News: Microsoft System Center Advisor now a FREE service

Microsoft has announced that it will offer System Center Advisor for free to its customers in supporting countries. System Center Advisor is a cloud service that enables IT Professionals to proactively avoid problems resulting from server configuration issues. It can help you resolve issues faster by providing access  to current and historical configuration data for a deployment.  System Center Advisor can also assist in reducing downtime by providing suggestions for improvement and notifying users of key updates specific to their configuration

How Does Advisor Work?

The Advisor service is made up of a number of components. The Advisor web service, hosted in the cloud, and the on-premise software: which consists of a gateway and at least one agent. The agent collects data from its host server and analyzes it using a set of rules known collectively as Advisor knowledge. The analyzed data is regularly sent from the agent to the gateway for upload to the Advisor web service. If the data indicates an issue or a deviation from best practices, an alert is generated. By connecting a web browser to the Advisor portal, you can view the alerts and the associated remediation guidance.


System Center Advisor


What workloads does Advisor support?

Its likely you have a number of Microsoft services – not all are going to be in scope for this free software service. At the time of writing, Advisor supports the following workloads:

  • Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2:
    • Operating System, Active Directory  and Hyper-V Host
  • SQL Server 2008 (SQL engine) and later
  • Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and later
  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 and later
  • Microsoft Lync Server 2010

While not comprehensive, it does cover key services.

For more information on System Center – see

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Andrew Wood
Andrew is a Director of Gilwood CS Ltd, based in the North East of England, which specialises in delivering and optimising server and application virtualisation solutions. With 12 years of experience in developing architectures that deliver server based computing implementations from small-medium size business to global enterprise solutions, his role involves examining emerging technology trends, vendor strategies, development and integration issues, and management best practices.

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