual machines and virtual hard drives (VHDs). The tool is not released yet but you can download and test the RC version.

More information about the tool

Download the Microsoft Virtual Machine Converter (MVMC)

New authoring tools for System Center 2012

Microsoft just released two new authoring tools for System Center 2012, one focused for developers and one for a more dag&drop admins (like meSmile). Below you find more information about the tools.

Overview of System Center 2012 Visual Studio Authoring Extensions—VSAE

The System Center 2012 Visual Studio Authoring Extensions—VSAE—is an add-in for Visual Studio 2010 Professional provides Lifecycle Management Tools to support Management Pack Authoring.
Feature Summary

  • VS Projects for Monitoring MPs, System Center 2012 MPs including Operations Manager and Service Manager.
  • MP Item Templates for quick creation of MP Items.
    • XML MP Item Templates (generates MP XML for editing).
    • Template Group Item Templates (Abstract your intent from MP XML).
    • Snippet Templates (generates MP XML from CSV)
  • IntelliSense for MP XML for the following versions:
    • System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2
    • System Center 2012 Operations Manager
    • System Center 2012 Service Manager
  • Integrates into Visual Studio Project System with *.mpproj.
    • Enables building within VS & MSBuild.
    • Supports custom build tasks (simply edit *.mpproj or *.sln)
    • Build multiple MPs (multiple *.mpproj) in a solution.
    • Integrates into any VS supported Source Control systems.
  • MP Navigation Features
    • Management Pack Browser for browsing MP Items.
    • Go to Definition
    • Find All References
  • ResKit Tools integrated
    • Workflow Simulator
    • Generate Visio Diagram
    • MP Best Practice Analyzer
    • MP Spell Checker
    • MP Cookdown Analyzer

Download the System Center 2012 Visual Studio Authoring Extensions for x86 and/or x64

Documentation for the VSAE is available in the TechNet Wiki.


Overview  of System Center 2012 Visio MP Designer—VMPD

The System Center 2012 Visio MP Designer—VMPD—is an add-in for Visio 2010 Premium that allows you to visually design a System Center Operations Manager Core Monitoring Management Pack. VMPD generates a Management Pack that is compliant to the MP Authoring Best Practices by simply dragging and dropping Visio shapes to describe your application architecture and configuring them through the Shape Properties.
Feature Summary

  • Visually describe your application architecture which generates classes and discoveries.
  • Visually add monitoring to create monitors and rules.
  • Start quickly from our pre-canned single server and multi-server patterns.

Download The System Center 2012 Visio MP Designer for x86 and/or x64

Documentation for VMPD is available in the TechNet Wiki

Holiday time=More time to learning new stuff

It’s holiday session and if you have some free time on the beach and want to read/listen to new cool stuff about Windows/System Center – here are some resources.

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA)

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) is a collection of free online trainings all about the latest Microsoft technologies. Here you have allot to choose from, for example System Center 2012, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8, VDI and more.

Sign up  for free and start learning

Windows 2012 Jumpstart

The Windows 2012 “Jump Start” virtual classroom  training are now available as recordings for you to listen to whenever you want.


Free ebook: Introducing Windows Server 2012

Microsoft Press has released a ebook – Introducing Windows Server 2012, by Mitch Tulloch, is now ready for free download! Please see the links below to download one or all of the available formats.


PDF – Introducing Windows Server 2012 PDF ebook

EPUB – Introducing Windows Server 2012 EPUB ebook

MOBI – Introducing Windows Server 2012 MOBI ebook

Private Cloud Demo Extravaganza Videos

Travis Wright from the System Center team wrote a blog post where you find 17 cool demos for all features in System Center

Find the links to the webcasts from the System Center Engineering Team blog

Webcast Series: Bare Metal to Private Cloud

Travis Wright from the System Center team wrote a blog post where you find 8 links to different web cast that has/have occur(ed)

Find the links to the webcasts from the System Center Engineering Team blog

Microsoft TechEd content online

You can now look at most of the sessions from Teched online:

TechEd Europe 2012

TechEd North America 2012