The evolution of Microsoft System Center

Last updated:March 2014

Editor's note

As complex as the data center sprawl has gotten, with various on- and off-premises servers and services, so has systems management. The Microsoft System Center suite of products has been updated over the years to match the needs of data center administrators.

So what's new and what has changed? This guide covers the latest improvements and changes to the System Center product bundle. Plus, it gives you a deeper look at virtual machine management software and some useful resources to get started.

1System Center's cloud management tale

Building out private clouds is another one of System Center's primary benefits. Combine this feature with Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2, and data center admins can create a highly available private cloud for the price of just the software. In addition, Intune, a cloud version of the configuration management software, aims to bring the best of on-premises configuration management scaled out to the cloud.

2At System Center's core: Virtual Machine Manager

Virtualization has been Microsoft's main point of emphasis over the last few years. Hyper-V is being rapidly updated with each new Windows Server release, and so is Virtual Machine Manager. Virtual Machine Manager in System Center 2012 R2 contains new features like IP address management, generation two virtual machines and Linux VM support. It also makes use of the Offloaded Data Transfers (ODX) capability.