Microsoft Prepares a More Intuitive MOM

Microsoft Operations Manager 2004 emphasizes simpler deployment of the tool, streamlined use of it and specific management packs for Microsoft applications.

Las Vegas—Microsoft Corp. Tuesday at its Microsoft Management Summit here will introduce the next version of its Microsoft Operations Manager.

MOM 2004, not due until next year, emphasizes simpler deployment of the tool, streamlined use of it and specific management packs for Microsoft applications.

"Its never been as intuitive as it should be," said David Hamilton, director of the Enterprise Management Division at Microsoft in Redmond, Wash. "We want customers to be able to deploy it in hours, not weeks."

The user interface in the next major release of the Windows server monitoring and management tool will be more task-based. The enhanced console will also provide topology maps that show both the physical and logical layout of servers. In addition, the console will provide alert views and context-sensitive diagnostics.

The new release will also include a behind-the-scenes data warehouse and a new reporting engine that will allow administrators to identify patterns, analyze trends and track performance. The engine will also provide a publication and subscribe feature that will allow specific reports to be sent to key applications constituents.

Management of specific Microsoft applications, such as Exchange 2003, has been pushed out into the application groups within Microsoft.

Using its new System Definition Model, a schema for simplifying instrumentation of infrastructure components, the Microsoft product groups will create MOM Management Packs for Active Directory, SQL Server, BizTalk Server and the .Net Framework.

Microsoft will also outline its data center automation road map, based on its Dynamic Systems Initiative. Its end goal in the initiative is to create a suite of tools that provide full lifecycle management of data center infrastructure, including change and configuration management, asset management, applications management, performance trending, reporting, capacity planning and a workflow engine. The suite, dubbed Microsoft Systems Center, builds on a unified management infrastructure being developed for Windows environments. The infrastructure, based on the System Definition Model, will encompass desktops, laptops, personal digital assistants, applications and servers.

The suite, not due until next year, will include Systems Management Server 2003 and MOM 2004. But it will evolve into a broader set of functions.

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