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Do you think there is a minimum critical threshold that justifies the deployment of the System Center suite?


Recently I have seen small / medium companies deploying System Center 2012 R2 in their datacenter (sometimes as a part of projects and proofs of concept to replace existing VMware solutions).

While the administrative and economic costs of the suite make sense with a large private cloud, I have the impression that products like Operations Manager and Orchestrator are an overkill for smaller networks. Also Virtual Machine Manager and Data Protection Manager, for companies using one or two clusters with few hosts, do not look like something you cannot live without (considering that Windows 2012 R2 has a really good cluster management and features like Hyper-V replicas). So, what is your perception? Is there a minimal threshold to justify a System Center deployment?

ITCS user
44 Answers

author avatar

I believe the answer is "it depends". How much visibility do you need into your servers, network, applications? All of these questions need to be answered before you can justify the System Center Suite of products. A typical small business could live with a server going down or a misconfigured DNS server but if you need to put a magnifying glass up to any Microsoft product then the suite is for you, especially SCOM.

author avatar

It depends a lot on the profile of your environment and less on the size of your company. For example I you have an established web offering (Linux or Windows) running in your DC but you expect dynamic spikes that you ideally would "cloud burst" but you have to amortize out your current DC infrastructure investment - SC Suite is needed to get the Orchestrator plugins to do the automated cloud bursting into Azure while still running in your DC as well.

If you are building from the ground up and can go to Azure or Elastic Beanstalk (Amazon) directly - then its not nearly as good a deal

So its more of a usage and configuration profile issue than a size of company or IT budget issue (though the latter of course is involved)

author avatar

The primary benefit for SMB is the knowledge. Once you get the management packs installed, you get a much deeper look at your infrastructure, and answers based on your use. You don't have to be expert in everything.
I agree with Ken, the benefits go up when your virtualization environment is based on Hyper-V.
Orchestrator is all about accessibility. It lets you build remediation logic graphically.

author avatar

1. What kinds of VM you are running? if they are Hyper-V, good match. If they are any others, I guess there are better tools in the market.
2. Yes some products included in the suite is not applicable, but they are included and you have it no matter what... like DPM, even you have the licenses, you might still go for other tools like backup exec or so....
3. For ROI... it is the same for all management software I believe, how critical is your application? How much downtime you can afford?

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