Microsoft has used its annual Management Summit to show off the latest additions to its forthcoming System Center 2012 management suite, including a new virtual machine management system and better tools for administrators.
Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft's management and security division, used his keynote to demonstrate the new software, and told attendees to expect the full version by the end of the year.
"Our IT customers have told us that their focus is helping their businesses deliver the critical applications that will strengthen their bottom line, while maintaining necessary control and compliance," he said.
"Virtualisation and server consolidation are important steps toward cloud computing, but it's essential to have management tools that provide intelligence about how the apps themselves are doing, not just management of virtual machine black boxes. Microsoft's management solutions provide that insight, along with the needed oversight."
Anderson showed off the new Virtual Machine Manager software that will be included in the forthcoming build and said it will be available for download as a beta from today. Virtual Machine Manager will provide tools for IT managers to build robust private clouds, he said.
Also demonstrated was a management portal, codenamed Concero, which allows the real-time management of private and public cloud infrastructures, as well as hybrid systems, via a centralised console.
"This is a major upgrade to almost the whole Server Center line, which I'd expect to see out by the end of the year," Directions on Microsoft analyst Don Retallack, told V3.co.uk.
"The virtual machine manager is much improved because it can now manage Xen, while the Virtual Machine Manager looks very interesting. It offers self-service for control of applications, which is interesting to IT departments that want to delegate tasks to application owners."
Retallack said that he was particularly impressed with the new System Center Operations Manager 2012, which integrates software Microsoft bought with AVICode last year.
The new software, which is already in use on Microsoft's Xbox system, allows managers much finer application monitoring.
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