Microsoft Releases System Center Operations Manager 2012 Beta

A beta version of System Center Operations Manager 2012, an infrastructure and application performance monitoring tool that supports both public and private clouds, was released today.

The new Operations Manager 2012 beta can be downloaded at Microsoft's page here, which also provides links to resources. Many of the new features were earlier described leading up to the 2011 Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles. However, one of the big changes over the earlier Operations Manager 2007 R2 product is the ability of Operations Manager 2012 to leverage commodity hardware rather than more costly equipment.

Microsoft is also claiming that failover capability can be automated with Operations Manager 2012. The beta introduces a "pooled management server" architectural approach that facilitates automatic failover should a server go down. The earlier "root management server" approach used in Operations Manager 2007 R2 was eliminated.

Another new feature in Operations Manager 2012 is an extended network monitoring capability. According to a Microsoft TechNet library article, Operations Manager 2012 beta can "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."

As with just about all products in Microsoft's System Center product line, Microsoft is stressing the capability to monitor both public and private cloud operations. The idea with Operations Manager is that organizations may have to track the performance of operations and applications that depend not only on premises-based infrastructure, but also on services from outside the organization. Those organizations also might need to monitor heterogeneous computing environments running a mix of Windows, Unix and Linux, which is something supported with Operations Manger 2012.

Microsoft claims that Operations Manager 2012 can pull together these monitoring details into a single console view. In addition, Microsoft's literature (PDF) states that this single console enables "a consistent view across the Operations Manger 2012 console, Web console, and SharePoint." Customized dashboard views can be created by IT pros using templates in Operations Manager 2012.

Operations Manager 2012 is designed to help monitor .NET and JEE application performance too. Microsoft integrated .NET performance-monitoring technologies into Operations Manager 2012 that it acquired when it bought AVIcode. According to a FAQ (PDF) published by Microsoft, the AVIcode technology improves server-side monitoring in Operations Manager 2012. IT pros can assess the end user's experience in Web applications using AVIcode technology that injects "JavaScript-based monitoring into web pages," the FAQ explains.

"What is not included is the capability to monitor thick clients (smart clients) on a user's machine using AVIcode-like capabilities," the FAQ clarifies.

Microsoft possibly may be contemplating releasing the Operations Manager 2012 product sometime in the second half of this year, as with many of the System Center 2012 products. Beta test results from customers will be released in that timeframe too, according to the FAQ.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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