System Center 2012 Licensing Changes and Products

Author by Nathan Lasnoski

Microsoft has announced some great changes to the licensing and deployment model of the System Center suite.  The System Center is a fully integrated suite of tools which manage all aspects of delivering IT services.  They are licensed together to provide a single integrated set of capabilities, similar to how Microsoft is licensing Office vs. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint separately.  The tools are powerful individually, but together they create integration that is unmatched.   The two new licensing models are the System Center Standard and Datacenter.  The System Center Datacenter license provides unlimited "Operating System Environments" (OSEs).  The System Center Standard license provides the suite for two OSEs and is intended for physical, or lightly virtualized branch environments.  

Overview of the System Center Licensing Models:


Microsoft System Center 2012 Details

System Center 2012 solutions provide complete management from the desktop to the datacenter. Using integrated and automated management solutions, you can capture and aggregate knowledge about systems, policies, processes, and best practices so that you can optimize your infrastructure to reduce costs, improve application availability, and enhance service delivery.  

Here is an overview of the new features in the System Center suite!


Configuration Manager 2012

  • Enhanced mobile device management (cross-platform)
  • User centric management
  • New integrated console
  • Software portal
  • Automated remediation
  • Conditional delivery

Service Manager 2012

  • Fully customizable rich end-user portal, powered by SharePoint
  • Integrated and IT customizable service request forms (ex. new user, password reset, etc.)
  • Enhanced process management
  • New release management capability
  • ITIL conformance

Orchestrator 2012 (formerly Opalis)

  • End-to-end IT process automation toolset (ex. user account provisioning/permissioning, user account decommissioning, VM provisioning, server application provisioning)
  • Fully integrated into SCSM self-service portal
  • GUI-driven, IT administrator built, workflow engine

Operations Manager 2012

  • Enhanced service-centric management model
  • New full-network device support (esp. routers, switches, firewalls)
  • Completely revised new dashboard-based interface
  • Avicode integration

Virtual Machine Manager 2012

  • Manages VMWare, Xen and Hyper-V
  • Service-centric provisioning model (app components are built out within provisioning model)
  • Bare-metal host deployment
  • Application-centric configuration of storage, networking and load-balancer settings

Data Protection Manager 2012

  • Centralized management tool
  • Enhanced tape library management
  • Generic data source protection
  • Direct recovery into SharePoint in minutes

Advisor 2012

  • Cloud-based system health management tool
  • Analyze the configurations of SQL Server and Windows Server deployments
  • Identify potential issues and data corruption, and provide more information about systems to make problem resolution faster and more efficient

App Controller 2012

  • Public and private cloud management interface
  • Access resources across multiple VMM Servers
  • Register and consume capacity from multiple Windows Azure subscriptions
  • Deploy and manage Services and virtual machines on private clouds created within VMM 2012 and on Windows Azure
  • Enable multiple users authenticated through Active Directory to access a single Windows Azure subscription


More information:

  Happy managing!   Nathan Lasnoski  


Nathan Lasnoski

Chief Technology Officer