Microsoft Rolls Out Release Candidate of System Center Operations Manager 2012

Microsoft has issued a release candidate (RC) of its System Center Operations Manager 2012 solution.

Microsoft has made available a release candidate (RC) of System Center Operations Manager 2012, a component of the company's overall System Center management solution portfolio for IT pros, first unveiled in March. Operations Manager helps users monitor the performance of services, operations, and devices using a single monitoring pane. The release candidate can be downloaded here.

Late last month, Microsoft released Center 2012 test versions of App Controller, Server Manager, Orchestrator, and System Center Configuration Manager for feedback before Microsoft's product release. The entire System Center 2012 product line is expected to be released in the first half of next year, according to Microsoft's STB news blog.

Microsoft considers Operations Manager 2012 an important tool for managing private clouds. It installs an agent on identified devices to help monitor computing environments, including physical servers and virtual resources, plus private cloud resources in data centers. The product incorporates various management packs that IT pros can import to add monitoring support for various features and third-party solutions.

Several management packs are available for Operations Manager; these packs add support for Apache Tomcat, IBM WebSphere, Java Enterprise Edition, Oracle WebLogic, and Red Hat JBoss.  

Operations Manager 2012 helps monitor applications, too, providing diagnostics on .NET and JEE Web apps, as well as apps supported by Microsoft's Windows Azure public cloud. Microsoft claims that Operations Manager 2012 works across various operating systems, such as Windows, Linux, and Unix.

New to Operations Manager 2012 RC is the ability to carry out network monitoring, according to a blog post by David Mills of the Microsoft Server and cloud platform team. Mills explained that it is "now possible to look at the underlying network topology that connects the servers." A blog post by Kevin Holman of Microsoft lists some of the new features in Operations Manager 2012 and explains that it can now "discover and monitor network routers and switches, including the network interfaces and ports on those devices and the virtual LAN (VLAN) that they participate in."

Other highlights in the Operations Manager 2012 RC include the ability to use Windows PowerShell 2.0 to manage Linux and Unix machines. A UNIX/Linux Shell Command Template Management Pack lets users create "rules, tasks and monitors based on the execution of shell commands," according to Holman's post. System Center Operations Manager has its own specific set of PowerShell cmdlets that can be identified by the use of the letters "SC" before the noun.

Microsoft dispensed with the root-management server approach in Operations Manager 2012, so all management servers can act as peers. Users can now organize management servers into a management group. Microsoft claims that this arrangement "provides high availability without requiring a cluster." Users can also create a resource pool representing multiple management servers as a way to help distribute workloads.

Microsoft has made other improvements to Operations Manager 2012, such as changes to the operations console and a new Web console. A list of the new features is availble at this TechNet library page, with more resources listed here.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.