Microsoft System Center 2012 Revealed, January 19, 2012 Microsoft's System Center 2012, which we discussed in Microsoft's System Center 2012: Building A Private Cloud, is the latest attempt by a big vendor to bring private cloud to the masses. While there are many improvements to System Center, building a private cloud using anyone's software is far from easy. At Microsoft's private cloud reviewers' workshop, we got a peek at the sausage factory. There are a lot of components to configure, but Microsoft has done a good job of streamlining many of the processes.
System Center 2012 can do bare-metal provisioning using IPMI. Relying heavily on templates through System Center 2012, you define the skeleton options--such as MAC address, networking and storage--which are resolved either at runtime, such as an IP address via DHCP, or are taken from a template like a host name. What is interesting is that System Center can discover server hardware and make it available.
Inside Virtual Machine Manager, we defined our new hardware host and applied it to a server. You can readily track the progress of the deployment.