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What's New in System Center Advisor?

One of the advantages of System Center Advisor is that we are constantly improving our features to address customer needs. The following new features have been added.

What’s new in October 2013

Lync Server 2013! In October we add support for analyzing Lync Server 2013 installations.

ImportantImportant
Just as with Lync Server 2010, you’ll need to create a Run As account before you can use Advisor. See Set the Run As Account for Lync Server for information.

We also added new rules for other workloads, so look for new information about your existing deployments.

What’s new in September 2013

This month we added support for Windows Azure Active Directory, both users and groups. You can now create an Advisor account by using the administrator account for your Windows Azure Active Directory domain. You can also add an organizational account to an existing Advisor account.

After you add an organizational account to Advisor, you can add users or groups from Active Directory.

noteNote
For the best performance results, limit the number of Active Directory groups associated with a single Advisor account to two – one for administrators and one for users. Using more groups might impact Advisor’s performance when you log into the Advisor portal.

You will see changes throughout the Advisor portal to reflect this new support – in the sign in pages, in the Account information pages, and in user information. For example, you can now see the type of account (Microsoft account or Organizational user or group) in the Manage Users window.

For more information about Windows Azure Active Directory, see What is Windows Azure Active Directory?

For information about adding an organizational account to your Advisor account, see Add a Windows Azure Active Directory Organization to an Existing Advisor Account.

What’s new in August 2013

August is a big month for Advisor. We’re pleased to announce the following improvements and additions.

In August we welcome System Center 2012 SP1 – Virtual Machine Manager as a monitored workload in Advisor. If you have VMM installed in your environment, look for new alerts about configuration and configuration of your agents and servers.

We also recently released Update Rollup 4 for Advisor. This rollup provides the following:

  • More robust Run As account settings

  • Advisor agent display fixes

  • Stabilization for the Advisor agents and gateways

On the Operations Manager side, we released two fixes for the Advisor Connector:

What’s new in April 2013?

We are pleased to announce that you can now use Advisor as an attached service in System Center 2012 SP1: Operations Manager. What does this mean? Customers that currently have Operations Manager can use Advisor through the Operations console to view Advisor alerts and configuration information. To learn more about using Advisor as an attached service, see Viewing System Center Advisor Alerts in the Operations Manager TechNet library.

Don’t have Operations Manager? Don’t worry – we didn’t change a thing about Advisor itself. You can still use Advisor to view your alerts and configuration information and changes, just like you did last month. And, while you’re at it – check out System Center 2012 SP1, to see all the management and monitoring capabilities available.

What’s new in March 2013?

This month we added support for Windows Server 2012 and Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012. You can install agents and gateways on these servers, as well as view analytics data for these servers.

Later in March, we will also be releasing an update through Microsoft Update to update your installed Advisor agents.

What’s new in January 2013?

As of January 2013, Advisor is a free service. You no longer need to have a Software Assurance account to continue to use Advisor beyond the free trial period. In fact, there is no more free trial period!

We also added new rules this month for several of the workloads.

What’s new in November 2012?

In November, Advisor welcomes Microsoft Lync Server 2010 as a monitored workload. If you have Lync Server in your environment, look for new alerts about its performance and availability.

You might notice that when you log into Advisor, you’re now asked for a “Microsoft account.” Windows Live ID has been renamed “Microsoft account,” so while this may seem like a change, it’s not – just use your existing credentials to sign in.

What’s new in V1.1

April 2012 introduces the following new features as part of the V1.1 release of Advisor.

  • Support for System Center 2012 – Operations Manager. You can use Advisor on the same computer as the System Center 2012 version of the Operations Manager agent. See Planning Considerations for System Center Advisor for more information.

  • Microsoft SQL Server 2012 analysis.

  • Microsoft SharePoint 2010 analysis.

  • Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 analysis.

  • Additional PowerShell cmdlets to support running Advisor in environments that require action accounts (or Run As accounts). For information, see Set the Run As Account For SharePoint

What’s new in V1?

