Feb 28

Microsoft releases System Center Management Pack for Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2017

Microsoft has announced the availability of the System Center Management Pack for Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2017 (TFS). The pack provides TFS monitoring, which includes components such as application tier servers, data tier servers and team project collections.

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Oct 13

Microsoft releases System Center 2016

Microsoft has announced the general availability of System Center 2016, which is designed to deploy, configure and manage your virtualised, software-defined datacentre and hybrid cloud infrastructure. The new release features upgraded installation, in-place upgrades and automated workflows; performance and usability improvements of all System Center components; as well as broader support for LAMP stack and VMware, including monitoring resources and services in Azure and Amazon Web Services.

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Jul 25

Microsoft releases a new version of System Center Configuration Manager

Microsoft has announced the release of a new version of System Center Configuration Manager (1606). The update includes new features and enhancements in security and data protection, application management, content distribution, deployment and provisioning, end user experience as well as new functionality for customers using Configuration Manager in hybrid mode with Microsoft Intune. This version also provides support for the Windows 10 Anniversary update.

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Nov 09

Microsoft releases Operations Management Suite (OMS) agent for Linux

Microsoft has released the Operations Management Suite (OMS) agent for Linux. OMS is Microsoft’s simplified IT management solution that combines log analytics, automation, backup, and site recovery solutions across heterogeneous datacentres and public cloud environments.

The OMS agent for Linux enables real-time analytics for operational data (such as syslog, performance, alerts and inventory) from Linux servers, Docker containers, and monitoring tools like Nagios, Zabbix, and System Center Operations Manager.

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Nov 05

Microsoft and Red Hat announce partnership

Microsoft and Red Hat have announced a partnership to provide unified support for customers running Red Hat solutions on Microsoft Azure. The partnership includes the availability of Red Hat solutions natively to Microsoft Azure customers; the co-location of support personnel for Red Hat offerings on Microsoft Azure; access to .NET technologies across Red Hat offerings; as well as integration between Red Hat CloudForms, Microsoft Azure and System Center Virtual Machine Manager to manage Red Hat Enterprise Linux on both Hyper-V and Microsoft Azure.

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Sep 14

Microsoft releases previews of Office Online Server and SCOM Management Pack for SharePoint Server 2016

Microsoft has announced the availability of Office Online Server Preview (OOS), which includes enhanced co-authoring support, additions to authoring features and improvements in performance and stability.

Microsoft has also released a new System Center Management Pack for SharePoint Server 2016 IT Preview that supports SharePoint 2016 services, events and performance.

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Sep 01

View on Microsoft’s August activities

Microsoft has fully embraced delivering its products on non-Microsoft platforms as is seen by the continual development and releases of its flagship products on iPhone, Android, iPad and Mac. This month saw the delivery of preview versions of Skype for Business apps on iOS and Android, the release of Skype 7.11 for Mac as well as a public beta of Cortana on Android.

In addition, Microsoft announced the public release of Windows 10 IoT Core for the Raspberry Pi 2 and the MinnowBoard Max.

System Center Operations Manager management packs have been released for MySQL Server and Apache HTTP Server, which along with the Linux management packs improves Microsoft ability to provide LAMP stack monitoring. The two new management packs are open source and have been published on GitHub.

The company has also being very active in developing and evolving its cloud platform, which included another preview of Windows Server 2016 that supports containers and software-defined datacentres, the third technical preview of System Center Configuration Manager, an update to Microsoft Intune service, the release of row-Level Security for Azure SQL Database as well as the release of the fourth update to the Analytics Platform System (APS) Appliance.

Many of the articles published on Microsoft News have focused on Windows 10 apps and technical articles to encourage developers to build universal Windows apps. Microsoft claims that Windows 10 is now on 75 million devices and, as you might expect from a free upgrade, has exceeded comparable figures for Windows 7.

Microsoft has released another Windows 10 test build (10532) to insiders that includes changes to context menus, another version of its Edge browser, which has a range of enhancements, as well as a number of bug fixes.

After running Windows 10 since its release, here are my ”recommended” changes…

Unsolicited machine starts and battery longevity:

  • After upgrading to Windows 10, keep your machine powered on and running for some time (overnight or, depending on what’s on your machine, even longer) – this allows a number of post update background tasks to complete and, once done, CPU and disk usage will drop to normal levels
  • Disable “Allow wake timers” under the Sleep section of Advanced Power settings
  • Set “Run maintenance tasks at” to a time that your device is normally switched on and disable “Allow scheduled maintenance to wake up my computer at the scheduled time” – both these settings can be found under Automatic Maintenance
  • For Surface Pro, disable “Sdo Sensor V2” in the Device Manager
  • Disable “Hey Cortana” voice activation on mobile devices


  • Select “PCs on my local network” on the Choose how updates are delivered page (Settings, Windows Update, Advanced Options, Choose how updates are delivered) – prevents your machine serving updates to other users via the Internet
  • Disable any items under “For networks I select, share them with my” on the Manage WiFi Settings page (Settings, Network & Internet, WiFi, Manage WiFi Settings) – prevents automatically allowing your Outlook, Skype and Facebook contacts connecting to networks on which you have been connected

User Interface:

  • Enable Bold for Title bars (Settings, System, Display, Advanced display settings, Advanced sizing of text and other items) – my personal preference to improve the aesthetics of the white Windows Title Bars.

Do let me know if have any tips you think are worth sharing and whether you found the above of interest.

Aug 20

Microsoft releases third Technical Preview of Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016

Microsoft has released Technical Preview updates for Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016. The updates include the first public preview of Windows Server Containers as well as the introduction of new Nano Server functionality and software-defined datacentre enhancements.

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Jul 02

Microsoft releases Operations Management Suite add-on for System Center

Microsoft has enhanced its hybrid management portfolio with a new Operations Management Suite add-on for System Center. The add-on provides support for physical and VMware virtual machines in Azure Site Recovery, new capabilities in Azure Backup and enhanced support for System Center 2012 R2 Data Protection Manager.

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