DSI Push Taps Third Parties

Microsoft Corp. is slowly advancing its sweeping Dynamic Systems Initiative with a handful of new milestones.

Microsoft Corp. is slowly advancing its sweeping Dynamic Systems Initiative with a handful of new milestones. But so far, its goal of reducing operational costs in heterogeneous data centers relies on third parties—and mostly startups.

Microsoft officials at a meeting here last week said that as part of its DSI road map, the companys long-awaited Systems Management Server 2003—formerly called Topaz—will be released to manufacturing Oct. 22. They also announced that its MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) 2004 product will go into public beta by years end.

The Redmond, Wash., company has also created three Web-services-based MOM connectors that link the tool to network and enterprise management software from IBMs Tivoli unit, Computer Associates International Inc.s Unicenter and Systems Management Arts Inc.s InCharge root-cause-analysis tool.

When MOM 2004 ships by mid-2004, it will include Management Packs for Web services components such as Universal Description, Discovery and Integration; .Net; and Microsofts Internet Information Services. But Microsoft will rely on two startups—AmberPoint Inc. and Actional Corp.—as well as CAs Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management tool, to manage Web services in a heterogeneous environment that encompasses both .Net and Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition.

"Microsoft has to make some stab at support for heterogeneous management, but expecting more than a few token gestures from them is asking too much," said Laura Koetzle, an analyst for Forrester Research Inc., in Cambridge, Mass.

Still, Koetzle lauded the goals of the Microsoft initiative, which emphasize building more operational intelligence into the applications in the development process. "That way, its not a painful process to take the code and deploy it effectively in a [production] environment," Koetzle said.

Along with the third-party support, Microsoft acknowledged a need for Web services management standards. "The first step is to create the Web services equivalent of SNMP," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of enterprise management and storage at Microsoft. "IBM and HP made proposals [for that]."