TECH BRIEF

Microsoft releases System Center upgrades

Microsoft has announced a number of updates to its System Center line of server management products. The updates affect products such as Operations Manager, Virtual Machine Manager and Configuration Manager -- all part of the System Center line. Typically, the updates add support for Microsoft's latest operating systems, and more.

Operations Manager

First, the software giant offered some good news for those using Operations Manager 2007 SP1 or Operations Manager 2007 R2. Those apps can now run Microsoft's latest operating systems, including Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. One exception is that server roles aren't supported under Windows 7, according to a table provided by the Microsoft team blog.

Those who still use Operations Manager 2005 and want to run the latest Microsoft OSes are out of luck. Operations Manager 2005 doesn't support Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows 7.

Also announced last week, Operations Manager 2007 R2 now supports Windows Embedded Standard 2009, which is Microsoft's operating system for devices, such as thin clients and point-of-sale terminals. Users can run an agent that will monitor the "health" of Windows Embedded Standard 2009. To get the agent running, users first have to install the "System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 Agent Prerequisites Macro for Windows Embedded Standard 2009 (x86) - (English)." Details are described in the System Center blog here.

Finally, on the Operations Manager 2007 v2 front, Microsoft released an update last week to the Windows Key Management Service (KMS) Management Pack. The update (version 6.0.7234.0) extends support for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. It also adds support for non-Windows KMS applications. The KMS provides a view into host activation and licensing status on a network.

Virtual Machine Manager

Microsoft also updated a couple of tools that support System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM).

For instance, SCVMM Configuration Analyzer was released to the Web last week. Configuration Analyzer now supports SCVMM 2008 and SCVMM 2008 R2, allowing users to check if their computers can be used to run SCVMM server. Alternatively, the Configuration Analyzer can be run on a computer to see if it can be used as a host for Windows Server. Configuration Analyzer has multiple uses, which are described in Microsoft's team blog here.

Microsoft also released to the Web a product that helps IT pros collect system and log info for SCVMM troubleshooting and support. Details about the newly released "SCVMM 2008 and 2008 R2 Microsoft Product Support Reports" app can be found at Microsoft's TechNet blog here.

Still having problems with SCVMM? It could be that network card drivers or agents aren't up to date, especially if you recently moved to Windows 2008 R2, according to this Microsoft blog.

Those seeking overall information on how to deploy and operate SCVMM R2 can now get it. Microsoft released documentation on SCVMM R2 earlier this month, as described here.

Configuration Manager

Microsoft issued a Knowledge Base article this month on System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, detailing how a recently released roll-up package adds support for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 clients. The roll-up provides client support only for those operating systems, according to a System Center team blog. The blog points to the upcoming SP2 as a more optimal solution than SP1. SP2 is expected to appear near the end of October.

Microsoft is also working on Configuration Manager 2007 R3, which is planned for final product release by the late first quarter of 2010.

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