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System Center 2012 Improves Its Desktop Virtualization-ness

Microsoft announced some really cool features with the upcoming System Center 2012. The demos and features are just awesome.

First you can now build private clouds and manage Citrix XenServer in addition to what was already supported (VMware ESX and Hyper-V, of course).

The cool thing about the new release is the way it aggregates physical equipment. You now have the ability to find bare metal servers, communicate with their management port and deploy an image on them. Sure, that's cool, but nothing special; we have seen this before, right? Yet, what's really cool is how you can add it to a resource pool and extend capacity on the fly. What I am very curious to know is, if you can have a cloud that is powered by heterogeneous hypervisors, for example, can resources be pooled from ESX, XenServer and Hyper-V under the same private cloud?

System Center 2012 will now be able to manage mobile devices, which is huge and reinforces a notion that I have been spreading for a long time: Mobile devices, -- cell phones, in particular -- are the next PC. System Center 2012 will allow you to manage devices built on Google Android, Apple iOS, Windows 7 Phone and Symbian.

Of course, I would not be this excited about it if it did not touch in some way on desktop virtualization, and the System Center 2012 announcement touched a lot on this subject. You will be able to optimize application delivery to your users based on the device they are using. System Center detects when someone is using an iPad and enforces the iPad policy and delivers applications and desktops that would run optimally in iPad, such as VDI for example. However, if the user is using a laptop, then it would deliver applications using App-V and would allow offline access as well. All seamless, all policy driven, all automated -- and all cool.

Microsoft also mentioned and demonstrated System Center 2012's ability to leverage a single Windows image for multiple applications -- basically, it's application and OS separation, as well as OS and endpoint device separation. Again, it's the modularization of IT and Microsoft's coming to terms with the fact that a desktop does not necessarily mean what is under your desk and that there will be instances where devices used don't necessarily have an OS.

I think System Center 2012 and all its subcomponents is going to be one of the most exciting releases Microsoft has had in a long time.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 03/24/2011 at 12:49 PM


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