Microsoft Opens System Center 2012 for Community Evaluation

The community evaluation program (CEP) for Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 (SCVMM 2012) beta began accepting signups on Thursday.

Microsoft launched the SCVMM 2012 beta in March during the Microsoft Management Summit, where the company also unveiled the broader System Center 2012 product family. A number of System Center 2012 products are expected to be released in the second half of this year.

Organizations that want to get involved with early beta testing and feedback efforts can sign up to be part of the CEP, which provides guidance from Microsoft's products team.

"Members of this program are able to evaluate the Beta version of Virtual Machine Manager 2012 with guidance from the product team and by sharing of experiences and best practices among a community of peers," explained Kenon Owens, technical product manager for SCVMM, in a blog post. "As an internal user, you will have the same access to information as the external customer and partners."

Microsoft will provide guidance on some new SCVMM 2012 beta features, such as cloud creation, service templates, Server App-V and fabric management, according to Owens.

The SCVMM 2012 beta CEP is part of a series of Microsoft community test programs. Testers have to sign up and be accepted as a participant by Microsoft to get involved. Not every applicant will get an opportunity to join.

Microsoft already opened up a CEP testing effort for beta 2 of System Center Configuration Manager 2012 back in April. It plans to open up other CEPs for management and security IT professionals this summer. Those planned programs include one for Forefront Identity Manager 2010 R2 (starting in June), a CEP for the Orchestrator 2012 beta (starting in June) and an Operations Manager 2012 CEP (starting in July).

Those organizations interested in the CEPs have to sign up and submit an enrollment survey via Microsoft's Connect site here (requires Windows Live ID to access).

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.