You’re probably peripherally aware that more and more details about Windows Server 2012 (formerly code-named Windows Server “8”) are leaking out of Redmond. But Windows Server “8” isn’t the only news out of Redmond to which you should be paying attention. You should also keep an eye on the System Center 2012 suit as this suite promises to be as important, if not more important, to your career.
The reasoning behind it is as follows. It’s all down to economics. The most expensive part of an organization’s IT infrastructure is not the software licensing, not the electricity, and not the hardware. The most expensive part of an organization’s IT infrastructure is the cost of the people who manage that infrastructure. System Center 2012 is as important to your career as Windows Server “8” because it provides you with a comprehensive set of tools that allows you to manage a greater number of servers, applications, and desktops.
The administrator who knows how to fully leverage Configuration Manager, Operations Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, Data Protection Manager and Orchestrator is able to manage a far larger IT infrastructure than and administrator who only knows the ins-and-outs of a server operating system like Windows Server “8”. An Administrator who knows System Center backward provides more bang for the buck for an organization than an Administrator who is ignorant of these technologies.
While there are products out there that do the same things as individual components of the System Center stack, there are two substantial advantages to using system center products:
· Each system center product is specifically designed to work with the other system center products. Configuration Manager is designed to work with Operations Manager, Orchestrator, Service Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, and Data Protection Manager.
· System Center is designed specifically to support Microsoft workloads. The 2012 revision of the System Center suite is designed not only to support Microsoft applications running on Microsoft servers, but also 3rd party applications running on Microsoft servers. An example is Virtual Machine Manger 2012, which allows you to not only manage a Hyper-V infrastructure, but a XenServer or VMware infrastructure as well.
While at some point in the not to distant future you will be deploying Windows Server “8” in your environment and you’ll have to know about it, so will everyone else who is deploying Windows Server “8”. In choosing to learn about the System Center 2012 suite, you are ensuring that when your organization moves to reduce the number of administrators managing an increasing number of servers, you have the tools that make you more relevant compared to the colleagues who haven’t taken this step.
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