Guide to Microsoft System Center

System Center is Microsoft's trademark systems management product suite. This page will guide you through what's what, with details on the latest features and releases.

Configuration Manager | Operations Manager | Data Protection Manager | Virtual Machine Manager | Essentials | Service Manager | Mobile Device Manager

When Microsoft began revamping its position in the systems management market a few years back, it rebranded its existing products and incorporated a plethora of new features and functionalities. Enter System Center, a series of systems management products that work collectively to help administrators maintain control of their IT environments with the utmost efficiency.

In order to develop this new line of systems management products, Microsoft redesigned existing products like Systems Management Server (SMS) and Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM). The idea was to create an integrated suite of tools equipped with the latest technologies and capabilities, including virtualization, automation and, now, cloud computing.

System Center has also made Microsoft a major player in systems management, as it competes with top contenders IBM, Hewlett-Packard, CA and BMC, also known as the Big Four.

"Microsoft has invested a lot of resources in [its] development of Systems Center to allow users to build models of what is happening in the system," said Tony Iams, a senior vice president and senior analyst with Ideas International, a research firm in Rye Brook, N.Y.

Today, the System Center brand covers a handful of different systems management products, most recently System Center Service Manager 2010. The links below will guide you through the main System Center solutions available, with details on the latest features and upcoming releases.

System Center Configuration Manager
The follow-up to the popular Systems Management Server (SMS) product, SCOM 2007 R3 is set to ship soon with a beta for v.Next now available.
Learn more

System Center Operations Manager
Microsoft's systems and network monitoring solution features new cloud monitoring capabilities in SCOM 2007 R2.
Learn more

System Center Data Protection Manager
Virtualization and the cloud are two of the main focuses with System Center's updated backup and recovery component, Data Protection Manager 2010.
Learn more

System Center Virtual Machine Manager
The latest version of Microsoft's virtualization management tool adds suport for Hyper-V R2 features like Live Migration and Cluster Shared Volumes (CSV).
Learn more

System Center Essentials
Microsoft's multi-server monitoring solution is designed to bring centralized systems management to mid-sized businesses.
Learn more

System Center Service Manager
The long-awaited help desk tool has been enhanced with new capabilities through Microsoft's acquisition of Opalis Software.
Learn more

System Center Mobile Device Manager
Mobile Device Manager could help admins take systems management on the road for Windows Mobile 6.1 smartphone users.
Learn more

Find more news and resources on Microsoft's systems management suite at our System Center topic page and this guide to systems management.

This was first published in August 2010

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