Ops Manager R2 not SP2
The announcements are coming out of the Teched at Barcelona and the word is that the next version of Ops Manager will be R2 and released about Q2 of 2009. Initially there was a lack of detail about whether this would be an SP2 release or R2 release. I had seen both mentioned. So what is the difference? An SP is supposed to be just that. A service pack that rolls up fixes to a known state and is free. And at one stage Microsoft were adamant that SPs would only be fixes but they have blew that several times since that announcement and many service packs contain updates and new functionality as well as fixes.
An R2 release is known as a minor release. The Windows server team would show slides of major releases of the OS every 4 years with minor releases in between at 2 years. The big difference is that SPs are free but R2 is for Software Assurance (SA) customers only. So if you already have Ops Manager but did not buy it with SA you can not upgrade to R2 for free. You have to pay for the product again. If you are buying new you would obviously buy it at R2 when it is released.
The beta should be available at the end of this month.
http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenter/archive/2008/11/03/operations-manager-2007-r2-beta-announced.aspx (includes link to video with Barry Shilmover talking about Xplat)
One of the big things that will come in this release is the Unix and Linux monitoring that is in beta at the moment. I have written about this before and I have been impressed by this but it looks like you will not be able to use it without having SA. They say there are improvements to the SLA Reporting and the Authoring Console. As those 2 are available already as free downloads I am not sure how they will fit into an R2 release as I would definitely expect the Author Console to be freely available to everyone. It certainly needs an upgrade as the current v1 product is very basic.
And I like the comment
enhanced system and web monitoring capabilities, and more
Well I would expect enhancements for a new release but “more” is wonderfully vaugue. I guess we will just have to wait and see.