Introduction to System Center 2016
Microsoft's System Center suite of information technology management tools has evolved for over two decades and has adapted to sea changes in networking including virtualization, BYOD computing, private and pubic clouds, and hybrid networks that combine on-premises resources with cloud services. System Center 2016 addresses a crucial problem facing contemporary IT organizations: How do you centralize the management of IT assets that are literally spread all over the map?
System Center 2016 provides important enhancements in the management of hybrid cloud environments by offering improved usability with streamlined consoles and simplified workflows; comprehensive support for Windows Server 2016 servers, Windows 10 clients, Apple iPhones and iPads, and Android smartphones; seamless integration of heterogeneous networks that include Linux, Hyper-V and VMware; and expanded cloud support including tighter integration with Microsoft Intune for mobile device and application management plus native integration with Operations Management Suite for cloud-enhanced analytics and reporting.
Progent's Microsoft Gold-certified consulting team offers advanced online and onsite expertise for all components of System Center 2016 including Operations Manager (SCOM), Configuration Manager (SCCM), Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), Data Protection Manager (SCDPM), Orchestrator, and Service Manager. Progent can help you plan and implement a new deployment of System Center 2016, expand or optimize an existing one, migrate efficiently from an earlier version of System Center, or troubleshoot your System Center solution. Progent can also provide expertise in key Microsoft platforms by offering Windows Server 2016 consulting, Exchange Server 2016 support, Office 365 Exchange Online integration, SQL Server 2016 Consulting, Hyper-V planning and support, Windows Azure integration, and Microsoft Intune planning and configuration.
For mixed-operating system environments, Progent offers the services of senior VMware experts, Linux consultants, iPhone consultants, and Android integration specialists. To support your physical infrastructure in an on-premises or hybrid cloud environment, Progent offers the services of Cisco CCIE certified network consultants. By offering a one-stop solution for every aspect of System Center 2016 integration, Progent can help you build a modern IT management solution that delivers maximum business value.
Components of System Center 2016
System Center 2016 is available in two primary editions, Datacenter and Standard. Both editions support unlimited Windows Server Containers as well as Windows Server 2016 Host Guardian Service and Nano Server. System Center 2016 Datacenter Edition also supports unlimited Operating System Environments (OSEs) or Hyper-V containers vs. two for the Standard Edition. Only the Datacenter Edition supports Storage Spaces Direct, Storage Replica, Shielded Virtual Machines, and the Windows Server 2016 Networking stack for Software Defined Networking. (For a description of these features, see Windows Server 2016 hybrid cloud solutions.)
An entry-level, cloud-based System Center 2016 Essentials Edition, which replaces the older Foundation Edition and works with Windows Server 2016, is available for small businesses and supports up to 25 users and 50 devices. To accommodate both on-premises and cloud deployments, System Center 2016 has moved from a processor-based licensing model to a core-based model.
Both the Datacenter Edition and the Standard Edition come with the same System Center 2016 stack including Operations Manager, Configuration Manager, Virtual Machine Manager, etc.
System Center 2016 Operations Manager
System Center 2016 Operations Manager (SCOM 2016) provides centralized monitoring of physical and virtual infrastructure across on-premises and cloud environments. SCOM 2016 lets you track the health, availability, performance and utilization of CPU, memory, disk, network processes, and other system parameters for diverse environments including Microsoft Azure, Amazon AWS, Office 365, Windows, Linux and UNIX. A wealth of Management Packs for monitoring various resources are available from Microsoft and third parties and you can also create custom Management Packs. Improvements in SCOM 2016 include better data management of alerts to help tune thresholds and reduce noise, monitoring support for Nano Server, double the number of Unix/Linux agents that can be monitored by a single management server, integration with Operations Management Suite for cloud-based data collection and analysis, plus new Management Packs for monitoring Apache HTTP Server and MySQL/MariaDB database servers.
