Microsoft System Center gets cross-platform support
IDG News Service - Microsoft Corp. is releasing beta technologies that allow its systems management software to manage non-Windows environments, as part of the company's strategy to make its software more conducive to managing large data centers.
Microsoft said Tuesday that the beta tools will let its System Center suite natively manage Linux and Unix servers as well as systems running VMware's ESX Server virtualization software. The company announced the news at its Microsoft Management Summit 2008, which is taking place in Las Vegas this week.
Until now, the System Center suite — which has gone through several product, name and pricing changes over the past couple of years as Microsoft has honed its strategy — could only manage Windows servers. But Microsoft is recognizing that to make its software a viable option for managing entire data centers, it must support heterogeneous environments.
At the MMS event, Microsoft released beta versions of cross-platform extensions for its System Center Operations Manager 2007 tool. Previously, Microsoft allowed third parties to build software that enabled Operations Manager to manage non-Windows environments; this marks the first time that the software can do so on its own, said Larry Orecklin, Microsoft's general manager of System Center marketing.
To provide the cross-platform support, Microsoft is leveraging two open network-management protocols: Web Services for Management and OpenPegasus. It also has joined the steering committee for the OpenPegasus open-source project and will contribute royalty-free code to the project, Orecklin said.
In another move to support cross-platform network management, Microsoft, as promised last week, is releasing a beta version of its Virtual Machine Manager 2008 tool that adds support for virtual servers running VMware's market-leading ESX Server software.
Virtual Machine Manager, which was recently added to the System Center product family, manages virtual machines on a network. In a meeting with reporters last week on Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., office campus, Orecklin said the company sees systems management as a key differentiator among virtualization vendors as the technology itself becomes commoditized.
At MMS, Microsoft also is releasing beta versions of new connectors that integrate System Center Operations Manager with other management software suites, such as IBM's Tivoli product line and Hewlett-Packard's OpenView.
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