System Center 2016 launched along with new services for Operations Management Suite

Brad Stephenson

Microsoft Big Data

Today, Microsoft announced the latest version of their datacenter management tool, Microsoft System Center 2016, and several new features for Microsoft Operations Management Suite.

System Center 2016 has received expanded data center management capabilities, revamped performance and workflows, and added support for Linux. “You can [now] leverage the security enhancements in Windows Server 2016 for shared environments by managing Shielded Virtual Machines and the Host Guardian Service,” Microsoft’s program management director of enterprise cloud, Jeremy Winter, says. “System Center 2016 also enables you to perform a rolling upgrade for cluster nodes without stopping workloads and manage the lifecycle for Windows Server 2016 Nano Server, the new minimal footprint installation option.”

Date storage and management has also been refined. Winter explains, “For software-defined storage, you will find improved functionality to maintain desired end-to-end quality of service (QoS) and faster retrieval of data using storage tiers. System Center 2016 also increases monitoring capability across your Windows and Linux environments through easy discoverability of management packs, alert tuning, and scheduled maintenance windows to reduce alert noise. For ease of management across a hybrid cloud, System Center 2016 integrates with Operations Management Suite.”

Cloud-based management gained several improvements regarding insights and analytics, security and compliance, as well as protection and recovery. Here are all of the highlights:

  • New application and service monitoring capabilities for Azure SQL, MySQL, and VMware hosts
  • Connector for Application Insights enabling integrated application and workload analytics
  • Azure activity log search
  • New ingestion APIs for expanded data and log collection
  • Enhanced Update Management features including insights into time estimates as well as sequencing of updates needed to keep Windows Server and Linux systems up-to date
  • Change tracking enhanced with granular file-based tracking to support Windows Server and Linux environments
  • Azure Security Center availability as part of Operations Management Suite
  • Expanded security data ingestion using Common Event Format, including new Cisco ASA
  • New behavioral analytics designed to detect insider threats and attempts that persist within a compromised system
  • Expanded Linux and VMware backup and recovery support
  • Integrated monitoring with Log Analytics, including Site Recovery capacity planning

Expanded licensing options for hybrid and cloud environments have also been announced with two new subscription options available for customers interested in all of the Operations Management Suite features.

  • Operations Management Suite E1: Insight & Analytics and Automation & Control.
  • Operations Management Suite E2: Includes everything in E1 and adds both Security & Compliance and Protection & Recovery services. Both E1 and E2 include subscription rights to System Center.

These two programs can be purchased outright or as part of an ongoing payment plan.

Microsoft has made several major announcements regarding its numerous software packages and cloud solutions at this year’s Ignite conference. Among some of the bigger moments were reveals of new Health integrations with Cortana, Azure achieving ISO 22301 certification, loads of new features on the way for Office 365, the expansion of Microsoft’s Surface as a Service program, and a new partnership between Microsoft and Adobe. Do you have a favorite Ignite 2016 announcement yet? Let us know what it was in the comments below.