Mark your calendars, private cloud fans. On January 17, Microsoft is holding a webcast to "lay out the new System Center 2012 vision."
On hand for the two-hour event will be Satya Nadella, President of Microsoft's Server and Tools Division, as well as Brad Anderson, Corporate Vice President of Management and Security. It starts at 8:30 a.m. PT/11:30 a.m. ET and will be broadcast here.
This could be the day that Microsoft announces the release to manufacturing of the 10 or so products that comprise the System Center 2012 family. Last year, Microsoft was predicting that these products would RTM before the end of calendar 2011, but that didn't happen.
Here's a chart from the company's TechEd conference in May of last year that shows the original schedule for the various point products:
(click on image above to enlarge)
Microsoft officials said last year that the plan was to "launch" System Center 2012 in the early part of calendar 2012. "Launch" most likely means make generally available, in this case, I'd think. I've heard from several of my contacts that Microsoft's plan is to time the launch around April, which is when the Softies will be holding their annual Microsoft Management Summit.
To date, Microsoft has sold the System Center point products independently. I've been hearing rumblings that the company may be about to change this strategy and sell one offering called System Center 2012 that includes all 10 or so individual pieces in a single bundle.
Microsoft officials are positioning System Center as a key component of its private cloud strategy. (System Center's public-cloud counterpart is Windows Intune.)
Among the System Center products making up the 2012 family are System Center Configuration Manager 2012, which is going to enable Microsoft to manage iPads and other non-Microsoft devices; System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 ; and a hybrid on-premises/cloud management portal known as Microsoft System Center App Controller 2012 (codenamed Concero).