October 27th, 2011 News Thursday: New Pre-release System Center 2012 Solutions, Azure Pricing Changes, and More Server and Tools News…

by STB Blogger


NEW Pre-release System Center 2012 solutions for private cloud and client management

Today we made available several pre-release versions of System Center 2012 products, which offer integrated solutions for private cloud and client management.

For private cloud, we have released betas of the 2012 versions of System Center Service Manager and System Center App Controller, as well as a Release Candidate (RC) of System Center Orchestrator.
These System Center products are essential to the Microsoft private cloud, which helps IT organizations meet the needs of their businesses with better agility, focus and economics.  The products available as pre-releases today deliver on a unique part of our approach to private cloud:  Helping IT manage applications - not just infrastructure - across both private and public cloud environments.  Key to making this happen is providing simple, self-service experiences that empower business owners across the company to quickly and reliably deliver applications on their own.  You also need process automation standing behind the self-service experiences, so the various technologies are connected and services “just happen.”  To learn more about how these products give those capabilities to customers for private cloud computing, see this post on the Server and Cloud Platform blog.

For client management, we released the RC of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager and System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection, which help IT manage the “consumerization of IT” – the growing trend of modern, mobile workforces using an array of devices, including PCs, mobile phones and tablets.  This version of Configuration Manager takes a “user-centric” approach, which lets IT empower people to be productive from anywhere on any device.  At the same time, it makes life easier for IT professionals with unified management across physical, virtual and mobile work environments and by ensuring compliance and security.  System Center 2012 Endpoint Protection (formerly known as Forefront Endpoint Protection 2012) is built on Configuration Manager to further simplify administration by integrating client security and management into a single experience.  To learn more about these new offerings, see this post on the Server and Cloud Platform blog.

System Center 2012 presents IT organizations with exciting opportunities to progress beyond traditional or virtualized systems to true private cloud services, and from device management to a more flexible work style for end users. 

These pre-releases are available for download here. Stay tuned for future updates!

Microsoft Announces Price Reduction for Windows Azure Storage

Today Microsoft is announcing a price reduction and volume commitment discounts for Windows Azure Storage. Effective as of October 26, the price of Windows Azure Storage dropped from.15 to .14 cents per GB.  In addition to the price decrease, customers with higher storage volumes can take advantage of commitment volume discounts to realize discounts in excess of 30 percent. To take advantage of the Storage Commitment pricing, customers can sign up for the Storage Core Offer at www.windowsazure.com/offers.

For more details, visit the Windows Azure blog, which breaks down the price reduction details and offers additional information on varying storage commitment prices.

Alchemy Solutions Launches NeoKicks and CICS on Windows Azure

At the Gartner Symposium/IT Expo on October 17, Alchemy Solutions, Inc. announced that NeoKicks, their Customer Information Control System (CICS) modernization tool, can push CICS applications to Windows Azure. NeoKicks V3.1 runs on Windows servers and is the first CICS migration framework to run natively on Windows Azure without the use of virtual machines. Alchemy Solutions, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, has worked with Microsoft to fully integrate its products into the .NET Framework and Windows Azure. NeoKicks takes full advantage of Windows Azure to enable true cloud computing, without relying on virtual machines or emulation. Alchemy Solutions will be demonstrating this technology next month at the Gartner Application Architecture, Development & Integration Summit in Las Vegas.

Interested early adopters can receive NeoKicks V3.1 for evaluation now by contacting the Alchemy Solutions sales staff. Visit the Alchemy Solutions Pressroom to read the full press release from this announcement.

Cloud Computing: What IT Professionals Need to Know White Paper

Microsoft Learning has just released our first White Paper on Cloud Computing: What IT Professionals Need to Know. The move to cloud solutions opens up new opportunities for IT professionals and they should look forward with both competence and confidence. Key technical skill sets become more critical to career success, including custom application development and deep technical knowledge of infrastructure solutions. With the capability to build and adapt their existing skills, savvy professionals should view new cloud opportunities as a chance to expand upon and grow their portfolio of skills. This white paper provides an early look at emerging roles and skill sets that IT professionals and Developers should look to acquire to build cloud computing solutions. Download the whitepaper now. For more information on training and certification visit the Cloud Computing Training and Certification Page.