System Center 2016 Configuration Manager
System Center 2016 Configurations Manager (SCCM 2016) automates the deployment and updating of devices and applications throughout an enterprise including on-premises and cloud-based resources. SCCM 2016 uses hierarchical, multi-site distribution points to support massive scale, makes it easy to manage compliance settings, inventories network assets, guards against the leaking of sensitive data, monitors the health of networked devices, allows end-user self service without compromising security or violating policies, and unifies management of heterogeneous environments that include multiple operating systems and incorporate a mix of on-premises and cloud-based resources. SCCM 2016 supports Windows computers, UNIX and Linux servers, Mac computers, plus iPhones, iPads, and Android smartphones. Enhancements to SCCM 2016 include support for the latest features of Windows 10, on-premises mobile device management (MDM) in concert with Microsoft Intune, Fallback Boundary Groups to improve the availability of updates, Peer Cache to conserve WAN bandwidth when updating branch sites, and concurrent migration of shared distribution points to reduce deployment time. For details, see System Center 2016 Configuration Manager consulting.
System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager
System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM 2016) unifies the provisioning and management of virtual machines (VMs) and services deployed across on-premises and cloud environments. SCVMM 2016 requires Windows Server 2016 or later as the server operating system and SQL Server 2012 SP1 or later as the SQL database. SCVMM 2016 supports guest operating systems running on Hyper-V or VMware servers. Key improvements to SCVMM 2016 cover compute, storage, networking and security. You can provision and manage Nano Server-based hosts and VMs in the SCVMM 2016 fabric, use Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) to create application-consistent production checkpoints for virtual machines, take advantage of Windows Server 2016 innovations like Storage Spaces Direct and Storage Replica for affordable high-availability and zero-data-loss disaster recovery, isolate and filter network traffic using Network Controller and PowerShell, and configure and manage guarded hosts and shielded VMs in the SCVMM fabric to protect against rogue host administrators and malware.
System Center 2016 Data Protection Manager
System Center Data Protection Manager (SCDPM 2016) is Microsoft's backup and recovery platform designed to protect private cloud deployments, applications and clients. SCDPM 2016 delivers application-aware backup/recovery of core Microsoft workloads such as Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint; backs up files, folders, volumes and system state for Windows servers and clients; performs bare-metal backups of Windows computers; and backs up Hyper-V virtual machines running Windows or Linux. SCDPM 2016 takes advantage of Windows Server 2016 to deliver up to 40% greater storage efficiency and 70% faster performance. SCDPM 2016 allows backup and recovery of Shielded VMs with VHDs/VHDXs protected by Windows Server 2016's Virtual TPM (vTPM) encryption feature. (For a description of Progent's business continuity and disaster recovery (BC\DR) services, see business continuity planning consulting.)
System Center 2016 Orchestrator
System Center 2016 Orchestrator simplifies the creation of runbooks to automate repetitive datacenter administration tasks and processes. Orchestrator is hardware and platform agnostic and includes the Runbook Designer tool, which provides a graphical user interface (GUI) that does not require familiarity with scripting and programming languages. The Orchestrator Integration Toolkit provides wizard-based tools to create new activities and integration packs. Orchestrator 2016 adds support for native PowerShell Script-type runbooks, the ability to specify which runbook worker a runbook will run on, the ability to develop and test runbooks directly from PowerShell ISE using the Windows Azure Pack portal, and support for the latest features of PowerShell.
System Center 2016 Service Manager
System Center 2016 Service Manager (SCSM 2016) works in conjunction with other System Center tools such as SCOM, SCCM, SCVMM and Orchestrator to provide an integrated solution for managing service desk functions. SCSM 2016 includes built-in workflows and automation for service requests, incident management, problem resolution, approvals, change control, and asset lifecycles. Activities can be configured based on properties associated with users and applications. Workflows can automatically generate incidents when computers fall out of compliance. SCSM 2016 reporting is based on SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) and allows you to collect and view data and trends from across your business environment. Enhancements to SCSM 2016 include significantly faster performance, new date dimensions in data warehouse cubes, integration with Skype for Business in Microsoft Office 2016 to help in contacting a user from an Incident form, and a modernized HTML-based Self Service Portal that makes it easy for users to submit incident reports and access services desk information.
