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To Be UNLEASHED: System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, Service Manager 2012

Technical Deep Dives of two System Center Components

If you've wondered why this column has been fairly quiet, it's because I've been working hard to get two more books in the System Center Unleashed series out the door. And now that work is complete.

This week, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Unleashed: Supplement to System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM) Unleashed will be available through the InformIT website, with availability on Amazon shortly thereafter. Yes, the title is a mouthful. Its predecessor, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager (SCCM) Unleashed, was published in 2012, shortly after the release of System Center 2012. With Configuration Manager being one of the System Center components to undergo significant changes in both the Service Pack 1 and R2 releases of System Center 2012, it made sense to come out with a new reference focusing specifically on those enhancements. The R2 book supplements the original 2012 Configuration Manager book, adding over 300 pages of detailed information on what's happened to Configuration Manager in the past two years. This includes integration with Windows Intune and other enhancements to deliver people-centric management to mobile devices in the BYOD era; on-premise management and cross-platform support to manage OS X, UNIX, Windows Phone 8, WinRT, iOS, and Android devices; enhancements to OSD and application deployment; and more.

If that's not enough, last week System Center 2012 Service Manager Unleashed was completed and sent to the printer, with availability in October (see here and here - availability dates on these sites will probably be adjusted). Service Manager is unique among the System Center components in its extensibility and focus on process-based management, including its level of integration with ITIL and MOF. Unlike the other components, it is a task management tool. Understanding Service Manager requires understanding the work it is intended to manage: the work associated with managing IT services. Service Manager is also unique in how it touches many different types of individuals in a business - not just IT - and its high level of other System Center components through connectors and its centralized data warehouse. At 960 pages, this book covers a lot of territory.

Am I relieved to have both these books out the door? You bet. Its actually the first time since late 2011 that I haven't been working on one or more books at the same time. What's next? Well, my editor asked me that on Friday. I'd like to take a little time to recover :), and then ... who knows? Stay tuned, as they say. I'll certainly have more time to write on Network World.

One other note: those who know me personally know that all the System Center 2012 books I've published over the past four years were written during my father's decline in health and eventual demise earlier this year, and the Service Manager 2012 book is dedicated to him. Dad didn't understand the technology, but he helped "photoshop" some of the graphics, and was one of my biggest supporters and cheerleaders since I began working on what became Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 Unleashed. Dad, I'll always miss you, but as time goes on it will be easier to deal with your passing.

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