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System Center 2012 SP1 Beta Adds Windows Server 2012, Windows RT, WP8 Devices Management Capabilities; Signup for High Performance Computing (HPC) Pack 2012 Beta Open

System Center 2012 SP1 Beta with support for Windows Server 2012, Windows 8 operating system and support for SQL Server 2012 is now available for download.

With System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 and the next version of Windows Intune, Microsoft is taking the first step in delivering interoperability between these products through Configuration Manager’s administration console. In the blog post, Microsoft says,

“Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT devices will be managed by the next release of Windows Intune. IT Pros will have the flexibility of using either the Windows Intune or Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 console to set mobile security policies, distribute mobile apps and view reports.”

System Center 2012 Capabilities

The management capabilities of the new client for the Windows 8, Windows RT devices, and Windows Phone 8 including:

  • “System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1
  • Interoperability of Windows Intune and System Center Configuration Manager Console
  • Management of Windows RT and Windows Phone 8
  • Windows Intune Licensing Changes
  • Support for the Management of Windows Embedded devices”

“Updates to System Center 2012 for compatibility with Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and other enhancements including support for Azure VM and capabilities for Hosted Service Providers,” Microsoft states.

System Center 2012 SP1 also allows for the ability to manage Hyper-V network virtualization across multiple hosts, which makes it easier to create entire virtual networks. On top of that, administrators can add the option to host server backups in the cloud with Windows Azure.

Additionally, to help organizations benefit from our Windows Intune and Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 solution for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and other device management scenarios, Microsoft is adjusting the licensing for Windows Intune, shifting from a per-device to a per-user licensing model and providing improved licensing integration with System Center Configuration Manager and existing Core CAL subscriptions.

One of the great new benefits of this platform are “Windows 8 apps, and ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 allows you to deploy and update these apps alongside your existing native and virtual applications,” Microsoft said.

“SP1 will support the deployment and management of Windows to Go USB drives, as well as enable you to more easily manage policies for new Windows 8 client-side caching, roaming user profiles, and folder redirection features.” “For mobile workers, ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 Beta will include the new ability to detect 3G and 4G network connections to prevent delivering software at a time when data charges may apply,” Microsoft adds.

For datacenter and cloud management, SP1 enables all System Center components to run on and manage Windows Server 2012, complementing the enhanced features and functionality of the newly released cloud-optimized OS.

The improved capabilities include:

  • Software defined networking
  • Hybrid cloud management across private, public and hosted clouds
  • Windows Azure virtual machines management
  • Additional heterogeneous support for hypervisors and Linux distributions
  • Enhanced backup and recovery options
  • Service provider foundation API enabling programmatic control for Hosters
  • Global Service Monitor for 360 degree application monitoring

For client management, System Center 2012 SP1 beta provides new management capabilities in System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, including:

  • Deployment and management of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Azure-based Distribution Points to help reduce infrastructure costs
  • Automation of administrative tasks through PowerShell support
  • Management of Mac OS X clients and Linux and UNIX servers

Additionally, Microsoft began accepting beta applicants for the High Performance Computing (HPC) Pack 2012 beta program.

For those that don’t know, Windows HPC Server is a high performance computing (HPC) solution built on Windows Server technology that provides a set of tools for your HPC environment.

This is Microsoft’s 4th major version and the High Performance Computing (HPC) Pack 2012 comes with the following features:

  • “Windows Server 2012 (including ‘Server Core’), the Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, and Windows 8 are all now supported
  • A single version of HPC Pack 2012 now includes all the functionality that used to be split across the HPC Pack 2008 Express, Enteprise, Workstations and Cycle Harvesting editions
  • HPC Pack now supports extending your enterprise network to Windows Azure via ‘Project Brooklyn’
  • MS-MPI has a new ‘message compression’ feature to reduce the time spent waiting on communications to complete
  • The job scheduler now allows for dependencies between jobs (in addition to the task dependencies that already existed) to better integrate with your work flow
  • Windows Azure nodes can be set to automatically mount a VHD, which could contain some static data or application code, to make using HPC Pack’s ‘burst’ functionality even easier
  • and more… A more complete list of new functionality is available once you join the beta,” Microsoft informs.

You can download the Beta of System Center 2012 SP1 from Microsoft Download Center.

And, to signup for the Microsoft High Performance Computing (HPC) Pack 2012 beta program, visit here.

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