Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 Announced

Today at TechEd North America Microsoft announced Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2. The key thing is that these two product will now have the same release schedule from which we can all benefit. Some of the new features for these two products were announced but I bet there are still to come more. Here are some of the features:

  • 3 site Hyper-V Replica Replication
  • Snapshots, backup, Dynamic Memory and dynamic disks for Linux Machines
  • Online shrink and expand of VHD/X disks
  • Consistent distribution support for Linux machines by System Center
  • Storage Spaces now has Storage Tiers feature
  • Deduplication can be used for VDI scenarios
  • QoS for virtual disks – Min and Max IOPS
  • improving IPAM for virtualized datacenters
  • Virtual RSS (vRSS) that makes it easier to virtualize network-intensive physical server workloads
  • NIC teaming with dynamic teaming capabilities that distribute load more intelligently than before
  • write-back cache feature  for Storage Spaces
  • Shared VDHX for Virtual Machines which means easy guest clustering
  • Generation 2 VM – UEFI-based
  • enhanced VM interaction with full Remote Desktop capabilities
  • Remote Access via VMBus
  • Export virtual machine while running
  • VMM can create File Server Cluster
  • File clusters can now leverage Pools in VMM. VMM can alert for % of over provisioning.
  • File shares have classifications
  • The new version of Orchestrator is entirely based on PowerShell.
  • Remote Live Monitoring, which lets you capture network traffic to a specific VM for analysis from outside the VM
  • VMs now allows you to choose the replication interval, from 30 seconds up to 15 minute
  • NVGRE VPN Gateway as virtual machine – multi tenant, multi site
  • Service template in VMM for NVGRE VPN Gateway based on Windows Server 2012 R2
  • SCSM SSP now on SharePoint 2013 – not certain
  • Live Migration over RDMA
  • Live migration compression
    There will be even more to come.

New Approach on Management Packs Started at Microsoft

MSFT announced that they will pay more attention on management packs provided by them. This new approach is to achieve better experience with management packs for SCOM. Also MSFT reveals approximate dates for Exchange 2013, BizTalk 2013, Windows Server 2012 DHCP and Windows Server 2012 DNS management packs. Read the full announcement here.

System Center Advisor is now a FREE service!

Yep it is true now System Center Advisor is free for Microsoft customers. Previously you had to have Software Assurance in order to use the service. Keep in mind that the service is available only for certain number of countries. Read the full announcement here.

Microsoft Kind Of Brings New Features in SC 2012 SP1 UR2

Last year we were surprised when Service Pack 1 of System Center 2012 was revealed and we found out that it will bring a lot of new features. We were used to get new features on R2 and R3 release of a product. But seems Microsoft is entering a new redefined cycle for supporting their products (examples: SP1 for SC 2012, the CU updates in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012). Now we are surprised again because System Center team announces kind of new feature in Update Rollup 2 for SC 2012 SP1 which is scheduled for early April. This new feature is called Exchange Connector for SCSM. Let me state out that the Exchange connector existed before this announcement but it was separate download without Microsoft support. Exchange Connector 3.0 Release Candidate with compatibility for SC 2012 was announced somewhere in April 2012 but RTM version was never released. With the release of SP1 many have doubt that RTM version will be released soon. So after a lot of queries against SCSM team for the Exchange Connector Travis Wright responded with official response on SCSM Team blog. The final version of Exchange Connector for SCSM will be included in Update Rollup 2 for SC 2012 SP1 and will be fully supported.

BUILD 2012 Conference Announced

Microsoft announced on their official blog that the next BUILD Conference will be held on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond, Wash., from October 30 to November 2. More information read here.