Dell, Microsoft Integrate Infrastructure Management Products

Dell and Microsoft are integrating their infrastructure management suites as a way of giving Dell customers easier management and deployments capabilities for both physical and virtualized environments. In addition, the integrations of Dell's OpenManage offerings and Microsoft's System Center suite will help enterprises and SMBs control power consumption and cooling costs in their data centers, according to Dell officials.

Dell is integrating its OpenManage systems management offerings with Microsoft's System Center suite in a move designed to help enterprises and SMBs more easily handle their infrastructures.

The integrated offerings, announced May 27, touch on everything from client systems to servers to virtualization capabilities, and give users-particularly small and midsize businesses-management capabilities they have been pushing for, according to Dell officials.

Enrico Bracalente, senior strategist for product marketing at Dell, said the company's SMB customers-those with up to 500 client systems and 20 servers-are looking for simplicity.

"They want something that's easy to use, they want something that's easy to install, and they want something that's easy to manage," Bracalente said in an interview. "They want to get up and running easily and without any complications."

They also want a single console through which they can monitor, deploy and update their infrastructure resources, he said.

To that end, Dell is offering midsized enterprises Microsoft's System Center Essentials management suite-which includes Microsoft System Center Essentials 2007 and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008-as a packaged solution with Dell's PRO-Pack (Performance and Resource Optimization Pack) and its own Management Packs that will make it easier for businesses to centrally manage both physical and virtualized environments.

Dell also is offering consulting services around Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization technology. The company's Hyper-V Technology Introduction and FastTrack Design services with Advanced Management options are aimed at helping businesses more quickly deploy and configure Hyper-V infrastructures. In addition, Dell and Microsoft offer reference configurations to help businesses speed up the implementation of Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V and System Center offerings.

Dell's Infrastructure Consulting members help in the design and implementation of all Microsoft infrastructure.

In addition, the integration of Dell Management Packs with Microsoft's System Center Operations Manager 2007 and System Center Essentials 2007 enables users to monitor and manage Dell products-from servers and client systems to storage and printers-in multivendor hardware and software environments.

Dell's Server and Business Client Hardware Update Catalog tools also integrate with Microsoft's management software-including System Center Configuration Manager 2007, Essentials 2007 and Windows Server Update Service-to make sure that drivers, BIOS and firmware are automatically updated.

The two vendors also are addressing power and cooling costs by giving users the ability to monitor and control the energy efficiency of hardware and software, and Dell's Server Deployment Pack is integrated with Microsoft's System Center Configuration Manager to automate the configuration and deployment of Dell's PowerEdge servers and blade systems.

"We wanted to make this a one-stop shop" for customers, Bracalente said.