Microsoft unveiled a new way of delivering expert configuration and troubleshooting information for Windows Server and Windows applications at its Management Summit in Las Vegas Tuesday. By the end of the year, System Center, the management console for Windows Server, Hyper-V and other Microsoft systems, will get an add-on component, System Center Advisor, which automatically collects information on your server configurations, notifies you of known or potential problems and recommends a best practice alternative.
Windows Server operational information is collected in Microsoft's Azure cloud center. The knowledge base there will build up a record of different Windows Server configurations and software combinations. Advisor working as part of System Center in your data center feeds information on your configuration into the Azure knowledge base. "If Advisor finds a configuration that might be problematic, it will alert you," says Brad Anderson, corporate VP of Microsoft's management and security division in an interview after his summit keynote address.
Information on best practices, bottlenecks and problem configurations flow into Azure from the Microsoft service organization. "There's nothing else in this world that can deliver the kind of expertise that Advisor can," Anderson adds.
Advisor is one of two pieces that Microsoft introduced at the summit to help its customers better manage their data centers and move them toward private cloud computing. However customers choose to configure their Windows Servers, they will have the benefit of the knowledge-base in Azure. "Your cloud has wisdom," he said in the interview.
A second addition to System Center is a portal for self-provisioning users of a private cloud. The portal has been under development with the code name of Concero, and Microsoft has advertised for developers on LinkedIn with the promise that they will be working on "a team that is central to the Server and Tools Business compete strategy with VMware. Together with our sister teams in System Center and Azure we will deliver a world class experience that will shift customers from VMware to Microsoft."