On Monday, Microsoft made available for download the beta flavor of its System Center 2012 Service Pack 1, with a focus on the new iteration of the Configuration Manager, which should receive the final version of its Service Pack 1 release in early 2013.
Following the updated packages for System Center 2012, customers will benefit from compatibility with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, as well as from a series of other enhancements, such as support for Azure VM and capabilities for Hosted Service Providers.
“The Beta of System Center 2012 Service Pack 1 (SP1) enables System Center customers to jointly evaluate System Center 2012 with Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8,” Microsoft explains.
“The Beta is for evaluation purposes only and not to be used in production as described in the EULAs associated with the product. No license keys are required to do this evaluation.”
As mentioned above, the new Beta release comes with enhancements to various System Center 2012 components, including Virtual Machine Manager, Configuration Manager, Data Protection Manager, App Controller, Operations Manager, Orchestrator, Service Manager, and Server App-V.
“The Virtual Machine Manager server for the Beta release of System Center 2012 SP1 will only run on Windows Server 2012,” Microsoft notes. “All other components now support Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 in addition to the operating systems that were supported in System Center 2012.”
As for the System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, it comes with enhancements to the deployment and management of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, as well as with cost reductions through a distribution point for Windows Azure.
The release brings automation of administrative tasks through PowerShell support, and enables the deployment and update of Windows 8 applications alongside native and virtual applications.
When released in final version, SP1 will also provide support for deploying and managing Windows to Go USB drives, and will enable easier management of policies for new Windows 8 client-side caching, as well as for user profile roaming, and for folder redirection features.
Download System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 Beta
Download System Center 2012 Data Protection Manager SP1 Beta
Download System Center 2012 Operations Manager SP1 Beta
Download System Center 2012 Service Manager SP1 Beta
Download System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager SP1 Beta
Download System Center 2012 App Controller SP1 Beta
Download System Center 2012 Orchestrator SP1 Beta