Great things ahead for MS System Center Configuration Manager 2012

Colin Smith shares news from the Microsoft Management Summit that the System Center 2012 beta is now available. Find out about its new features and some of the other important announcements from today.

I just left the Wednesday morning keynote at MMS 2011. Along with a series of announcements, the message today emphasized application delivery, and there were many demos of the features that I will outline in the rest of this post.

System Center Configuration Manager 2012

This morning System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2012 Beta 2 was announced as available for download.

The biggest backend changes for administrators include a new application model and a new hierarchy model.

In addition to architectural changes, there are some exciting new features that are focused on enabling the consumerization of IT. What I mean by this is the movement towards end users and IT departments working together rather than having IT departments dictate to end users. It also involves trends like employee owned devices (BYOC) and anywhere/anytime application and data access.

Here are some of the new features that help to make this possible:

  • User-centric application-delivery model that is device independent but considers user device affinity
  • Intelligent self-service application delivery is based on policies that may be triggered by location, device, etc. This leverages application virtualization and streaming techniques.
  • Support for mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, Symbian, Android, Windows Phone)
  • Native delivery for Citrix XenApp and App-v (lots of other Citrix integration too)
  • Application supercedence that automatically upgrades applications to the latest version
  • VDI-aware (pooled or personal) application delivery
  • Management integration with Forefront Endpoint Protection for deployment and update management (no more parallel update infrastructures), as well as reporting
  • Automatic security and configuration compliance remediation

More details on SCCM 2012 here.

Other interesting stuff

Announcement: Forefront Endpoint Protection (FEP) has moved from a datacenter client access license to the Core Client access license. For many clients this means that they now are automatically licensed for FEP. More details here. Announcement: BitLocker Administration and Monitoring tool is available in beta now as part of MDOP and will have SCCM integration in the future. More details here. Announcement: General availability today of Windows Intune -- Microsoft's cloud-based offering for managing and securing Windows desktops. Microsoft announced that the roadmap for Intune is moving towards feature parity with SCCM. More details here.

There is a lot happening in this space. An overview of the System Center and Manageability roadmap this morning lists nine products in the space that will RTM this year.

More to come throughout the week. If you are at MMS and would like to meet up, please contact me through TechRepublic.