Uniting Functions

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2004-01-19 Print this article Print

Uniting Functions

Between the DSI Web site and Microsofts upcoming Management Summit, to be held in Las Vegas in March, IT managers should now spend a significant amount of time evaluating Microsofts road map.

Utility computing competitors, which often have to work closely together, include Hewlett-Packard Co., IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc. Although HPs Utility Data Center, IBMs Autonomic Computing initiative and Suns N1 initiative are still mostly in the planning stages, its clear that products and services are coalescing.

Of course, it helps to remember that all the vendors couch their offerings in altruistic terms, but not very many will stray far from their roots. Therefore, it is not surprising that Microsofts DSI is focused on wringing maximum productivity out of the companys strong suits—application development processes and operations procedures.

Sizing up DSI
  • Microsofts Dynamic Systems Initiative aims to combine application development and operational processes to lower costs in heterogeneous data center environments.

  • Check out www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem /dsi/ default.mspx for the latest DSI information

  • Track DSI announcements coming out of the Microsoft Management Summit in March

  • Keep an eye on competing utility computing initiatives; HP, IBM and Sun are naturally oriented toward their own hardware and software that will eventually integrate with one anothers initiatives

  • Microsoft is relying on third parties to provide nearly all heterogeneous support for DSI; early eWEEK Labs tests show thats a smart move for Microsoft
  • During a recent telephone interview with David Hamilton, director of Microsofts Enterprise Management Division, it became clear that the next version of Visual Studio .Net, code-named Whidbey, will significantly fill out the DSI technology base.

    IT managers should also start investigating the work of the ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library), Microsofts favored body for IT best practices.

    In fact, delving into ITILs documentation will shed light on what Microsoft thinks is one of the biggest problems in IT management today—the lack of clear processes. The company is betting that bringing application developers and operators together will pay off by lowering the ongoing maintenance costs of using Microsoft products in a heterogeneous data center environment.

    After the announcements about DSI that are expected at the Management Summit, IT managers will likely get a hands-on feel for the future when MOM 2004 is released. MOM 2004 is now expected in late June, according to Hamilton.

    Guided by a project Microsoft is calling "Whitehorse" and announced early last year, MOM 2004 and other Microsoft products will start to gain an understanding of information developed under the SDM (Systems Definition Model—the acronyms will start to fly as Microsoft drills deeper into DSI).

    SDM is Microsofts guide for developing manageable distributed systems. According to Hamilton, IT administrators will get a further glimpse of the earliest stages of SDM when Visual Studio .Net 2004 is shipped later this year. At its basic level, SDM dictates how software and hardware resources are described and viewed from a management point of view.

    IT equipment and software companies are feeling the pressure to decrease operational costs; DSI is Microsofts response. As DSI and the numerous related components come together during the next several years, IT administrators who get ready now will be prepared to take advantage of the streamlined, more manageable systems that result.

    Senior Analyst Cameron Sturdevant can be reached at cameron_sturdevant@ziffdavis.com.

    Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant has been with the Labs since 1997, and before that paid his IT management dues at a software publishing firm working with several Fortune 100 companies. Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility, with a focus on Android in the enterprise. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his reviews and analysis are grounded in real-world concern. Cameron is a regular speaker at Ziff-Davis Enterprise online and face-to-face events. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at csturdevant@eweek.com.

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