Managing a large Office 365 deployment just potentially became a little easier: Microsoft has released a management pack for System Center 2012 R2 so you can track Office 365 users and issues, and opened up an API that allows other management tools to track activities using Office 365.
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Last week's big Microsoft news was the release of Windows 8.1, but it wasn't just the desktop that saw a refresh. Windows Server 2012 R2 and System Center 2012 R2 also saw official release.
The news from Microsoft's annual results that is initially attracting attention is that the company is writing off close to $1 billion in expenses relating to the Surface RT. Ouch. However, for server admins there's a more interesting stat buried in the numbers: System Center appears to be the fastest-growing product within the company.
Want to avoid potential performance issues due to bad server configuration on a Windows system? System Center Advisor is a cloud-based service which provides proactive alerts for potentially messy configurations. Advisor was previously only available to customers with a Software Assurance contract, but is now free to any user.
A newly-released management pack for Hyper-V makes it easier to monitor performance of virtual instances of Windows Server 2012 running through Microsoft's hypervisor. The free update incorporates support for new features added in the recent System Center 2012 SP1 release.
Windows Server 2012 dropped last week, and now System Center has a new service pack that enables it to work with Windows Server 2012. The beta of the management software is available for free download at the link below.