Microsoft Expands Datacenter Management Offerings With Advanced Heterogeneous and Virtualization Capabilities
April 29, 2008
New Microsoft System Center solutions for management of multivendor virtualization, operating systems and applications available for customer evaluation.

LAS VEGAS — April 29, 2008 — Today, before an audience of more than 4,000 IT professionals and partners at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2008, Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft Corp., outlined the next phase in the company’s strategy to enable dynamic IT organizations. As part of this strategy, Muglia announced technology innovations that are designed to expand Microsoft’s virtualization capabilities and introduced its use of open source technologies and industry standards to broaden its ability to deliver automated management of heterogeneous IT environments.

“At Microsoft we are helping redefine what it means to do IT management in the enterprise with the new capabilities we are announcing today,” Muglia said. “By taking our knowledge of the Windows environment and expanding it to address heterogeneous management needs across platforms, applications, hardware and virtualization, we are opening up a new level of opportunity for companies to drive greater efficiency, responsiveness and value for their business.”

As IT environments grow more diverse and complex across desktops, datacenters, physical and virtual deployments, and heterogeneous infrastructures spanning Windows and non-Windows environments, Microsoft has worked closely with customers to deliver a comprehensive enterprise strategy for an integrated management solution. The announcements today build on the strong, existing Microsoft System Center presence in the datacenter with key additions in the areas of cross-platform, expanded interoperability and multivendor virtualization management solutions, which are further extended by the contributions of a strong and growing partner ecosystem.

Extending Cross-Platform Management for the Datacenter

Microsoft today announced the availability of a public beta for System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions, which build on the existing Operations Manager 2007 technology and capabilities and are designed to help customers extend the value of their Microsoft System Center investments. Providing customers with a comprehensive management solution, this new end-to-end IT systems monitoring capability incorporates industry standards and proven open source technologies, including Web Services for Management (WS-Management) and OpenPegasus, extending the capabilities across both physical and virtualized Windows and non-Windows operating systems and applications. Microsoft delivers the core foundational cross-platform support out of the box for HP-UX, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Sun Solaris and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server operating systems so that partners can focus on adding their deep domain expertise in the form of management packs. Companies such as Novell Inc., Quest Software Inc. and Xandros Inc. have demonstrated their support by working to deliver monitoring abilities for applications made by organizations such as The Apache Software Foundation, MySQL AB and Oracle.

Further demonstrating support for its commitment to OpenPegasus, Microsoft also announced today that it will be joining the OpenPegasus Steering Committee and contribute code back to the open source community under the Microsoft Public License, an Open Source Initiative (OSI)-approved license.

“The System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions have already delivered exciting results for Xandros,” said Andreas Typaldos, CEO of Xandros. “They enabled us to cut our expected development time in half as we created our management packs for Apache and MySQL running on Linux and Solaris, resulting in quicker time to market and delivery of betas to our customers today. This new foundation from Microsoft enabled us to focus on the development of high-level management functions for applications, with the knowledge that the Cross Platform Extensions were providing the necessary underlying interfaces to System Center Operations Manager, enabling heterogeneous management from a single location across customer environments.”

Microsoft also delivered a beta of the updated System Center Operations Manager 2007 Connectors, based on many of the same extensible open source technology and industry standards as the Cross Platform Extensions, which provide an integrated administrative experience and the ability to interoperate and exchange System Center monitoring data with third-party management offerings such as HP OpenView and IBM Tivoli Enterprise Console.

Single Pane of Glass for Managing Virtualized and Physical IT Assets

Also delivered today was the public beta of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (formerly code-named “Virtual Machine Manager vNext”), which enables customers to configure and deploy new virtual machines and to centrally manage their virtualized infrastructure, whether running on Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 or VMware ESX Server.

System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 tightly integrates with Operations Manager 2007 to deliver a new feature called Performance and Resource Optimization (PRO). Using deep knowledge of the IT environment including operating systems, applications and hardware, Operations Manager identifies opportunities for more efficient physical and virtual resource allocation and generates “PRO tips” within the Virtual Machine Manager console. Administrators can implement these PRO tips and dynamically optimize their datacenter based upon pre-defined policies and the real-time, changing demands of users. When used in conjunction with the broad System Center management suite, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 enables customers effectively to manage both their virtualized and physical servers and applications across their desktops and datacenters with a single set of consistent, compatible tools.

“Deploying, monitoring and managing applications across a heterogeneous IT infrastructure can present many challenges and complexities, all of which are compounded when consolidating servers, optimizing desktops and applications, or creating business continuity solutions using multiple virtualization solutions,” said Jerry Phillips, senior director of Systems Operations at Clear Channel Communications Inc. “Our experience with System Center solutions has demonstrated that Microsoft not only recognizes our need to manage our Windows datacenter infrastructure, but also non-Windows and virtual servers from other vendors. Being able to do so through a single administrative console will provide improvements in productivity and reductions in our cost of IT operations, enabling us to improve overall organizational contributions.”

A number of partners, including Brocade, Dell, EMC Corp., Emulex Corp., HP, NetQOS, QLogic Corp. and Quest, announced they will deliver management packs enabled for PRO. These management packs enable partners and customers to integrate their domain-specific knowledge directly into Virtual Machine Manager and further integrate physical and virtual management.

“Dell’s focus is to simplify IT for our customers and drive complexity out of the datacenter, and virtualization is a key technology driving this effort,” said Laurie Tolson, vice president of systems management at Dell Product Group. “By working with industry leaders like Microsoft on advances in systems management between Dell OpenManage and Microsoft Hyper-V, System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 and Windows Server 2008, we’re able to bridge the gap between the physical and virtual management spaces, providing an optimized solution that helps our customers get the most out of their hardware and virtualization investments.”

“New ways to lower energy costs, reduce server sprawl and optimize datacenters are provided by the collaboration between HP and Microsoft as virtualization goes mainstream,” said Scott Farrand, vice president of Industry Standard Server Software at HP. “Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager used alongside HP Insight software on HP ProLiant servers, and HP Server Automation software, allow customers to seamlessly manage physical and virtual environments. The combined solutions also allow customers to maximize availability, performance and flexibility of physical host servers, virtualized guest operating systems and workloads.”

Beta software of System Center Operation Manager 2007 Cross Platform Extensions, Connectors and Virtual Machine Manager 2008 were made available to attendees at the conference and can be downloaded at http://connect.microsoft.com. Customers interested in finding more information on the System Center offerings or in evaluating them through trial offerings can visit http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter and the System Center blog at http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenter.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

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