The Virtual Machine Manager, Orchestration Manager and Operations Manager can combine to make management of virtual environments simpler. For instance, the management suite streamlines configuring virtual machines to pick up the function of others when they go down so help desk workers can perform the task without escalating.
In a practical sense, System Center can give developers the capability to create and tear down virtual machines for their test environments within parameters set by network executives.
One downside is that upgrading to System Center 2012 requires a lot of network prep as well as education to learn what other Microsoft products are required in order for the various modules to work.
When its integration is completed over the next few years Yammer will add tracking of conversation threads and enterprise search to these applications, aggregate news feeds, manage documents and unify user identities.
Yammer is already available with Microsoft's Office 365 cloud offering and will gradually permeate the company's other collaboration and productivity platforms, the company says.
With the purchase Microsoft has bought the tools it needs to set itself up well in support of new ways corporations do business using tools that end users have become familiar with via their use of consumer social networks.
Microsoft did itself proud this year disrupting the Nitol botnet with a combination of technical and legal innovation, as well as seizing servers belonging to the worst instances of the Zeus botnet.
These efforts represent the fourth and fifth times Microsoft has intervened to shut down or a least temporarily cripple criminal malware enterprises.
The company's Digital Crimes Unit started its aggressive action in 2010 and continued steadily since then. While its work won't halt online abuses, its proven commitment to causing periodic significant damage to them does make criminal activity more difficult, and that steady opposition helps raise the bar for criminals hoping to enter the game.
The effort sends a message to other criminals that Microsoft might strike them at any time, says Richard Boscovich, assistant general counsel for the DCU.
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