Can Microsoft System Center 2012 change the private datacenter?

Microsoft's revamped System Center 2012 looks to manage all your cloud needs from one unified interface.
Written by David Chernicoff, Contributor

On Tuesday, Microsoft released new versions, as either release candidates or betas, of every component application that comprises the next generation of their comprehensive systems management package, Microsoft System Center 2012. Microsoft sees this new version of the product as redefining the way that private clouds are run. Despite the mix of RCs and betas, Microsoft expects the entire release version package to ship in the first half of 2012.

The eight components that make up System Center 2012 are:

App Controller (beta) - This application is designed to be a single point of control for applications across both private and public clouds. System administrators can both deploy and manage these applications through this interface.

Configuration Manager (RC)  - Microsoft completely redesigned the rule model of Configuration Manager for this release., It was a necessary change in order to support a broader range of devices, in including support for mobile devices running Android, iOS, and, of course, Windows Phone 7.

Data Protection Manager (beta) - DPM continues its real-time data protection capabilities and adds single-window management across security and other services.

Endpoint Protection (RC) - Improvements in the anti-malware, signature detection, vulnerability warning system, and a focus on user controls. In addition to those in place for device control

Operations Manager (RC) - The core product of the Systems Center line, Ops Manager provides centralized, single console management of your public and private cloud resources.

Orchestrator (RC) - management for process automation with hooks to the major automation player's management tools (IBM, BMC, EMC, CA, and most notably, VMware).

Service Manager (beta) - The primary tool for deploying services across your cloud infrastructure.

Virtual Machine Manager (RC) - With support for more than just Microsoft's basic hypervisor, VMM now also handles VMware, along with Xen and Azure.  It can combine capacity from all the different virtualizations into a single cloud.  As they are not the leading player in the VM market it makes sense to support alternatives to their own system.

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