System Center 2016 Endpoint Protection
System Center 2016 Endpoint Protection allows you to use SCCM 2016 to manage antimalware policies and Windows Firewall settings for client computers in a System Center 2016 Configuration Manager hierarchy. Endpoint Protection 2016 centralizes the deployment and configuration of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection clients, allows you to set up standard and custom malware protection policies for groups of computers, enables Configuration Manager to download current malware definition files automatically for distribution to client computers, sends email alerts when malware is detected on clients, and lets you use SCCM in-console monitoring and reporting to track malware incidents. When you join Microsoft's Cloud Protection Service, the latest definitions from Microsoft's Malware Protection Center are automatically downloaded when unidentified malware is detected on a client computer. Endpoint Protection clients for Linux and for Mac computers are available to Microsoft Volume License customers.
How Progent Can Help You with System Center 2016
The tools included in the System Center 2016 stack have evolved to reflect major trends in information technology including hybrid cloud/on-premises network deployment models, BYOD computing, and the almost universal adoption of multi-OS environments. Many of the new and expanded features of System Center components are designed to help centralize IT management in the face of the radical decentralization of network resources brought about by cloud computing and the flood of mobile endpoints. Adding to the complexity of managing modern networks is the ever-increasing sophistication of cyber attacks. Planning and implementing an optimal System Center solution in this landscape is a serious challenge and calls for knowledge and experience in a broad range of disciplines.
Progent offers businesses of any size a one-stop source of online or onsite expertise in Microsoft technologies, hybrid cloud integration, network infrastructure, Hyper-V and VMware virtualization, security and compliance, mobile device integration, SAN storage, and Linux/UNIX operating systems. This breadth of knowledge allows Progent to provide advanced consulting for any aspect of your System Center solution including migration from earlier versions, system design and review, pilot testing, deployment and tuning, troubleshooting, and training. Progent offers as-needed support to help you through occasional technical road blocks or can provide comprehensive project management outsourcing or co-sourcing to ensure your System Center initiative is successfully completed on schedule and within your budget.
Progent's SQL Server 2016 consultants can help you configure SQL Server 2016 to support System Center 2016 databases and can show you how to use SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS) to produce management reports for various System Center components including Operations Manager, Configuration Manager, Virtual Machine Manager and Service Manager. Progent's PowerShell experts can help you to develop, enhance and debug scripts for automating System Center 2016 processes and workflows. Progent's Microsoft Gold-certified Windows Server 2016 consultants can help you utilize System Center 2016 to manage new features of Windows Server 2016 such as Nano Server, Network Controller, Shielded VMs, Storage Spaces Direct, Windows Server Containers, and Virtual TPM. Progent's Windows 10 experts can help you incorporate the latest enhancements of Windows 10 clients into your System Center 2016 solution. Progent's Microsoft Intune consultants can help you integrate Configuration Manager 2016 with Intune to manage both local and cloud-connected mobile computers and smartphones.
Progent offers world-class consulting for enterprise networking infrastructure and can provide online and onsite access to a subject matter expert such as a Cisco CCIE network designer to help you create a robust architecture for your hybrid network. Progent can provide the services of a certified VMware VCDX consultant to help you integrate System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager, Operations Manager, Data Protection Manager and Orchestrator with VMware vCenter for managing virtual machines and other VMware resources. Progent also offers support from a NetApp-certified SAN storage expert to help you use System Center 2016 to manage and protect an enterprise-class storage solution.
Progent's certified network security and compliance consultants can help you plan and validate a security strategy that incorporates the advanced information assurance tools available in System Center 2016 and complies with industry and regulatory requirements. Progent's Microsoft Azure integration consultants and Amazon AWS consultants can help you use System Center 2016 to manage hybrid networks that combine cloud based services with on-premises resources. In addition, Progent's disaster recovery specialists can help you design a System Center 2016 ecosystem that features high availability and rapid recoverability.
For more information about Progent's consulting and troubleshooting services for System Center 2016, call 1-800-993-9400 or go to Contact Progent.
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