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Hybrid Cloud Blog

This blog post has been authored by Bala Rajagopolan, Principal Group Program Manager, System Center.

In today’s digital world, customers expect companies to interact with them through applications, and managing and monitoring these applications and the infrastructure they run on is crucial. While more applications and workloads are moving to the cloud, managing on-premises resources remains an important job for most organizations. To help you deliver agile IT operations at the pace of the cloud across all your workloads, we are excited to announce that System Center will soon offer more frequent feature release cycles. This will give you the opportunity to try new features and provide timely feedback to inform the roadmap items for the upcoming releases.

Faster release cadence

We will be delivering features and enhancements on a faster cadence in the next year, focusing on the highest priority needs of our customers across System Center components. You will see releases twice a year, aligned with the Windows Server semi-annual channel timelines. A technical preview is planned for release in the fall with the first production version available early next calendar year, and subsequent releases approximately every six months. These releases will be available to System Center customers with active Software Assurance. System Center Configuration Manager will continue to offer three releases a year to give you the latest updates for managing servers, PCs, and mobile devices.

Expanded support for Windows Server, Linux, and VMware

With the incredible adoption of Windows Server 2016, customers are asking for more ways to take advantage of the new features. In the first release, our focus will be on System Center Operations Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, and Data Protection Manager. The key areas of investment will include support for Windows Server and Linux, enhanced performance, usability and reliability, and extensibility with Azure-based security and management services.

This release will make it easy for you to deploy and manage nested virtualization, and support software load balancing. In addition, you will be able to provision Storage Quality of Service (QoS) via self-service. To support heterogeneous environments, System Center is investing in improved monitoring for Linux using a FluentD agent, and reducing storage costs for VMware backups. For VMware, you will also have the ability to migrate a UEFI firmware based VMware VM to a Gen 2 Hyper-V virtual machine.

In addition, you will see enhancements in performance and usability, including expanded HTML5 dashboards for Operations Manager and faster performance for the Virtual Machine Manager Host Refresher. To bring together on-premises data with cloud data, you will also see more integrations with Azure services. This includes integration with Azure Insight & Analytics Service Map, to map application and server dependencies across platforms, and centralized reporting for Data Protection Manager with Azure Backup. We also recently announced the ability to send incident data to Service Manager from Azure. We will provide more information on these and other updates for the first release in the coming weeks.

To help influence the upcoming releases, we encourage you to join the System Center Tech Community and UserVoice forums to provide your feedback and suggestions.