Microsoft Wades Deeper Into Systems Management

Microsoft details its vision for helping corporate IT departments manage their software assets.
This is no April Fool's Day joke.

Microsoft (Quote) said during its Management Summit today in San Diego that its System Center Operations Manager 2007 management application will be available this April 1.

The software, which has evolved from what Microsoft used to call Operations Manager (MOM) 2005, offers intelligent network monitoring and reporting for Microsoft platforms and applications.

The software competes with products from IBM (Quote), HP (Quote), CA and BMC (Quote) in the multi-billion-dollar market for software that governs application operations.

Specifically, Operations Manager 2007 can be used to automate routine administration to improve service levels, increase efficiencies and achieve greater control of the IT environment.

But according to Eric Berg, director of product management for Microsoft System Center, the product has also been developed to help customers get more than simple cost savings out of their IT infrastructure.

"These tools allow customers to use IT as a strategic differentiator for their businesses," he told

The application has also been reconfigured to allow customers to assign roles to various IT administrators, thereby limiting access to some services and improving network security.

According to Bob Muglia, Microsoft's senior vice president of server and business tools, Operations Manager 2007 is the first element in the company's overarching Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI).

"The products we are releasing and those in the pipeline, together with the collaboration with our industry partners, will yield tremendous value for our customers in terms of management efficiency and agility," he said during a speech at the event.

In related management software news, Microsoft agreed to license EMC Corp.'s (Quote) Smarts network discovery and health monitoring technology for future versions of Operations Manager. The agreement further strengthens Microsoft's relationship with EMC.

EMC and Microsoft are also co-developing a new cross-domain behavioral model that will help customers pinpoint the root cause of problems that affect services.

In addition, Microsoft, EMC and Cisco (Quote) announced that they have entered into a three-way collaboration to simplify network-related tasks and resources through the use of the Service Modeling Language (SML), which they submitted for review by the W3C last week.

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