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Hybrid Cloud Blog

Hello. My name is Paul Ross and I’m a Senior Product Marketing Manager in the System Center team. I recently joined Microsoft from Business Objects and one of the key things I’ve been working on in the past few months is the launch of the new System Center products. It’s clearly been a busy week for us at IT Forum in Barcelona with the launch of three great new products (Configuration Manager 2007, Virtual Machine Manager 2007 and Data Protection Manager 2007) and the announcement of a new way to license the products you need to manage the complete server lifecycle with the Server Management Suite Enterprise. And it’s the combination of all of these that I’m most excited about.

As a new member of team it’s been tough to get up to speed with everything that System Center offers, but I’m currently most interested in the impact these new products can have for those who are taking a look at how they can best manage their datacenters. One of the key requirements we are hearing from customers is the need to manage the complete lifecycle of their datacenters. This means providing the ability to better plan updates or upgrades to servers, all the way through deployment or patching of operating systems or application software, to managing and optimizing servers on an ongoing basis. It means doing it with integrated tools. And it means providing this no matter if we are talking about physical or virtual servers. That is exactly what this launch is all about.

I come from a background in business intelligence, so understanding the ROI of implementing technology and processes is close to my heart. I’m glad to say we see a huge opportunity for our customers to get that ROI from using these new capabilities in concert. Someone left a comment elsewhere on this blog that “System Center is more than the sum of its parts” and I think that is a key phrase when looking at this launch. Each of these products has great new capabilities that will make the life of our customers easier, but it is in combination that their value truly makes an impact. This impact comes from a variety of places as customers look to optimize their infrastructure to reduce costs through automation and consolidation, decrease the risk of compliance or security issues, and increase their ability to respond to business change.

The last piece of this puzzle is the new option we have to license these capabilities in the Server Management Suite Enterprise. This license is all about making it easier to get all the elements customers need to manage their server deployments, both physical and virtual. This last point is key. We’re seeing a huge growth in the use of virtualization in the datacenter, which will only continue as Windows Server 2008 is rolled out, so this new license will only make more sense moving forward.

We’ve put together a white paper that outlines how the new capabilities in the Server Management Suite Enterprise will make a difference in the datacenter. Feel free to comment and let me know what you think. You can download the trial versions of these new products here.

– Paul

Paul Ross