Talking about Microsoft System Center seems like the best possible way to put a nice bow on this whole 10-part series. We’ve talked about all of the game changing features and things people care about for Server 2012, all of which are in 2012 R2. And now, there are even greater things to see and know about in 2012 R2.

Since the last blog post, Server 2012 R2 has been released and upon us. That being said, it seemed due time to talk about the last piece of the Server 2012 puzzle that can be paramount for end users in larger environments: Microsoft System Center 2012 and 2012 R2.

System Center, in a nutshell, is an application that allows you to manage all of your virtual environments from one location. This application can be the centerpiece for handling all VMs for both Hyper-V and VMware. It also has a nice ability to integrate with Windows Azure and take full advantage of what Microsoft is calling their “Cloud OS.”

Here is just a brief overview of the six different components that comprise System Center, what you can do with them and how they can benefit your environments:

App Controller

This feature gives the ability, within the Systems Center application, to move VMs on and off the Public and Private Cloud, which gives an Enterprise environment the power to utilize both Azure and also the Private Cloud to accommodate scalability in ways never before available to businesses.

Data Protection Manager (DPM) and Operations Manager

These two features are excellent because they allow you to handle and maintain a sense of order to both Backups and Performance. However, Data Protection Manager is not a replacement for a backup solution like, Veeam Backup & Replication. It’s more of a complementary add-on that can, and should be, utilized for the best end results. There is an excellent white paper by Mike Resseler about how to utilize these two items, Veeam Backup & Replication and DPM, in tandem.

Operations Manager allows the monitoring of performance, behavior, and availability of Applications in the Enterprise environment across Public and Private Clouds.


The tool in System Center that allows for you to automate most of the IT processes across an environment is Orchestrator. This program includes creation, monitoring, and deployment of processes in your environment.

Service Manager 

The Service Manager allows for the environment to maintain and even implement IT management best practices and business control aspects.

Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 

This is the piece that a lot of Administrators are most intrigued about and excited about. With VMM, an administrator has the power and ability to control all aspects of the virtualized datacenter. This includes everything from hosts, networking and even storage. VMM is the piece that is most heavily integrated with the enterprise Private Cloud.

All of these things are part of a whole System Center application. It’s built and designed to allow enterprise customers to take their infrastructure management to the next level. This has been a product that has consistently gotten better with each release. I recommend that anyone looking for a way to manage virtual infrastructures should take a long, hard look at it and what it is capable of.

Check out the other posts in our series:

Find out how Server 2012 can transform your work environment by calling us today: 877.552.0404.