Microsoft Recognizes Need for Heterogeneous Management

At the Microsoft Management Summit, the software giant takes its first initial management interoperability steps.

After long shunning the multivendor management needs of the real world of heterogeneous computing, Microsoft Corp. at the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas this week took its first initial management interoperability steps.

But despite the fanfare of a demonstration during CEO Steve Ballmers keynote that showed MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) monitoring a Sun/Solaris server, Microsofts embrace is still at arms length.

Interoperability in Microsofts DSI (Dynamic Systems Initiative) is largely left to third parties to accomplish through their implementation of MOM Management Packs and in using the WS-Management specifications Microsoft co-authored with Intel Corp. and Dell Inc. to manage non-Microsoft environments. Microsoft hopes to take the WS-Management specifications to the industry for standardization.

But initial efforts to spread the gospel of DSI have already yielded some 80 MOM Management Packs from third-party suppliers. The management packs gather operational knowledge of specific applications to make it available to management tools such as MOM and SMS (Systems Management Server).

/zimages/6/28571.gifRead more here about the Dynamic Systems Initiative.

At the Microsoft Management Summit, several vendors were added to the growing list.

Dell for its part released its Microsoft Operations Manager Workgroup Edition, which provides monitoring and management of its Dell PowerEdge servers for small and medium-size businesses. It includes a Dell Management Pack and is intended for users with 10 or fewer Windows-based servers.

Vintela Inc., meanwhile, extended MOM and SMS management to Linux as well as Unix and Apple Macintosh systems via a pair of new offerings. The Lindon, Utah, companys new Vintela Systems Monitor, due this summer, extends MOMs ability to monitor those systems through an agent. Vintela created MOM agents specifically for Sun Microsystems Inc.s Solaris 8 and 9, IBMs AIX, HP-UX, Red Hat and SuSE Linux, and Mac OS X.

Microsoft in fact demonstrated the ability of MOM to manage a Red Hat Linux instance running as a guest operating system on its Virtual Server 2005 Service Pack 1 using the Vintela agent.

Vintela late last year added the ability for SMS to distribute software and updates to those systems via its Vintela Management Extensions offering.

"We did joint engineering with Microsofts SMS team to ensure proper management without redundant infrastructure," said Jackson Shaw, Vintelas vice president of product management. Microsoft last fall took a small equity stake in the company.

Microsoft will also rely on another third party—AVIcode Inc.—to extend MOM 2005 management to customer .Net applications.

Microsoft will distribute with MOM 2005 the Baltimore-based companys Operations Edition of Intercept Studio .Net application monitoring software beginning in July.

In the MOM 2005 demonstration with the Sun/Solaris server, Microsoft showed an initial prototype of the second version of its WS-Management specification, which uses Web services to connect to remote devices to get management data and control the devices.

/zimages/6/28571.gifClick here to read more about Ballmers keynote.

Microsoft will take the specification, co-authored with Intel and Dell, to the industry for possible standardization. Microsoft has committed to implementing WS-Management in Windows Server 2003 Release 2, and Intel has pledged to implement it in a chip set due next year, according to Eric Berg, Microsofts director of product management.

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