As you all probably know by now in 2012 there will be a lot of new tools available for us IT Pros. Windows 8 Server alone holds so many new features and added value that it alone will keep us busy for many years to come. On top of that, the 2012 version of the System Center Suite is being released. I hope most of you have started looking at the betas and the release candidates. If not I encourage you to do so. There are a lot of great improvements that will help us enhance our current setups and operations, not to mention enable us to build a private cloud. For some musings on why you might want to do that, even if you have no public cloud plans yet, I refer you to my blog post The Private Cloud A Profitable Future Proofing Tactic?
To help you get started with testing I include some links to some of the most interesting products.
- Download System Center 2012 evaluation products: http://technet.microsoft.com/nl-be/evalcenter/hh505660.aspx
If you select the “Download All Available System Center 2012 Products” option you’ll get all most current versions of the pre release. To fully test the System Center 2012 Suite products you’ll need Windows Server/Hyper-V but also the current line of System Center Suite (upgrade testing).
The full Windows 2008 R2 SP1 OS is available here http://technet.microsoft.com/evalcenter/dd459137.aspx and you can find the free Hyper-V Server here http://technet.microsoft.com/evalcenter/dd776191.aspx
The most relevant current System Center Suite products are available via these links:
- System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3
- System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2
- System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 SP1
To top it all of and get acquainted with “The Cloud” grab the “Deploying and Managing Windows Azure Applications” here http://technet.microsoft.com/evalcenter/hh282846.aspx
There you go. All this should keep you usefully occupied and out of trouble during the end of year holidays and make you an knowledgeable and capable IT Pro, ready for the year to come.