As of this release, Advisor is a benefit of Microsoft’s Software Assurance program.

If you are new to Advisor, welcome! We’ve been hard at work the past year making this service everything you see today. Part of our success relies on feedback from you, our users and partners. If you think of something that would improve this service, please do not hesitate to tell us. You can click Feedback on any page to send us your thoughts. Make sure to visit this page regularly for information about our latest improvements.

If you are an existing Advisor user, check out FAQ: System Center Advisor and Software Assurance for details about how this change affects you.

In addition to the V1 excitement, we’ve also added the following:

  • Server health view. You can now view more detailed information about the status of your agents and gateways.

  • Remember those PowerShell cmdlets we added? Well, now you can view the help for those cmdlets online.

  • Speaking of cmdlets, we improved the agent and gateway troubleshooting documentation to use some of those cmdlets to perform diagnostics. You can check it out at System Center Advisor Troubleshooting.

What’s new in November 2011?

  • We beefed up our troubleshooting documentation for the agent and gateway, including some information about those connection issues you’ve been seeing. You can check out the updated information in System Center Advisor Troubleshooting.

As always, watch this space – more exciting features coming soon.

What’s new in October 2011?

Stay tuned to this space – we have more updates coming soon!

What’s new in September 2011?

More new alerts! We added the following alerts this month:

For SQL Server:

For Windows Server:

What’s new in August 2011?

What’s new in July 2011?

We added two new rules for SQL Server:

  • SQL Server missing update KB2491214 to prevent SQL Server hang

  • SQL Server linked servers exist without the required providers installed

We have also documented how to include Advisor in a Sysprep image, which means you can deploy Advisor with new operating system images. For information, see Include System Center Advisor in a Custom Install Image.

What’s new in previous updates?

We added a new rule to detect whether the KB982293 fix is installed on a computer running Windows Server 2008 R2. This fix prevents a crash in the Svchost.exe process, which hosts Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). For more information about this fix, check out the KB article (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=215403).

We also added new configuration data points to help run the service. You can download a spreadsheet that lists all available configuration data points here.

The best news about these updates is that you don’t need to install a patch or fix – as long as you are running the RC version of the agent and gateway, we will deliver the updates to you automatically.

Finally, we collected customer feedback regarding agent and gateway deployment and created a troubleshooting topic to address the most common issues. See Advisor Deployment Troubleshooting for more information.

What’s new in the RC release of Advisor?

The following features were added to the RC release of Advisor

Windows Server 2008 analysis

New rules have been added to Advisor to provide analysis of Windows Server 2008 installations. You can view alerts related to best practices and known issues identified by the Windows Server 2008 customer support engineers.

Multi-user support

In previous releases of Advisor, you could have only one user per company account. Because of this, if you wanted to enable multiple people to access your Advisor account, you either had to share your Microsoft account information or create a separate Microsoft account just for Advisor. In the Release Candidate version of Advisor, you can now have multiple Microsoft accounts associated with a single Advisor account. For information about configuring and using multiple users, see System Center Advisor Account Management.

Improved alert management

During previous releases of Advisor, users had to manually close all alerts. In this release, Advisor now detects when you have addressed the issue that generated an alert and automatically resolves the associated alert. For more information about alerts, see System Center Advisor Alerts.

You can now also choose to ignore an alert. This enables you to ensure that only the alerts you care about are displayed in Advisor. For information about ignoring an alert, see Ignore an Alert.

Email notification

You can now receive a weekly email that shows all alerts that have occurred in the past seven days. This email contains a summary of alerts since the last email, a summary of configuration analysis information, and a summary of the servers that have communicated with Advisor in the last 24 hours. See Change Notification Settings for more information.

Communication between the agent and the gateway

In previous releases, Advisor used file shares with SMB-based communication; in this release, Advisor now uses Windows Communication Foundation (WCF). As part of this change, you can limit access to the gateway to only authorized agents. See Authorize Agents to Access the Gateway for more information.

See Also