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Microsoft: System Center Puts Partners in Prime Position for Private Cloud

The System Center 2012 family will put Microsoft partners in a "prime position" to meet the emerging demand for private cloud solutions, Microsoft's top partner executive said this week.

Microsoft on Tuesday put out release candidates for all eight products in the System Center 2012 family, as reported in great detail by my colleague Kurt Mackie.

Among the highlights are a new licensing model that delivers all the components as a suite, rather than as a pick-and-choose menu of management tools. A more significant element is the way Microsoft is evolving the System Center brand from its former identification as a systems management platform toward a new identity as a private cloud enabler.

"Now customers and partners can manage physical, virtual and cloud environments from one console. They'll have full control across all datacenter investments," said Jon Roskill, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group, in a blog entry timed to the release candidate news.

As the product suite changes direction, the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Group has been reconfiguring Microsoft Partner Network competencies to support the coalescing definitions of virtualization and systems management. The Systems Management competency and the Virtualization competency will merge in May into a Management and Virtualization competency designed around private cloud solutions.

That change will happen just a month after the re-focused line of System Center products is unofficially expected to be generally available.

"You can sell and deploy System Center 2012 as a bridge between your customers' on-premise investments and cloud opportunities. And you have Microsoft's common Identity & Security and Virtualization fabric," Roskill said. "Partners like you are in a prime position to help customers evaluate options and make smart decisions."

Posted by Scott Bekker on January 18, 2012