What’s new in System Center 2012 SP1?

Microsoft finally released to manufacturing ServicePack 1 for System Center 2012. SP1 adds support for the wave of software that Microsoft released in the fall, inlcuding Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V 3.0, but it also adds a whole lot of other really cool stuff that I think might surprise a few people.

Before I get to the cool stuff, let me reiterate that SP1 adds full support for Hyper-V 3.0. No longer is the new Hyper-V sitting out there without a supported management solution. Personally, I believe that Microsoft put themselves in a bad position by not releasing an interim update to provide Hyper-V 3 support, but at least it’s here now, or will be in early January once RTM goes public.

That said, here’s what you can expect from an installation of SP1 for the most common components

Configuration Manager

  • Support for Windows 8. You can now install the SCCM client to Windows 8 machines and deploy Windows 8 machines using SCCM 2012 SP1.
  • Support for some Windows 8 unique features. For example, SP1 supports Windows 8’s Windows To Go capability, metered Internet connections and more.
  • SCCM now supports Windows Server 2012 and SQL Server 2012 as the back end.
  • Support for multiple software update points to provide additional redundancy.
  • SCCM 2012 SP1 can support Mac OS X machines, inlcuding deploying software, collecting hardware inventory and managing compliance settings.
  • When using a support Unix or Linux distribution, SCCM 2012 SP1 can deploy software and collect hardware inventory.

Operations Manager

  • Microsoft has added support for CentOS, Debian, and Ubuntu Linux.
  • New management packs have been added that support Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8.

Virtual Machine Manager

  • Adds support for Hyper-V 3/2012.
  • Adds support for a number of Windows Server 2012 features, including network virtualization, the Hyper-V extensible switch and more.
  • Adds support for SMB 3.
  • Adds support for VHDX and adds the ability to convert a disk from VHD to VHDX format.
  • Adds support for Live Migration of both the machine and the storage.
  • Adds support for Storage Migration wherein only the virtual machine storage is transferred.

These are just the big items that have been added to Service Pack 1. I urge you to take a look at the full details of the release.

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