Unlocking the value of System Center.

have just returned from another series of UK IT Camps, this time at our London Headquarters in Victoria.


They were well attended and it was a pleasure to meet so many @TechNetUK Twitter followers as well as some old friends, MVP’s and members of the UK Microsoft Technology Community Council.

So far this year we have taken our Enterprise Mobility and Extending the Datacenter (Azure) IT Camps to a good few locations including Cardiff, Manchester, Birmingham and London. We are always keen to travel to wherever there is a need so do get in touch and let us know where you want to see us, just drop us an email to ukitpro@microsoft.com. Of course you can sign up for one of them here.

When I deliver the Extending your Datacenter with Microsoft Azure camp I am often asked about the Windows Azure Pack, the integration of System Center and the holistic approach to a Hybrid Cloud solution. Oh and since TechEd Europe I am also asked at every camp about the Cloud Platform System which has been hailed as an on-Premises Azure in a box. Having seen this impressive piece of kit in Barcelona, it would be nice to get my hands on this platform that was designed and built to host the Windows Azure Pack.

Since that is not at all likely in the medium to long term, I shall content myself with deepening my knowledge and understanding of how Windows Azure Pack builds on top of Microsoft System Center 2012 R2.

The story behind the camp we run is that an organization is struggling to contend with the scaling demands of modern business and data requirements. This struggle has led to over-provisioning in their data-center and the attendant under usage and cost impacts. Essentially a waste of time, money space, energy and human resources. The camp walks the delegate through a series of exercises in building out an infrastructure in Azure and then connecting it up to an on-premises network.

The natural extension to this is to use the full force of System Center to manage, control, monitor and automate the workloads that you run.

I have been ‘away’ from the whole suite of products for some time, other than System Center Configuration Manager which we use in the Enterprise Mobility scenario to work with Microsoft Intune to effectively manage mobile devices.

Obviously eyes are now being peeled and horizons scanned for any signs of vNext System Center and the future of the on premises half of the Cloud operating system suite. Until such time as any announcements are made we can use the current suite of products to do some pretty special things.

Within Microsoft UK we are blessed with a group of Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals (MVPs) who get their hands metaphorically dirty with our products every day and earn their daily bread by helping our customers squeeze every last ounce of performance from their investments. Luckily for me I get a chance to work with them and sometimes to learn a great deal from them.

Just around the corner we have one such opportunity. On Friday 20th March our UK MVPs are running an online event. I for one will be attending and learning how to tame the Windows Azure Pack and implement it in my own home lab environment.unlock

You can register here. It is a whole day of free training and guidance as to how the professionals plan, deploy and use all aspects of System Center 2012 r2 to make the difference for the customer.

So if you want to learn about the hybrid management capabilities of System Center and how they deliver on the Cloud Platform vision.

Take a look at the mind map of the event below created by System Center MVP Paul Keely

mind map

The integrated Microsoft System Center suite covers the full range of management needs, spanning the physical, virtual and application layer. System Center also allows you to manage heterogeneous infrastructure, providing a single view of the datacenter and the cloud, including management of Linux workloads and multi-hypervisor management.

So it matters not if you run Hyper-V, VMWare or a mixture within your estate, System Center can help you.

The agenda is below.


And don’t forget to get hold of the Windows Server 2012 r2 and System Center 2012 r2 products to evaluate them as well as sign up for our next It Camps.

I look forward to seeing you there. Feel free to drop me a email follow me on Twitter @edbaker1965 or comment below.

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