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Hybrid Cloud Blog


This post was authored by Mike Neil, Corporate Vice President, Enterprise Cloud, Microsoft Corporation.

Hybrid cloud has become the reality for IT. Nearly every company is taking advantage of cloud resources, whether leveraging individual SaaS applications or moving at scale to the public cloud. The challenge for IT Operations is managing across both existing traditional infrastructure and new cloud resources. Today, we are excited to announce the release of System Center 2016 Technical Preview 5, part of the ongoing development work to bring you management designed for the hybrid cloud. System Center 2016 builds on the experience and depth of previous versions, while offering new capabilities designed to increase datacenter control and simplify the management of resources across the datacenter and the cloud.

New demands for IT operations

Management tools for IT infrastructure were first created to solve a very basic set of problems. The activities that made sense to perform manually for a handful of servers or desktop PCs became time-consuming and inefficient as companies grew to rely on many servers and every desk had a PC. We initially brought System Center to you more than a decade ago to make it possible to run your IT operations at higher scale and drive more value. Today, we’re bringing you a new set of capabilities built for the challenges of cloud. As the speed of innovation increases, IT Operations is faced with an expanding array of specialized tools built for specific new capabilities. The difficulty of working across multiple tools is the new equivalent of walking from desk to desk with PC updates on disk. You can’t scale that way.

Gaining control of the hybrid cloud

To meet the demands of the complex cloud reality, Microsoft offers a comprehensive approach to management of on-premises and cloud environments with System Center and the Microsoft Operations Management Suite. System Center enables increased agility in managing the on-premises datacenter. The Operations Management Suite offers the simplicity of cloud-based management and extends the value of your existing System Center investments, giving you new options when working across multiple clouds. With System Center and the Operations Management Suite, you can manage infrastructure on-premises, handle existing applications, and at the same time expand your management approach to cover new distributed, micro-services based applications that are designed for the cloud. System Center 2016 will include integration with the Operations Management Suite, giving you the control you need to make innovation work for you.

What’s new in System Center 2016 Technical Preview 5

Organizations around the world already rely on System Center for management of their mission-critical infrastructure. With this release, you’ll get new capabilities to simplify management of highly virtualized, software-defined infrastructure. System Center 2016 offers advances in datacenter control, drives forward management of Linux environments, and helps you enable some of the most advanced features coming in Windows Server 2016. Here are just a few of the advances in System Center 2016:

Provides advanced software-defined datacenter support, including managing the lifecycle of Nano Server hosts and virtual machines, simplified deployment of the new Windows Server 2016 software-defined networking components, and support for Storage Spaces Direct and replicated storage volumes.

Expands the surface area of monitoring and reduces friction for IT Operations with data-driven alert management that reduces noise and enables faster troubleshooting, scheduling of maintenance windows, increased scale in monitoring of UNIX and Linux servers, and streamlined access to management packs.

Enables flexible approaches to Windows management, including in-place upgrade and provisioning packages and profiles, support for new Windows 10 features, a new servicing dashboard and improved mobile device and application management capabilities when connected to Microsoft Intune.

To learn more about the release, check out Microsoft Mechanics System Center 2016, and see the new features in action. You can also read more about System Center 2016 from the engineering team.

Announcing Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5

Today we are also releasing Technical Preview 5 of Windows Server 2016. The new version of Windows Server introduces additional layers of security to help block today’s sophisticated cyber attacks with features to control privileged access, shield virtual machines and protect your server environment against emerging threats. It also delivers new capabilities to help create a more flexible and cost- efficient datacenter using software-defined compute, storage and network virtualization technologies. It includes innovative features to help build and run your applications, such as Windows Server and Hyper-V containers, in addition to the new lightweight Nano Server deployment option. For more details, check out the recent blog post by Jeffrey Snover and other experts in the Ten reasons you’ll love Windows Server 2016 series.

Windows Server and System Center 2016 are a key part of our ongoing commitment to give you increased options and more flexibility as you take on the challenges of managing your hybrid cloud environment. We’re excited about the new releases, and look forward to your feedback. You can download System Center 2016 Technical Preview 5 and Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 5 now to experience all the advanced capabilities for yourself.