This blog post was authored by Bala Rajagopolan, Principal Group Program Manager, System Center.
In June, we announced that System Center was moving to a faster release cadence with new semi-annual channel releases coming this year. At Ignite, I shared with you that the first public preview would be available in November. I’m excited to announce that you can now try the System Center preview, version 1711, to take advantage of the new features and updates across the System Center family.
Our focus in this first semi-annual channel release is on enhancements and features for System Center Operations Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, and Data Protection Manager, based on feedback from our customers. Additionally, security and bug fixes, as well as support for TLS 1.2 will be available for all System Center components including Orchestrator (including Service Manager Automation, Service Provider Foundation) and Service Manager. Feature updates across components for the next semi-annual channel release will be shared in the first quarter of 2018.
Enhanced support for Windows Server, Linux, and VMware
Since the release of System Center 2016 last October we have seen many customers upgrade and start using the new features that enhance previous versions of System Center and support the latest software-defined datacenter capabilities in Windows Server, Linux, and VMware. I am pleased to share several new features that you can check out now as part of the public preview:
- Support for Windows Server version 1709: Support for the latest version of Windows Server with host monitoring, host management, configuration of encrypted SDN virtual network, Shielded Linux VMs on Hyper-V management, and backup capabilities.
- Support for additional Windows Server 2016 features in Virtual Machine Manager: Now customers can setup nested virtualization, software load balancer configuration, Storage QoS configuration and policy settings, and migrate VMware UEFI VM to Hyper-V VM.
- Linux monitoring in Operations Manager: Customers can now realize granular log file monitoring in Linux using a customizable FluentD-based Linux agent. Linux log file monitoring is now at par with that of Windows Server.
- Improved web console experience in Operations Manager: The SCOM web console has been moved completely to HTML5 with support for all browsers, out-of-the-box widgets, and widget customization.
- Updates and recommendations for third-party Management Packs: We released the MP Updates and Recommendations feature in System Center 2016. This has been expanded now to support the discovery and update of third-party MPs.
- Faster, cost-effective VMware backup: Using our Modern Backup Storage technology in Data Protection Manager, customers can backup VMware VMs faster and cut storage costs by up to 50%.
- And many more, including:
- In Operations Manager:
- Linux Kerberos support
- Improved UI responsiveness with large number MPs
- In Virtual Machine Manager:
- SLB Guest cluster floating IP support
- Storage QoS at VMM Cloud
- Storage QoS extended to SAN storage
- Remote to VMs in Enhanced Session mode
- Seamless update of non-domain host agent
- Support for fallback HGS for Shielded VM
- Host Refresher made up to 10X faster
- In Operations Manager:
As well as consistent evaluation and license experiences across components.
New Azure integrations
Microsoft has made significant investments in Azure services for operations management. To help you connect to these great capabilities, we are including the following updates in System Center:
- Service Map integration with Operations Manager: Use the Distributed Application Diagram function in SCOM to automatically see application, server, and network dependencies, deduced from Service Map. This deeper endpoint monitoring from SCOM is surfaced in the diagram view for better diagnostics workflows.
- Manage Azure ARM VMs and special regions: Using a Virtual Machine Manager add-in, you can now manage Azure ARM VMs, Azure Active Directory, and more regions (China, US Government, and Germany).
- Service Manager integration with Azure: Using the Azure ITSM integration with Azure Action Groups you can set up rules to create incidents automatically in System Center Service Manager for alerts fired on Azure and non-Azure resources.
We look forward to getting your feedback from this preview release as we move closer to our general availability planned for early next year. 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.