The announcements this week, at the Microsoft Management Summit, of the products that will replace the soon to be 5 year old Microsoft System Center line, are a mix of changes and upgrades to the existing System Center family members plus a few new tools thrown into the mix. A consistent theme, however, appears to be simplifying the process of IT management by allowing more effective delegation of authority.
For example, in the updated products System Center Service Manager will now support self-service requests from authorized business unit managers for cloud resources and Virtual Machine Manager will allow for dynamic optimization, which allows the on-the-fly allocation of virtual machine workloads.
The three new products included in the System Center family are System Center Project, which appears to be an enhanced version of the self-service petal tools currently available. This product is focused on the ability to assign cloud resources to specific business units while maintaining overall IT control. The second new tool is System Center Orchestrator, the Microsoft implementation of the process automation technology that was acquired with the purchase of Opalis last year. This version is focused on coordinating datacenter services. And lastly we get the most interesting new product, System Center Advisor, a tool to actively detect server configuration problems with capabilities beyond those announced when the technology first hit the light of day and was focused on SQL Server.
None f the products are currently available but all are expected to be in general release by the second half of 2012. Beta and test drive programs are available for almost all of the tools and can be located via the Microsoft Connect program and the System Center home site.