Microsoft Redraws IT Software Management Roadmap

Microsoft on Tuesday refined its Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), the company's vision and technology roadmap for reducing the cost of managing and securing enterprise systems.

LAS VEGAS—Microsoft Corp. executives on Tuesday spent a lot of time talking up the Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI), which is the companys vision and technology roadmap for reducing the cost of managing and securing enterprise systems.

Bob Muglia, the senior vice president of Microsofts Windows Server Division, told the hundreds of delegates at its annual Microsoft Management Summit here on Tuesday that management was at the center of everything it did, and that the Redmond, Wash. software firm was committed to making management an intrinsic capability built in across its platform and solutions.

Microsofts goal was to make applications that were designed for operations, to provide an operationally aware platform, and deliver a set of tools built on top of that, which would help customers manage their business more effectively, Muglia said in his keynote address.

While the software industry was still growing, it had a lot to learn from more mature industries like manufacturing. "Take the automotive industry, which spent a lot of money on automating its back-end systems, but that did not work out quite the way they wanted as costs were not reduced that much and quality was not improved. The lesson learned was that they had to focus on the entire process," he said.

"Microsoft can now bring automated tools to our customers. DSI is about how we can create a set of tools that allow you to create applications quickly and operate your systems at scale," he said.

The complexity of the IT environment today was greater than ever before because solutions were distributed across multiple machines in multiple environments and locations. So Microsofts goal was to make the management of these more simple, Muglia said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifeWEEK Labs recently took a look at the current state of Microsofts Dynamic Systems Initiative. Click here to read the analysis.

"It is important to know that these challenges span the entire IT lifecycle. DSI is all about providing a programmed systematic environment and how knowledge and information is passed between systems," Muglia said, adding that the last year had been a "super year" for Microsoft in the management space.

"IT is now more important than it has ever been in the enterprise and we are committed to helping you do more with less," he said.

Core to DSI was the System Definition Model, an XML document that describes the components and application relationships that exist between them. "This is now created and captured as a natural part of the development process and then sent on to the operational level," Muglia said.

"The other component for us is looking at what end-users are experiencing with their applications every day and then getting this feedback to the development and operational teams. Microsoft created tools around this that it shipped with products, tools like Watson, which sits in the system and notices when an application fails. It then takes a snapshot that sends data back to Microsoft about this failure," he said.

Microsoft had found that a small percentage of bugs accounted for the majority of problems its customers had. "This means that we can focus on solving those problems that impact our customers the most. We can build more quality software earlier because of this," he said.

Microsoft last week held a DSI design preview in Mountain View, Calif., where it distributed the SDM preview specifications and software, Muglia added that this initiative was about more than Microsoft, which would thus be working with its industry partners in this regard and to make the delivery and vision of DSI successful.

Turning to Windows Server System, a core component of DSI, Muglia said this system had three initiatives or components: DSI, security and the .Net platform, which played a pivotal role between DSI and security.

Critical to the DSI was Windows Server 2003, which had already seen sales double that of Windows Server 2000 over the first nine months since shipping. Microsoft had also received more requests for evaluation units than for any other Windows release, he said.

Virtual Server 2005, currently in beta, was also an important component of the DSI scenario. Virtual Server was the most cost effective virtual machine solution for Windows Server 2003 and would deliver increased operational efficiency for software testing and development as well as migration and consolidation.

Next Page: DSI Takes On Security and Updates