Hybrid Cloud Blog

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This post was authored by Jeremy Winter, Director, Program Management, Enterprise Cloud.

Navigating the transition to cloud means changes for IT operations. To manage cloud resources and across a hybrid environment, you need tools with the speed and flexibility to match the agility of the cloud. At the same time, you need specialized capabilities required to manage the on-premises datacenter. Today, we’re announcing the launch of Microsoft System Center 2016, the latest release of our datacenter management solution and new capabilities for Microsoft Operations Management Suite, expanding your options for cloud-based management and security.

A major challenge for management today is that even within a single organization, different groups have different needs and are at varying points in their use of cloud and datacenter resources. With all those competing needs and priorities, it can be difficult to keep everything moving. The right set of management tools can address those differing needs and bring people together around a shared set of data and a shared platform. System Center 2016 and Operations Management Suite give you the options you need to handle the cloud transition, building on the on-premises capabilities of System Center with the simplicity and speed of Azure-based management in Operations Management Suite.

Management for the software-defined datacenter

System Center continues to deliver a simplified datacenter management experience to help keep you in control of your IT. With the launch of System Center 2016, today we are expanding data center management capabilities, while streamlining performance and workflows, and driving greater Linux support. For example, you can leverage the security enhancements in Windows Server 2016 for shared environments by managing Shielded Virtual Machines and the Host Guardian Service. 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. 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.

Flexibility and speed with cloud-based management

We first introduced Operations Management Suite at the last Ignite event. Since that time, we’ve seen tremendous momentum in the move to cloud management. To accelerate that cloud journey, we’re excited to announce today an expanded set of services designed for a unified approach to core management:

  • Insight & Analytics: Gain visibility across your workloads, giving you all the information needed on what’s happening in your environment. Insight and Analytics includes log collection and search, application and server dependency mapping, as well as network health monitoring.  Releases this week include:
    • 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
  • Automation & Control: Enable consistent control and compliance for Azure, third-party clouds and on-premises datacenters. Automation and Control includes services to assist with process automation, desired state configuration, change tracking and new update management capabilities, as well as hybrid runtime.
    • 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
  • Security & Compliance: Drive security across your hybrid environment. Security and Compliance delivers instant insight into security vulnerabilities, uses advanced analytics to detect threats, and offers built-in threat intelligence and rapid search of security data to enable rapid investigation.
    • 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
  • Protection & Recovery: Ensure availability of important applications and data.  Protection and Recovery helps you keep critical data protected through integrated cloud backup, and applications available, while minimizing the impact of disruptions to the business.  Including both Backup and Site Recovery, the service provides an integrated experience for customers.
    • Expanded Linux and VMware backup and recovery support
    • Integrated monitoring with Log Analytics, including Site Recovery capacity planning

To enable you to access all these exciting new technologies, we are also offering expanded licensing options for hybrid and cloud environments. Meeting you where you are today in your cloud transition, we have made it possible to acquire management capabilities in new ways. For customers who want to take advantage of the combined value of all the Operations Management Suite solutions, we are now offering two new subscription options. Both options have access to key technologies across the four solutions, as well as all of System Center.  Operations Management Suite E1 includes Insight & Analytics and Automation & Control, and 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. To add further flexibility, you can also access pay-as-you-go options for each service, also with aligned System Center components. With these expanded options, you can now use the exact set of services that is best for you today, with flexibility to grow in the future.

We’re excited about the new capabilities now available for management from the cloud to the datacenter. To get a hands-on experience of the new technology, you can try Operations Management Suitetry Operations Management Suite or evaluate System Center 2016.

Learn more about System Center 2016, System Center Configuration Manager and Operations Management Suite.