Microsoft Spells Out DSI

By Paula Musich  |  Posted 2004-11-22

Microsoft Corp. last week revealed further details of its evolving Dynamic Systems Initiative and released additional products that provide its underpinnings.

Company Chairman Bill Gates, at the European Microsoft IT Forum, in Copenhagen, Denmark, laid out the three core technical principles of DSI, which is intended to reduce the complexity and cost of managing Microsoft environments by building manageability into the products.

The principles—models, knowledge and life cycle—focus on gathering operational knowledge about how unique IT systems work and then building the knowledge into machine-readable models to make the systems self-aware. Life cycle is "the technical handoff between components in a system," said David Hamilton, director of Microsofts Windows and Management Division, in Redmond, Wash.

Models initially are being implemented in management packs, such as the Systems Management Server 2003 Operating System Deployment Feature Pack and Device Management Feature Pack, released to manufacturing last week. Although the management packs are built with Microsoft Operations Manager, or MOM, 2005, Microsofts longer-term strategy is to advance the use of System Definition Model within Visual Studio 2005 to create models at design time.

Click here to read an eWEEK Labs review of Microsoft Operations Manager 2005.

"I think it makes a lot more sense to build managed products, not just products," said MOM 2005 user Shai Ofek, distributed systems group manager for The Japan Research Institute Ltd., the IT arm of Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., in New York.

This latest push into the management space is the biggest threat yet to incumbents, said Rich Ptak, an analyst at Ptak, Noel & Associates, in Amherst, N.H. "I think it will send a cold wind through some of the folks who have been banking on Microsoft staying out of the management field," Ptak said.

The SMS 2003 OS Deployment Feature Pack delivers the ability to remotely install a new operating system image in SMS, said Hamilton.

Microsoft last week also announced a strategic development alliance with Dell Inc. to integrate Dell OpenManage 4 systems management software with SMS 2003. The new SMS 2003 Inventory Tool for Dell Updates (Release Candidate 1) streamlines patch management for Dell server customers using SMS 2003.

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